Motorcycle sales among leading brands are up 9.1% in the last year and 21.8% since 2019.
Since the start of the pandemic two years ago, humanity has been faced with restrictions that regulate how we spend our free time. For most Americans that means instead of attending larger group activities like concerts (and motorcycle rallies), we are opting for small group or independent activities. One of the most popular methods of recreation these last two years has been spending time outdoors, either alone or with immediate family. Campgrounds and parks saw a surge of use, as did off-road parks and areas where powersport activities are allowed.
As motorcyclists, we were already pretty good at going off on our own to explore via two wheels, so when prompted to spend more time on our own away from others… Well, we embraced it. And it shows, with the biggest increase in new unit sales this industry has seen in a long time. Nothing screams social distancing quite like buying a motorcycle and setting off on the open road with the wind in your hair and a goal of getting far away.
It’s good for the soul too. With more of the population working from home, or at the very least spending more time at home in the void of our usual social activities. We’ve been itching to get out of the house, and riding a motorcycle sounds like one of the best ways to do so. Plus, riding with a small group of friends is a great way to socialize while maintaining a safe distance, right? Just show up with a full tank of gas and connect your bluetooth helmet communicators – you’ll be having fun together in no time.
“This is the second consecutive year of significant growth across powersports,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MIC. “Many new motorcyclists are joining the riding community, both on and off road.”
On-highway motorcycle sales are up 12.9% over 2020, while off-highway and dual-purpose motorcycles have seen two-year increase in sales of 42.9% and 46.2%, respectively. According to the MIC’s Retail Sales Reporting System, which gathers motorcycle sales data from 14 manufactures and distributors in U.S. market, sales for all motorcycle categories combined are up 21.8 percent since 2019.
“In addition to strong sales, we are seeing strong demand for riding training and education. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation saw an estimated 48% increase in enrollment in 2021 over 2020. The MSF Basic RiderCourse and MSF DirtBike School are great places to start if you are new to motorcycling. For more experienced riders, there are numerous more advanced options,” MIC president and CEO Erik Pritchard said in a statement.
Currently, the MSF offers its Basic RiderCourse in 46 US states, in addition to the U.S. military. Courses fill up quickly, so you may also want to make a plan ahead of time if you intend to sign up.