Motorcycle Prices Going Up

A devalued dollar and higher components and materials costs are driving up prices on new motorcycles. Victory has already boosted prices.

Confronted with higher prices for raw materials, energy, and transportation as well as a devalued dollar, motorcycle makers are expected to announced higher prices for their 2005 models, and at least one, Victory, has already added a "surcharge" to the prices of its 2004 motorcycles.

Steel prices have recently increased dramatically, as has the price of energy needed to build and ship motorcycles. Other raw materials, including plastics, have also gone up in price. These increases are putting pressure on prices of many products, including motorcycles, worldwide.

In addition, the falling value of the dollar means that it takes more dollars to hit the target price of a motorcycle—or motorcycle components—manufactured abroad. The falling dollar is already cutting into the bottom lines of American distributors of imported motorcycles and raises the costs of of imported components for motorcycles manufactured in the United States. The lowered value of the income from its American sales has been mentioned as one of the issues in Aprilia's recent financial problems.

The first 2005 new-model introductions and dealer meetings are scheduled for June, and we anticipate that most manufacturers will announce higher prices across the board at that time. How much prices will rise is unclear, and prices certainly have not been set yet, since the factors that influence them continue to shift. One knowledgeable source says that, although each manufacturer's situation is a bit different, increases of as much as 10 percent are not out of the question.

If you have been drooling over a 2004 model but holding back to see what 2005 might bring, you might want to buy before prices go up.

As the dollar falls against other currencies, motorcycle prices in dollars go up.