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LAMS finding favour in sluggish motorcycle market

Media Release 10 January 2013

LAMS finding favour in sluggish motorcycle market

While other sectors of the motor industry showed an improvement in sales during 2012, on-road motorcycles went against the trend, recording the lowest level of sales since 2003.

The 5,765 units recorded was 611 units (9.6 percent) lower than 2011, and continues the decline which first began in 2009.

Motorcycles over 60cc were up by 63 units (2 percent) on 2011, however smaller motorcycles/mopeds (under 60cc) were down 674 units (28 percent). This is surprising.

It would appear that motorists have become used to the increasing price of petrol. The steady flight towards mopeds and scooters that was evident 18 months ago has clearly stopped, with this sector hit particularly hard last year.

Motor Trade Association (MTA) spokesperson Ian Stronach says, “One significant factor that became evident towards the end of the year was the implementation of the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS). This safety initiative saw a small but noticeable growth in a range of motorcycles not previously popular with motorcyclists.”

LAMS is a new motorcycle rating system, brought into effect on 1 October 2012. This new system was introduced to improve rider safety by determining appropriate motorcycles for learner and restricted Class 6 (motorcycle) licence holders.

LAMS-approved motorcycles are determined by two factors: a maximum power-to-weight ratio of 150 kilowatts per tonne (the power is that specified by the manufacturer, and the weight is the weight specified by the manufacturer plus 90kgs for the rider and riding gear); and an upper engine capacity limit of 660cc.

Since the introduction of the scheme, motorcycles in the 251-750cc range have enjoyed a noticeable increase in sales. Compared to the three-yearly average, sales in the 251-400cc category have more than doubled (166 percent) and those in the 401-750cc category have increased by more than half (68 percent).

Stronach adds, “The new LAMS rating system means people are now able to buy larger motorcycles on a learner or restricted motorcycle licence, which wouldn’t have been possible under the previous system. It’s clearly going to increase the appeal of motorcycles in these categories, which suit the commuter market.”

Overall Suzuki took top spot for the year with 998 units sold and a 17 percent market share. Honda took second spot with 663 units and an 11.5 percent share, and Harley Davidson came in third spot with 533 units and a 9.2 percent share.

*A full list of approved and prohibited motorcycles for learner and restricted licence holders is available on the New Zealand Transport Agency website.

*Figures supplied by NZTA.



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