Motorcycle sales continue to accelerate as more Australians turn to two wheels.
Official retail sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that 38,331 motorcycles, scooters and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) were sold for the first four months to April 30 - an increase of 6251 or 20.5 per cent over the same period in 2006.
Most of the growth was in the road bike market, which leapt 3753 to sales of 14,001, or up 36.6 per cent compared towith last year.
"These results are a continuation of the growth of the last few years and reflect an increasing trend towards the fuel-efficiency and convenience of motorcycles and scooters," said FCAI Chief Executive, Peter Sturrock said.
The combined motorcycle, scooter and ATV market grew for the fourth year in a row in 2006, hitting a record of 119,210 - an increase of 16,969 or 16.6 per cent on the previous record set in 2005.
The sustained growth has also resulted from the growing diversity of available models that allows more buyers to find the right bike for their needs.
The major contributors to the growth of the road bike market were cruisers and sports bikes.
Cruisers accounted for 31.1 per cent of the total road bike market with sales of 4334, while sports bikes grabbed 20.3 per cent with sales of 2840.
The scooter boom continues unabated, with sales rising 19.9 per cent to 4991 to the end of April.
Following the launch of several new models last September, Yamaha (13.2%) has zipped into second place in the scooter segment behind market leader Bolwell (17.7%).
Bug scooters sits in third with 13.2 per cent of the market, followed by Vespa (11.3%) and Honda (10.6%).
Total off-road motorcycle sales of 14,209 was enough to make it the largest market segment in the first quarter.
Sales of ATVs rose by 1.4 per cent to 5130 units, and the off-road motorcycle market grew by 15.2 per cent
The enduro four-stroke segment led the way with sales of 3979, followed by four-stroke motocross bikes (3185) and minibikes (3159).
"While the increase in off-road bike sales have been somewhat affected by the drought, scooters continue to rise on top of their incredible sales growth of 43 per cent in 2006 due to their proven fuel savings and ease of operation," said Mr Sturrock said.
The strong Australian dollar means that retail conditions in the motorcycle and scooter markets will remain very favourable for consumers into the foreseeable future.
Yamaha increased its total sales by 27.2 per cent to 9105 to capture number one position with 23.8 per cent market share.
Honda achieved total sales of 8910 to claim 23.2 per cent of the total market.
With sales of 4518 (11.8% market share), Suzuki was the third top-selling selling brand followed by Kawasaki with 3174 (8.3%) and a fast-growing Harley-Davidson 2144 (5.6%).
Harley-Davidson, which grew 30.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2006, was second in total road bike sales behind Honda but ahead of Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki.
For further information contact:
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries