US Motorcycles Sales Up 3% in 2013

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The motorcycle industry continues to make steady progress on recovering from the recession, with the overall US two-wheeled market up 1.4% over last year’s sales figures. Taking scooters out of the equation, which were down a staggering 15.5% last year, proper motorcycles were up 3% overall in the United States.

Breaking that number down further, dual-sport machines were up 7.8%, off-highway bikes were up 5.7%, and on-highway motorcycles were up a modest 2%. The Motorcycle Industry Council says that 465,783 units were sold in 2013, up from the 459,298 sold last year.

The spur in sales was certainly helped by Harley-Davidson’s 4.4% increase last year, which likely is what helped buoy the on-highway sales figures into the black.

Despite KTM and BMW having record years, and Ducati maintaining its high sales volume, the street segment in the US has been the slowest to recover, though still remains as the lion’s share of motorcycle sales in 2013.

To put things in perspective, the US motorcycle industry sold over 1.1 million units in 2007, including scooters. We still have a long way to go in this recovery, and to be honest we at Asphalt & Rubber expected 2013 sales to be much worse.

The US market was down 14.7% in Q1 2013, and down 5.2% in the first half of the year. Hopefully the market can continue to rally, and 2014 will show bigger gains.

Type 2012 2013 Change % Change
Dual Sport 30,592 32,979 +2,387 +7.8%
Off-Hwy 69,395 73,371 +3,976 +5.7%
On-Hwy 318,206 324,691 +6,485 +2.0%
Scooter 41,105 34,742 -6,363 -15.5%
Total 459,298 465,783 +3,471 +1.4%

Source: MIC