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Aussie Bike Boom Continues

The Australian motorcycle and scooter boom has reached new heights, with figures recently released by Australia's Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) showing that sales reached a record 119,210 units in 2006 – a 16.6 per cent increase on the previous year.

It's the fourth consecutive year of increasing sales, with the latest figures spurred on by significant boosts in the sectors of scooters and cruisers.

A spike in fuel prices helped scooters along to a 43 per cent increase in sales, with 14,505 units moving off showroom floors in 2006. This increase represents a tripling of the scooter market in just three years, with scooters and mopeds also forming the highest-selling category of the road bike market for four consecutive years.

Cruisers also recorded a massive increase – up 36 per cent – and with 10,925 units sold last year have now overtaken the sportsbike niche (with 7685) as the second biggest category of road bikes.

The 2006 figures also showed motorcycle sales in Australia had passed an interesting fulcrum, with road bikes overtaking off-road bikes as the leading motorcycle segment for the first time in more than a decade.

Some 52,944 sales were made in the on-road area, representing a 28.7 per cent increase, while off-road sales accounted for some 48,219 units – itself a 9.5 per cent increase.

According to the FCAI's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Sturrock, the fresh dominance of the road bike market is down to two clear trends. "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," he said.

"And while the dirt bike scene continues to grow, there is now an even stronger trend towards the lifestyle associated with the traditional cruiser style of road bike, especially among the Baby Boomer generation," he added.

Honda topped the market share stakes in 2006 with 30,865 units, followed by Yamaha (27,800) and Suzuki (14,815).

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