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U.S. motorcycle sales speed up in Q1

A new report from the Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council shows a 7.2 percent uptick over the same time last year.

By OC METRO staffPublished: April 27, 2011 03:19 PM

U.S. motorcycle sales rose 7.2 percent in the first quarter over the same time last year, led mainly by the more economical scooter segment, according to a new report from the Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC).

The Retail Sales Report, which follows closed transactions among 18 brands sold throughout the nation, shows that the scooter market grew by nearly 50 percent in the period. Sales of dual-purpose bikes rose by about 25 percent.

“Nothing compares to a motorcycle for combining fun with saving money,” said Tim Buche, president and CEO of the nonprofit trade association. “There’s no more enjoyable way to get to work and get around, and rising fuel prices have given our customers yet another great reason to ride.”

Meanwhile, motorcycle and scooter tire sales experienced a 29.4 percent uptick in the quarter. The increase is a good indicator of growing attention to the industry among consumers, said Buche.

“Tire sales add to new-bike sales figures as a measure of motorcycle interest since there are still a lot of great used bikes putting on the miles, and older bikes that owners are reviving and enjoying once again,” Buche said. “We see Americans leaving their cars at home more, enjoying the convenience and exhilaration of motorcycling, and getting into a different way of being green.”

The MIC promotes and represents manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, and parts and accessories, as well as members of insurance, finance and investment companies, media firms and consultants.

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