Australian Motorcycle
Dealers Association (AMDA)
A National Industry Sector Committee of the Motor Trades Association of Australia

AMDA News & Events

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The Australian Motorcycle Dealers Association is well established, supporting members across the breadth of the industry.

A key focus remains on the relationship's members have with manufacturers, via the agreements they sign under the umbrella of The Franchise Code of Conduct.

Considerable work has been undertaken by MTAA and its State organisations to convince the Federal Government that changes are necessary in the Franchise Code to protect the considerable investment made by members in establishing, maintaining and operating a motorcycle retail outlet(s) The relationship between franchisor and franchisee must be balanced and stable, not subject to significant change when franchisors alter their senior management or business processes. A specific motor industry code has been requested that will cover the complexity involved in selling, servicing and maintaining motorcycles, with provisions for extensive term agreements in line with the capital expenditure required establish and operate a franchise.

The past year has seen a decline in the motorcycle market, impacting retailers' margins at a time when overheads continue to increase. A nationwide shortage of motorcycle technicians is creating recruitment problems for retailers. MTAA and its State organisations are working with training organisations to increase the number of motorcycle apprentices entering the industry.

Work has commenced on improving industry financial benchmarking. Leading suppliers of Dealer Management Systems used in the motorcycle industry are aligning their systems with a common chart of accounts specifically for motorcycle businesses. Member businesses must be able to accurately chart their profitability in each key sector of their business. Through doing so they will be able to accurately gauge the worth of the franchise(s) they hold and have meaningful discussions with Manufacturers about their return on investment.

Liaison continues with entities closely associated with the Australian motorcycle market.

  • FCAI motorcycle manufactures group.
  • Motorcycling Australia the controlling body for motorcycle sport.
  • Australian Motorcycle Council the peak motorcycle advocacy group.

As we move into 2019, many challenges are in front of the motorcycle industry. Many unanswered questions need to be resolved to chart the future of the industry. Why are millennials and gen Z not showing a lot of interest in motorcycles? Is obtaining a motorcycle licence to difficult, too expensive? Is motorcycling portrayed as dangerous? Are areas available for off-road road riding being restricted? Are there too many motorcycle dealerships? Is multi franchising in large motorcycle destination outlets the future?

As we look at the challenges we also look at the positives. Motorcycling has never been safer, with a declining road toll and manufacturer equipped safety technology on nearly all models. A fantastic range of leaner approved models at super competitive prices. Rider equipment with unparalleled comfort and safety. The advent of electric motorcycles across all riding sectors. Motorcycles and scooters being the most efficient means of personal transportation in massively congested capital cities. Motorcycles still being the most exciting mode of transport known to human kind!

AMDA continue to be supported by the Motor Trades Association of Australia with an emphasis on ensuring making sure the motorcycle retail industry sector remains sustainable and profitable.


Student loan debt has been hindering millennials for years; now it’s causing harm to the motorcycle industry. According to', 'MarketWatch');" href="">MarketWatch, the motorcycle industry has been increasingly struggling due to millennials’ disinterest in purchasing motorcycles in light of financial burdens.

Over the past year, Harley-Davidson Inc. has been dropping in stock by', 'as much as 29%');" href="">as much as 29%. Sales have also decreased by 6.7%. The famous motorcycle corporation announced it would be closing its U.S. factory as a result.

Bernstein analysts say the reason for the slide in sales could be due to the aging out of baby boomers as the lead target audience.

Young millennials and Gen-Z/Millennials, born between 1990 and 2003 respectively, are two-thirds as likely to be interested in motorcycles as baby boomers during their pre-family stage, Bernstein says. Yet, an interest in motorcycles may not be enough to keep the industry alive.

“The average millennial has almost twice as much student debt today during their ‘pre-family’ life stage as did the average Gen Xer,” said Bernstein analyst David Beckel.

“That may not sound like a large enough increase in debt to sway one from buying a motorcycle,” Beckel said. “But for the individual 20 million millennials with student debt, the difference between $15,000 and $26,000 of student debt is $130/month, which is the equivalent to a monthly loan payment on an $8,000 bike.”

In 1990,', '50% of college undergraduates');" href="">50% of college undergraduates had taken out student loans with an average borrowing of $15,000. By 2012, up to 70% of undergraduates had taken out student loans with an average borrowing of $25,000.

With that kind of debt, it makes sense for', '80% of millennials');" href="">80% of millennials to be happy with the idea of lab-grown diamonds when it comes to engagement rings compared to baby boomers and Gen Xers.

The typical new motorcycle will cost around the same as today’s average student loan debt, which makes it difficult for young millennials to purchase cars let alone a motorcycle. It’s for this reason that many who are interested in purchasing a motorcycle often opt for used bikes.

Approximately', '78% of motorcycle usage');" href="">78% of motorcycle usage is on-road riding while 41% is off-road riding, which makes used bikes seem like the better investment.

Bernstein analysts additionally theorized that rebellion, the characteristic often attributed to motorcycle culture, doesn’t appeal to debt-burdened millennials like it used to appeal to older generations prior to starting families.

“If you aren’t getting married, chances are you are not thinking about having children any time soon,” said Beckel. “And therefore the need to ‘rebel’ against the inevitable onslaught of permanent responsibility is lower.”

An industry-wide decline in new motorcycle sales in Australia is
puzzling for MotorCycle Holdings

by Simon Evans
Sales of new motorcycles across the industry have been in decline for almost 12 months and David
Ahmet, the chief executive of ASX-listed MotorCycle Holdings, is perplexed about the reasons why.
He suspects it may be a combination of low wages growth, subdued confidence and large chunks of
discretionary spending going into big housing loans and saving for deposits to try and enter a punishing
housing market where real estate prices are still at very high levels despite some modest declines in
Sydney and Melbourne.
"The last 12 months have been a bit of a surprise," he said on Thursday, referring to an industry-wide
slowdown which has continued in the first three months of 2018.
The company's shares have dropped 30 per cent in the past four months and $100 million has been
wiped from its sharemarket capitalisation. It is Australia's largest motorcycle dealer operator, with 28
The industry-wide new motorcycle sales figures are in contrast with new vehicle sales, which are running
at strong levels in the first few months of 2018 at 4.4 per cent ahead of the same time a year ago. This
followed record annual sales in 2017.
Mr Ahmet said patterns in new motorcycle sales had always been more volatile than vehicles, because
for many people it was more of a discretionary purchase.
"It's a little more volatile than cars". But many experienced industry players were scratching their heads.
"We are a discretionary spend but it's hard to point the finger at one thing".
Figures released in early April by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry showed that Australia's
new motorcycle market slipped 1.2 per cent for the first three months of 2018. A total of 21,614
motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and scooters were sold during the March quarter. The decline in the six
months to the end of December, 2017 was much sharper across the industry, down by 13.7 per cent to
MotorCycle Holdings listed on the ASX in April 2016 at an issue price of $2 and had been something of
a sharemarket darling. The number of registered motorcycles in Australia almost doubled to 807,000 in
the 10 years to 2016, as riders looked for alternative transport options and a bit of extra excitement.
The stock was trading at $5.20 in early January this year. It gained about 3 per cent on Thursday to be at
$3.62 in mid-afternoon trading.
MotorCycle Holdings paid $123 million for accessories and parts business Cassons in October, which
included eight retail stores which trade as Motorcycle Accessories Supermarket across NSW and
Victoria. A $67 million capital raising was undertaken by the company to help pay for the acquisition and
those new shares were issued at $3.85, causing shareholders who took it up some heartburn with the
current share price below that.
The largest part of the Cassons business is the wholesale component which sells a range of helmets,
jackets, boots, gloves, and spare parts to hundreds of motorcycle retailers around Australia. The
wholesale business represents more than 60 per cent of revenues.
Mr Ahmet said used motorcycle sales were solid, and with low interest rates and relatively low
unemployment rates he would have expected more confidence among new motorcycle buyers, but that
was elusive at the moment.

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