New figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show that motorcycle sales have risen by 24.5 per cent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2019.

The rise in overall sales can be primarily attributed to off-road vehicles, with the ATV and SSV segment seeing a significant rise in sales year-on-year, with a total of 14,545 sales compared to 9,638 in the first half of 2019.

Dirt bikes also saw a significant increase in popularity, with 20,885 sales in 2020, compared to 14,666 in the same period last year.

A number of ATV makers will soon withdraw from the local market due to tightening safety laws.

According to FCAI chief executive Tony Weber, the increase in sales is believed to be a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“People can’t go for overseas holidays, and for quite some time, they couldn’t even go for holidays within Australia,” said Mr Weber.

“So, we believe that, instead of spending up big on expensive family vacations, people are treating themselves in different ways – and this could mean they are taking up new sports like trail bike riding.

“ATVs and SSVs are also popular, and we understand this is due to the Government’s instant asset write-off program which makes the purchase of farm machinery and equipment very attractive at the present time.”

Honda sold the most motorcycles of any manufacturer in the first half of 2020.

While the off-road segments saw significant sales increases, road bikes and scooters dipped slightly in the year-to-date reports.

Road bikes saw 15,243 sales in the first half, down 2.7 per cent, while scooters saw 2166 sales, down 12.8 per cent.

Honda managed to defend its top-seller status, moving 12,563 total units for a 23.8 per cent market share. While Yamaha (12,344 sales), Kawasaki (6545 sales), KTM (4391 sales) and Suzuki (3594 sales) rounded out the top five.

Yamaha saw 12,344 sales in the first half of 2020, for a 23.4 per cent market share.

In a press released issued today, the FCAI reinforced the benefits of motorcycling as a way of transport during the current pandemic.

“With mass transit systems susceptible to contagion risk, personal transport has become the go-to option for many commuters,” the press release reads.

“Motorcycle and scooter riders can mitigate infection risks, with two-wheeled transportation offering an effective means of maintaining social distance while enjoying a freeing and fun ride that ends with easy parking. Riders can also nimbly negotiate traffic and park conveniently, cutting commute times.

“Nationwide, motorcycle and scooter dealers remain open to perform servicing and sales for riders wishing to make a return to the road.”

Australians have swapped overseas holidays for dirt bikes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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