Dealers hold onto hope for the future of quad bike sales

Tamworth's Western Ranges Motorcycles laments Honda's decision to stop selling quad bikes in Australia

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UNCERTAIN TIMES: Western Ranges Motorcycles' dealer principal Steve Lukas believes Honda's decision had been on the cards for some time. Photo: Peter Hardin 280520PHB019

UNCERTAIN TIMES: Western Ranges Motorcycles' dealer principal Steve Lukas believes Honda's decision had been on the cards for some time. Photo: Peter Hardin 280520PHB019

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Quad bike dealers to push for government legislation to be re-examined.

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THE region's motorbike dealers have been left reeling by quad bike giant Honda's decision to stop manufacturing the machines for sale in Australia next year.

Tamworth's Western Ranges Motorcycles dealer principal Steve Lukas said Wednesday's decision could force him to overhaul his business.

Honda announced it would stop manufacturing and selling in Australian stores from October next year, due to new standards passed by the federal government in 2019.

"I feel like they haven't quite grasped how many of these machines are out there and how popular they are," Mr Lukas said.

"We have to take a really serious look at our business model to try and replace what they are going to take away.

"In my opinion, this move has the ability to halve the staff and turnover of regional dealers."

Read Also: Honda removes ATV quad bikes from sale

New England MP Barnaby Joyce said he was confident the manufacturers and the government could find common ground on the issue.

"I think there has to be a delegation from the people who put the bikes together and the people who want to put the new safety measures in place," Mr Joyce said.

"To be quite frank, I think there is a bit of bloody-mindedness about it at the moment.

"They are a vital piece of farming equipment, I have them on my place and I'm confident these things will eventually work itself out to work for everyone."

Mr Lukas said he believed the decision had "been on the cards for a while".

"All the major manufacturers, which is four or five of them, have been battling with the ACCC over this for quite a while," he said.

"Polaris has already pulled out with their products, while other brands have already started to wind down."

Mr Lukas said his industry had already began rallying to have the legislation re-examined.

"I speak to farmers every day and I think there is a groundswell of support starting now," he said.

"Dalby Moto in Queensland has launched a petition to try and get this decision back to Parliament to be reconsidered.

"Something needs to happen because these things are used by so many farmers and I'm not sure what they will all do if they're no longer available."

Honda has blamed new federal government regulations for the move, saying it was not viable for its business,

Honda Australia's managing director of motorcycle and power equipment Robert Toscano said the company would continue to support current quad bike owners.

"The new Standard is extremely disappointing for farm safety and the countless farmers who rely on quad bikes every day," Mr Toscano said.

"The safety of our customers is paramount, we will never compromise on this.

"Now that the rules have changed, it means we have to say goodbye to our ATV line up down under.

"In light of this, we want to assure customers that Honda will continue to support ATV parts and servicing for the next decade at a minimum.

"We also offer a range of purpose built SXS (Side by Sides) in our Pioneer line up and our ever-popular Honda AG bikes."

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