Motorcycle sales rose 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Retail Sales Report, which tracks sales among 18 leading brands being sold in the US.
Scooters saw the biggest gain, up nearly 50 percent, while dual-sport bike sales jumped by 25 percent.
“Nothing compares to a motorcycle for combining fun with saving money … and rising fuel prices have given our customers yet another great reason to ride,” said Tim Buche, MIC president and chief executive officer. “We see Americans leaving their cars at home more, enjoying the convenience and exhilaration of motorcycling, and getting into a different way of being green.”
Motorcycle and scooter tire sales also increased 29.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the MIC’s Quarterly US Motorcycle Tire Sales Report. Total on-highway tire sales rose 27.5 percent, while scooter tires jumped 48.6 percent.
“Tires sales add to new-bike sales figures as a measure of motorcycle interest since there are still a lot of great used bikes putting on the miles, and older bikes that owners are reviving and enjoying once again,” Buche said.
The MIC Owner Survey estimates that 11 million motorcycles were in use in 2009, a 5 percent increase over the 2008 motorcycle population of 10.4 million. The percentage of US households with at least one bike rose from 5.4 percent in 2003 to 6.8 percent in 2009. Motorcycle miles traveled also increased 5 percent from 2008 to 2009, with a total of 27.6 billion miles.
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. It is a not-for-profit, national industry association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants. The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office adjacent to Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.MIC.org.