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Motorcycle and Scooter Sales Soar to 13th Straight Year of Growth

IRVINE, Calif.--Oct. 1, 20057, 2005--Motorcycle and scooter sales jumped even higher this summer sales season than during a strong 2004, further demonstrating America's growing passion for two-wheeling. Among 12 of the leading brands, according to Motorcycle Industry Council statistics, sales of on-highway models for the third quarter of the year are up 16 percent compared to the same period in 2004. From July through September, scooter sales among these brands climbed 65 percent.

Sales are on track to eclipse the one-million mark for the third straight year, again reaching levels last seen three decades ago. At a time when gasoline prices are topping $3 per gallon nationwide, motorcycle sales are ready to go up for the 13th consecutive year.

"Motorcycle sales have been on the rise for more than a decade, through economic times both high and low," said Tim Buche, president of the Motorcycle Industry Council. "While there's no study or survey that directly correlates increased fuel prices with the popularity of two-wheelers, we do know that dealerships, motorcyclists and scooterists are fielding more questions from other motorists about what kind of mileage they're getting. There are a lot of great reasons to ride and better fuel economy only adds to the positives."

The MIC recognizes 1973 as the high point for annual motorcycle sales, when Americans purchased more than 1.5 million bikes. Sales in 1979 topped the one-million mark, but tapered during the 1980s and early 1990s. Motorcycling rebounded in 1993 and the numbers have grown every year since then.

1992 - 278,000                  1999 - 546,000
1993 - 293,000                  2000 - 710,000
1994 - 306,000                  2001 - 850,000
1995 - 309,000                  2002 - 936,000
1996 - 330,000                  2003 - 1,001,000
1997 - 356,000                  2004 - 1,063,000
1998 - 432,000

U.S. New Unit Motorcycle Sales.  Source: Motorcycle Industry Council

"More and more Americans are discovering what motorcyclists have known for a long time," Buche said. "Bikes are really the ultimate convertibles. The experience of the trip itself becomes just as important, or more, than the destination. It's a great sense of freedom and adventure that starts from the end of your driveway."

Discover Today's Motorcycling(R) at is the communications service bureau of the Motorcycle Industry Council and a source of information about motorcycling to the media and the general public. The MIC, located in Irvine, Calif., 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.