When I was met my mate Barnes recently we were discussing motorbikes over a cold beer or three as usual. He said to me that he had covered more miles over a recent France weekend (TMax 560 and 530DX) than many of his shop customers in a year or even two, which set us thinking. In my opinion and experience Yamaha and Honda are the top two motorcycle manufacturers in terms of numbers and also in terms of quality and reliability, some call them boring UJMs (Universal Japanese Motorcycles) but I call them fantastic bikes and I have had many. The other two big Japanese manufacturers Kawasaki and Suzuki also make excellent bikes but both seem to be distracted recently so they are not at the same level as the two big guys, Kawasaki is very heavily into massive industrial equipment and Suzuki seems to be concentrating more on car manufacturing I think.
Back to my main question. Sure, one big problem of the UK for bikers is the very unpredictable weather. Given that the UK is a very small island in the middle of a very big pond then the weather can change even several times per day and rain is often on the menu. This alone means that UK bike riding can at times be tough and many guys I know have a car for the colder and wetter months. Ok this I understand. BUT I looked just now at the used bikes on sale at Alf England in the Midlands for some examples:
2016 Yamaha XV950 Racer Blue. 1563 Miles divided by 6 years is 260 miles/year
2020 Yamaha XSR 900 ABS MTM 850 Black 2489 Miles 1200 miles per year
2021 Yamaha MT-09 ABS Grey 2318 Miles 2300 miles per year
2020 Kawasaki NINJA 650 Green 649 Miles 320 miles per year
2018 Yamaha MT-10 MTN1000 Grey 2911 Miles 730 miles per year
Very similar stories can also be seen on Auto Trader. Now of course we have just come out of the dreaded lockdown and this COULD well explain a mileage reduction. But my 2020 Yamaha TMax 530 DX (seen above resting on our way to France) is also for sale on their web site, she has covered over 5,000 miles in 2 years and there are some bikes up for sale with more miles but the trend seems to be very very low average miles. So perhaps in the UK folks purchase a motorcycle because their mates have one and they don’t wish to be left behind or left out, and they really only ride it to the boozer on a sunny Sunday? Possibly yes, this is I think a part explanation. Another factor is the fact that a bike is not like a car, you cannot just jump on and go but you need at least some basic training in order to ride safely. BUT alot of males don’t like training, they think they have talent that they have not so when they frighten themselves they tend to leave the bike in the garage.
Your opinions and ideas please???