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.
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.
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.