Record Motorcycle Sales Means More Fun for Everyone on Two Wheels

Photo By: John Allen for Overland Expo

People are buying motorcycles, lots of motorcycles. According to reports from the Motorcycle Industry Council, BMW, and Harley Davidson, motorcycle sales are up, and folks are taking to two wheels in droves these days.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) Retail Sales Reporting System gathers new-motorcycle and scooter retail sales data from 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S. to provide an accurate indicator of sales trends. For 2021, on-road motorcycles sales are up 14.2% (that number includes scooters, on-highway, and dual-sport bikes), and off-road motorcycles are boasting a two-year increase of 42.9%. Pair those numbers with strong sales reported by BMW and Harley Davidson, and you’ve got more motorcycles out on the road than ever before. Hooray for that!

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

BMW Motorrad finished the year with a record sales result despite major supply chain challenges. They reported a 14.8% unit sales increase over the previous year, making 2021 the best year since BMW Motorrad was founded (that would be 1923 for all you history buffs out there). “The fact that we still managed to finish 2021 with this fantastic result for BMW Motorrad not only makes me happy, but also incredibly proud. It’s precisely in times of crisis where you can see how well a team sticks together,” said Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad.

Harley Davidson came in with a 40% revenue increase for the final quarter of 2021 and boasted revenue rising to $1.02 billion, up from $725 million a year earlier. Harley’s strategy has been to double down on some of its most expensive motorcycles that have higher profit margins. The company slashed its bike-model lineup by around 40% and pulled out of poorly performing international markets in order to focus on places such as North America and Europe.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“This is the second consecutive year of significant growth across powersports,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Many new motorcyclists are joining the riding community, both on and off-road. We continue to work to inspire, welcome, and integrate them, so they enjoy riding for decades to come.”

READ MORE: Editors’ Choice: Adventure Motorcycle Helmets and Accessories

Here at Overland Expo, we’re particularly fond of getting proper training before you head off into the dirt on your new bike. With dual-sport motorcycle sales up 18.6%, over what was considered a monster sales year in 2020, it looks like we’ll be seeing you out there. “In addition to strong sales, we are seeing strong demand for rider training and education,” Pritchard said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) saw an estimated 48% increase in enrollment in 2021 over 2020.” So, if you’re new to motorcycling, the MSF Basic RiderCourse is a great place to start and, if you’re looking to tune your off-road riding skills, we hope to see you in a training class at Overland Expo!

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