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New bike sales slump in first quarter | Manufacture News | News

But it's not all bad news

The local motorcycle market declined 5.9 per cent for the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017, despite a 10.9 per cent sales increase in the scooter segment.

Roadbikes were again the largest segment, accounting for 38.8 per cent of all sales. However, within that segment were some significant changes.

Harley-Davidson suffered an 18.1 per cent decline over the same period last year. Its biggest-selling model was the Street 500, which, despite suffering a 23 percent decline compared to the first three months of 2017, also led cruiser sales.

The best seller overall, however, was Honda’s long-standing CB125E, toppling Harley’s learner-legal offering off the 2017 period’s top step. The 125cc Honda nakedbike almost doubled its result compared to the same period last year, with a 93 per cent increase to 637 units sold in the first three months of 2018.

An important point to note is that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry’s data doesn’t include figures from more than a dozen well-known manufacturers with low-volume sales in Australia, such as Royal Enfield, SWM, CFMoto, Benelli and MV Agusta. Many are in expansion mode, with new models either recently released or expected later this year or early next.

The next few months should also see price discounting as dealers clear floors in anticipation of a huge influx of new models due to arrive next year. We’ve revealed many of them on our news pages over the past few months and a lot of them are replacing long-running models that have a loyal following, so demand should be keen.

Just one example of this is Ducati’s all-new V4 Superbike almost matching BMW’s S1000RR sales despite only being on the market for a few months.

From January to June, motorcycle industry sales totalled 47,942 compared with 50,939 for the same period in 2017.

ATVs and SSVs suffered most with a 10.7 per cent fall compared with the same period in 2017. Off-road bikes were less affected but declined 4.8 per cent, and road bikes fell 5.3 per cent.

By HAMISH COOPER