Is motorcycling entering a golden age?

Are riders entering a golden age?

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

Rank Manufacturer 2016 2015 % CHANGE
1 Harley Davidson 10,282 9,794 5.0%
2 Honda 9,651 7,691 25.5%
3 Yamaha 7,768 6,914 12.4%
4 Kawasaki 4,798 5,404 -11.2%
5 BMW 3,178 3,201 -0.7%
6 Triumph 3,125 2,900 7.8%
7 Suzuki 3,124 3,404 -8.2%
8 Ducati 2,013 2,194 -8.2%
9 KTM 1,656 1,355 22.2%
10 Indian 640 734 -12.8%

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.

Golden age for riding

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.)

Top 10 motorcycles

Manufacturer Model Total
 2016  2015 % Chg
Honda NBC110 2,558 2,112 21.1%
Honda CRF50F 2,400 2,343 2.4%
Yamaha PW50 1,960 1,953 0.4%
Yamaha TTR50E 1,930 2,375 -18.7%
Harley Davidson XG500 1,664 1,608 3.5%
Yamaha WR450F 1,653 1,185 39.5%
Yamaha YZF-R3A 1,522 1,156 31.7%
Harley Davidson FXSB 1,509 1,552 -2.8%
Honda CRF110F 1,483 1,381 7.4%
Kawasaki KLX110 1,433 1,259 13.8%
2017 Harley-Davidson Street 500
2017 Harley-Davidson Street 500

Top 10 Road Bikes

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Honda NBC110 2,558 2,112 21.1%
Harley Davidson XG500 1,664 1,608 3.5%
Yamaha YZF-R3A 1,522 1,156 31.7%
Harley Davidson FXSB 1,509 1,552 -2.8%
Yamaha MT07L 1,382 1,427 -3.2%
Kawasaki Ninja 300 1,375 1,947 -29.4%
Honda CBR500R 1,275 1,215 4.9%
Honda GROM 1,162 0.0%
Honda CB125E 903 981 -8.0%
Harley Davidson VRSCDX 902 702 28.5%
Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha MT-07L

Top 10 Cruisers

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Harley Davidson XG500 1,664 1,608 3.5%
Harley Davidson FXSB 1,509 1,552 -2.8%
Harley Davidson VRSCDX 902 702 28.5%
Yamaha XVS650/A 779 753 3.5%
Harley Davidson FXDB 654 736 -11.1%
Kawasaki Vulcan S 571 483 18.2%
Harley Davidson FXDLS 499 0.0%
Harley Davidson FLSTFBS 480 92 421.7%
Harley Davidson XL883N 452 459 -1.5%
Ducati Diavel 418 307 36.2%
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Kawasaki Vulcan S

Top 10 Learner Approved

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Honda NBC110 2,558 2,112 21.1%
Harley Davidson XG500 1,664 1,608 3.5%
Yamaha WR450F 1,653 1,185 39.5%
Yamaha YZF-R3A 1,522 1,156 31.7%
Yamaha MT07L 1,382 1,427 -3.2%
Kawasaki Ninja 300 1,299 1,947 -33.3%
Honda CBR500R 1,275 1,215 4.9%
Honda GROM 1,162 0.0%
Honda CB125E 903 981 -8.0%
KTM 500EXC 902 633 42.5%
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Kawasaki Ninja 300

Top 10 Sports Touring

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Yamaha YZF-R3A 1,522 1,156 31.7%
Kawasaki Ninja 300 1,375 1,947 -29.4%
KTM RC390 513 358 43.3%
Kawasaki Ninja 650L 361 453 -20.3%
Honda CBR650FL 345 19 1715.8%
Yamaha MT09TRA 179 308 -41.9%
Yamaha XJ6-F 174 118 47.5%
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 165 160 3.1%
BMW S 1000 XR 158 75 110.7%
Kawasaki Verys 650 153 147 4.1%
2017 Honda CBR650F anniversary
2017 Honda CBR650F

Top 10 Adventure Touring

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Honda CRF1000 740 4 18400.0%
Suzuki DR650SE 529 610 -13.3%
Kawasaki KLR650 388 397 -2.3%
BMW R 1200 GS 383 411 -6.8%
BMW R 1200 GS Adventure 370 322 14.9%
Triumph Tiger 800 XC 276 334 -17.4%
Honda CB500XA 271 322 -15.8%
Ducati Multistrada 1200 255 244 4.5%
BMW G 650 GS 241 263 -8.4%
BMW F 700 GS 211 168 25.6%
Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin in CRF Rally colours
Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

Top 10 Naked

Manufacturer Model Total
2016 2015 % Chg
Yamaha MT07L 1,382 1,427 -3.2%
Honda GROM 1,162 0.0%
Honda CB125E 903 981 -8.0%
Yamaha MT-09 692 822 -15.8%
Yamaha MT03LA 622 0.0%
KTM 390DUKE 391 305 28.2%
Triumph Thruxton 367 152 141.4%
Honda CB500FA 292 249 17.3%
Triumph Bonneville T120 289 0.0%
Ducati Scrambler 800 284 395 -28.1%
2017 Honda Grom stars
Honda Grom

Top 10 Super Sport

Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2016 YTD 2015 % Chg
Honda CBR500R 1,275 1,215 4.9%
Honda CBR300R 611 1,044 -41.5%
Ducati 959 Panigale 350 0.0%
BMW S 1000 RR 345 363 -5.0%
Yamaha YZF-R1 267 561 -52.4%
Honda CBR1000RR 242 341 -29.0%
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R 217 191 13.6%
Suzuki GSX-R1000 216 189 14.3%
Ducati 1299 Panigale 192 148 29.7%
Suzuki GSX-R750 167 142 17.6%
2016 Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario - supersport
2016 Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario

Top 10 Touring

Manufacturer Model Total
YTD 2016 YTD 2015 % Chg
Harley Davidson FLHXS 441 394 11.9%
Harley Davidson FLHTK 250 240 4.2%
Harley Davidson FLHR 202 149 35.6%
BMW R 1200 RT 171 181 -5.5%
Yamaha FJR1300 149 134 11.2%
Harley Davidson FLTRXS 141 129 9.3%
Harley Davidson FLHXSE2 138 154 -10.4%
Triumph T/Bird LT 86 96 -10.4%
Honda GL1800 64 99 -35.4%
Harley Davidson FLHTKSE 63 58 8.6%
Harley-Davidson
Harley FLHXS Street Glide

5 Comments

  1. Rest assured the authorities have recognised this in their road rules and infrastructure planning & will be doing everything possible to discourage this alarming trend!

  2. I’ve been riding for 40 years and never have I seen so many wonderful machines on the market. The technology is amazing, the bikes are awesome, this truly is the golden age of motorcycling.

  3. What do these statistics mean if you take out the 2558 Postie bikes sold? It seems to me that the numbers are inflated by these bikes. I like the fact that there are motorcycles on the road but it doesn’t really tell all the facts until you discount the postie bikes

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