Motorcycle Sales Up for 14th Straight Year! Will it continue?

This from the Motorcycle Industry Council:

“IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 16, 2007 – Sales of two-wheelers continued showing consistent strength in 2006, ending in December with a 14th straight year of growth. The Motorcycle Industry Council’s preliminary estimate on new-unit sales for all brands last year is 1,158,000, a slight increase over 2005. During each of the past four years, combined sales of all types of motorcycles, on-highway, off-highway, dual-purpose and scooter, have crested the one-million level.

“Once seen as the oddball pastime of street racers and wild ones, motorcycling is now largely viewed as a respectable form of recreation and, increasingly, transportation,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “For the industry, sales for the past five years have been at a great level. Rising fuel prices, increasing highway congestion and parking woes have given more people reason to trade four wheels for two, or dust off the old bike they haven’t touched in years.”

“But our work isn’t done,” Buche said. “It’s more important than ever for the seasoned veterans of our industry to steer new riders toward making smart, responsible choices when it comes to motorcycling. And a decade from now, the strength of our business will depend on an emerging generation of riders that we must nurture and develop right now.”

Annual sales reports in recent years have noted rising scooter sales. Another growing category includes dual-purpose motorcycles (street-legal and built for on- and off-highway use), which have climbed at or near 20 percent for the past three years.


The MIC lists 1973 as the pinnacle for annual motorcycle sales, when Americans bought more than 1.5 million bikes. Sales for 1979 topped the one-million mark, then cooled in the 1980s and early 1990s. Motorcycling began its 14 consecutive years of rising sales back in 1993.

1992 – 278,000 2000 – 710,000

1993 – 293,000 2001 – 850,000

1994 – 306,000 2002 – 936,000

1995 – 309,000 2003 – 1,001,000

1996 – 330,000 2004 – 1,063,000

1997 – 356,000 2005 – 1,149,000

1998 – 432,000 2006 – 1,158,000*

1999 – 546,000 *Preliminary estimate

U.S. New Unit Motorcycle Sales. Source: Motorcycle Industry Council

The MIC, located in Irvine, Calif., is a not-for-profit national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, scooters, motorcycle parts and accessories, and members of allied trades. ”

Will sales increases continue?  Why did we have so many riders in the 70’s compared to today?

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