Tony O'Kane | Jul 30, 2009

ACCORDING TO FIGURES released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the motorcycle market has experienced a marked fall in sales over the first half of 2009, with scooters in particular declining in showroom popularity.

Around 55,500 motorcycles, ATVs and scooters were sold in the first six months of this year, representing a 14 percent decrease over the same period in 2008.

Buoyed by strong demand from the agricultural sector as well the Federal Government's tax break for businesses, ATV sales however were just 0.1 percent down on the previous year with 9722 vehicles sold.

However scooter sales suffered the most, with 5592 sales representing a 29.3 percent decline.

pop_yamaha-scooterStabilising petrol prices are largely to blame for the fall in popularity of scooters.

With last year's record fuel prices the primary motivator behind the spike in scooter sales, it was inevitable that demand would taper off once the cost of petrol returned to more realistic levels.

Road bikes and trail bikes weren't immune to the drop in motorcycle sales either, with both segments falling 13.4 and 15.3 percent respectively.

Still, according to the FCAI the decline in showroom performance is no great cause for concern.

"This result reflects the impact of broader economic conditions," FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

"Motorcycle sales are now at the level we would expect them to be and are broadly consistent with the trends in new car sales."

Honda led sales for the first half of 2009 with 11,837 units sold, followed by Yamaha with 11,393 and then Suzuki with 8,212. Road bikes are still the most popular category, with off-road bikes second and ATVs third.

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