BLAME economic uncertainty, Brexit or bad weather but there’s no question that bike sales in the UK this year have fallen off a cliff.
The latest stats show the market is down by over 15% year-to-date compared to last year and some segments are even worse-off.
Mopeds (motorcycles or scooters under 50cc) are down over 20% year-on-year, while scooters as a whole are down nearly 30%.
The already-suffering supersports sector has dropped by over a quarter, as has the sports-touring segment. Cruisers are down by 18% and even supposedly strong parts of the market are looking shaky. Naked bikes – the biggest part of the market now – are down by nearly 10%. Only the ever-buoyant adventure bike market is up, and only by 0.5% for the year-to-date.
But among the doom and gloom, some bikes are still finding droves of buyers – and not necessarily the kinds we’d traditionally expect to be chart toppers.
The registration figures for the first half of the year (the latest available from the DfT) show which are winning in 2017.
We’re only looking at bikes over 125cc, but even so, it’s worth noting that despite a raft of new sports bikes this year – the new Blade and GSX-R1000 in particular – none are troubling the top 10. In fact, the highest-selling superbike is the BMW S1000RR, which would be in 12th place on this list.
Here’s the top 10 countdown, starting with…
10: BMW S1000XR – 496 registered
When it first appeared the XR looked like a bit of an oddball. Not quite a sports-tourer, not quite an adventure bike, its jack-of-all-trades nature has actually made BMW’s best-selling four-cylinder this year. It was last year as well, but in the first half of 2016 rather more were sold – 626 of them to be exact – so it’s a bike that, despite reaching the top 10, illustrates the overall drop in the bike market pretty clearly.
CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE BMW S1000XR.