Sales of 'commuter sized' motorcycles on the rise

Figures released by the Motorcycle Industry Association show that more commuter motorcycles and scooters were sold in 2015 than in other year since records began, way back in 1983 with a 12% increase year-on-year.

2015 was an incredible year for the industry, and well over 43,000 motorbikes and scooters between 101-125cc were sold, while total registrations for motorcycles and mopeds of all sizes will exceed 114,000, which is the highest annual total for the last seven years.

Popular Bike Manufacturers

Yamaha has been the most successful, with the brand coming top in the Adventure Sport, Naked models, Supersport and 126cc to 650cc engine categories. The most popular Yamaha bikes have been the MT-09 Tracer, the MT-07, the YZF-125R and the YZF-R3. But it’s not just Yamaha that has been enjoying the upturn, other brands such as Harley-Davidson, BMW and Honda are all seeing a rise in popularity and sales in all the categories have increased, with the exception of sport/tour and touring bikes.

Commuter Motorcycles

Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA has a theory as to why new motorcycles between 101-125cc have become so popular: 

"We're seeing an increase in sales of new motorcycles of all sizes, but our records show that we've never seen as many bikes of this size sold before.  We think it is likely that they are being used for commuting, as they are economical to run and easy to park.”

He went on to say: 

“Motorcycle dealers have been reporting an increase in families swapping a second car for a motorcycle, to beat the misery of sitting in traffic during rush hour.  Motorcycles and scooters can filter through slow moving traffic and are tremendous fun, with riders tending to rate their commute more enjoyable than other transport users.”

This statement is backed up by the findings of The Office for National Statistics who conducted a one-off survey to examine how different commuting patterns affected the anxiety, happiness and satisfaction of commuters. The study showed that journeys of up to 30 minutes had no effect on levels of happiness or anxiety for those who rode a motorcycle, moped or scooter to work, whereas commuters who walk, cycle or drive to work experienced a negative impact on some or all of the factors measured. 

It’s not difficult to see why this would be the case. Cramming onto a packed train or being caught in traffic is no way to start or finish the working day, but it’s a grim reality for most of us. 

Jumping onto a motorbike or scooter is the obvious way to avoid all of that, and the fact you’ll save money in the process makes it a no brainer for most riders.


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