Motorcycle Sales Down 15.8% in 2010

January 20, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has released its monthly sales report for December, with year-to-date motorcycle sales in 2010 registering a 15.8% drop from 2009. This marks another year of decline in the market, with 2009 totals registering a 40% drop in motorcycle sales.

Motorcycle Industry Council
With the release of its December sales report, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) shows a 15.8% drop in year-to-date motorcycle sales for 2010.

Total motorcycle sales were down 82,198 units, at 439,678. Year-end estimates from the MIC at this same time last year showed a 359,408 unit loss from 2009 to 2008.

Breaking it down by segment, Off-Highway motorcycles dropped the most, at 23.3%, losing 24,562 unit sales. The dual-sport class fared better, bleeding only 13.5% of its 2009 totals at 3679 units.

On-Highway motorcycles, which includes all street-legal models excepting dual-sports and scooters, dropped 14.3%. Losing 50,989 units, On-Highway totals were 306,702. Scooters dropped the least amount at 9.4%, with a total of 28,483 units sold. (Scooters exhibited the worst sales losses in the same report last year, dropping 59%).

The ATV market exhibited considerable decline, dipping 20.1% in 2010 and 64,431 units. The MIC does not include UTV sales in its ATV totals (A notable exception to the overall downturn, Polaris credited its impressive sales growth in the fall of 2010 to increased sales of its side-by-side UTV and the announcement of a five-year contract to provide UTV to the Army National Guard.)

The MIC collects its monthly sales data from participating manufacturers, including the Big Four, American OEMs Harley-Davidson and Victory, as well as the European marques BMW, Ducati, KTM and Triumph and Canadian marque Can-Am. Final sales totals rise when the MIC releases its Statistical Annual, which includes sales estimates from non-reporting manufacturers.

  2010           2009           Change      %Change
DUAL  23,531  27,210  -3,679  -13.5%
OFF-HWY  80,962  105,524  -24,562  -23.3% 
ON-HWY  306,702  357,691  -50,989  -14.3% 
SCOOTER  28,483  31,451  -2,968  -9.4% 
TOTAL  439,678  521,876  -82,198  -15.8% 
ATV  256,750  321,181  -64,431  -20.1%