Superbikes are mighty alluring, a thing of great pride for owners and top on the wish list of bike enthusiasts. Superbike (800 cc to 1600 cc) sales in India have witnessed decent growth over the years, but this year, it’s an altogether different story.
Data indicates that superbike sales in India have decreased during the period between April 2018 and January 2019. Data also reveals another interesting trend wherein sales have increased for bikes in 500 cc to 800 cc range. With diminishing sales, superbike manufacturers are offering heavy discounts to clear the existing stock.
In case of superbikes in 800-1000 cc range, sales in 2017-18 stood at 976 units. This financial year, till January 2019, sales are 911 units. A greater difference can be seen in sales of bikes in 1000-1600 cc range. Last year, it was 1,089 units and this year, till January, it is just 897 units. It is unlikely that figures will improve in the 1.5 months that are left in this financial year. The above figures are excluding the sales of Ducati India and BMW Motorrad. In the same period, sales of 500-800 cc bikes increased from 2,858 units to 4,798 units.
Almost all superbike manufacturers are offering discounts and freebies to improve sales. For example, Ducati Diavel is available with discount/benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh. Other superbikes offering high discounts/benefits include Harley-Davidson Heritage (Rs 2 lakh), Ducati Multistrada 950 (Rs 1.5 lakh), Harley-Davidson Fat Boy (Rs 1.25 lakh), Kawasaki Ninja 1000 (Rs 1 lakh) and Triumph Thruxton (Rs 1 lakh). All these bikes come with a price tag of more than Rs 10 lakh.
One of the main reasons for the slide in superbike sales is the availability of cheaper mid-capacity motorcycles in the range of 500 to 800 cc. These are available in the range of Rs 3-7 lakh, which is a major incentive for price conscious customers. An executive working at a Triumph Motorcycles dealership said that earlier they used to sell around 15 bikes every month, but now it has become a challenge to sell even five. Harley-Davidson dealerships said that they are offering benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh on their high-end motorcycles.
An MD of a leading motorcycle company admitted that the superbike market is witnessing a downtrend. Key reasons he cited include high insurance cost, lack of liquidity in the market, and rising fuel costs. For some companies, the process of replacing old models with new ones has also resulted in slack in sales.