October 18 2007.

Japanese domestic sales of motorcycles remained unchanged from a year earlier at 758,000 vehicles in 2006.

Sales of motorcycles under 50cc rose on the year for the first time in three years, but sales of machines in the 51-250cc range slumped. Sales of those with 251cc engines or larger increased 7.2%.

Market leader Honda suffered a 2.4-point fall in market share to 46.3% due to a relative lack of new product releases although its Forza series of large scooters sold well.

Suzuki passed Yamaha to clinch the second spot, boosting its share by 1.8 points. Its sales growth was driven by the Address V50 series of scooters that were unveiled in March 2006, among other models. The Address V50 series features a fuel injection system and is priced from 126,000 yen to 136,500 yen.

Yamaha, which boasted the second-largest share of the global market, dropped to third because its domestic sales slumped one year before the expected full remodeling of its mainstay Majesty large scooter. Its domestic share declined 0.8 point to 21.2%.

Kawasaki focused on marketing its W400 large sports motorcycle, which was released to the market in March 2006, raising its share by 0.3 point.

Source: Nikkei Net