Rising Faster than Sourdough, Powersports Sales Are Going Strong

Of course, my favorite part of the pandemic is the silver linings during otherwise dark days. Whether it’s having more time to work on house projects, ditching a lousy commute in favor of working at home, or skyrocketing motorcycle sales, not everything that’s happened in the past year has been all bad. 

Sourdough bread experiments aside, one of the things that has risen the past year is, powersports sales are up by 18.4%. What’s more, off-highway motorcycle sales spiked 46.5% in 2020, more notably than other powersports segments. As noted in Powersports Business, on-road motorcycle and scooter sales rose 11.4%, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) Retail Sales Report. Additionally, ATV sales also jumped 33.8% over 2019. 

What that translates to is more people are taking to two wheels and heading off-road. “We are happy to see that more people are getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors and find new adventures with motorcycles,” Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MIC, “as many riders know, motorcycles and scooters are not only fun, efficient ways to commute, they open up many recreational opportunities.”


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The swell in off-road powersports sales in the motorcycle and ATV segments correlates with the surge in public lands use seen over the past year. Surely, we have to wonder if the sales trend can continue and, furthermore, it begs the question, how do we ensure that the things we love to do, in the places we love to do them, stay accessible and sustainable?

With all the growth of off-road recreation comes responsibility on many levels. From a riding perspective, it begins with proper training and skill building. “We encourage all new riders to continue with training and education whenever possible,” Pritchard said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic RiderCourse and the MSF DirtBike School are great places to start if you are new to motorcycling.”

READ MORE: GEAR COLLECTIONS: ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE TIRES

From a land use perspective, all of us who love cruising the backcountry on knobby tires, now have to step up to the plate. It’s up to us to be the mentors, modeling good behavior and rocking our best LNT skills while on the trails. It’s on us to take good care of the places we appreciate by camping and riding responsibly.

When it comes to access, according to Backcountry Discovery Routes, “it’s a privilege to enjoy backcountry motorcycle travel, especially on roads that pass through small communities.  Access can be lost as a result of disapproving local residents. This is why it’s imperative that we all Ride Respectfully to minimize the risk of closure.”


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I love that there are more people out riding motorcycles and recreating on public land. From an industry perspective, motorcycle sales have been in a funk for the last few years and it’s nice to see things on the upswing. From an environmental perspective, it’s good because, to preserve public lands, we need people out there falling in love with the land and seeing the value in it first hand. Plus, being outside is just plain good for the soul, the body, and the stoke levels (and we could all use a little extra stoke in our lives).

READ MORE: ALWAYS BE PLANNING A TRIP: THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF TRAVELERS

So, as your pandemic-inspired bread is rising, keep buying those new bikes. While you’re at it remember to make good choices, gear up, and hit the trail respectfully. Plus, nobody wants to be stuck on Zoom meetings, drinking that awful Dalgona Coffee concoction you saw on TikTok, when you could be out riding motorcycles. So, let’s all do our part to take care of the land and protect access because I know I certainly want to keep riding in the wild places and I’m pretty sure you do too.


Photo Credit: Unsplash

Motorcycle Industry News by Eva Rupert. Follow Eva @augusteva.

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