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Common Tread

Motorcycle sales on the rise

Jan 20, 2015

After what has seemed like an eternity of low sales numbers and motorcycle companies struggling to survive, motorcycle sales are finally showing signs of life. 

Whether you're an old rider, new rider, are thinking about making a motorcycle purchase, or never plan to buy another bike, this is good news.

BMW Motorrad sold 123,495 units in total for 2014, a 7.2 percent bump in sales. This represents the company's fourth year in a row of record sales and the first year selling more than 120,000 motorcycles globally.

BMW S 1000 RR
Sales of the S line propelled BMW to record global motorcycle sales in 2014. BMW photo.
BMW Motorrad USA reports that 2014 sales were up 5.4 percent over 2013, with 14,945 units sold. Sales of the S line (S 1000 RR and S 1000 R) are up 80 percent, while the R line is up 17 percent.

Ducati reports that worldwide sales are up 2 percent, with 45,100 bikes sold globally and 8,804 sold in the United States. Ducati attributes much of this growth to the new line of water-cooled Monsters. Monster sales rose 31 percent.

The United States remains Ducati's biggest market, but the company also saw growth in the Asian market (11 percent), Mexico (8 percent) and Brazil (74 percent). Sales in Europe for 2014 were actually down 3 percent.

Triumph had its best year since 1984, with 54,432 units sold worldwide, a 4 percent increase over 2013. Triumph saw 8 percent better sales in the United Kingdom, on top of the 10 percent increase recorded last year. Triumph says 20 percent of its bikes are sold in the U.K.

We haven't seen numbers from the Japanese brands yet, but these numbers from the European manufacturers have everyone breathing a little easier. Sales success means companies can back down to DEFCON 4 or 5, and start thinking about ways to be awesome again, instead of worrying about survival.

For the rest of you, this may just mean more and better options on the used bike market. Regardless, it's a welcome change.