Indian Scout Bobber gold urgent - slump
MBW rides the Scout Bobber

Two-year bike sales slump continues

Australian motorcycle, ATV and scooter sales have been in a continual slump since the start of 2017 with sales up to the end of the third quarter of 2018 dropping a further 6.2% to 68,494.

That’s down a massive 10,743 or 13.5% on the five-year high of 79,237 sold in the first three quarters of 2016.

There are few successful companies in this slump, but Indian Motorcycle stands out with 18.5% growth to 622 sales so far this year compared with 525 last year.

Top seller among their bikes is the Scout (pictured top of the page) which is up 45.5% from 246 to 358.

Other good news is the dominance of learner-approved motorcycles in the top 10 road bikes.slump Lams

It should be noted that three more manufacturers this year are no longer included in the official Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures.

They are Norton, Hyosung and Moto. They join other brands not included such as Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, EBR, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, MV Agusta, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural and Viper.

These are mainly small-volume importers and the market figures still show a massive slide in sales.

Market slump

January 1- September 30 

Honda is the top-top-selling motorcycle company in Australia with 16,051, down 3.6% from 16,646.

The only top-ten motorcycle company to record growth was KTM, up 3.3% to 5792 from 5602.

Road bikes continue to be the top segment, but sales have still slumped 7.5% since the start of the year from 29,587 last year to 27,359.

Off-road bikes were down 3.3% from 24,065 to 23,277 and ATVs down 11.2% from 16,657 to 14,784.

Scooters are up again for the third quarter in a row, but the figures can largely be ignored because only seven scooter companies are now represented in the official figures.

Sales of scooters have suffered massive declines for several years, dropping to just 4.4% of the market.

Road bikes

January 1- September 30 

Harley-Davidson was the top-selling road bike company in the country in 2016, but is down 20.4% so far this year from 6526 last year to 5196.

Harley is second to Honda with 5451, down 4.7% from 5720.

While Honda was down, the other three Japanese manufacturers were up marginally in the road bike sector.

Suzuki was up 2.9% from 1964 to 2020, Kawasaki 2% to 3317 and Yamaha 1.5% to 4273.

Apart from Indian Motorcycle, there were few other small road bike companies that recorded significant growth.

Husqvarna recorded 37% growth from 146 to 200 thanks to the introduction of road bikes over the past couple of years.

Aprilia has recorded 24.6% growth from 126 to 157.

Top 10s


  1. Servicing and scheduled maintenance costs are repellent – I just got a quote for service and maintenance of a five year old well cared for mid-size non super sport four cylinder Japanese motorcycle; it cost a lot more than my similar aged mid-size hatchback car.

  2. I understand sales across many retail sectors are down on the prior 12 month period- perhaps as a reflection of poor wages growth? Combine this with over policing of motoring activities, the delayed licencing requirements in QLD, general discouragement of motorcycling by the community at large and the general drift by the younger generation to safer activities such as computer gaming and one doesn’t need to ponder long as to why?

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