Honda’s postie bike and its range of 500cc learner bikes led a small surge in road motorcycle sales in the first half of the year.
The Honda CT110X “postie bike” returned to the number one position with a 88.1% increase in sales to 1486, knocking the Kawasaki Ninja 300 off its perch with a 24% decrease to 1442.
But it was the surge in learner bikes that is most heartening for the motorcycles industry leading to a slight increase in road bike sales of 2.2% to 21,672. Aided by a 2.9% increase in ATV sales to 10,721, it offset the continued drop in scooters (-15.4% to 4100) and downturn in off-road bikes (-1.7% to 16,903) for a total market decrease of just -0.5% to 53,396.
Leading the charge in learner bikes was Honda’s range of 500cc machines. The CBR500R sportsbike was the third-best selling bike with 1049 sales up 86%, the CB500XA was second in the adventure tourer category with 198 (330.4%) and the CB500FA naked was third in its category with 194 (39.6%).
Thanks to these successes, Honda was again the top-selling company with road bike sales up 2.2% to 4269, but overall down just 0.3% to 12,212.
Other learner bikes which indicate a welcome growth of newcomers to motorcycling were the Kawasaki Ninja 650R (5675% to 231), KTM 390 Duke (100% to 382) and Ducati Monster 659 (11% to 182).
But the growth in road bikes hasn’t just been all about learner bikes. There was good growth in cruisers, adventure bikes and naked bikes.
For example, Harley’s FXSB Softail Breakout was the seventh best-selling bike and newcomer Indian sold 175 Chief models in the first half of the year. Harley was again the second-best road bike company with 2.4% growth to 3985.
Most adventure tourers recorded solid growth, especially the new models such as the Honda CB500XA, BMW’s new water-cooled R 1200 GS (11.4% to 195) and the Suzuki DL1000 (839% to 169).
Yamaha’s masters of torque series is proving popular with the MT-09 triple leading the naked category with 434 sales which largely accounts for Yamaha’s 28.9% growth in road bike sales from 1945 to 2508.
BMW also recorded solid figures with a 42.8% growth in road bikes from 988 to 1411, with new models such as the R nineT and S 1000 R. Overall sales were only dragged down by BMW’s scooter (-28.8% to 42). In fact, the only major scooter company to record any growth was Vespa with a 32.2% surge in sales to 583, thanks largely to its GTS models.
Other road bike sales successes were recorded by KTM (109% to 859), Aprilia (25.5% to 187), Moto Guzzi (19.4% to 148) and Ducati (8.3% to 914).
Yamaha was the leading brand in the off-road motorcycle market, selling 27.1 per cent (4,579) of the 16,903 off-road motorcycles sold. Yamaha was closely followed by Honda with 26.9 per cent (4,541) of sales and KTM with 15.3 per cent (2,587).
ATV sales increased 2.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2013, with 298 more units sold. Honda regained its position as the largest selling ATV manufacturer, selling 26.8 per cent (2,877) of the 10,721 ATVs sold. Honda was followed by Polaris with 22.9 per cent (2,456) of the ATV market, and Yamaha with 16.6 per cent (1,783).
The popularity of scooters continues to decline with overall scooter sales down 15.4 per cent in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. Piaggio was the top seller in the scooter market, selling 16.4 per cent (673) of the total 4,100 scooters sold between January and June 2014. Vespa came in second with 14.2 per cent (583) of sales and Honda came in in third with 12.8 per cent (525).