Motorcycle sales down 40.8% in 2009

Decline slowed over final two quarters

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 21, 2010
U.S. motorcycle sales were down in 2009, but there are encouraging signs of improvement.

According to numbers released by the Motorcycle Industry Council, motorcycle sales totaled 520,502 units, down 40.8% from the 879,910 units sold in 2008. The MIC also reports ATV sales were down 29.3%, for a total decrease of 36.9% for motorcycles and ATVs combined.

While those numbers are sobering, quarterly figures show an upward trend over the second half of 2009.

Retail sales dropped 32% in the first quarter of 2009, while a poor second quarter resulted in a dramatic drop of 42% in sales. The third quarter showed some improvement with a 40% decline in sales, and the sales decline slowed even further in the final quarter, resulting in the year-end decrease of 36.9%.

Divided by motorcycle segments, annual streetbike sales totaled 357,691 units, a drop of 41.5% from 2008. Scooters showed the largest decrease, down 60% in 2009, though that may be a result of a record sales boost in 2008 due to rising gas prices. Off-road sales fared better with just a 28.4% decline. Dual-sport sales dropped 42%.

The MIC’s figures include data reported by 19 manufacturers: Aprilia, Arctic Cat, BMW, Buell, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husaberg, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Polaris, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa, Victory and Yamaha. ATV figures do not include side-by-sides.

2009 Year-End Sales Figures from the Motorcycle Industry Council
Type 2009 2008 Change % Change
ATV 321,181 454,098 -132,917 -29.3%
Dual 26,257 45,250 -18,993 -42.0%
Off-Hwy 105,103 146,779 -41,676 -28.4%
On-Hwy 357,691 611,133 -253,442 41.5%
Scooter 31,451 76,748 -45,297 -59.0%
520,502 879,910 -359,408 -40.8%
841,683 1,334,008 -492,325 -36.9%