US Motorcycle Industry Up 3.8% in 2014

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The Motorcycle Industry Council has tallied the numbers from 2014, and is happy to report that the US motorcycle industry grew 3.8% last year. Participating motorcycle manufacturers reported that 483,526 two-wheelers were sold in 2014, with growth across all sectors except in scooter sales.

The off-road segment sold particularly well, seeing an almost 11% gain over 2013’s numbers, with 81,013 units going thru dealership doors. Dual-sport sales were up 3.6% with 34,497 units sold, while on-road sales were up a modest 3%, for 334,488 units sold.

2014 marks the fourth year in a row where the US motorcycle industry has grown, though today’s numbers are still a pittance to the industry’s figures from 2008 (pre-recession), of 879,910 units.

At its current rate, the US motorcycle industry will regain the sales volume seen in 2009 (520,502 units), where high gas prices helped float the industry before access to credit became non-existent.

This means the reality of the American motorcycle market is that it is a half-million unit business, a factor that influences not only the way OEMs operate in the United States, but it will also be a significant factor going forward for projects like MotoAmerica, the revived American road racing series.

With gas prices dropping to rates unseen in recent memory, and expected to stay at low figures for the foreseeable future, it will be interesting to see how this affects motorbike sales in 2015, especially in the scooter segments.

Lower gas prices typically mean more consumer spending, but they have the added effect of removing commuters’ desires for higher MPG vehicles, such as a motorcycle, or even more so, a scooter.

2014  2013 ? %
DUAL 34,497 33,296 1201 3.6%
OFF-HWY 81,013 73,058 7955 10.9%
ON-HWY 334,488 324,684 9801 3.0%
SCOOTER 33,528 34,742 -1214 -3.5%
TOTAL 483,526 465,783 17,743 3.8%
ATV 229,552 228,305 1247 0.5%

Source: Motorcycle Industry Council; Photo: EBR