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Motorcycle Sales Continue Steep Decline

Posted in Motorcycle Rides, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | January 26th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Ural was the only manufacturer to increase sales in 2010.

Things continue to look bleak for the power sports industry: in 2009, sales plummeted nearly 41% from 2008 numbers, but it was easy to explain why. The U.S. economy had taken a turn for the worse, credit was all but unavailable and few of us had disposable income for luxury purchases such as motorcycles. In 2010, the auto industry experienced a turnaround, so it’s only natural to assume that motorcycle sales followed; surely 2010 couldn’t be as bad as 2009. Sadly, it’s worse.

Data released by the Motorcycle Industry Council and reported by Hell For Leather shows nearly a sixteen percent drop in 2010 sales as compared to 2009. Counting all on and off-highway sales, a mere 439,678 new bikes were sold in the U.S. market last year. To put things in perspective, you’d have to go back to 1998 to find sales at that level. It’s not all doom-and-gloom, since several manufacturers are reporting increased sales in Q4 2010 versus Q4 2009. Ural, the Russian manufacturer of sidecar-equipped BMW R71 clones, even posted a slight sales growth in 2010. The optimist in me wants to believe that the power sports industry is just a year behind the automotive industry, so perhaps we’ll see growth in 2011. If we don’t, I seriously wonder which companies will survive.

Source: Hell For Leather

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2 Responses

  1. eddie_357 says:

    i wish the cafe racer/ retro scene would take off.when i used to ride my triumph back in the day,the biggest problem was people pulling out on me.then the bikes got too fast and i stopped riding because of that.but when i saw that 800w retro bike that almost got me ready to get back on the bike.

  2. Kurt Ernst says:

    Eddie, I just hope that motorcycle sales in general come back. I think they’re a good barometer for the economy, because no one in the U.S. NEEDS a motorcycle. It’s more about discretionary income, and if people are buying bikes then they’re comfortable in their jobs and the economy really is on the mend. You could say the same thing for small boats as well.

    I can’t wait to see the numbers for January, or more importantly the first quarter.