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MOTORCYCLE SALES SHOW STRONG GROWTH


Below is all we have from the bureau of statistics to date.

 

03 August 2005

MOTORCYCLE SALES SHOW STRONG GROWTH
Motorbike Sales Stats

 

Motorcycle sales in Australia grew strongly in the first six months of 2005, according to official industry sales figures released today.

 

The overall market increased by 8.3 per cent, compared to the same period in 2004.

The chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Mr Peter Sturrock, said the motorcycle market grew in all three segments: road, off-road and all-terrain vehicles (ATV).

 

“Overall motorcycle sales are up by 3331 units to 43,581 year-to-date June 2005,” said Peter Sturrock.

“The strongest growth was in the road bike market, at 13.3 per cent, closely followed by the ATV market at 11.5 per cent.”

The national off-road motorcycle market grew by 3.1 per cent.

“Off-road is still the largest market, with 19,273 motorcycles sold in the first six months of 2005,” said Mr Sturrock.

“There were 16,919 road bike sales nationally and 7389 ATV sales.

“Yamaha was number one manufacturer for the first half of 2005, with 11,122 motorcycles sold, whilst Honda’s 10,864 sales gave it second place.”

Yamaha was the nation’s market leader in off-road bikes.

However, the company’s best segment growth YTD June 2005 was in road bike sales of 2249 bikes, an increase of 25.6 per cent.

Honda continues to sell the most road bikes (2720 for the period) and ATVs (2251) in Australia.

“Specialist ATV manufacturer Polaris enjoyed the next highest sales growth of the majors, with a 43.4 per cent increase on its first-half 2004 result to 1170 machines,” said Mr Sturrock.

Kawasaki (14.0 per cent sales growth), Yamaha (11.3 per cent) and Suzuki (9.9 per cent) all bettered the overall industry sales growth figure for the period.

Harley-Davidson was another major to increase sales compared to the first half 2004 – by 5.8 per cent to 2029 bikes.

 

01 August 2005

BANNED BIKES NO BARREL OF MONKEYS

 

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) supports the Victorian Government’s decision to ban the sale of so-called “monkey bikes”, provided that the decision does not impinge on the sale of legitimate mini-bikes by reputable motorcycle manufacturers.

The Motorcycle Group of the FCAI, which represents all the major motorcycle brands in Australia, says it is important for governments and consumers to understand the very clear distinction between monkey bikes and mini-bikes.

Monkey bikes are half-scale replicas of road-going motorcycles and can reach speeds of up to 70km/h.

“They cannot be registered for road use and cannot be legally ridden on any publicly-owned property, including roads, bicycle paths and footpaths,” said the Chief Executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock.

“In contrast, the mini-bikes sold by our members are miniature dirt bikes designed to be ridden purely for recreational purposes by children at supervised mini-bike tracks or on private property.”

Mr Sturrock said the FCAI shares the concerns of the Victorian Government about the safety of monkey bikes, which led it to impose the retail ban.

An investigation by Consumer Affairs Victoria revealed some monkey bikes had unsafe throttles, brakes, steering assemblies and foot pegs.

The sale of monkey bikes has not yet come under scrutiny in other states and territories, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently investigating whether national action is required.

The majority of monkey bikes sold in Australia are manufactured in China and priced between $300 and $1500 dollars each.

The motorcycle industry says it appears there was a large increase in the importation of monkey bikes into Australia during the second half of last year.

Many have been offered for sale through retail outlets that are not motorcycle specialists and do not provide warranty and service back-up.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has warned consumers who have bought monkey bikes to have them checked for safety by a qualified automotive mechanic.

“Our members’ mini-bikes are sold through reputable and authorised motorcycle dealers, supported by warranties and parts back-up,” said Mr Sturrock.

“Mini-bikes are built to the same high standard and with the same quality of materials as full-sized bikes manufactured by our members.

“The quality of monkey bikes reflects badly on the legitimate motorcycle industry and we are very concerned for the safety of unwary consumers.”

 

19 May 2005

MOTORCYCLES SALES BOOM RIDES ON

 

Motorcycle sales in Australia are continuing to grow rapidly, according to retail figures for the first quarter of 2005 released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

A total of 21,336 road bikes, dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were sold to the end of March – an increase of 13.3 per cent over the same period last year.

The increase follows a record year in 2004, when total motorcycle sales grew by 21.3 per cent to 89,374 – the highest in more than two decades.

“The latest figures are consistent with our belief that the motorcycle market in Australia is experiencing a long term revival,” said the Chief Executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock.

“If the percentage increase in the first quarter is replicated through the rest of the year, the market will top 100,000 motorcycles – a figure not seen by the industry since the early 1970s.”

The first quarter growth was primarily driven by the road bike market, which grew by 1,528 sales, or 21.4 per cent.

Road bike segments which enjoyed big volume increases were Super Sports (up 426 or 36.9 per cent), Scooters (up 433 or 23.0 per cent), and Cruisers (up 290 or 17.1 per cent).

Scooters continue to be the largest road bike segment after their sales almost doubled in 2004.

Honda’s CT110 – sold mostly to Australia Post as a delivery bike – recorded 502 sales in the first quarter, making it the best selling road bike or motorcycle model of any kind.

The rest of the top ten selling models were all Off Road motorcycles, with Yamaha’s WR450F enduro model maintaining its position as Australia’s most popular privately purchased bike.

Sales in the Off Road market as a whole rose 664 or 7.6 per cent compared to the first quarter last year. Most of that increase was accounted for by an extra 525 sales in the Enduro segment – an increase of 20 per cent.

Honda was the best-selling brand overall with 26.7 per cent of the total market, followed by Yamaha (22.9 per cent), Suzuki (11.5 per cent) and Kawasaki (10.7 per cent).

Honda was the leading road bike brand (1,428) ahead of Yamaha (1,096) and Harley Davidson (1,034).

Honda was also the best-selling brand in the Off Road market with 3,156 sales, followed by Yamaha (2,872) and Suzuki (1,171).

The ATV market was led by Honda with 1,123 sales ahead of Yamaha (930) and Polaris (457).

Sales of the ATV market rose 305 or 10.1 per cent.

 

16 February 2005

MOTORCYCLE SALES ACCELERATE IN 2004

 

Motorcycle sales have accelerated to reach their highest level in more than two decades according to figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The FCAI says 89,374 motorcycles were sold in Australia last year – an increase of 15,702 or 21.3 per cent over 2003.

“This was the largest percentage growth in more than a decade and gives us hope that the industry might soon return to the sales levels it enjoyed in the mid-1970s when more than 100,000 motorcycles a year were sold,” said the FCAI’s chief executive Peter Sturrock.

Honda maintained its position as the most popular motorcycle brand in 2004 with 25,498 sales, ahead of Yamaha with 22,742 and Suzuki with 11,393.

The road bike market was the main driver of market growth in the second half of 2004.

The total of 31,967 road bikes sold represented growth of 26.8 per cent over 2003.

Within the road bike market the strongest performing segment was Scooters, sales of which reached 7,893 – almost double the total of 4,116 in 2003.

The result meant Scooters became the single largest segment of the road bike market for the first time, ahead of Cruisers and Super Sports.

Those segments also performed strongly, with Super Sports growing to 6,316 – an increase of 22.0 per cent – and Cruiser sales increasing by 8.0 per cent to 7,093.

“The revival of the road bike market appears to be driven by two unrelated economic developments,” said Mr Sturrock.

“On the one hand, the long term strength of the economy means increasing numbers of people feel they can afford a sports bike or a cruiser as a weekend recreational vehicle, while on the other, the trend towards high density inner city living has created a new market for scooters,” he said. The best-selling scooter brand was VMoto which, in its first full year on the market sold 1,441, narrowly ahead of Bolwell (1,404) and Honda (1,144).

The Off Road motorcycle market, meanwhile, continued its long term growth in 2004, sales increasing by 13.4 per cent over the previous year.

The Off Road market represented 47.7 per cent of all motorcycles sold and its popularity was reflected in the list of top ten selling motorcycles in 2004.

Nine out of the ten were dirt bikes - the only exception being the Honda CT110, which is bought almost exclusively by Australia Post as a delivery bike.

“The popularity of dirt bikes in all their forms indicates that motorcycling as a leisure activity - rather than simply as a means of transport - continues to grow in popularity,” said Mr Sturrock.

Honda was also the best-selling Off Road brand with sales of 14,405 – just beating Yamaha’s 14,217 with Suzuki third (5,293).

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) sales leveled out in 2004 at 14,734 – three per cent up on last year.

 

30 September 2004

DIRT BIKE BOOM PUSHES MOTORCYCLE SALES TO NEW HEIGHTS

 

Motorcycle sales in Australia increased strongly in the first half of the year, according to figures released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

Sales figures for the six months to the end of June show that 40,029 new motorcycles were sold.

Based on the half year total, the FCAI is forecasting that 80,000 new motorcycles will be sold by year’s end, compared to 76,000 sold in 2003.

This would represent a market growth of 5.3 per cent.

“The half yearly result indicates that the market for new motorcycles is very firm and is growing at a similar rate to the increase in the car and light commercial vehicle markets so far this year,” said the FCAI’s Chief Executive Peter Sturrock.

Mr Sturrock said it was particularly notable that much of the sales growth was in the Off Road motorcycle market.

Nine out of the ten best selling models were dirt bikes – the only exception being the Honda CT110 sold almost exclusively as an Australia Post delivery bike.

“It’s been apparent for some time that motorcycling is increasingly being seen as a recreational sport rather than purely a form of A to B transport,” said Mr Sturrock.

Offroad bikes captured 46.9 per cent of the total market, ahead of 36.6 per cent for Road bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) at 16.5 per cent.

ATVs represented the largest single market segment with 6,624 sales, ahead of the Fun segment (children’s motorcycles) with 5,659 sales, Enduro (5,038) and Moto Cross (5,036).

The largest selling road bike segment was Scooter with 3,552 sales, indicating that the Australian scooter market is enjoying a huge boom.

In comparison, 4,116 scooters were sold in the whole of 2003.

“The boom in scooter sales suggests that increasing numbers of commuters are finding them a convenient solution to urban traffic congestion and parking hassles,” said Peter Sturrock.

Overall, Honda was the best-selling brand in the first half of the year with 11,041 motorcycles sold, ahead of Yamaha (9,996) and Suzuki (4,848).

Yamaha was the best selling off-road brand with 6329 sales ahead of Honda (6,025) and KTM (2,222).

On road, Honda led with 2893 sales ahead of Yamaha (1,791) and Harley-Davidson (1,752). ATV sales leader was Honda (2,123) from Yamaha (1,876) and Suzuki (1,049).

 

12 July 2004

FAST TRACK TO FARM SAFETY

 

In a show of industry leadership today the five major companies supplying All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) to the Australian market joined together to present to the Victorian Parliament a comprehensive package of recommendations aimed at reducing ATV accidents and injuries on farms. In their submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Rural and Regional Parliamentary Committee under the banner of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha have called for immediate legislation to make helmets for ATV riders compulsory, a ban on passengers on ATVs and new laws to prohibit children operating adult ATVs.

Industry spokesman, Mr David Baines told the Committee that despite clear evidence that ATVs are safe when used properly many riders continue to put themselves and others at risk by ignoring basic safety recommendations clearly displayed on the ATVs.

“In all cases of deaths resulting from an ATV accident in the past two years the rider was not wearing a helmet” said Mr Baines. “In over 50 per cent of cases the victim was either a passenger who should not have been on the ATV or a child under 16 who should not have been operating it.”

There are already more than 175,000 ATVs in Australia, with most being used on farms. The ATVs mobility, economy of operation and towing capacity has seen its popularity spread from the farm to use by government departments, police, defence forces and the Australian bases in Antarctica.

Mr Baines told the Committee that the Inquiry presented a significant opportunity for Victoria to become a world leader in ATV farm safety by legislating for compulsory helmets and adopting other recommendations for improved training, maintenance and increased community awareness on farm safety issues.

“Successive Victorian Governments have made road safety and work place safety high priorities over recent years. The MP’s have shown that they are prepared to legislate tougher safety standards where needed and we see this as an opportunity to adopt a similar approach” said Mr. Baines.

The Committee has conducted open Hearings throughout country Victoria over the past six months and is expected to report to Parliament in the Spring Session.

 

09 March 2004

MOTORCYCLE SALES RIDE WAVE OF POPULARITY

 

Motorcycling is continuing to enjoy a resurgence of popularity, according to official registration figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

New motorcycle registrations were up 9.2 percent in 2003 over the previous year's figure.

There were 37,137 new motorcycles registered last year compared with 33,993 for the same period in 2002.

New registrations have more than doubled in the past 10 years - just 17,800 motorcycles were registered in 1993.

"Last year's increase is a continuation of the long-term revival of the motorcycle market in Australia after its slump in the early 1990s," said the chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Peter Sturrock.

"The growth is being driven by several factors including the increasing popularity of dirt bikes for recreation and the trend towards scooters for inexpensive inner-city transport."

Queensland, where 50cc scooters can be ridden with just a car driver's licence, enjoyed the strongest growth in registrations last year with a 20 per cent increase. Road bikes also featured strongly in this growth.

The FCAI says the total number of new motorcycles sold in Australia in 2003 was much higher than the 37,137 registered.

Registered motorcycles account for only about half the Australian market. Many off-road bikes, including competition, recreation and farm bikes are not registered for on-road riding.

Off-road bikes continued to show strong growth and accounted for four of the top ten registered model sales.

The tables below show the details of registered motorcycle sales:

 

Sales by Manufacturer, 2002 vs 2003

Manufacturer

Jan to December

Sales 2002

Jan to December

Sales 2003

Aprilia

521

627

BMW

1,411

1,323

Ducati

1,127

1,018

Harley-Davidson

2,595

3,335

Honda

8,788

9,632

Kawasaki

3,016

3,140

KTM

1,807

1,844

Suzuki

3,578

3,955

Triumph

1,141

1,332

Yamaha

7,110

7,159

Others

2,899

3,772

TOTAL MARKET

33,993

37,137

Sales by State, 2002 vs 2003

State

Jan to December

Sales 2002

Jan to December

Sales 2003

New South Wales

9,746

10,730

Queensland

8,028

9,649

Victoria

7,238

6,995

Western Australia

3,288

3,767

South Australia

2,736

2,917

ACT

1,988

2,011

Tasmania

566

687

Northern Territory

403

381

TOTAL MARKET

33,993

37,137

Top 10 Models

Rank

Model Number

Number Sold

Manufacturer

1

CT110

1929

Honda

2

WR450

1574

Yamaha

3

WR250

904

Yamaha

4

XR400

769

Honda

5

VT750C Shadow

716

Honda

6

GSX-R1000

588

Suzuki

7

CBR 900/954 Fireblade

585

Honda

8

Milan JX50

560

VMoto

9

DR-Z400E

538

Suzuki

10

FLSTF

497

Harley-Davidson

03 June 2003

MOTORCYCLE BOOM CONTINUES

 

Motorcycle sales in Australia are continuing to rise, according to figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), peak industry body representing major motorcycle distributors.

There were 8,969 new motorcycles registered nationally in the three months to March 2003, a five percent increase on the 8,544 sales recorded for the first quarter of 2002.

Motorcycle sales in Australia have been booming for nearly a decade, the market swelling by 80 percent over the last eight years, according to the FCAI.

Off-road motorcycles have been driving the growth and now represent more than half of the leading models sold in Australia.

Registrations to March 2003 have increased in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

The ACT experienced the largest growth with an increase of 25 percent for the first quarter, followed by Queensland with 16 percent and New South Wales with seven percent.

“The result reinforces the strength of demand in the motorcycle market,” said Peter Sturrock, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

“This is despite the on-going drought that we believe has affected off-road and All-Terrain Vehicle sales.

“Record low interest rates are helping sustain the market and a number of recent key new model launches will ensure that pent-up demand will be satisfied.”

Honda claimed market leadership for the first quarter with sales of 2,118, helped by the delivery of 466 CT110 Australia Post motorcycles.

Yamaha claimed second spot with sales of 1,720, followed by Harley Davidson (912), Suzuki (906) and Kawasaki (893).

Aprilia is the fastest growing brand of 2003 with an increase of 119 percent in the first quarter, followed by Harley-Davidson with 42 percent.

The figures were compiled by the FCAI, which represents Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

 

23 May 2003

MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY BACKS Q-RIDE TRAINING SCHEME

 

The peak industry body representing the motorcycle industry has backed the trial of the Q-Ride rider-training scheme in Queensland.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said it would help foster a growing number of better-educated motorcyclists throughout Queensland.

The FCAI has based this assessment on the success of similar long-term competency-based rider training schemes in New South Wales and Victoria.

The FCAI Motorcycle Group is an industry body made up of Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

“The motorcycle industry believes that competency-based rider training programs like Q-Ride are the best way to improve riding and roadcraft skills of motorcyclists,” said Peter Sturrock, chief executive of the FCAI.

“NSW and Victoria have been running competency-based government approved rider training programs for novice riders for over a decade,” he said.

“We believe that they have played a part in reducing the number of serious motorcycle accidents involving under-25 year-olds.”

Q-Ride, which began in Queensland in August 2001, was developed in consultation with the motorcycle industry, trainers and motorcycle rider groups and is nearing the end of its two-year trial.

Q-Ride is available throughout Queensland in major population centres and remote locations such as Mount Isa, Longreach and Emerald.

The learner candidate will receive a competency declaration after achieving the Q-Ride competencies.

The Q-Ride competency certificate can then be presented at a Queensland Transport customer service centre in order to collect a motorcycle licence.

Candidates for motorcycle licences who have held a current driver’s licence for a minimum of three years are eligible for an unrestricted ‘R’ motorcycle licence.

Over 15,000 riders have been issued with Q-Ride competency certificates since its launch.

According to Fred Davies, chief instructor of Morgan & Wacker Motorcycle Training Centre at Michelton, the Q-Ride program is about teaching hazard recognition, roadcraft skills and cognitive development.

“Recognising hazards is a key part of the Q-Ride program, which is part of developing roadcraft skills. These are the key elements that licence candidates need to learn and understand in order to gain a Q-Ride competency certificate.”

Former world 500cc champion, Wayne Gardner has also stressed the importance of rider training.

"The more motorcyclists who undergo rider training programs the better," said Gardner, who features in a current motorcycle safety TV campaign alongside Kieren Perkins, titled "Don't Ride Us Off."

"While it's important for others on the road to be aware of motorcyclists, it is equally important that riders undertake courses to improve their knowledge and skills on the road. That includes experienced riders on larger bikes."

 

29 April 2003

WOMEN RIDE THE MOTORCYCLING BOOM

 

Women are gaining provisional motorcycle licences at twice the rate of males in New South Wales, according to recent figures released by the NSW Roads & Traffic Authority.

The number of women holding provisional riders’ licences increased by 51.6 percent between 1997 and 2002, compared to a 24 percent increase in provisional licences held by males for the same period.

“The trend towards female riders is very significant and one which the motorcycle industry has been watching closely and responding to,” said Peter Sturrock, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries whose membership includes the major motorcycle brands.

Mr Sturrock said the trend had been in part driven by the emergence of compulsory rider training in NSW over the last decade.

It has also been fuelled by women riding the motorized scooter boom over the last five years, while the recent trial of an innovative motorcycle licencing scheme in NSW has also had an impact.

The trial Learner Approved Motorcycles (LAMS) scheme allows learner and provisional riders in NSW to operate moderately powered motorcycles up to 660cc.

The new rules are designed to prohibit new riders from operating high-performance machines.

The two-year trial initiated in September 2002 restricts learner bikes to a power-to-weight limit of 150kW per tonne.

Elysia Munson, a student from inner Sydney, said that the new laws and promise of compulsory training provided her with the opportunity to get into motorcycling.

“My partner is into bikes, and I was always interested in getting my licence because we want to ride around Australia one day,” she said.

“The BMW F650 Scarva really caught my eye, and I found out I was able to ride one on a NSW learner’s permit - under the Learner Approved Motorcycle scheme.”

Elysia successfully passed her learners’ course, where candidates must demonstrate overall competency and roadcraft skills.

“I’ve also undergone additional training since I passed my test to reinforce everything I had learned,” she said.

The FCAI’s Peter Sturrock said that women candidates generally showed great interest in the benefits of training.

“Anecdotally, women have shown a strong willingness to undergo rider training in order to learn what is required to ride a motorcycle competently, in addition to developing their roadcraft skills,” he said.

“The FCAI is a strong supporter of compulsory rider training in NSW.”

The FCAI represents Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

 

02 April 2003

MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY WELCOMES LOWER VIC ROAD TOLL

 

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has welcomed the falling road toll for motorcycle riders and pillion passengers in Victoria in 2002 and praised the state’s historic low motorcycle toll so far in 2003.

The FCAI - the peak body representing major motorcycle distributors in Australia - said it hoped that a number of key safety initiatives would continue the downward trend.

Fatalities among motorcycle riders and pillion passengers in Victoria for 2002 numbered 56, a 12.5 percent reduction on 2001.

There were 56 motorcycle fatalities among riders and pillions in Victoria for 2002, a 12.5 percent reduction on 2001.

However, the national motorcycle road toll grew to 223 in 2002, a 3.2 percent increase on the previous year.

There were just five motorcycle-related fatalities throughout Victoria in January and February 2003, the lowest total for over 14 years.

“The motorcycle industry is pleased that the statistics are trending downwards in Victoria,” said FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock.

“A combination of a well-trained motorcycle population - and measures introduced by VicRoads through the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council - has contributed to the motorcycle road toll reduction in Victoria,” he said.

The biggest drop within the overall motorcycle road toll in Victoria and nationally has come in the novice rider demographic.

The number of motorcycle fatalities in Australia involving riders aged less than 25-years-old declined significantly between 1990 and 2000.

The Victorian rider-training program for learner and probationary riders is not compulsory, but around 90 percent of candidates voluntarily undertake pre-licence training courses.

“The motorcycle industry believes that the emergence of competency-based rider training programs for learner and probationary riders has helped play a part in this drop,” Mr Sturrock said.

“In recent years, however, there has been a rise in road fatality statistics for the older group of riders aged 39-50 nationally,” Mr Sturrock said.

“Many of these riders make a return to motorcycling after an absence of around eight years or so.

“The industry believes these ‘returnee’ riders should consider undergoing a suitable rider training course to brush up on their riding and roadcraft skills, as well as update their riding gear as required.”

Mr Sturrock said the motorcycle industry fully supported approved rider training programs.

A number of the motorcycle distributors conduct their own rider training courses for both on and off-road riders.

The FCAI is a member of the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council, which has been responsible for several effective accident-reducing initiatives including the recent motorcycle accident Blackspot program.

The Blackspot program has included road resurfacing, line marking, installing motorcycle warning signs and ensuring clear lines of sight on approach.

It has identified and recommended improvements to 25 motorcycle accident locations in both metropolitan and rural areas.

Improvement work valued at $3m has been funded by the $50 levy introduced in 2002 on each motorcycle registration.

 

12 February 2003

GP BIKE ACE GOES BACK TO SCHOOL

 

Teenage grand prix motorcycle star Casey Stoner recently swapped his Aprilia grand prix machine for a Honda CB250 street bike to complete a compulsory training course in Newcastle to qualify for his motorcycle learner’s permit.

The 17-year-old from Kurri Kurri, NSW, passed the course conducted by Wheel Skills Rider Training, which he praised for developing vital roadcraft skills.

Casey wants to gain his motorcycle licence in order to ride his Aprilia scooter in Europe.

“The course definitely opened my eyes to many aspects of street riding, especially how important it is to position yourself on the road in order to be seen by other motorists,” said Casey.

“Although racing a grand prix motorcycle at 280km/h can be dangerous, at least everyone is going in the same direction - unlike public roads.”

Compulsory motorcycle rider training has been progressively introduced by the NSW RTA across NSW since 1990.

The learners’ course is seven hours long and is conducted over two consecutive days.

Casey must hold his learner’s licence for at least three months before he qualifies for the pre-provisional course and provisional licence.

“I did the course with two other riders - one had experience on dirt bikes and the other was a relative novice, but I think we all learned a lot,” said Stoner, who has been tipped by five-time world 500cc champion Mick Doohan to be a future world champion.

Casey’s attitude, as much as his aptitude, is certain to make him a safe rider on the road, according to Wheel Skills co-owner and instructor John Andrews.

“Casey’s skill on a motorcycle is exceptional, but that didn’t prevent him from being extremely attentive during the course,” Mr Andrews said.

“Along with the other students, I think Casey realised that learning roadcraft skills is just as important as developing riding skills. I’m very confident that he will become a competent rider on the road.”

The number of motorcycle fatalities involving riders aged less than 25 in the year 2000 was less than half of that in 1990.

The decline comes when the sales of motorcycles in Australia have increased by over 80 percent since 1995.

Casey will contest the 125cc world championship on a factory Aprilia.

 

07 January 2003

AUSTRALIA RIDING HIGH ON THE OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLE BOOM

 

Australia is undergoing an unprecedented off-road motorcycle boom, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ Motorcycle Group.

The FCAI reports that sales in the off-road segment consisting of trail bikes, enduros, competition dirt bikes and farm motorcycles have doubled over the last decade.

It claims the boom is due to a proliferation of more specialised four-stroke off-road models since the mid-90s.

The increase is also a result of more accessible rider training programs and successful marketing campaigns undertaken by the individual motorcycle distributors.

The off-road motorcycle market has grown by 86.7 percent since 1995, making it the fastest growing two-wheel segment in Australia.

Almost 40 percent of all motorcycles sold in Australia are off-road models.

“The growth in the off-road motorcycle market since the early ‘90s has been quite phenomenal,” said chief executive of the FCAI, Peter Sturrock.

“Australia has not experienced such a boom in dirt bikes sales since the trail bike craze first kicked off here in the early 1970s.”

Off-road motorcycles accounted for six of the top 10 selling models in 2001 compared to just three in 1997.

The Honda XR400 single cylinder four-stroke trail bike was Australia’s top-selling motorcycle in 1997-98, while the Yamaha WR400/426 enduro has been on top of the charts nationally since 1999.

And the industry can expect an even greater number of new generation riders thanks to a boom in the minibike segment, where sales have more than doubled from 3,576 to 8,908 units between 1995 and 2001.

The growing popularity of trailbikes has focused the industry’s attention on maintaining legal off-road access for riders.

“Ensuring that dirt bike riders have appropriate places to use their bikes is a primary objective of the FCAI,” Mr Sturrock said.

“We are about to commence discussions with land managers in NSW to seek controlled access to state forests and parks for legal and responsible off-road riding.”

The FCAI, in conjunction with rider groups and Tasmanian Government departments, has successfully established 19 designated tracks in national parks and forests of Tasmania that are accessible to responsible off-road users.

Some of these are in World Heritage-listed wilderness areas.

Mr Sturrock said he hoped to use that model to negotiate with NSW land managers with a long-term view to reaching similar outcomes in all states and territories.

“The current off-road boom has been powered by state-of-the-art four-stroke engines that are much quieter and far less polluting than the old two strokes,” Mr Sturrock said.

“We also believe that the vast majority of off-road riders are responsible and deserve access to those national and state parks enjoyed by other groups.”

The FCAI represents Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

 

03 January 2003

MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY BACKS ATV SAFETY CRACKDOWN

 

The peak industry body representing the major motorcycle and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) distributors has reinforced its support for on-going safety campaigns to help reduce ATV accidents.

The FCAI Motorcycle Group is concerned that a number of recent ATV accidents may have been the result of overloading or a lack of understanding of ATV operation.

The FCAI strongly recommends ATV operators should adhere to the following safety measures based on ATV manufacturers’ instructions:

- always wear a helmet - do not carry passengers - do not exceed recommended maximum load and towing capacities - comply with the manufacturer’s recommended minimum user age for the vehicle - never operate an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs - follow the manufacturer’s maintenance procedures

The FCAI advises ATV operators who do not have a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions to seek a replacement from their nearest dealer.

The FCAI said recognising the risks associated with overloading an ATV and the dangers of carrying a passenger could significantly reduce ATV accidents.

“Appropriate speed for conditions and avoidance of riding on steep slopes could also further reduce ATV accidents,” said Mr Peter Sturrock, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

An average of 10,000 ATVs have been imported annually into Australia over the past five years, according to figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

“Some ATVs are designed for competition and recreational riding but the greater majority of ATVs imported to Australia are agricultural ATVs sold directly to the farming sector,” Peter Sturrock added.

The FCAI Motorcycle Group has been actively involved in the promotion of ATV safety to consumers since 1997.

The Group committed $25,000 production costs to the first edition of a safety video “You and Your ATV” in 1998.

The video focuses on safe and responsible riding practices for ATVs and includes safe loading and securing methods.

More than 35,000 copies have been distributed free to ATV purchasers and owners.

The FCAI Motorcycle Group allocated $29,000 in 2002 to a second edition of the video.

The Group also provided expert advice and assistance to the development of an ATV Training Course for TAFE farm students.

The FCAI has also provided the services of its Motorcycle Manager Ray Newland to attend meetings of state and federal WorkCover Authorities for examination and progress of ATV safety issues.

In November of last year, the FCAI conducted a ‘field day’ for key national stakeholders involved with ATV safety.

The FCAI represents ATV importer/distributors Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha.

 

12 December 2002

BIKE SALES HOLD UP AGAINST DOWNTURN

 

Retail motorcycle sales in Australia have held steady despite the worsening drought and the Treasurer’s recent forecast of lower economic growth.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Motorcycle Group reports 24,902 new motorcycle registrations for the calendar year to September 2002, down just 42 sales on the same period in 2001.

During this time three brands showed strong growth - BMW up 27 percent, Harley Davidson up 5.6 percent and Kawasaki up 3.9 percent.

Wholesale figures - which include data on non-registerable off-road motorcycles - paint an even stronger picture as the market heads into its summer sales peak.

Total wholesale motorcycle sales to dealers for the calendar year to September 2002 were up 10.6 percent on the same period in 2001.

The motorcycle market has experienced a boom over the last seven years thanks to dramatic growth in the off-road segment.

Total unit sales have increased by over 80 percent since 1995.

“It’s heartening to see that motorcycle sales have continued to remain strong in the face of slightly softer economic conditions,” said chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Peter Sturrock.

“The increase in wholesale sales for the year-to-September indicates that motorcycle dealers have been confident in their ordering for the traditionally busier spring and summer months.

“The prevailing low interest rate environment has been a factor in this.”

Honda was the number one brand in Australia for the year-to-September with 25.3 percent market share. This figure included 1030 deliveries of the Honda CT110 as part of a long-term contract with Australia Post.

Yamaha held second spot with 21.2 percent, with Suzuki at 10.6 percent, Kawasaki 9.2 percent, Harley-Davidson 7.0 percent and BMW with 4.3 percent.

The top three sellers to September were off-road bikes - the Yamaha WR250F topping the sales chart from the Yamaha WR426F and Honda’s XR400R.

The Yamaha R1 sports road bike was fourth overall, with it main two rivals, the Honda CBR900RR FireBlade and Suzuki GSX-R1000 filling out the top six positions.

Mr Sturrock said the off-road market - which has experienced a 17 percent increase in wholesale sales in 2002 - has proved remarkably resilient.

This sales increase occurred in the face of the drought, which has caused a significant 17 percent economic slump in the farm sector.

Mr Sturrock said the FCAI expects the road bike market to bounce back in 2003 following a slight 1.6 percent decline in wholesale sales this year.

“All of our member brands who exhibited at the recent Sydney Motor Show unveiled a record number of new street bike models ranging from cutting edge race replicas to the all-new naked bikes and cruisers.

“We believe that the road bike segment will experience a marked turnaround over the next 12 months.”

The FCAI represents motorcycle manufacturers Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

The top-selling 11 registered motorcycle models for the year to the end of September 2002 were:

Brand - Model - Number

 

Honda - CT110 - 1030

Yamaha - WR250F - 629

Yamaha - WR426F - 609

Honda - XR400R - 498

Yamaha - YZF-R1 - 421

Honda - CBR900RR - 390

Suzuki - GSXR1000 - 300

Suzuki - DRZ400 - 204

BMW - R1150 - 197

Suzuki - GSXR600 - 181

KTM - 520EXC - 174

 

14 November 2002

MOTORCYCLE SALES ON A ROLL IN AUSTRALIA

 

Motorcycles are experiencing a sales boom in Australia according to figures released by the peak industry body representing major motorcycle distributors.

Annual sales of motorcycles have increased by a massive 80 percent in the last seven years.

The figures were compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) representing Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Polaris.

The FCAI’s figures reveal that wholesale sales of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) jumped from 37,836 in 1995 to 69,299 in 2001. The industry can expect an even greater number of next generation riders thanks to a boom in the minibike segment, where sales have more than doubled from 3576 to 8908 units between 1995 and 2001.

Scooter sales have also increased dramatically with sales more than doubling since 1995.

Total motorcycle and ATV sales so far in 2002 are in line with last year’s strong figures.

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