Motorcycle and ATV sales back on track

Motorcycle and ATV market soars in the second quarter.

Australia’s motorcycle and ATV market has defied the dramatic decline in new car sales to record a 24.5% sales increase over the previous year to June 2021.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures indicate a total of 52,838 motorcycles and ATVs were sold from January to June 2020, up from 42,457 during the same period in 2019.

The increase provides the industry with some much-needed relief after just 17,977 units were sold in the first three months of 2020, representing a 2.5% decline over 2019.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber said the positive sales results were on the back of the ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and SSV (Side by Side Vehicle) segments, which together totalled 14,545 sales.

“The ATV and SSV segment is up a remarkable 50.9% and now represents 27.5% of the total market,” Mr Weber said.

“Off-road bikes are also on fire, with an increase of 42.4%, and claiming 39.5% of the total market.

Mr Weber attributed the segments’ surge in popularity to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Federal Government’s instant asset write-off program.

“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,” he said.

“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 present.”


General Manager of motorcycle training organisation Stay Upright, Annaliesse Cawood, said the sales also correlated with an uptick in rider training with the numbers of new riders seeking training up by more than 20%.

“We’ve seen a concurrent boom during the second quarter in those seeking motorcycle and workplace quad bike training, even despite the pandemic taking hold of people’s wallets,” Ms Cawood said.

“Many of the people coming in for training are looking to downsize from cars to two-wheeler vehicles, given they are cheaper to purchase, operate, license and train with than cars.

“They also offer more flexibility in terms of mobility and, increasingly during COVID-19, extra potential income generation.”
Ms Cawood said she was hopeful the numbers would continue to increase throughout the rest of 2020.

“The sector has gone through a rough patch, but these figures provide some hope, and we expect the numbers of trainees we’ve seen come through to (correspond with) more new or used motorcycle sales in the third quarter,” she said.

It was not all good news for the market, however, with road bike sales (15,423) and scooter sales (2166) down 2.7% and 12.8% respectively for the first half of 2020.

Despite this, the motorcycle sector is doing comparatively better than the new vehicle car sector, which despite something of a rebound in June is still down 20% on comparable 2019 sales, with June marking the 27th consecutive month of sales declines.