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Old 01-13-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
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Top 10 bestselling Yamahas

These were Yamahas 10 bestsellers during the first half of 2015

OF all the Japanese manufacturers, it’s Yamaha that’s been on a roll for the last couple of years with a huge campaign of new model launches that have proved to be incredibly accurately targeted at just the parts of the market that are crying out for new blood.

Whether we’re talking about the new MT-branded models or the R1 and R3 it’s clear that Yamaha – on the rebound after several years of high prices and ageing models – is suddenly the standard bearer of affordable and high-tech offerings.

Yamaha’s achievements are all the more impressive in light of the market conditions; they’re picking up but still nowhere near the heady pre-financial-crisis days, and Japanese brands in particular are disadvantaged in Europe by difficult exchange rates that have eroded the traditional price advantages they hold over the European manufacturers that are perceived to be more ‘exotic’ or ‘exclusive’ than their eastern cousins.

Despite this, only a few European firms, benefitting from currency fluctuations and increasing market-shares during the financial crisis, have been anything like as active as Yamaha when it comes to new model launches (BMW and Ducati in particular have taken the opportunity to completely revamp their ranges during the ‘crisis’ period, with Triumph hot on their heels.)

Leafing through the most recent Government vehicle licencing figures, which show the exact makes and models of new bikes registered for the road in the first six months of 2015, reveals exactly which Yamahas are doing best.

10. MT-09 (240 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

What? The MT-09 is down in 10th place? Surely this should be at the other end of the list? Worry not, as this ranking applies only to the non-ABS version of the bike. It’s interesting – and a reflection either on the mentality of Yamaha buyers or on the tactics of Yamaha dealers – that the ABS version easily outsells the non-anti-lock machine. Our other manufacturer-specific sales top 10s have tended to show the opposite trend, with cheaper non-ABS bikes often outselling their safety-conscious brethren.

9. XC 115 S D’elight (260 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

A few years ago we’d have expected to see a twist-and-go at the top of most Japanese firms’ sales lists, but the oddly-apostrophed D’elight (is that pronounced ‘Delight’ or ‘Dee-Eelight’?) is the only one to make it into Yamaha’s best-seller top 10. It’s fairly easy to see why; the attractively ‘traditional’ looks will appeal to the fashion conscious while a sub-£2k price and light weight mean it’s a good novice L-plate city bike.

8. MT-07 (321 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

That ABS-vs-non-ABS split is in action again here, with the number eight spot going to the skiddy version of the massively popular MT-07. If we were to combine the figures with those of the ABS-equipped version, the MT-07 would easily be at the head of this list. Again, despite the fact the MT-07 is a budget bike, the vast majority of buyers have been happy enough to shell out the additional £400 needed to get the ABS version.

7. YZF-R1 – 2015 model (332 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

A few years ago we’d have expected the six-monthly figures for an all-new R1 to be right at the top of this list, and easily in four figures. But that’s not to say that the 332 registrations between January and June will be a disappointment to Yamaha – the bike wasn’t in dealers at the start of the year, so there aren’t a full six months’ worth of sales represented here, and the figure has already easily surpassed the full 12-month sales for the 2014 R1.

6. MT-09 ABS (492 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

And here’s that ABS-equipped version of the MT-09. This figure will include the Street Rally and Sport Tracker versions as well as the normal model, and if combined with the non-ABS version would be enough to make the MT-09 the third-best-seller on Yamaha’s list. However, the Tracer version is seen as a separate machine despite sharing all the same mechanical bits – as we’ll see, it’s putting the naked versions to shame in sales terms.

5. YBR125 (501 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

A favourite of leaners and training schools, the YBR is a perennial mainstay of Yamaha’s best-seller lists. This year’s sales are actually a little lower than we might have expected, but the firm isn’t likely to be worried given that it’s already sold thousands upon thousands of the things. It’s worth bearing in mind that the most modern YBR125 listed on Yamaha’s website is the 2014 version – there’s no 2015 bike – so over 500 sales in six months is pretty impressive.

4. YZF-R125 ABS (532 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

While it’s notable that most of the bikes in Yamaha’s top 10 are brand new models launched in the last couple of years, the R125 is still pretty much the same bike as was launched back in 2007, one of Yamaha’s last launches in the pre-financial-crisis period. Surprisingly, given its constant success in the intervening years, there are still few alternatives that offer anything like the sportiness of the R125, at least in terms of appearance.

3. MT-125 ABS (603 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

Maybe this is why the YBR125’s figures are on the low-side this year compared to some of its previous performances. Few naked 125 manage to look anything like this good, and even though the £3899 price tag might seem steep compared to the £2599 asked for the much dowdier YBR.

2. MT-07 ABS (764 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

In the current climate most bikes can only dream of four-figure UK sales in a year, and the MT-07 has already achieved that in just six months (if you include the non-ABS versions to the 764 anti-lock models sold by the end of June.) The recipe is so simple, too; a cheap, good, mid-sized all-rounder. It’s the same idea that’s kept the criminally-neglected Suzuki SV650 a favourite for the last 15 years or so, but one that other manufacturers seem to be ignoring. With ever more versions being launched, the MT-07 and its derivatives are likely to stay high in Yamaha’s sales for a long time to come.

1. MT-09 Tracer ABS (927 registrations, Jan-June 2015)

When Yamaha decided to make a faux-adventure version of the MT-09 even it probably didn’t realise quite how successful it might be. While it’s classed as an adventure bike in the MCIA’s sales listings, the Tracer is really a straightforward, half-faired sports-tourer with some hand-guards added, and it’s all the better for being such a simple proposition. Knobbly tyres and chequer-plate aluminium panniers wouldn’t be an improvement. What we have here is a real all-rounder; it can do commuting and touring with ease and in comfort but has the same sort of power and weight that the first-generation Honda Fireblade achieved, all for a bargain £8149. No wonder it’s the best-seller. Why aren’t more manufacturers making bikes like this?

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