Motorcycle sales | Honda on the up, Yamaha flatline so far in 2022

Honda has made a strong start in its quest to break its record 20 million sales marker from 2019, but Yamaha sales for the first half of 2022 remain flat

Honda CB1000RR

Honda and Yamaha have consolidated their statuses as two of the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers through 2022 , even if the Japanese powerhouses are enjoying differing fortunes in the sales charts.

Far and away the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world with a vast 28.5% share of the global market, Honda has begun positively on its quest to return to its record sales figures prior to COVID-19.

Having reached a new peak in its illustrious history by shifting an extraordinary 20 million motorcycles in 2019, Honda’s fortunes waned the following year in line with the industry slump prompted by COVID-19.

Though sales rebounded in 2021, Honda fell well short of its new record marker, even if it could still count a huge 16.8 million units over the course of the year.

With Honda using the fiscal year - start of April to the end of March - to tally its 12 month figures, rather than the calendar year, the Japanese firm has just finished its first quarter (April to June) having sold 4.251 million units, up almost 10% on the same period in 2021. 

It is therefore projecting annual sales of between 18-19 million units.

At the heart of the gains, according to British Dealer News, is a sizeable jump in the recovering Indian market where Honda sales rose by 11%, plus strong gains in Latin America.

These helped soften the impact on a disappointing 25% slide in Europe, as well as a 5% dip in Japan where Honda has been hampered by the ongoing semiconductor shortage.

Yamaha, meanwhile, will look to a stronger second-half of 2022 after sales remained flat at 2.306 million units, a minor drop of 0.3%.

This is despite a number of new Yamaha models coming into their first full year of sale, including the new R7 sportsbike, plus the MT-09 and MT-07 nakeds. Since then Yamaha has gone on to launch the updated R3 sportsbike in Asia, the XSR900 retro roadster, the new Tenere 700 World Raid and the MT-10 naked flagship.