Top 10 best-selling BMWs

These were the best-selling BMWs during the first half of 2015

YEAR after year BMW’s R1200GS seems to have a monopoly on the best-seller spot in the UK sales charts as what once seemed like a fad for adventure bikes has become an established market that outsells previously huge segments like sports bikes.

But BMW is far more than just the GS, and many of its other models are selling in big enough numbers to make other brands green with envy.

We’ve used the government’s six-monthly registration figures to see exactly which models are doing best. The figures take the first half of 2015 into account, running from the start of January to the end of June. Year-end figures for most bikes are therefore likely to be something like twice the numbers seen here, but the overall order is unlikely to change significantly.

10. F800GT (154 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

The BMW brand might be dominated by its boxer twins and the S1000RR but the easily-forgotten F800GT is a capable all-rounder and there are plenty of buyers to reflect that. It’s interesting that despite the focus on adventure bikes, the F800GT is the only bike with BMW’s parallel-twin motor to appear on this list – the F800GS and F700GS are left trailing in its wake in sales terms, outsold by both the F800GT and the naked F800R (which would be 11th in the league if the list extended that far).

9. S1000XR (164 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

It’s too early to use the sales figures of the S1000XR to judge its success, but while looking at its 164 registrations it is worth bearing in mind that the bike was only actually on sale for around a month in the first half of 2015, so virtually all of those registrations will have been in June alone. Does that mean you can simply add a beak and some extra ride height to anything and guarantee sales? No, the XR is much wiser than that, and despite adventure overtones it’s really a fast, comfy all-rounder or an S1000RR for riders with stiff backs.

8. R1200R (190 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Another new-for-2015 bike, the R1200R has at least been available for pretty much the whole period being measured here (in fact, records show that three were registered before the end of 2014). So the 190 sales in six months is an accurate reflection of its popularity, and we might have expected a little more. We thought it was 'a fantastic piece of kit' during our test ride but had reservations over its conservative looks. Maybe it’s just not attracting the attention it deserves.

7. R1200RS (207 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Having said that R1200R sales are lower than we’d expect, maybe potential R1200R buyers are instead flocking to the RS version. Like the S1000XR, the R1200RS was only on sale for around a month of the six-month period covered by these figures, which makes its 207 registrations look much more impressive than the bare number suggests. Again, this seems to be proof that a good all-rounder – capable of touring, commuting and scratching in equal doses – is a great, if simple, recipe.

6. S1000R (411 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

It might be only one place higher than the R1200RS but look at the leap in numbers – the S1000R has sold nearly twice as many examples as the next-most-popular BMW during the first six months of 2015. And to be honest, if you’re in the market for a ridiculously-powerful naked bike, then it’s a great choice. The lopsided styling might not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s certainly distinctive, and the combination of the S1000RR’s great engine and a wide-barred, sit-up-and-beg riding position is clearly appealing to plenty of riders.

5. R1200RT (444 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Remember those pre-S1000RR, pre-Ewan-and-Charley days when BMW had a pipe-and-slippers image associated mainly with big, soft, comfy tourers that appealed to long-distance, two-up riders? Well those guys are still out there and still buying BMWs, and why not? The six-cylinder K1600GT might not be selling in big numbers, but the R1200RT does all the same stuff and costs thousands less. In the current climate sales figures like this are worth fighting for and yet the R1200RT’s rivals (Pan European? FJR1300?) are virtually all pensionable.

4. R nineT (492 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Yeah, we were a bit surprised too. After all, wasn’t the R nineT supposed to be a bit of a niche model? It seems that people can’t get enough of that retro-flavoured styling and the endless personalisation opportunities it offers. Triumph will be after a big chunk of this market with its all-new Bonneville range, Ducati is already in there with its Scrambler and BMW is on the verge of launching a scrambler-style R NineT derivative. Will we be bored of retro in 12 months’ time or is it a trend that’s here to stay?

3. S1000RR (602 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

If ever there’s been proof that the key to sustained sales is to make a good bike and then to keep updating it on a regular basis, the S1000RR is it. Since its 2009 unveiling we’ve gone through three generations and a couple of different versions in each, and even though racing success has always proved elusive, the S1000RR remains the best-selling superbike in the UK. In comparison, the Japanese offerings (2015 R1 aside) have tended to look a bit limp and dated – if you want a four-cylinder superbike, a local dealer and all the latest gadgets and gizmos, this has become the default choice. Japan really needs to up its game – let’s hope that new offerings like the 2016 ZX-10R do just that.

2. R1200GS Adventure (656 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

And here we are, into the top two, and they’re both R1200GSes. While the registration figures split the GS into two versions – the Adventure and the standard bike – the BMW range actually sub-divides them into no fewer than eight derivatives, three Adventures and five ‘normal’ GSes. Where the Adventure used to be the pricey, high-spec version, it’s now not much more than the base bike (ranging from £13,050 to £15,215, compared to £12,100 to £15,055) and perhaps that’s why its sales are so close to the number one model.

1. R1200GS (884 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

The Adventure might do well but it’s still the basic GS that tops BMW’s sales chart. To be fair, most riders really don’t need the off-road-oriented bits, and the normal GS has already got the look and riding position that they’re after, as well as enough ability to ride down the occasional potholed B-road without fear. Whether it’s the best ‘adventure’ bike or not isn’t really the point – it’s the default choice in the category. Buy one of its rivals and people will ask why you chose something other than the GS (and even if your reasoning is good, having to justify decisions to others is never much fun).

Want more?

Top 10 used 600cc supersports bikes

Top 10 race bikes of 2015

Top 10 most powerful naked bikes

Top 10 low-seat adventure bikes

Top 10 best-selling Ducatis

  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.

Join the conversation!

Let us know what you think, just sign up for a free account, leave a comment and get involved!
Register Now


Loading Comments...