Harley-Davidson Australia marketing manager Adam Wright says it is “amazing” that such a bike could lead the market.
“But there is a brand equity in Harley and people see the value,” he says.
“It gives people confidence and security in their purchase.”
“That particular motorcycle has an aesthetic value and a broad appeal.”
Breakout against the trend
That runs against the market trend where most brands and sectors were down and total sales slumped 7.8% to 73,141 so far this year.
The worst news is that the road bike market is, for the first time, the worst performing. It is down 14.9% which is even more dramatic than the continuing drop in scooter sales at 14%.
Road bikes are usually the most stable category as they are less affected by farming demand as ATVs and off-road bikes which suffer from produce prices and weather conditions.
It seems the long honeymoon of learner-approved motorcycles has also gone off with the top 10 learner bikes all experiencing major drops, except for the Honda Grom and CRF250L.
Sales data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows sales of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs totalled 73,141 for the first nine months. That compares with 79,352 for the same period in 2016.
Honda remains the market leader with 22.8% of total sales ahead of Yamaha (19.9%), Kawasaki (9.5%) and Harley-Davidson (8.9%).
Harley also remains the top-selling road bike company for the sixth quarter in a row, followed by Honda and Yamaha.
Road bikes were again the highest volume segment, with 29,625 sales or 40.5% of the total motorcycle market.
Although coming off a low volume base, both Indian and the now-defunct Victory motorcycles posted strong increases during the period of 16.4% and 47.1% respectively.
The worst performing road bike companies were Hyosung (-84.7%), Moto Guzzi -45.9%) and Aprilia (44.7%).
Off-road bikes represented 32.9% of the market, down 5%. Yamaha led this segment ahead of Honda and KTM. A standout performer in the off-road segment was Husqvarna, which posted a 31.6% increase.
The ATV and SSV segment grew by 4.5% to 22.8% of the market, led by Polaris, then Honda and Yamaha.
The scooter segment again experienced a decline in sales, down 14% to just 3.8% of industry sales with Italian maker Piaggio the best seller, followed by Honda and Vespa.
(Note that several manufacturers do not supply figures to the FCAI, including mainly small-volume brands such as Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, EBR, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, MV Agusta, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural and Viper.)