Road bikes step up a gear

Sports ma­chines lose ground to learner mod­els

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Two Wheels - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

LEARNER and life­style bikes again held their lead over sports ma­chines, based on the first six months of mo­tor­cy­cle sales.

Fig­ures from the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries show the bud­get Honda CBR250R is the best­selling mo­tor­bike to date this year with 1258 sales. In sec­ond place, but more than 300 units adrift, is Kawasaki’s Ninja 250.

Many riders start learn­ing off road, which is why three 50cc ‘‘ kids’ bikes’’ are also in the top 10 sell­ers, along with a trio of adult dirt bikes.

Aus­tralians bought 51,952 mo­tor­cy­cles to June 30, a rise of 2.6 per cent on the same time last year.

Road bikes ac­counted for most of the growth, with sports­bikes still out of favour.

The 295 sales of Honda Fire­blade CBR1000RR puts it on top of the su­per sports cat­e­gory, but it was beaten by three Harley-David­sons— the Fat Bob, Fat Boy and Dyna Wide Glide— in terms of out­right sales.

Yamaha’s WR450F is the off-road sen­sa­tion, sell­ing 798 units so far this year— 167 bikes up on the sec­ond-most pop­u­lar dirt bike, Honda’s CRF230F.

If Yamaha owns the dirt bike seg­ment, Honda leads in the learner and ATV mar­kets.

Be­side the all-con­quer­ing CBR250R, the com­pany’s CB125E sits in fifth place over­all with 632 sales, while 810 units of the four-wheeled TRX250 have found homes this year. That is more than twice the num­ber of the next-best ATV, CF Moto’s CF500.

The Honda trio are a large part of the rea­son Honda is the dom­i­nant bike maker with 11,788 sales against 8692 bikes wear­ing Yamaha badges.

But all the Ja­panese bike mak­ers— and the Euro­peans — should take note of the Chi­nese on­slaught.

CF Moto’s 903 sales were just two shy of knock­ing Du­cati out of the top 10, thanks to its value-for-money ap­proach.

The com­pany is earn­ing con­verts on road bikes and ATVs— and farm­ers are a tough mob to sat­isfy.

Bud­get buy: The Honda CBR250R is Aus­tralia’s No.1 sell­ing mo­tor­cy­cle

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