US Motorcycle Sales 1999-2016 (and beyond)

JustAnotherSquid

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Found this graphic online:

ccReUqY.jpg


In addition, I found these numbers:

2018: ~459,000
2019: ~444,000

It is being reported that, so far, sales in 2020 are ahead of 2019 by a large margin.

I have some thoughts and ideas (hey there's a first time for everything!) and will type them out some time. But I'm interested to hear what other people think of this.
 

juncc

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If I had to guess (pure guess), I would say two things.
1.) Entry level bikes are plentiful and really really good looking. There's not a visual chasm between, for example, a CBR 250 and a CBR 600. Every category except maybe sport touring now has an entry level model.
2.) Motorcycle design is wilder now than I can remember it being. The 2020 Katana is...interesting! Yamaha has the Niken and MT Series. Triumph Bonneville Bobber. Ducati's Scrambler Series. All the manufacturers seem to be taking risks. I would love to see sales figures by model.
 

JustAnotherSquid

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If you look at that graph it's easy to think that sales are cyclic and we are on the edge of the next boom. And the market is well-prepared for new riders; for example, ~$5000 gets you a Ninja 400 with ABS that, unlike the Ninja 250 it sprouted from, is a real motorcycle. (No offense Jay!) And there are plenty other good options out there that are far, far better (and safer) than any "beginner" bikes we had in the past.

Tangentially, it does seem that when there are a lot of bikes on the road, people view them as annoying, but when there are only a few, people see the sport as intriguing. And those differences in perception can drive people to or away from the sport, which feeds the cyclic nature of the market.

I thought of all that while organizing my socks.
 

bmart

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Wishful thinking, I think. Economical scooters seem more likely with the seemingly effeminate males of today, or so I'm told by my female friends. An inline 4 or v-twin in a 250-500cc desplacement seems like fun, but what they're making today is all about low cost. Tiny singles and parallel twins. None for me, thanks.

I loved all of my VTR250 models. They were real bikes. My 400 rocks, and would be nearly 100 lbs lighter is made today. The new Aprilia looks inteeresting, if one can stomach owning an Aprilia. lol

I'd rock one of these (below), but I've never found one in the states. And the new baby Kawi (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R) looks great, but price will be much too high for me/U.S. market.

szr660.JPG
 

JustAnotherSquid

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I have a different view on that. Four-cylinders are great for the track but I'll take a twin or triple for the street every time. The lower-frequency vibes are less fatiguing and the powerbands are more accessible. This makes them nicer to ride on long trips and more fun in the dynamic conditions of street riding, respectively. And those traits benefit new riders even more than experienced ones. Plus, they usually have more of that elusive "character" thing. (Probably like you, I've ridden close to a hundred (if not more) bikes over the years and have a large pool of experience from which to form my opinions. But they are just my opinions. :))

As for singles, I've never been a fan of them for the street. They are great for zipping around town but never seem to be happy at high speeds. KK's F650CS included.
 
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JustAnotherSquid

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I actually rode one of those! The dealer was out on 74 iirc by the old BMW-Ducati store. Also rode a few Moto-Guzzis while I was there, and fell in love the the V11S. Almost bought one on the spot. In retrospect it would have been one of the dumber things I ever did ... and I've done some doozies. :D
 

bmart

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I owned that, with the exhaust, and a 748 w/Borlas on it. My friends called either of them the wall of sound when they were following me. Neither were comfortable, but I loved riding them. I've never met a triple I liked, or a parallel twin, for that matter. single, V2, or I4 it seems.
rightfront.jpg

AUT_1926.JPG

94fzr.JPG

IMG_9274sm.jpg

87GS700ES.JPG
 

JustAnotherSquid

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Have you ridden a parallel twin with a 270 degree crank? If not, you might be pleasantly surprised.
 

bmart

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I'm sure that I can't remember tham all, but Laverda Ghost, Yamaha TDM850, FZ-07. They were all...fine. I can't stand bikes that look like Transformers, so nearly all of the new crop don't float my boat. I've never looked at or ridden an Aprilia that I liked. Yamaha and honda seem to be the best matches. I wish that Yamaha would make a v-twin 700-900cc sport bike. I did enjoy the Tracer 900 I rode at Patriot. It was a hoot and I could see it as a decent replacement for the VFR...but it would mean suspension, rewiring everything, blah blah blah. All with no need to replace what I have.

Most folks seem to like to change bikes with regularity. I much prefer to have a long term relationship with mine. lol
 

JustAnotherSquid

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I wish that Yamaha would make a v-twin 700-900cc sport bike.

Yes please. And I wouldn't kick it out of bed if it was a 1000 either. We should write a strongly worded letter to Yamaha. ;)

The bike I most regret selling - without question - is the TL1000S. That thing was an absolute blast to ride half of the time. The other half of the time it was actively trying to kill you. But that was part of it's charm.

I much prefer to have a long term relationship with mine. lol

I feel you. I've had the Beemer for 19 years now and at this point, I will probably never sell it.
 

JustAnotherSquid

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I wish that Yamaha would make a v-twin 700-900cc sport bike.


😲

Not a V-Twin but close enough for me! (It has a 270 degree crank.) I've heard that the weak spot of the MT-07 race bikes is the flexi-frame so if they make an R7, hopefully they'll equip it with a frame worthy of the "R" moniker. And then it will be worthy of my $$$!
 
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JustAnotherSquid

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Some numbers are starting to roll in from 2020 and here are some highlights:

  1. Motorcycle sales up 20% overall, but driven primarily by dirt bikes and quads
  2. Cruiser and touring bike sales cratered
  3. Sport bike sales were flat
  4. Motorcycle tire sales were up
  5. BMW failed to deliver the F900GT that at least one industry expert demanded

The fourth point is interesting. Lots of people were out riding bikes they already own? I know I did my part. Seven sets of tires plus one extra rear (the nail I picked up on the way home from the dealer).

The second point we already knew, thanks to H-D. Cruiser riders are aging out and no one is taking their place. Cruisers in general are functionally deficient and that's a hard sell to a new generation of riders.
 
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JustAnotherSquid

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Just noticed something: the MT-09 SP comes with Ohlins suspension, full electronics, and a stiff frame for $10,999. How much would it cost for Yamaha to throw a full fairing, rearsets, and rational clipons on that thing? A grand? It would still be less than the R6! And you'd have a bike with better suspension and that great (not that I've ridden it yet) triple engine. If they don't go crazy with the ergos it could be a comfortable and affordable alternative to the R1:

R3($5K) -> R7($9k) -> R9($12K) -> R1($17.5K)

It makes total sense, so it will never happen.
 
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bmart

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If I ever buy anything else, which I am unlikely to do, it would be this in a few years.

They will be cheap and available. Not too much tech. Likely already set up with the right farkles.
 

JustAnotherSquid

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I really, really like that bike too. (y) But the riding position is too upright for my tastes. The Ninja 1000SX is about perfect in terms of features and ergos, but man, I hate inline fours for the street.

The F900XR is pretty close to being perfect, but I have the same complaint as with the Tracer.

@admin, can we ban the word "farkles"? :D
 

admin

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I really, really like that bike too. (y) But the riding position is too upright for my tastes. The Ninja 1000SX is about perfect in terms of features and ergos, but man, I hate inline fours for the street.

The F900XR is pretty close to being perfect, but I have the same complaint as with the Tracer.

@admin, can we ban the word "farkles"? :D

Not if it annoys you.

Everyone, say 'farkles' a lot. Please and thank you.
 
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