Australian motorcycle sales have set a new half yearly record as commuters turn to two-wheelers in increasing numbers.
Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show that 52,379 road bikes, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were sold in the six months to June - an increase of 8793 motorcycles or 20.2 per cent on the same period of 2005.
Sales of road bikes have risen even more quickly than the market average.
The booming popularity of scooters and cruiser-style bikes in particular boosted road bike sales by 31.5 per cent in the first half of the year.
As a result, for the first time in many years total road bike sales (23,438) exceeded off road motorcycle sales (20,228).
"The greater number of road bike sales represents a significant changing of the guard in the motorcycle scene," said the FCAI's Chief Executive, Peter Sturrock.
"For the last two decades the industry has drawn the greater proportion of its sales from dirt bikes as motorcycling became increasingly about recreation and less about day-to-day transport."
"While almost every segment of motorcycling has enjoyed increased sales, two distinct trends have now emerged - towards scooters for urban transport and cruisers for highway travel," said Mr Sturrock.
Scooter sales have leapt by 64.4 per cent so far this year - the total of 6611 making it easily the largest single segment of the road bike market.
This year's scooter boom follows a 30 per cent growth in the segment in 2005.
"It is clear that the growth in popularity of scooters is accelerating as their very low running costs are spotlighted by record petrol prices," said Mr Sturrock.
Cruiser-style motorcycle sales have grown 21.4 per cent so far this year, building on strong growth in 2005.
While off road bikes are no longer the best-selling segment of the market, their sales have nevertheless increased by 10.1 per cent or 1856 for the year to date.
The big mover within the off road segment was the MotorCross 4-Stroke category which grew by more than 1000 vehicles or 42.3 per cent compared to the same period of 2005.
Enduro 4-Stroke was still the best-selling category of the off-road market with 6052 sales, increasing 5.9 per cent over 2005.
The best-selling motorcycle brand for the year-to-date is Honda with 13,141, followed by Yamaha (11,664), Suzuki (6593) and Kawasaki (4554).
The Cruiser boom has pushed Harley-Davidson into fifth place (2570) ahead of KTM (2456).
For further information, please contact:
FCAI Motorcycle Manager