We always want what we can't have | Top 10 Motorcycles we don’t get in the UK

Imports rules, emissions regulations or simply not feasible for this market, here are ten bikes the UK doesn’t get but we wish we did


THE UK market is one of the most varied and exciting on the planet, but for every great bike we get over here, another one of equal potential gets shunned.

The reasons for not getting manufacturers bikes in blighty are many. It could be down to the Euro emissions regulations that we agree to adhere to, or that the manufacturer simply deems the UK market in that particular segment to not be strong enough to warrant importing it.

Whatever the reason, there are lots of fantastic bikes that we as Brits miss out on, here’s our pick of the ten best motorcycles we don’t get in the UK but really wish we did.

Horex VR6

The Horex VR6 is a bike that truly deserves the tagline of ‘revolutionary’. At the centre of the bike is a narrow-angle V6 engine that allows the machine to carry just a single head and cam cover.

The rest of the bike is a top-notch mixture of modern tech and classic styling, although, with 160bhp on tap, there’s nothing classical about the performance!

Honda Ruckus

The barebones Honda Ruckus is, sadly, a US model that is available in some other selected markets. It’s a funky take on an urban adventure scooter, with a rugged no-nonsense design that makes it as at home on the trails as it is in the inner city.

Power (well, a little bit anyway) comes from a dinky 50cc engine, but power is not the Ruckus’ strong point. US buyers can snap the little Honda up for $2,749!

Suzuki DR-Z400SM

Another model our friends across the pond can get to enjoy but not us. That said, there are 400SM knocking around in the UK, although as it stands it is not a bike in the current Suzuki line-up. It’s an old-school thumper of a bike, with a 398cc engine that produces a useable 35bhp in standard trim.

That said, the engine is carburettor fed, meaning coaxing some extra ponies from within the casings should be relatively easy.

Honda GB350 H'ness

Not only is Honda the jack of all trades when it comes to having an entry in almost every conceivable segment, it is the master for many of them too.

And yet sometimes the simplest ideas are still the best, as represented by the GB350, more colloquially - and regally - referred to as the H’ness, which has been designed around a simpler architecture and is aimed at the ever lucrative Asian retro-chic market.

With its handsome looks, vast customising options and that peace of mind that comes with Honda engineering, all wrapped up in a value orientated package, the H’ness certainly has a lot to hold our attention. 

So while one can see its appeal in a country like India, where Royal Enfield rules the roost, we think it would find a very solid niche in the UK too.

Yamaha Serow Final Edition

As the name suggest, it looks as though our Japanese friends are about to lose the current Serow. Whether Yamaha has another bike to fill its shoes we don’t currently know.

What we do know, is that the Serow might not be the most powerful, highest spec, or most capable duel sport adventurer on the planet, but when it comes to solid, dependable and lightweight off-roading, this bike is a very safe bet.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager

The Voyager is another US model and another that we’d love to swing a leg over if we had the chance. It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect of a full-dress heavyweight cruiser/touring motorcycle, although once again it’s the price of the thing that makes it so appealing.

With top of the range Harley-Davidsons and Indian hitting the £30,000, the $17,500 Voyager looks like a seriously good value mile muncher with all-American styling.

Honda CT125

The CT125 has been big news (for such a small bike) since breaking cover at the Tokyo Motor show a couple of years back. It’s a rugged off-road version of the Honda Super Cub, and features a tougher chassis, off-road tyres and crash bars galore.

If the CT125 is lighting your fire, you may be able to get one imported into the UK, although it still isn’t clear if the emissions of the tiny adventure bike will cause an issue if you did.

Yamaha 2020 VMAX

Discontinued in UK a couple of years ago, the VMAX lives on in other markets where emissions regulations don’t hinder its progress. The 1,679cc engine is still one of the biggest production V4 engines produced for a bike and pumps out a tire-shredding 173bhp.

Honda CBR600RR (2021 update)

Yes, that’s right, it looks as though the updated and revised CBR600RR isn’t going to be coming to Europe. Given the bike still looks like it’ll be in line with the now superseded Euro4 standard, Europe (where Euro5 is required) looks like to miss out on this stunning machine.

Updated for the modern world, the new bike gets revised styling, aero winglets, and an electronics package that looks like it was handed down by the flagship CBR1000RR-R. Beneath the skin though, the CBR600RR is much as before, with most of the chassis and frame being much the same as the outgoing model.

Kawasaki ZX-25R

The one bike that really, really, makes us sad is the Kawasaki ZX-25R. It is an Asia-only model (blub) meaning over in Europe we’ll not get a chance to sample the screaming 250cc inline four-cylinder engine and high-end suspension (double blub!).

That said, given the bike’s meteoric reception from bikers across the globe, I don’t think it’ll be long before we start to see grey imports of this 250cc pocket rocket making their way over – just like the old days!