Changes to emissions directives which came into effect at the beginning of this year are having a significant impact on the motorcycle market according to automotive data experts, cap hpi.
Alan Elsworth, Green Book Editor with cap hpi, says that despite the bike market being the most exciting it has been for a long time with manufacturers unveiling new models at a rate not seen for many years, the volume of old models being pre-registered is reaching unprecedented levels.
Alan also believes that traders and consumers are still getting to grips with the new Euro4 regulations.
He said, “Bikes which aren’t compliant have been a primary focus before the registration deadline and this has resulted in a flourish of activity on the new bike registration numbers.
“In the past six months we’ve seen some real innovation from manufacturers who are bringing in exciting new models more so than seen in recent years. It means manufacturers are charging higher prices as the Euro 4 models they are bringing out are higher spec than the older Euro 3 models. In some cases, the differential can be several thousand pounds.”
Alan believes that the move from Euro3 to Euro4 was a quantum leap for the industry, adding: “Euro 4 has had a positive impact on manufacturers and their output. We didn’t see as much of a reaction when the market moved to Euro 3 – it is a more pronounced impact. Bikes built to comply with the Euro 4 directive are now out of the price range for many buyers, so the trade-off between the attractive features of a brand new bike and the saving made by going for an older model aren’t enough to warrant the average road user parting with the cash.
“Bike consumers are being spoilt for choice with higher spec vehicles with more R&D investment behind them, which in turn has enabled manufacturers to reflect this in higher retail prices. Whether or not consumers can afford these new models is a different matter, but for those who like to have the latest, up to date models, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a rider.”
Alan states that as a direct consequence some pre-reg Euro 3 models are proving more popular than ever, but there is becoming a shortage of some models for dealers to offer.
“Due to the continued exporting to the Eurozone of clean, later plate models there is a noticeable shortage of older stock available on the domestic market, where demand remains high, this could have the effect of turning a buyer to a discounted pre-registered example as a real affordable alternative.
“Approximately a quarter of a million bikes have gone overseas in the last decade with around 40,000 bikes of the types being exported, being registered in the UK on average every year. At least 10,000 motorcycles are stolen and not recovered or written off, so it’s not surprising that stock availability of older bikes is concerning.”