Why are bike sales in a two-year slump?

2016 big for official safety recalls - Sunshine Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer entrapment slump

Motorcycle sales are now in a two-year slump in Australia and it’s time to ask what can be done about it.

While it’s good news in the short term for customers with bike companies likely to offer discounts and dealers ready to do deals, it is not good for the industry and customers in the long term.

It could mean fewer models, less floor stock to choose from, no demo models and distributors for minor brands closing down.

So, we are asking you what can be done about the situation. Leave your comments in the box at the end of this article.

Official figures

The official 2018 figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows that sales of road and off-road motorcycles, scooters and all-terrain vehicles are down 8.7% to 95,080.

2018 Motorcycle Slump
Total motorcycle, scooter, and ATV sales

This is not quite as big a drop as the massive -9.3% last year, which was the first full-year negative result since the GFC.

Honda was the top brand with 22,735 sales, down 5.9% and a 23.9% market share. Yamaha was second with 21,145 (-1.1%, 22.2% share), Kawasaki (9376, -6.1%, 9.9% share), Suzuki (7557, -6.1% 7.9%) and Harley-Davidson (7019, -21.2%, 7.4%).

Usually the most stable category is road bikes, but they are down 9.%.

2018 Motorcycle Slump
Total road bike sales

Harley-Davidson and Honda tied for leader of the road bikes pack, ahead of Yamaha and Kawasaki.

Husqvarna, Indian, Suzuki and Yamaha all had increased sales in 2018 compared with 2017.

Automotive slump

The slump is not contained to motorcycles. New vehicle sales dropped 3%, including a 14.9% drop in December.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber blames the automotive slowdown on a slowing housing market, tightening of money lending and the drought.

These effects are being felt throughout the motorcycle industry, but are particularly noticeable in Motorcycle Holdings which owns TeamMoto.

They went public in May 2016 with a share price of $2.80 and hit a high of almost $5 but are now trading at $1.80.

Motorcycle sales were increasing until the GFC hit in 2009. They had been slowly recovering until the first quarter of 2017.

It should be noted that 22 manufacturers are not included in the official Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures.

They are Norton, Hyosung, VMoto, 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.

2018 motorcycle sales

Top 10 Overall – Excludes ATVs
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Honda CRF50F 2159 2361 -8.6%
Yamaha PW50 1953 1845 5.9%
Yamaha TTR50E 1715 1833 -6.4%
Honda CRF110F 1487 1494 -0.5%
Kawasaki KLX110 1246 1457 -14.5%
Yamaha WR450F 1136 1335 -14.9%
Honda CB125E 1113 701 58.8%
Honda CRF230F 1095 1173 -6.6%
Kawasaki NINJA 400 1089 0 100%
KTM 300EXC 1052 610 72.5%
Top 10 by Category – Road Bikes
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Honda CB125E 1113 701 58.8%
Kawasaki NINJA 400 1089 0 100%
Yamaha MT07L 1002 1032 -2.9%
Harley Davidson XG500 944 1182 -20.1%
Harley Davidson FXBRS 794 203 291.1%
Honda CMX500 746 595 25.4%
Yamaha MT-09 738 799 -7.6%
Honda GROM 715 1086 -34.2%
Yamaha YZF-R3A 712 945 -24.7%
Honda NBC110 687 1447 -52.5%

 

2017 Suzuki DR650SE with free adventure kit slump
Suzuki DR650SE
Top 10 by Category – Adventure Touring
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Suzuki DR650SE 574 488 17.6%
Honda CRF1000 573 753 -23.9%
BMW R 1200 GS Adventure 374 307 21.8%
BMW R 1200 GS 344 472 -27.1%
Kawasaki KLR650 257 303 -15.2%
Honda CB500XA 248 274 -9.5%
BMW G 310 GS 224 48 366.7%
Suzuki DL650 216 189 14.3%
Triumph Tiger 800 XC 182 167 9.0%
KTM 1090ADVR 166 190 -12.6%
Top 10 by Category – Cruiser
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Harley Davidson XG500 944 1182 -20.1%
Harley Davidson FXBRS 794 203 291.1%
Honda CMX500 746 595 25.4%
Kawasaki Vulcan S 670 590 13.6%
Yamaha XVS650/A 515 488 5.5%
Indian Motorcycle Scout 496 383 29.5%
Harley Davidson FXBB 491 109 350.5%
Harley Davidson FLFBS 453 162 179.6%
Harley Davidson FLSB 312 19 1,542.1%
Harley Davidson FXFBS 264 115 129.6%
Top 10 by Category – Naked
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Honda CB125E 1113 701 58.8%
Yamaha MT07L 1002 1032 -2.9%
Yamaha MT-09 738 799 -7.6%
Honda GROM 715 1086 -34.2%
Yamaha MT03LA 616 445 38.4%
Kawasaki Z900RS 393 50 686.0%
KTM 390DUKE 356 361 -1.4%
Yamaha XSR700LA 318 188 69.1%
Honda Monkey 266 0 100%
Triumph STR TRIPLE R 259 219 18.3%
Top 10 by Category – Sport Touring
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Yamaha YZF-R3A 712 945 -24.7%
Honda CBR650FL 331 320 3.4%
Kawasaki Ninja 300 314 1017 -69.1%
Kawasaki Ninja 650L 304 451 -32.6%
Suzuki GSX250R 164 73 124.7%
Yamaha MT09TRA 161 127 26.8%
BMW S 1000 XR 149 118 26.3%
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 148 207 -28.5%
BMW R 1200 RS 135 123 9.8%
Suzuki GSX-S125 130 0 100%
2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 slump
Kawasaki Ninja 400
Top 10 by Category – Super Sport
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Kawasaki NINJA 400 1089 0 100%
Honda CBR500R 618 996 -38.0%
Honda CBR300R 387 273 41.8%
BMW S 1000 RR 283 295 -4.1%
KTM RC390 254 285 -10.9%
Suzuki GSX-R750 212 145 46.2%
Ducati 959 Panigale 156 264 -40.9%
Yamaha YZF-R1 151 160 -5.6%
Ducati Panigale V4 130 0 100%
Suzuki GSX-R1000 124 269 -53.9%
Top 10 by Category – Touring
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Harley Davidson FLHXS 272 352 -22.7%
BMW R 1200 RT 163 119 37.0%
Harley Davidson FLHTK 143 221 -35.3%
Honda GL1800 119 55 116.4%
Harley Davidson FLHRXS 119 114 4.4%
Harley Davidson FLTRXS 118 130 -9.2%
Harley Davidson FLHTCUTG 117 35 234.3%
Harley Davidson FLHX 109 28 289.3%
Yamaha FJR1300 108 76 42.1%
Harley Davidson FLHXSE 95 33 187.9%
Top 10 by Category – LAMS Approved
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Yamaha WR450F 1136 1335 -14.9%
Honda CB125E 1113 701 58.8%
Kawasaki NINJA 400 1089 0 100%
KTM 300EXC 1052 610 72.5%
Yamaha MT07L 1002 1032 -2.9%
Harley Davidson XG500 944 1182 -20.1%
Suzuki DR-Z400E 793 800 -0.9%
Honda CMX500 746 595 25.4%
KTM 500EXC 746 680 9.7%
Honda CRF250L 719 820 -12.3%
Top 10 by Category – Scooters
January – December 2018 compared to January – December 2017
Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2018 YTD 2017 % CHAN
Honda NSC110 597 310 92.6%
Suzuki ADDRESS 495 346 43.1%
Vespa GTS 300 389 249 56.2%
Piaggio Fly 150 309 306 1.0%
Honda WW150 295 230 28.3%
Piaggio ZIP 50 244 269 -9.3%
Vespa PRIMAVERA 150 236 187 26.2%
Honda MW110 207 186 11.3%
Yamaha XMAX300 169 39 333.3%
Yamaha GPD150A 126 0 100%

6 Comments

  1. The motorcycle companies do not advertise . Nope none of that stuff on special motorcycle events counts – just preaching to the converted .
    They need to get out in news papers and on TV and do like auto manufacturers do and advertise DREAMS and lifestyle features , and that you are better off with a motorcycle.
    Instead they have sat on their hands for 30 years and copped it sweet without any effort .
    That is the proportion of return to cost is as good or better than having higher throughput and higher costs .
    When was the last time you saw a serious advert for a motorcycle in a paper or on TV?

  2. The price of Indian motorcycles and parts go up,Harley murders their prices yet Indian sales are up and Harley are well down. I think Harley have lost it with some weird looking models and too many teething problems with the M8.

  3. Stagnant wages, rising cost of living, job uncertainty and i’m not game to take out a loan any time soon. cost of a service and parts has gone the roof, coppers are on your back all the time. What is the cause???? ——— Liberals party ideology and our country is under a cloud if you are a working man with a family.

  4. Call me old fashioned but most bikes these days are butt ugly.
    Even if I was in the market for a new motorcycle there are very very few that excite me.

  5. “Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber blames the automotive slowdown on a slowing housing market, tightening of money lending and the drought.”

    But, of course, the one thing he doesn’t mention are the stagnant wages. Nothing to see here!

  6. It would be interesting to see if sales of second hand motorcycles have gone up. There are a good number of good quality used machines at a fraction of the cost of new machines. To my knowledge second hand sales are not counted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.