IRVINE, Calif., April 26, 2011 – Motorcycle sales among major brands rose 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Retail Sales Report. This report tracks sales among 18 leading brands being sold in the U.S.
The popular scooter segment saw the biggest gain, up nearly 50 percent. Sales of dual-purpose bikes, built for on- and off-highway use and generally among the most fuel-efficient motorcycles, increased by almost 25 percent. Tire sales, a strong indicator of motorcycle use, were up as well during the first three months.
“Nothing compares to a motorcycle for combining fun with saving money,” said Tim Buche, MIC president and chief executive officer. “There’s no more enjoyable way to get to work and get around, and rising fuel prices have given our customers yet another great reason to ride.”
Motorcycle and scooter tire sales increased 29.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Quarterly U.S. Motorcycle Tire Sales Report, which tracks nine major tire brands. 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. “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.”
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. Motorcycle miles traveled also increased 5 percent from 2008 to 2009 with a total of 27.6 billion miles. The percentage of U.S. households with at least one bike rose from 5.4 percent in 2003 to 6.8 percent in 2009.
The MIC is promoting riding with its Revive Your Ride! WIN BIG SPRING GIVEAWAY, running through June 30. Customers simply visit a participating retailer, pick up an entry card and enter online at reviveyourride.org for a chance to win one of 50 great prizes, from helmets and jackets to motorcycle lifts and exhaust systems, or up to $5,000 to spend on aftermarket accessories.
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.