Figures for the first three quarters of 2020 have been analysed from the UK's DVLA and we can now reveal the top 5 best selling Triumphs over these first three quarters. Sales have remained strong despite the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. The following analysis is all our own work from the DVLA's statistics.
The best selling Triumph Model for these first three quarters was the Street Triple RS with 546 machines being registered. The second most popular was the Speed Twin with 474 new registrations. The third most popular was the Tiger 900 GT Pro with 360 new registrations. Following those are the Bonneville Street Twin and the Rocket 3 GT with 295 and 294 registrations respectively. We'll look at the full year's figures in three months time when the DVLA release them but we don't expect a massive change.
If you combine model variants, the Tiger 900s were the most popular followed by the Rocket 3s, then the Street Triples, then the Speed Twin, then the Scrambler 1200s.
The Street Triple RS has sold fairly strongly throughout and in the first quarter of this year it was the third best selling motorcycle of 500cc or over in the UK. In the second quarter Triumph had four machines in the top five best selling motorcycles of 500cc or over with the Street Triple RS dropping below the Tiger 900 GT Pro and Speed Twin. By the third quarter sales were still strong and the Street Triple RS was the second most popular Triumph behind the Speed Twin, however they had dropped to 10th and 11th in the best selling 500cc or over UK motorcycles category.
Of course, taking figures over a year is highly flawed because new models come and go and there is always a peak in sales when a new model comes out. Different people also buy different machines at different times of the year so taking quarterly figures doesn't give a good picture either. However we will do some comparisons of Q1 to Q3 sales and see if there are any areas Triumph are weak in.
So considering Makes of motorcycle of 500cc or greater it is BMW who come out on top for the first three quarters of 2020 with 6149 new registrations but Triumph is a solid second with 5984 new registrations. Triumph had actually taken first place by the end of the second quarter but sales of the R 1250 GS powered BMW back into first place by the end of Q3. Third place for Q1 to Q3 is Honda (4885), then Yamaha (4473), then Kawasaki (4366), then Harley-Davidson (2458), KTM (2392), Ducati (1968), Suzuki (1975), and Royal Enfield (1546).
If we look at combined sales for model variants then the most popular motorcycle for Q1-Q3 has been the BMW R 1250 GS (2282) by a long way. The Royal Enfield Interceptor was second (1041), then the Kawasaki ZX1002 (1010), then the BMW S1000RR (984), then the Triumph Tiger 900 (914). Following that is the Kawasaki ZR900, Honda CB500, Triumph Rocket 3, Triumph Street Triple, Yamaha Tracer 900, Yamaha Tenere, KTM 790 Duke, KTM Superduke, Yamaha MT-07, and Honda CRF1100.
Figures for specific models themselves don't really tell us much because some models are split over a large number of variants and others aren't. First there is the Royal Enfield Interceptor which has no variants, then there is the Yamaha Tenere 700, and then the Triumph Street Triple RS (which has four variants).
So what can we take from these figures? Well we can take away that Triumph are doing well but that they need to keep vigilant and keep innovating to keep relevant.
What was interesting was to see the Kawasaki ZX1002 (the Ninja 1000 SX) and BMW S1000RR in the top 5. These are litre sports bikes which Triumph has no competitor for. Kawasaki's sales may well be being buoyed up because of Jonathan Rea's win in World Superbikes but BMW didn't do well at all in the Championship and yet is selling. This could well be an area that Triumph may want to get back into, after all they are going to be competing in the 2021 British Supersport series (following a change of rules to allow the 765s to compete - albeit based on the Street Triple RS). We don't think a new Daytona 765 will be on the cards, and the rumoured 1160cc engine for the Speed Triple probably won't be sufficient for a litre sports bike. This is the major gap in Triumph's range.
The Kawasaki ZR900 and KTM Superduke outselling the Speed Triple might be concerning for Triumph. A refresh is on the cards for 2021 but they are a way behind so it might need some more radical restyling and more technology (another area they are lagging behind at). The Speed Triple doesn't even have an IMU which all the others either have already (such as the Superduke) or are introducing.
For the Adventure bikes, Triumph seem to be holding their own. The BMWs have always been top sellers in this category but the Tiger 900s are making inroads and are outselling the Yamaha Tenere and Honda Africa Twin.
In the Modern Classic category Triumph are holding their own though that market has dropped in popularity in recent years. Even with the success of the Royal Enfields their few models don't surpass the sales of the Triumph Bonneville ranges.
The up and coming market is the standard naked category - currently the province of the Yamaha MT-07 and Honda CB500 Triumph are hoping that their Trident 660 will compete in that market.
The Cruiser category is dominated by the Rocket 3. Nothing more to say there.
Another category that gets mentioned every so often is the Sports Tourer market. There is only one Sports Tourer in the top 10 and that's the Yamaha Tracer 900. It's still not a popular category, not when you can get an Adventure bike and do the same in more comfort. It's a shame but we don't see Triumph doing anything here, it's just not worth it.
The above figures have been for new UK registrations of motorcycles of 500cc (including 499cc) or greater. If you take into account the sub-500cc market then the 125cc machines dominate. Triumph are working on a small capacity range with Bajaj Auto of India so we may get to see something there in 2021.
Finally, the DVLA figures also include new registrations of restored machines. Barn finds and machines in long-storage that were never put onto the DVLAs system in the 80's are still coming out of the woodwork (so to speak) and being registered. The DVLA generally records them just as the Make and without a Model (they put Missing in the Model details). What is surprising are the numbers - 6424 over the first three quarters of 2020! That could include some new models where dealers haven't recorded the model, but the 411 Triumphs registered with no model seems to correspond to the number of Dating Certificates processed by the Club. 1104 Hondas sounds a lot but such classics as the CB750 and CB400/4 are becoming popular restorations now as that's what restorers were lusting after when they were younger. Mind you 923 "Other British" machines were also registered (no makes) which could include all sorts such as Hesketh.