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Tuesday 26 January 2021

News Briefs


The Italian motorcycle market was down by 'just' -6.33% (90,070 units sold) for the period January to November 2020, with recovery continuing after a dismal first five months of the year. November saw growth of +41.41% compared to last year. Adding in mopeds and scooters, the total of all PTW sales there for the period was down by -6.58% at 210,981 units in total. The top selling motorcycles were the Benelli TRK 502/X, the BMW R 1250 GS and Honda's Africa Twin.

The UK motorcycle market was down by -6.68% (89,497 units sold) for the period January to November 2020 as the 'second wave' of COVID-19 started to affect showroom traffic and general economic activity there. The UK motorcycle industry trade association (MCIA) says that as of 2019 there were 1.27 million motorcycles in use there in total.

H-D claimed 6th place in market share terms in Germany at a modestly increased 8.35% for the period January to October 2020 with 9,855 units sold. Its best sellers were the Street Bob in 31st place (1,027 units sold so far in 2020), the XK 100 X (997 units sold YTD), and the Sport Glide (697 units). Indian Motorcycle was in 12th spot with a best so far market share of 1.48% (1,714 units sold YTD).

The German motorcycle market continues to recover strongly and was +8.83% in new motorcycle registration terms (117,979 units) for the January to October period and +23.37% in total PTW terms (including mopeds, scooters etc - 94,950 units sold YTD). BMW remains top dog in its home market with a 20.80% market share.

H-D was in 8th spot in market share terms for new motorcycle registrations in Austria for the January to September period - 703 units sold for a 5% share. Indian Motorcycle was in 13th spot with 138 units sold YTD for a 1% share. Not surprisingly KTM is market share leader in its home market. The Austrian market was essentially flat for the first nine months of 2020 at -0.42% (13,333 units sold).

The battle lines for the middle ground continue to be drawn up - Triumph's new Trident 660 is described by MCN in the UK as "triple treat," achieving that much sought after "balance between performance and usability" that is becoming the price-point holy grail as the back-to-basics "motorcycles of character" ethos matures.

For 2021, Ducati has abandoned the primary design signature that informs thirty years of Monster worship with the signature trellis style frame jettisoned in favor of a lightweight stressed member aluminum monocoque, similar to the one developed for the Panigale. Also gone is the equally emblematic 90-degree 821 cc engine in exchange for an updated Euro 5 version of the higher hp 937 cc Testastretta 11-degree engine.

The new incarnation of Norton Motorcycles (TVS, India owned) is inviting official 'registrations of interest' for two versions of the long-planned 84 bhp and 650 cc parallel twins - the Atlas Nomad and Atlas Ranger - modern iterations of two old Norton model names that were first announced by 'Old Norton' in 2018. In other news, 'New Norton' is about to abandon its idiosyncratic Castle Donington, England home for a new facility at Solihull, Birmingham, England - less than ten miles from where 'Pa' Norton started it all in 1902.

Legendary wheel maker Roberto Marchesini passed away in Italy after a long illness. The former Campagnolo man started his own business as an aluminum and magnesium foundry in 1988 with his lightweight, high-strength magnesium wheels famously being adopted first by Ducati, then by dozens of race teams, privateers and OEMs worldwide. The company he founded became part of the Brembo Group in 2000.

Backed by Triumph Motorcycles, The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride was a solo riding effort in September 2020, but still managed to raise over € 2m for charitable causes; over € 20m has been raised since 2012. For 2021 the date has been brought forward from its usual end of September date and will now be staged in May each year - Sunday, May 23 in 2021.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,