In the wake of autumn’s big motorcycle shows, we’ve got a clearer insight into what lies ahead in the moto world going into 2016. Using this year’s show season as the measuring stick, we think it’s safe to say that excitement has returned full-force to the motorcycle industry.

Complete coverage of AIMExpo
Complete coverage of the Tokyo Motor Show
Complete coverage of EICMA

During the financial ebb of the Great Recession, we were to lucky to have just a few truly exciting new models bound for U.S. shores on a given year. The amount of new 2016 models from only two OEMs, Ducati and Triumph, are nearly equal to the total number of all-new bikes in 2012. Yessir, between last year and this, we’re flush with so many new models it’s gonna be tough giving each one a proper shakedown. Take a look at the video below to hear our thoughts on the year ahead in motorcycling.

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According to our IMS Show Report, On-Highway motorcycle sales in the U.S. are up 6.4% for 2015, and this year is the second consecutive year for positive motorcycle sales growth since the 2006 highwater mark of bike sales. Exciting new models are fueling sales while stronger sales numbers are prompting OEMs to unleash more exciting new models.

While jaded graybeards like us salivate over big power and high technology, it’s good to see the industry building models intended to recruit new riders to the moto world. Honda showed the way a few years ago with its 300cc/500cc series of CBs, while players that rarely cater to the newbie rider are now providing an abundance of variety to a wider swath of new and returning riders as well as experienced ones: the BMW G310R, Ducati Scrambler Sixty62, KTM RC and Duke 390s, and Harley-Davidson Street 500/750 are some great examples.

Our industry is changing too, evidenced by the expanding range of Adventure bikes that keep redefining what an ADV bike is and can be. The naked-bike category – shunned for years by North American riders – is also rounding out nicely, with models now available from every manufacturer. And we certainly can’t forget about technology, which is now tightly woven into the motorcycling experience, making our sport safer, more comfortable and faster than ever before.

  • Erik

    I’m only partially with you guys on the scrambler being just a trend. One major reason why it may not be a trend is the younger demo likes scramblers because it is very different than a Harley. Being in the younger demo myself, everything that is Harley is ulta-lame. Ridiculously and annoyingly loud bikes ridden by old dudes with criminal records. The bikes are stupidly heavy and have no focus on performance. The scrambler trend is a reactionary result to the loud behemoth cruiser bike market dying. Btw, I don’t have a scrambler so not being biased here.

    • Marc

      I don’t recall having a criminal record and of the 100 bikes I have owned over he past 50 years a few were Harley’s since they make pretty good long distance bikes if one wishes to travel cross country with a partner or wife. Not everyone cares about having bikes with 200 horsepower than they can never take advantage of. That being said, I did own a Kawasaki zx12 when it first came out along with a dozen other sport bikes.
      Variety is the spice of life, and it pays to keep an open mind with all the types of bikes available these days. Heck one of my bikes is a Ural with sidecar. Wife and dog love it:)

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Harley is not dying. It is selling over a quarter million new bikes every year. 5 of the top 10 best selling bikes in the world are Harleys. Baby boomers and younger people are the largest buyers of Harleys. Harleys are not loud, only if you make them loud, just like you can make sport bikes or any motorcycle loud. Harleys have all the latest electronics: EFI, ride by wire, ABS, the best sound systems, the best alarm systems. They are the most comfortable bikes out there. They hold their value better than any other bike. They last forever. Performance is in the eye of the beholder. Sport bikes with a hunched over riding position may have ‘high performance’ but you cannot ride them for more than 30 minutes. Harley riders like a big, powerful, comfortable and long lasting motorcycle. The Harley 500/750 Street models are not ‘stupidly heavy’ and have excellent performance. Even you, who ‘likes’ scramblers, is not buying one. What does that tell you?

      • Ulysses Araujo

        Nothing against Harleys, but I doubt they are near the best selling bikes in the whole world. They are probably CG 125 or Dream alike bikes. Half a million CGs 125/150 sold last year just in Brazil alone.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I should have clarified that “5 of the top 10 best selling large and midsize bikes in the world are Harleys”. The other 5 are BMW R1200GS, Yamaha FZ-07, FZ-09 and FJ-09, and the Ducati Scrambler. Nothing smaller than 700 cc. There are billions of small bikes in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

        • Dane Ræf

          I did not see a single Suzuki, Triumph, Ducati or Harley on the
          list of top 10 published a few months ago. Their sales figures come from 2014.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            See motorcycle com Duke’s Den EICMA review of Nov 23, 2015: “Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali was happy to report that the Scrambler, with 14,644 worldwide sales, cracked the top 10 of best-selling motorcycles. It slots in behind Yamaha’s FJ-09/MT-09 Tracer in ninth. Aside from BMW’s R1200GS (third), Yamaha’s FZ-07/MT-07 (fourth), and FZ-09/MT-09 (seventh), the other five bikes in the top 10 are all Harley-Davidsons!”

      • Johnny Blue

        “Sport bikes with a hunched over riding position may have ‘high performance’ but you cannot ride them for more than 30 minutes.”

        Speak for yourself. Don’t generalize. I’ve no problem riding sport bikes on long trips. Toronto to Halifax in two days. Toronto to New York in less than one day, Amsterdam Netherlands to Romania in 2 days, with the longest day from 8:30 AM to midnight, bike loaded full with luggage… Toronto to Montreal in about 6 hours in heavy rain…
        Sport bikes are as good as any and better than most if you keep them on decent pavement.

        I love the handling, the riding position, easy on the back…
        I don’t love that much the fuel mileage…

        Go tell this guy it cannot be done:

        • Kenneth

          There’s always a contrarian… It’s not that it can’t be done; it’s that most rational people would prefer to avoid what feels like punishment.

          • Johnny Blue

            There’s always someone trying to mould the world after his own views, considering his judgement as what “most rational would prefer”…

            A joke for you:

            On the news they announced: “We have reports that on hwy X there’s one madman driving on the oncoming lanes.”
            The madman, who was listening on the radio yelled: “One?!?! There are thousands!”

        • Jim Greer

          You must not be over 50, Sportbikes were fun for me just like drinking and staying out all night and then going to work use to be, I say, use to be fun, To each his own no problemo’

          • Johnny Blue

            Yeah, you’re right… but I’m only two years shy of being 50… I just happen to like sportbikes and enduro bikes the most.

    • Old MOron

      And I thought kids these days were morons.
      Turns out maybe they’re MOrons.
      I sure hope you’re not an anomaly.

      • Kenneth

        “…ridden by old dudes with criminal records.” — Nope, Old MOron, just a garden-variety, youthful moron (as most of us were), attracted to something _not_ because of its inherent goodness, but as a rebellion against something else.

        • Old MOron

          I’m with you, Kenneth. What I can’t abide is that HD has co-opted that youthful rebellion for its marketing purposes.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            And doing very well with it too. The rebellious “biker” mystique. The Japanese have tried but can’t duplicate the cache of having “Harley Davidson” emblazoned on the gas tank to proclaim your rebellion.

        • Ian Parkes

          Rebellion? Not for about 30 years. Buying an HD is about as rebellious as buying an iPhone. You are buying into comforting hype. Ridden by old dudes who would like you to think they have a criminal record but it’s actually an investment portfolio.

  • TalonMech

    I just wish the scrambler trend had bikes that would live up to the name “scrambler”. All I see are retro nakeds with knobbies. Nothing wrong with that, but calling them scrambler is just marketing hyperbole.
    Oh yeah, I hate HD too.

    • Kenneth

      “All I see are retro nakeds with knobbies.” “…is just marketing hyperbole.”
      It’s not really just marketing hyperbole; that’s all “scramblers” every were, while somewhat-more dirt-capable bikes were called “trail bikes” back in the day.

  • c w

    Guys, seriously:

    no auto-play videos.

    • Old MOron

      Yes, excellent point! A lot of MOrons are trying to discreetly check in from work. Our bandwidth consumption is much more conspicuous if we’re downloading freaking videos.

    • Kevin Duke

      Plug in headphones or hit the mute button and let us keep delivering top-quality content that doesn’t cost you a penny!

      • c w

        a) of course “it costs” a penny. that’s the way commerce works.

        b) having advertising is not the issue – simply to have auto play videos.

        c) neither of which really matters, because the videos in question aren’t ads….it the REVIEW videos that do this.

        OF COURSE people will watch the vids and watch ads embedded before them.

        Just don’t set them to auto-play when the page loads.