NEW DELHI: Superbike lovers could be in for a Diwali treat. Second-hand bikes are available, in mint condition, for nearly half the price of the new one. In fact, the second-hand superbike market is flooded with sparingly used machines from the stables of Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Benelli, Triumph, and other top global brands.
When Jaideep Das, a resident of Chittaranjan Park, wanted to sell his 5,000-km run Triumph Speed Triple, he could only get Rs 6.5 lakh for the bike, for which he paid Rs 11 lakh a year ago. With the cash, he made a down payment for another new bike that cost him around Rs 20 lakh. “I was disappointed with the depreciation but I was so eager to upgrade to the new bike that I didn’t really care in the end,” he said.
Several superbike owners don’t keep their motorcycles for more than one-two years before upgrading, thanks to multiple brands setting up shop in the country, which has led to widespread availability of new models at attractive price points. Almost all major global brands now sell their international bestsellers in India.
“Most superbikes are being sold to riders who already ride superbikes and want to upgrade. A motorcycle brand just sold eight bikes that cost Rs 30 lakh each last month to people who already own multiple superbikes. It’s not that superbikes are not selling. They are just not being sold to new customers,” said superbike rider Piyush Wadhwa, who also runs one of India’s largest stores for big bike accessories.
Discounts hurt used market prices
In Chandigarh, Parikshit Singh, who owns three superbikes, including two which are pre-owned, is toying with the idea of selling a cruiser which just clocked 6,000km on the odo. “The original price of the bike was Rs 14 lakh. I am not even getting Rs 7 lakh for it because the company just discontinued it to bring in a facelift. The rate at which manufacturers are refreshing their models, how will the bikes retain their value?” he told TOI.
New motorcycles beat their pre-owned counterparts when it comes to assurances such as quality checks, original parts and warranty. Despite that, during April-August, companies sold only 403 motorcycles in the 800-1,000cc category compared with 468 units in the same period a year ago. The number of motorcycles sold in the 1,000-1,600cc category, too, shrank from 395 to 340 during the period, according to data from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
The slowdown in the segment has prompted several superbike dealers to consolidate their businesses and shut down showrooms. As a result, the discounts being offered on new motorcycles are also quite steep, between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, which brings down the price of the bikes further when they hit the second-hand market.