Bikes roar out of the show­room

Mo­tor­bike and scooter sales are boom­ing, writes CRAIG DUFF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Carsguide -

THE rise of the two-wheeled ma­chines con­tin­ues as scoot­ers and road bikes sell in record num­bers. The eco­nomic down­turn, high fuel prices and an in­creas­ing fo­cus on be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble are mak­ing mo­tor­cy­cles an in­creas­ingly at­trac­tive trans­port op­tion.

Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries fig­ures show 96,281 mo­tor­cy­cles, scoot­ers and all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles were sold by the end of Septem­ber, a 5 per cent rise on the same pe­riod last year.

‘‘It is en­cour­ag­ing to see the mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket con­tin­ues to show such pos­i­tive re­sults in the cur­rent eco­nomic cir­cum­stances,’’ FCAI chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew McKel­lar says.

Scoot­ers gained the most ground with a 14.5 per cent growth to 11,715 sales, a fact McKel­lar at­tributes to ‘‘the com­mu­nity’s con­cerns with higher fuel prices, road con­ges­tion and city park­ing.’’

‘‘An ex­cit­ing ar­ray of mod­els is on of­fer in all seg­ments, mean­ing every­one from ex­pe­ri­enced to first-time rid­ers should have no prob­lem find­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle to suit their needs,’’ McKel­lar says.

Honda re­mains the top bike-maker, out­selling Yamaha by al­most 2000 units with 22,573 sales.

Team Red makes eight of the 10 top-sell­ing mo­tor­cy­cles, in­clud­ing the CT110 ‘‘postie bike’’, TRX250 four wheeler, CBR1000RR Fire­blade, CRF450R mo­tocrosser, CTX200 agri­cul­tural model and the CRF230F trail bike.

Yamaha is a clear leader in the off-road seg­ment, where the WR450 reigns as the topselling model, but trails Honda, Suzuki and Har­ley-David­son in road-bike sales.

Sec­ond place was cause to cel­e­brate for Suzuki, which had pre­vi­ously been over­taken by Har­ley in the road-bike race.

It was es­pe­cially sweet given that Har­ley main­tained its dou­ble-digit growth, sell­ing 5649 bikes, up from 5102 at this time last year.

Cruis­ers were the dom­i­nant road bike with 9892 sales so far this year, ahead of 8035 250cc bikes and 6296 sports bikes.

Tai­wan-based SYM is the lead­ing scooter brand. It has shifted 1806 units this year, and the VS125 ac­counted for 611 of those sales.

Pi­ag­gio is sec­ond with 1493 sales, ahead of Yamaha with 1329.

The SYM range is im­ported by Se­lect Scootas and com­pany spokes­woman Hol­lie Black says ‘‘to have taken the brand change in April and still come out No.1 shows what a great scooter and value for money the VS125 is.’’

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing that a fam­ily com­pany can achieve this against the big cor­po­ra­tions.’’

The fig­ures show a sales dip for BMW, which the com­pany at­tributes to a lack of sup­ply. BMW Mo­tor­rad gen­eral man­ager Cameron Cuthill pre­dicted the dip in May, but also fore­cast sales would rise in the sec­ond half of the year.

Other big movers were Du­cati, with a 41.6 per cent rise to 1535 sales, and Kawasaki, which posted a 30 per cent in­crease in road­bike sales to off­set a dip in its dirt bikes.

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