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U.S. Motorcycle Sales Increase for 10th Consecutive Year; More Than 75,000 Women Enroll in Rider Training

    IRVINE, Calif.--March 21, 2003--With 2002 sales up a remarkable 9.4 percent, the U.S. motorcycle market is celebrating 10 consecutive years of rising sales. In 2001, new unit motorcycle sales topped 850,000 in the fourth straight year of double-digit increases. Continued strong demand for two-wheelers beat that mark in 2002, with total motorcycle sales of more than 937,000.
    "The expanding popularity of motorcycling and a growing desire for new and ever-better products offered by the manufacturers has kept the industry healthy for an entire decade," said Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). "Even during uncertain economic times, Americans still want new motorcycles."
    Another mark the industry has surpassed is that of new unit retail sales dollars, amounting to more than $7.5 billion for all segments of two-wheelers in 2002, up 13 percent over 2001. In total retail revenues, including new unit sales, parts and accessories, services, plus state taxes and licensing, motorcycling is a $19-plus billion industry.
    Collectively, the MIC member companies who distribute motorcycles in the U.S. account for nearly 75 percent of the market (according to the 2002 MIC Retail Sales Report, which includes all the major manufacturer/distributors). Among them, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha combined continue to lead with nearly 65 percent of total motorcycle sales last year.
    New unit sales of on-highway motorcycles accounted for 62 percent of the market in 2002, with off-highway machines topping 31 percent. Current manufacturer-suggested-retail prices (MSRPs) of on-highway motorcycles range from only $2,999 for entry-level models to more than $20,000 for high-end sport and touring bikes. The average MSRP of today's "street" or on-highway motorcycles (not including on/off-highway dual models) is about $11,500.
    Among the on-highway models, cruisers continued to lead the market in 2002, posting more than 56 percent of sales. Sport bike sales came in second with more than 21 percent of on-highway sales, while touring models accounted for just over 18 percent. Traditional on-highway models (street machines now often marketed as "naked" bikes) represented 3.9 percent of on-highway sales.
    "Much of the sales success stems from an ongoing stream of great new products, both from the motorcycle manufacturers and the aftermarket companies, who distribute gear and accessories," said Ty van Hooydonk, director of product communications for Discover Today's Motorcycling. "Whatever your preference or sense of style, there truly is a bike for everyone today, for women, men, experienced and entry-level riders. And there are lots of smaller off-highway youth models for the next generation of motorcyclists. For the start of this spring riding season, you'll see even more innovative, fashion-forward motorcycles of the kind that riders dream about and pique customer interest."
    As motorcycle sales have risen, so has the number of people taking Motorcycle Safety Foundation training courses. There were nearly 230,000 students in 2001. MSF estimates that one-third (or about 75,000) were female, demonstrating a strong interest in riding by women. And since 1974, more than 2.5 million men and women have taken one of the MSF classes designed to enhance rider skills and knowledge.
    Discover Today's Motorcycling, the communications service bureau of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), is a source of information about motorcycling to the media and the general public. The Motorcycle Industry Council is a not-for-profit, national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, scooters, motorcycle parts and accessories, and members of allied trades, located in Irvine, Calif.