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Will U.S. Gas Prices Finally Drive Consumers to Motorcycles and Scooters?

The party is almost over for gas guzzling Americans. Although gasoline is still far cheaper than in most of Europe, at over $2.00 a gallon for regular in much of the U.S., Americans are abandoning their giant SUVs. Several auto industry publications indicate dramatically reduced sales of large SUVs in the United States and an equally dramatic increase in the sale of smaller, more fuel efficient automobiles (including hybrids).

While there are other reasons why scooters and small motorcycles proliferate in Europe, but not the U.S., could the U.S. market see a boost in the sale of these machines? Honda (with the Silver Wing) and Suzuki (with the Burgman 650) have been testing the U.S. waters for scooter acceptance by commuters. We have previously tested the Silver Wing, and will test the Burgman 650 soon. Smaller scooters are also appearing more frequently around town — seemingly accepted more-and-more by Americans for short trips.

Past “gas crises” in the U.S. have not pushed commuters on to two wheels in great numbers, but things change, and seem to change more rapidly lately.