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2022’s best selling bikes!

Motorcycle and scooter sales were up again in 2022, these were the best selling models, category by category…

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 5 April 2023 | 0 min read

It's time to take the opportunity to take stock of the 12 months just gone. And when it comes to bikes, one of the most interesting and useful ways things to come out of that is bike sales, revealing which models and categories are the most popular, itself a useful recommendation of what to buy.
Thanks to the Motorcycle Industry Association, MCIA, UK bikes sales figures are readily available. Published monthly they highlight which bikes have been the best sellers in various categories and capacity classes each month. Accordingly, at the end of the year these can be tallied up to give a good idea of which bikes have sold best. It’s not perfect: some categories, for example their splitting of capacity classies between 651-1000cc and 1000cc+ seperates two immediately obvious close competitors, Suzuki’s 999cc GSX-S1000GT and Kawasaki’s 1043cc Ninja 1000 SX, when common sense dictates they should be directly comparable. Likewise some of its catagorisations, whereby Triumph’s Tiger 660 is deemed an Adventure Bike, are a little subjective. But overall, reading between the lines, there’s enough to get a good idea of current trends. Here’s ourt pick of 2022’s highlights…

Best selling adventure bike – BMW R1250GS/Adventure

After almost a decade on top – and as an overall UK best-seller – BMW’s class-defining R1250GS, along with its bigger tanked, more off-road ‘Adventure’ variant, remains the best-selling adventure bike – which is no mean feat considering the strength of its opposition plus the fact that it hasn’t been significantly updated since 2019. In eight out of 12 months last year it was the best-selling adventure and in March alone shifted nearly 500 units. Other monthly best sellers include Honda’s more trail bike-like CRF300L and Triumph’s impressive new variant of its Trident – the Tiger 660 Sport.
Find a BMW R1250GS here.

Best selling custom bike – Royal Enfield Meteor 350

There’s no doubt about it, Indian-owned historic British brand Royal Enfield is on a roll. After establishing its new Technology Centre in Leicestershire, first to develop its all-new, retro-roadster 650cc twin, which was launched to great success in 2019, its next new model was the more custom-styled, and even more novice-friendly and affordable, single cylinder Meteor 350. It’s a gresat bike, too– easy and unintimidating to ride, nicely styled and built and, at a little over £3000, almost irresistably affordable. No wonder it was the best seller in this category for 10 out of 12 months last year. Read our full review of the 350 Meteor here.
Find a Royal Enfield Meteor 350 here.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Best selling ‘naked’ – Honda CB125F

By ‘naked’ we’re assuming the MCIA means straightforward, unfaired machines, irrespective of capacity and including bikes as diverse as affordable commuters to performance-drive super-nakeds. As such, it’s perhaps no0t a surpise that the best-seller overall is a machine long-respected as a solid, affordable, hugely economical and practical commuter – Honda’s CB125F. With a claimed economy figire of over 150mpg (in reality closer to 100), easy-as-pie riding manners, robust durability and an affordable price just over £3000, the F has been the go-to bike for those wanted either an easy learner or an affordable commuter for years, so much so that in 2022 it was the best-seller in this class for 10 out of 12 months in 2022.
Find a Honda CB125F here.
Honda CB125F
Honda CB125F

Best selling ‘modern classic’ – Royal Enfield Classic 350

Yes, Royal Enfield strikes again – and not just once, but three times. The MCIA’s ‘Modern Classic’ category refers to what many more commonly term retros – classic styled roadsters that are often easy and unintimidating to ride and affordable, too – which is right down Royal Enfield’s street. The new Classic 350 is a new, 1960s styled roadster based around the soft, pleasant 350cc single-cylinder engine that debuted in the Meteor 350. It also now powers the more modern looking HNTR 350. While Enfield’s 650cc Interceptor, although launched back in 2019, remains a high seller, too. The Classic 350 was the best seller in this class in six months of 2022, the Interceptor 650 was in three months and the HNTR 350 in December.
Find a Royal Enfield Classic 350 here.
Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield Classic 350

Best selling ‘road sport’ – Suzuki GSX-S1000GT

Another slightly ambiguous MCIA classification that includes not just sports bikes of all capacities but also sports-tourers. However, one bike stands out: the new-for-2022 faired, sports-touring version of the GSX-S1000 ‘naked’ introduced 12 months earlie, has received rave reviews for its combination of performance, versatility and value and which clearly has succeeded in its goal of rivalling Kawasaki’s previously best-selling Ninja 1000 SX by becoming the most popular bike in this category, being the most poular bike in this class in five different months in 2022. The Kawasaki, it should be said, is still up there, taking the No. 1 spot in March and November and Lexmoto’s LXR125 learner sportster and Yamaha’s new MT-07 based R7 also shone as well, but overall, the Suzuki sold the most, 781 units all told.
Find a Suzuki GSX-S1000GT here.
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT

Best selling scooter – Honda PCX125

Honda are dab hands when it comes to scooter and popular commuters and its excellent PCX125 has long been a best seller for its combination of accessible 125cc performance (requiring owners to simply have a CBT certificate), easy manners, proven reliability and quality and impressive value. That’s why the PCX remains the best-selling scooter of 2022, coming out on top in nine of 12 months last year. But Yamaha’s new NMAX 125, a introduced in 2021, contunues to run it close and took top spot in the remaining three months.
Find a Honda PCX125 here.
Honda PCX125
Honda PCX125

Best selling Tourer – BMW R1250RT

BMW built its reputation over decades of quality, effective dedicated touring machines and its latest, the R1250RT, as most recently updated in 2019 with enlarged, 134bhpo shift cam boxer engine, large, 7in TFT dash and a new look, remains far and away the best bike of its type, is beloved as by the emergency services and is rewarded by being the best seller in the category once again in 2022. However, it does have a new rival. Honda also launched its new NT1100 in 2022, a bike which combines the impressive parallel twin from the Africa Twin adventure bike with more comfortable, road-orientated accouterements and it’s proved a big seller, too, being the best seller for five months last year compared to the BMW’s seven.
Find a BMW R1250RT here.

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