Off-highway motorcycle sales rocketed 50.3% in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9% in the same time frame, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System.
“Riding dirt and trail bikes has always been one of the best ways to spend time with family and friends,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Now, with the pandemic, it has amplified what’s positive about getting out on motorcycles. You can get out of the house, have fun with your loved ones, and still maintain social distancing.”
Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles, and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads. Dual-purpose motorcycles are street legal and are also designed to be used on off-road trails.
On-highway motorcycles saw sales dip 9.6%, while scooter sales rose 4%. Combined with off-highway and dual, this puts total motorcycle sales in the first half of the year up 6.4% compared with 2019.
The MIC recently launched a Commuter Distancing campaign to encourage people to consider motorized two- and three-wheelers as transportation alternatives.
“There are many benefits to motorcycles and scooters,” Pritchard said. “In normal times, studies have shown that they help alleviate congestion. During this pandemic, being on a motorcycle means being able to avoid crowds and lessening the chance of spreading and picking up germs. And many riders say it adds fun to a normally mundane commute. Our Commuter Distancing social media posts are a reminder of these benefits.”
The Commuter Distancing posts point people to FindYourRide.org, where they can quickly find information on how to get rider training and where to find a bike.
“It’s just a first step, and many in the powersports industry are waiting to help riders-to-be explore their options,” Pritchard said. “Sales from the first half of the year indicate growing interest in powersports products and we’re excited to help them on their journey.”
The MIC Retail Sales Reporting System gathers new motorcycle sales data from the 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S., providing a strong indicator of sales trends.