Australian motorcycle sales have hit all-time highs as increasing numbers of commuters and lifestyle enthusiasts turn to two wheels.
Figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that sales of motorcycles grew for the fourth year in a row, hitting a record 119, 210 - an increase of 16,969 or 16.6 per cent on the previous record set in 2005.
For the first time in more than a decade road bikes became the leading market sector with 52,944 sales - a huge 28.7 per cent increase over 2005.
The previously dominant off-road market was relegated to second place with 48,219 sales - itself an increase of 9.5 per cent over 2005.
"The tipping of the balance in favour of road bikes is the combined result of the scooter boom and the increasing numbers of weekend recreational riders," said the chief executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock.
The scooter segment continued its rapid sales growth last year, reaching a record 14,505 - an increase of 4171 or 43.0 per cent.
Annual scooter sales have now more than tripled in just three years.
Scooters were the highest-selling category of the road bike market for the fourth year in a row, while Cruisers sales grew by 2900 or 36.3 per cent to 10,925 to displace Super Sports (7685) as the second largest category of road bikes.
"For the past two decades the trend in recreational motorcycling has been towards dirt bikes," said Mr Sturrock.
"And while the dirt bike scene continues to grow, there is now an even stronger trend towards the lifestyle associated with traditional Cruiser-style road bikes, especially amongst the baby-boomer generation."
All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) sales of 18,047 achieved sound growth with an increase of 5.7 per cent on the 2005 figures.
"The ATV agricultural market has continued to improve despite ongoing drought conditions across the nation," said Mr Sturrock.
Honda maintained its market leadership in 2006 with 30,865 sales followed by Yamaha with 27,800 and Suzuki with 14,815.
Honda led the road bike market with 10,291 sales from Yamaha with 6384 and third was Suzuki with 5957 just ahead of Harley-Davidson with 5686.
Yamaha led the off-road market with 16,416 sales closely followed by Honda with 15,240 and Suzuki third with 5875 sales.
In the ATV market sector Honda led with 5334 sales from Yamaha on 5000 sales and with Suzuki third on 2983.
For more information contact:
FCAI Motorcycle Manager