When I was met up with my good 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 then 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 and enjoyed many. The other two big Japanese manufacturers Kawasaki and Suzuki also make some excellent bikes but both seem to be distracted 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 unpredictable weather. Given that the UK is a small island in the middle of a very big pond then the weather can change 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 recently looked 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 so 1200 miles per year
2021 Yamaha MT-09 ABS Grey 2318 Miles so 2300 so miles per year
2020 Kawasaki NINJA 650 Green 649 Miles so 320 miles per year
2018 Yamaha MT-10 MTN1000 Grey 2911 Miles so 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 my way up to France) is also up 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 low average miles. So perhaps in the UK guys purchase a motorcycle because their mates have one and they don’t wish to be 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 silly 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???
4 thoughts on “Why do UK motor cyclists never RIDE anywhere??”
I have some of the same questions as you Simon. Find many bikes here in the States with very few miles, sometimes less than 500 miles per year. Makes one wonder why purchase a bike and not ride it? Good post!
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Ray me ol fruitcake thanks for your comments. Wierd indeed. You buy a car cos you need it to go to work or whatever so a car gets used. Whereas the bike is more of a leisure or luxury item and gets MUCH less used. I have 5 in my garage and I ove them all but as I cannot really use them all I am planning to sell two this year. All the best Simon
As Simon says most people don’t use there bike 🏍 I think more a status symbol than a need. When you speak to a lot of the people and you ask them where they go most just go to Stratford Upon Avon or out for breakfast on a Sunday morning around about 40 to 50 mile trips 🤣🤣🤣🤣. A lot of the so called bikers have a 3 box set up of luggage and ride around all the time with them on empty boxes why ? I really don’t understand them and why they don’t tour they have the bike and capacity for long distance but go no where. They ask me how do you dare do the trips you do on your own unbelievable. I think most never ever leave the county they live in
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Brian ol mate thanks for yer wise words. Bikes are just ego trips perhaps??? Strange, and as Ray says he sees the same in the USA so it cannot be just the weather???