‘s motorcycle expert, Rob Hobson,  specialises in motorbikes and scooters. After leaving a dealer role to launch CAP’s Green Book, he worked in business development for Piaggio. He brings regular updates on the best bikes to buy each month, and is today giving us his roundup of the state of motorcycling.

“This time last year we were reflecting on the returning feel good factor at Motorcycle Live 2013. Fast forward 12 months and it is clear that this cautious optimism was fully justified. The motorcycle market has enjoyed an extended period of relative stability, with new sales growing by around 10% following a prolonged period of decline.

 “To suggest that all is well would be seriously overstating the improvement, but there is definitely a much more upbeat feel about the trade as a whole. There are also some pretty exciting new bikes coming onto the market.


“Interestingly, three of the most impressive new models are high performance Sports bikes, in a market which seems to be increasingly moving away from this sector. Kawasaki has rewritten the performance figures with the stunning H2R and H2 road version, and Yamaha has launched an all-new R1. Meanwhile, Honda showcased the RCV213V, which is about as close as you can get to a current Moto GP bike for the road – it might carry a six-figure price tag if brought to market.


“Top end bikes such as these are important to keep aspirational desire awake in the market. Actual retail numbers are likely to be small in this country, but it is good for the health of the industry that manufacturers are developing these awesome machines.


“The retro and nostalgic theme continues to grow and this was evident again across all corners of the brilliant Motorcycle Live show. In particular, the Yamaha ‘yard built’ bikes show how the Japanese manufacturers have changed their tendency to always ‘look ahead’ by building bikes which mirror their past. They have carved an impressive niche with the MT range and the addition of the Tracer will further boost this sector.


“In the used motorcycle market, showrooms have gone a little quiet of late, which is only to be expected at this time of year. Reports differ somewhat between those who are metaphorically (sometimes actually!) taking the opportunity to paint their workshop floors, and those who are still getting enough interest to keep them busy. There is some evidence of dealer expansion, although new players are still fairly rare.


“There are greater differences in trade bids now, with late model used examples being of most concern. These are under pressure given the price of buying a comparable model new. Generally speaking though, traders are still willing to pay strong money for above average condition bikes, almost whatever the model.

“It has become clear over recent winters that having prime stock at the start of the new season pays dividends in the long run. The trick is to have the finances to carry them until demand picks up.

“We wish everyone an enjoyable time over the festive period and look forward to an exciting New Year ahead.” provides buyers and sellers with all the vehicle price data they need: ready to retail, trade, average, retail and Cat D. As a free bonus, it also provides the annual road tax cost and key DVLA information, including the make, model, colour, engine size, body style, fuel type and date of registration.


Tony Carter

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