KTM, Royal Enfield make big UK sales gains as Harley-Davidson slides

Mixed fortunes for the UK's best-selling manufacturers sees Honda increase its market share while the likes of Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Ducati slide

KTM 790 Adventure

Royal Enfield, KTM and Honda emerged as the biggest winners in terms of UK sales achieved during 2019, while Harley-Davidson, Ducati and Yamaha each suffered a notable slump in overall numbers.

Figures from the MCIA last week confirmed UK motorcycle sales in 2019 rose by a modest +1.5%, a promising outcome but markedly lower than other improvements in key European markets such as France (+15%), Spain (11%) and Italy (6%).

The United Kingdom is Europe’s sixth largest motorcycling market behind the aforementioned three, plus Germany and Turkey, with Honda maintaining a healthy margin over its contemporaries in this country.

According to Motorcycles Data, sales rose by +6% in 2019 to a final total of 21,150 units shifted, a significant portion of which are its ultra-successful scooter ranges, but also its lower capacity models. As such, Honda’s market share in the UK is undisputed with 19.7% of all models shifted in 2019 coming from the Japanese firm.

Its grip was assisted by rivals Yamaha seeing sales drop by -10.6% (11,115 units), which in turn reduces its market share to 10.3%. It too relies mostly on the sales of its scooter models, with the NMax 125 topping the sales charts overall in November and December.

Even so, it remains comfortably clear of third place BMW, which despite managing record sales of 9,235 units in the UK for 2019, commands just +4.1% share of the market.

Who were the biggest winners and losers in 2019?

In fourth place, Triumph took a slip of -5.4% in its domestic market, though it otherwise saw sales globally increase, while Kawasaki enjoyed a slight increase of 0.3% to consolidate its status as the fifth biggest-selling motorcycling manufacturer in the UK.

Scooter specialists Lexmoto enjoyed a huge +45.5 growth, albeit on the back of a poor 2018, in sixth overall, while KTM rose the order with a sizeable +11.7% gain, placing it only 500 units shy of rivals Kawasaki.

In eighth, Harley-Davidson’s continued its slide down the wrong end of the top ten with a -7.5% decline leaving it just ahead of Suzuki – which itself saw sales drop by -2.6% - and Ducati, which despite recording flat sales globally fell by -5.1% in the UK.

The most eye-catching statistic according to MCD’s figures, however, is Royal Enfield with a massive 121.8% boost in sales to 2,935 units. Indeed, having popped up into the top ten brands in various months this year, Royal Enfield finds itself close to cracking the top ten annually – it ended the year just 184 units shy of Ducati.