The thing about the national motorcycle sales figures is you always take them with a grain of salt, especially as it is hard to verify sales of non-road-going motorcycles in NZ. But regardless of any potential misgivings, two manufacturers have reason to celebrate going by the latest results from the Motor Industry Association.
While overall numbers are down slightly compared to last year – a combination of Covid-19 heavily restricting sales in April combatted by Yamaha’s strong Tenere 700 sales – with 4148 registrations to August 2020 compared to 4196, the top sellers once again prove Kiwis are favouring functional low-tech options compared to the latest and greatest when it comes to spending their hard-earned cash.
The latest motorcycle industry sales figures have just been released by the MIA, and as it has done for much of the year Yamaha's new Tenere 700 adventurer still sits atop the pile as New Zealand's most popular machine of the year with 146 units sold.
The Tenere 700 had a bit of a head start on the rest of the market thank to wildly popular pre-sales in the latter half of 2019 which saw the first shipment of the model sell-out. Those first bikes, however, did not land in the country until January and as such those pre-sales weren't officially counted until the rubber hit the road.
While the Yamaha Tenere 700 continues to sit at the top of the registration figures nearly a year after its initial product launch in Australia, there is a big surprise at the top of the sales charts alongside it for August.
Following behind the refreshingly low-tech Yamaha with 102 YTD sales is Suzuki’s venerable DR650SE, which also took out top honours for August and slot into a strong second place for the year.
It's a sign that Kiwis aren't so easily swayed by flashy sales pitches and the latest and greatest technology, as the soon to be discontinued and much-loved DR650SE is possibly the oldest model in terms of its core technology still on the market today. Even Royal Enfield has added EFI to its long-lived Classic models while Suzuki has sat on the basic design for the DR650 for two decades.
With "run out" pricing dropping the price of entry for the loveable old Suzuki down to $8199, its a price point into the popular adventure segment Kiwis are clearly flocking to before the model leaves our dealerships for good next year with the advent of new mandatory ABS laws.
For those not interested in the adventure side of the sport, Kawasaki’s Ninja 400 continues to be a strong seller with 95 examples hitting the streets so far this year.
In the big bike category, Harley-Davidson's street cred has kept it ahead of rivals Indian Motorcycle with two models within the top 10 selling models of the year so far. Those models, the Low Rider S and Sport Glide – both part of Harley's Softail lineup – are the most expensive models on the list with the Street Glide commanding an entry price of over $40,000.
Just missing out on top 10 sales status is KTM’s newly arrived 390 Adventure and Royal Enfield’s Interceptor 650 – both with 53 units sold YTD – again showing the strength of the LAMS end of the market which has been the strongest segment of the industry for some time.
While we won’t know the full 2020 sales figures until early January, it appears the same traits of affordability, brand status and potential for adventure are strong leaders when it comes to where Kiwis spend their money on motorcycles.
New Zealand’s Top 10 Best Selling Motorcycles So far...
The Top 5
1. Yamaha Tenere 700 - 146
2. Suzuki DR650SE - 102
3. Suzuki Gixxer 150 - 96
4. Kawasaki Ninja 400 - 95
5. Harley-Davidson Street 500 - - 83
6. Yamaha YZF-R3 - 68 / Honda C110X (not available to the public)
7. Harley-Davidson Low Rider S - 63
8. Harley-Davidson Sport Glide - 59
9. Royal Enfield Classic - 57
10. Honda Shadow 150 - 56