Motorcycles Sales Shine in Worst Year of the 21st Century

Double-digit improvement in motorcycle sales in 2020.

Motorcycle sales were up double digits in 2020 thanks to a big rush on off-highway vehicles.
Motorcycle sales were up double digits in 2020 thanks to a big rush on off-highway vehicles.Kawasaki

Despite the economic and health uncertainty posed by the coronavirus pandemic for the bulk of 2020, people put their dollars to work. Especially in the powersports sector, which saw an 18.4 percent increase in sales for the year. New motorcycle and scooter sales were up 11.4 percent

The biggest bump came from new off-highway bikes and ATVs, which increased by 46.5 percent and 33.8 percent respectively over sales in 2019. On-highway vehicles, including scooters, remained steady from 2019 through 2020.

It’s sort of unsurprising that the rides which get you as far from civilization as possible would be the ones to attract the most attention in a year like 2020, but I digress.

“Overall, the industry had a good year under difficult circumstances,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council in a press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to be nimble and to make the changes we needed to survive. In the end, many in the industry saw strong growth, and now our opportunity is to keep all of these new riders riding and to inspire even more people to join us on two, three, and four wheels.”

It’s heartening to see the positive turn after years of watching companies report dwindling sales figures and the industry as a whole reaching in every possible direction to inspire a new generation of dedicated riders. Hopefully, the trend will continue in the years to come.

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