December 4 2008.

Average transaction prices of used motorcycles have taken a hit as retailers make an effort to shift large numbers of undesirable machines through a number of promotional sales, says EurotaxGlass's, publisher of Glass's Guide to Used Motorcycles.

Dealers are undertaking a significant level of clearance activity in an attempt to make space for more saleable models and to release cash tied up in the plentiful number of less sought-after machines which remain unsold in showrooms.

Such models are not considered desirable, either due to model type or style, or because they are in poor condition, and retailers are keen to improve the profile of their stocks.

"This is inevitably having an effect on retail prices in most sectors," states Randal Thomas, Editor of the Guide. "Our sources from within the trade have indicated that large capacity supersports machines have been impacted most heavily, with dealers offering these models at highly discounted rates in a bid to encourage sales.

"Retailers are being particularly cautious as we enter a period of shorter days and the winter chill begins to bite. Cash-flow invariably turns negative and already tight resources are being put under the greatest pressure. Currently, many trade bids are pitched to buy only if it represents a 'steal', with the bidder not being unduly bothered whether the offer is accepted," says Thomas.

However, the general consensus amongst the trade is that used stocks should not be allowed to fall too low, and that inventory levels will eventually need a boost to prepare businesses for next year.

"Indeed, it is almost inevitable that some of the machines retailers currently feel obliged to clear will be happily taken back into stock once the new season gets a little closer," adds Thomas.