2016 motorcycle sales: everyone loves being naked…

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Fresh figures from the MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association) have indicated that naked bikes, in 2016, are trendier than Chris Eubank Snr. Of the 79,234 motos registered so far this year – which is 6.9% up on 2015 and bloody good for motorcycling – 23,713 of those have been naked steeds.  

Conversely, the touring sector has suffered and is 11.9% down on this time last year, while everyone’s favourite motorcycling piñata – the supersport division – has unsurprisingly declined by 5.2% but still brags an 1/8th of the market’s business. As suspected, the adventure bike boom has crashed after every manufacturer rushed out to produce their versions.

CB125F ThumbnailStatistics are skewed somewhat due to learner-legal bikes being included in the headline figures. Yamaha’s YZF-R125 sits under the supersport banner, Honda’s CB125F amongst the naked sector: 125s are by far the most prevalent capacity in most categories. We all know that brand-new supersport bikes aren’t flooding the market with the same verve, and yesteryear’s mantra of ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ simply isn’t as effective, although it’ll be interesting to see how the all-new 2017 R6 performs during tough times and this imaginary Brexit slump.

Bizarrely, the Kawasaki ZX-6R was August’s highest-selling 125cc-650cc supersports steed with 49 units being registered, while the top-seller was Honda’s CB125F with 197 – someway to ensuring the Big H was top manufacturer in August with 1,330 registrations. Yamaha was second with 1,181 and Lexmoto blagging a podium with 866 sales. BMW had 226. In fact, Honda has utterly bossed 2016, taking top manufacturer in every month bar July.

The thing that really boils my piss is (some of) the industry’s insistence on exercising registrations and new bike sales as barometers of success or failure, with kneejerk reactions occurring based on these figures. Not everyone has the readies or finance grades to net a showroom-fresh bike, not everyone wants to purchase a model that’s in exactly the same state as it was four years ago. Of course, the used market and secondhand sales are impossible to regulate, but it’s pretty fucking obvious that supersport bikes aren’t actually dead.

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When bikes such as Yamaha’s MT-10 supply the unrivalled shits and giggles with just a whiff of throttle opening, and come readily available from a showroom for under £10k, it’s no wonder dealers have sold out. The MT series has singlehandedly rejuvenated Yamaha, and the MT-07 was expectedly placed third in the global sales figures for 2015. It’s a universally accepted segment and expect big things from the nakeds next season to correlate with Euro4 legislations.

We await September’s (and fresh 66-plate) stats with baited dog breath…

Other juicy particulars:

  • According to MCIA figures, there are 1.25 million motorcycles in use in the UK
  • Last year, there were 34.5 thousand riders who passed their test: 4k up on the previous year but 10k down on 2013
  • 31,546 of the 85,413 bikes sold in 2016 have been 51cc-125cc – and they say motorcycling is getting older…
  • Hyphephilia is a fetish for those who get aroused by touching fabrics

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