Bikes roar out of the showroom
Motorbike and scooter sales are booming, writes CRAIG DUFF
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.