FCAI Chief Executive, Andrew McKellar: "It is likely that motocycle sales are also being driven up by rising fuel prices, which have prompted a whole new generation of commuters to learn to ride."
Australian motorcycle sales have grown again, setting a new annual record in 2007.
Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that 129,966 motorcycles were sold last year - an increase of 10,760 or 9.0 per cent over the previous all-time record set in 2006.
It's the tenth year in a row that sales have grown, and means motorcycle sales are now running at a rate which even exceeds the bike boom of the early 1970s.
"Motorcycle sales are being driven by many of the same factors that pushed car sales to record levels last year, including the strength of domestic demand, income growth and improving vehicle affordability," said FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar.
"It is likely that motorcycle sales are also being driven up by rising fuel prices, which have prompted a whole new generation of commuters to learn to ride," he said.
Mr McKellar said there was evidence of this trend in the rapid sales growth of the entry-level Under-250cc motorcycle segment, which has almost doubled in size in two years.
Under-250cc sales increased by 1961 or 25.8 per cent in 2007.
Scooters remain extremely popular. Their sales levelled out last year to 14,271 (down 1.0 per cent) after tripling in volume over the previous three years.
The leading road bike segment in 2007 was Cruiser-style motorcycles with 13,196.
Sales of Cruisers rose by 2827 or 27.2 per cent last year, making them easily the biggest contributor to motorcycle sales growth in 2007.
"2007 saw a continuation of the strong trend of recent years, whereby Cruiser motorcycles are being bought as weekend recreational vehicles," said Mr McKellar.
The booming popularity of Cruiser bikes helped the road bike market grow by 18.0 per cent to 45,510 - almost 7,000 units up on 2006.
Off-road sales grew by 4.7 per cent to 50,433, driven largely by sales of 4-stroke Motocross bikes (up 1527 or 18.1 per cent) and 4-stroke Enduro bikes (up 1118 or 9.0 per cent).
Once again, in the off-road market, we see the increased recreational use of motorcycles driving up sales, said Andrew McKellar.
All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) sales grew to 19,752 - an increase of 9.4 per cent on the 2006 figures.
Honda maintained its market leadership in 2007 with 32,946 sales, followed by Yamaha with 28,998 and Suzuki with 17,255.
Honda led the road bike market with 10,014 sales from Harley Davidson with 7134, which relegated Suzuki to third with 7080.
Yamaha led the off-road market with 16,302 sales closely followed by Honda with 15,776 and Suzuki third with 6556 sales.
In the ATV market sector Honda led with 5724 sales from Yamaha on 5570 sales and Suzuki third on 3404.
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FCAI Chief Executive
FCAI Motorcycle Manager