Sports sales stay strong

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Definitions (as used by the MCIA):

Adventure Sport (including Supermoto)

These bikes are similar in style to Trail/Enduro motorcycles but are predominantly designed and capable for on-road use only. Often they will have features similar to machines included in the Touring category e.g. fairings, luggage carrying capacity etc.


These machines include ‘cruisers’ and ‘choppers’. They have flat but typically feature high handlebars, low seat height and forward footrests. Body panels and fittings contain high polished chrome content.


Machines are built to a basic specification with no fairing (or only a small handlebar fairing) and an upright riding position – sometimes called retro.


Machines that fit between the SuperSport and Touring categories. Typical features include full or partial fairings and practical rider and pillion seating with low to medium ride handlebars. Tend to have medium to large capacity engines.


These machines are designed to mimic or directly replicate racing bikes. They normally have full fairings and low handlebars and are sometimes referred to as race replicas.


Have an engine, as an integral part of the rear suspension or the chassis is a step-through type, irrespective of cc or wheel size. Includes all types of transmission.


Bikes generally have large engines and are designed for long-distance riding. Typical features include a more comfortable seating position for rider and pillion, luggage carrying capability and weather protection, such as fairings with a fixed or adjustable windscreen.


These bikes encompass trials, enduro and trail bikes with an off-road or cross-country capability.


In law, a motorized two-wheeled vehicle with an engine capacity of less than 50cc and a maximum speed capability of 30mph, riders must be aged 16 years or over. Mopeds are available in Motorcycle and Scooter styles.


In law, a motorized two-wheeled vehicle that is not a moped, riders must be aged 17 years or over.

UK new bike sales 2004.

Figures provided by the Motorcycle Industry Association.

Total moped sales: 27,547. Down 24%

Adventure (inc supermoto) 7898. Up 19%

Custom: 8,284. Down 8 per cent

Naked: 16,874. Down 9%

Scooter: 21,549. Down 26%

Sport/Touring. 11,697. Down 23%

Supersport: 25,388. +/- 0%

Touring: 3369. Up 1%

Trail/Enduro 10,838. Down 5%

Unspecified. 494. Down 7%

Total scooters: 45,247. Down 24%

Total motorcycles & moped (exclusing scooters): 88,691. Down 8%

Total registrations: 133,938. Down 14%

Top 10 year-to-date new registrations:

1. Yamaha R1: 2713

2. Honda CBR125R 2174

3. Honda SCV 100 Lead: 2083

4. Piaggio NRG: 2034

5. Honda CBR1000RR: 1982

6. Suzuki GSX-R600: 1965

7. Honda CBR600RR: 1842

8. Suzuki GSX-R1000: 1756

9. Suzuki SV650S: 1751

10. Honda SES 125 Dylan.

Biggest sellers by category:

Adventure Sport: BMW R1200GS (1382)

Custom: Triumph Rocket III (508)

Scooter (exc moped) Honda SCV100 Lead (2083)

Sport/Touring: Suzuki SV650S (1751)

Supersport: Yamaha R1 (2713)

Touring: Honda ST1300A Pan European (698)

Naked: Honda CG125 (895)

Trail/Enduro: Honda XR125L (1544)

Sports bikes remain as popular and dominant in the UK market as ever – according to 2004 sales figures published by the Motorcycle Industry Association today.

Bikes like Yamaha’s R1 and Honda’s Fireblade remain Britain’s biggest sellers with sales for the category maintained at the same levels as 2003. Given that the overall market shrank by 14% that makes sports bikes even more dominant than in 2003.

That’s despite a shift towards big trailies and supermotos with sales in that sector rocketing 19% in the last year.

Big trailies and supermotos (described as ‘Adventure Sport’ by the Motorcycle Industry Association, which supplies the sales figures) sold a total of 7898 in 2004 – up 19% on 2003. The biggest fallers were sports-tourers, with 23 per cent less of us choosing them in 2004 compared to 2003.

The UK’s biggest selling bike was Yamaha’s R1 – by a country backlane mile! We bought 2713 of them last year. The second-biggest seller was Honda’s learner-tempting CBR125R. Its 2174 sales bode well for motorcycling’s future.

Honda’s Blade was the second-biggest selling superbike – with sales of 731 less than the R1.

Commenting on the boom in Adventure Sport, the MCI’s Craig Carey Clinch said, “An increasing amount of media and publishing interest in motorcycle travel, including coverage of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s round-the-world journey late last year, seems to be opening-up a new sense of adventure among riders.”

See Page 2 for more detailed 2004 new bike sales figures.

Across the pond, new bike sales have hit their highest levels since 1979 – up 4.7% to more than one million new bikes sold in the US for the second successive year.

But experts are warning a slowdown could be looming. The weak dollar is pushing up the prices of imported bikes – which account for most of the market.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff