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ADV NewsDirtbike & Dual Sport Motorcycle Sales Soar During First Half of 2020

Dirtbike & Dual Sport Motorcycle Sales Soar During First Half of 2020

Off-road motorcycle sales see double-digit growth during pandemic.

Published on 08.18.2020

Seems like this pandemic keeps bringing more surprises to the motorcycle industry. Earlier this year, some manufacturers reported an unusually-high uptick in sales during the first few months after the lockdown. Now, a new report from the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) shows that dirtbikes and dual sport bike sales have continued to soar in the US despite the COVID pandemic—and perhaps even because of it.

According to the MIC Retail Sales Reporting System, ‘off-road only’ motorcycle sales rocketed 50.3 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9 percent in the same time frame. 

“Riding dirt and trail bikes has always been one of the best ways to spend time with family and friends,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Now, with the pandemic, it has amplified what’s positive about getting out on motorcycles. You can get out of the house, have fun with your loved ones, and still maintain social distancing.” 


In the meantime, scooter sales have also increased during the first half of 2020, with a reported 4 percent rise compared to the same period last year. “There are many benefits to motorcycles and scooters,” Pritchard said.”During this pandemic, being on a motorcycle means being able to avoid crowds and lessening the chance of spreading and picking up germs. And many riders say it adds fun to a normally mundane commute. “

It is not all good news for other motorcycle segments though. As consumers spend their dollars on off-road models, on-highway motorcycles are seeing a sales dip of 9.6 percent compared to the same six month period last year, a trend that comes as no surprise to many in the industry.

However, in spite of a slump in street bike sales, the overall health of the motorcycle industry in the US is actually improving during the pandemic. Combining this dip with the sales surge of off-road only motorcycles, dual sport bikes and scooters, puts total motorcycle sales up 6.4 percent compared with 2019 in the first half of the year. Motorcycle manufacturers with a broad lineup are in a good position right now, while others with street-only models may be feeling the pain. 

Considering the growth of the dual sport/ADV market over the last decade, and now evidence that it can thrive in an economic downturn, you can bet manufacturers will be paying more attention to this segment. That should benefit consumers with improved models, more choice and more competitive pricing moving forward.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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