5th August 2021

How naked motorbikes are outstripping rivals

New motorbike sales saw an increase last year, despite the National lockdowns - a sign that more people than ever are hungry to get out on two wheels.

One type of bike particularly stood out in the sales charts, with naked and retro-styled favourites from Triumph and Royal Enfield proving to be standout sellers in 2020 - despite a wide selection of similar, used options on the market. So, what’s driving the popularity – and what does ‘naked’ actually mean?

Sometimes known as ‘roadsters’ or ‘streetfighters’, naked bikes have a stripped back appearance and are often take styling cues from classic or retro icons. These lightened machines also benefit from a more upright seating position, making them easier to control when cornering at lower speeds.

Last year’s best seller from Triumph – the Trident 660 – is a perfect example of a popular naked bike. Harking back to the Speed Triples of the 1990s, it’s regarded as a perfect choice for beginners. Light, accurate steering, a torquey 80bhp three-cylinder engine and a reasonable price add up to form the perfect entry level machine.

Royal Enfield’s most popular bike takes the retro touches a step further, reviving a popular model name that harks back to the 1960s. Released in 2018, the Interceptor 650 is an even more affordable option, starting from around £5,600. Despite feeling a little heavier than the Trident 660, a more modest 40bhp from the Interceptor’s twin engine should also appeal to riders with less experience.

Patrick, a Footman James client, is one such rider – and has been considering his options once he passes his A2 bike test. Patrick told us:

“I find the idea of buying a brand new, retro-styled bike really appealing,” said Patrick. “For me, they’re the perfect combination of up-to-date tech, classic style and reliability, and I do find a more upright position easier to manage as a relatively new rider.”

“I must admit, being in lockdown for such a long period of time has left me with a bit more disposable income and a desire to treat myself. I’ve definitely found my love of motorcycling – it’s even a good way to practice social distancing…”

We want your thoughts… What do you think to the increasing popularity of retro styled bikes? Or maybe you too have been tempted onto the saddle post-lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.