The last golden age of motorcycling was in the ‘70s, but with bike sales in Australia the best for seven years and fifth best of all time, maybe we are returning to the golden ages.
Unfortunately, the sales figures aren’t reflected elsewhere in the world except India which is up by more than a quarter and South East Asia, although mainly with small capacity bikes and scooters.
An Australian sales surge in the final quarter of 2016 led to a 6.6% (7073 bikes) annual increase in motorcycle, ATV and scooter sales to 114,783.
It was the fifth highest sales result in the Australian motorcycle industry’s history, according to the official Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) figures.
Honda was again the top-selling brand with 22.9% (26,276 units) of the market, but Harley-Davidson beat Honda for the second consecutive year to be king of the road bikes.
Road bike sales were up 5.3% to 47,753, accounting for 41.6% of the market. Harley took a 21.5% share with a 5% increase to 10,282 to lead the road bike sector despite a comeback from Honda with a 25.5% increase to 9651.
Third in road bikes was Yamaha with 16.3% (7768), then Kawasaki 10.1% (4798) and BMW with 6.7% (3178).
Road bike sales
Sales are up mainly in learner bikes, so much so that the FCAI has actually included the list of top 10 LAMS bikes for the first time.
There was also growth in nakeds, cruisers and adventure bikes, thanks largely to the influx of new and upgraded models.
It’s a good sign of a healthy motorcycling future.
Meanwhile, off-road sales were up 6.3% to 39,710, ATV grew 14.4% to 22,834 and scooters continued their decline, down 11% to 4486.
Off-road and ATV sales reflect farming sales from good conditions in the country, but the road sales show indicate that learners are entering the market and we may be heading for another golden age of motorcycling.
Motorcycles are already the fastest-growing vehicular sector in Australia and we expect the ABS registration statistics fro 2016 to reflect that when they are released early this year.
Now we just need the authorities to recognise this in their road rules and infrastructure planning.
(Note: The FCAI statistics are only for those manufacturers who are members. Brands not included are: Benelli, Bimota, Bollini, CFMoto, Confederate, Daelim, Erike Buell Racing, Kymco, Laro, Megelli, Mercury, Norton, PGO, Royal Enfield, SWM, SYM, TGB, Ural and Viper.)