April 25, 2019
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MIC Survey Says More Households Have Motorcycles

IRVINE, CA – A record number of households in the U.S. now have a motorcycle parked in the garage, according to a new Motorcycle Industry Council survey. The trade association said Wednesday that eight percent of households had at least one bike in 2018, “the most ever recorded in decades of polling.”

The exact number was 8.02 percent, an increase of more than 1.5 million homes since the last survey in 2014 when 6.94 percent of households had a motorcycle, the MIC said.

“The household penetration numbers have always been among the most important figures to us,” said MIC President and CEO Tim Buche. “We’re certainly happy to see more homes that have a motorcycle. Riders who talk about motorcycling to friends and neighbors help to inspire people who don’t yet ride.”

The MIC survey reported that the number of motorcycles owned in the U.S.rose to 13,158,100 in 2018, a bump of more than 2.5 million over 2014. It is also higher than the previous record of 11,704,500 in 2009. The number of motorcycles in use climbed to 12,231,000 last year, an increase of more than two million since 2014.

“Modern motorcycles are high-quality machines, enabling the pre-owned market to be a key part of the overall growth in the motorcycle and rider population,” said Jim Woodruff, secretary/treasurer of the MIC Board of Directors and COO of National Powersport Auctions.

“The annual pre-owned market is actually three times larger than the new market. Used bikes appeal to many riders because there are so many options in terms of price and style.”

The MIC survey also showed that riders owning more than one motorcycle was common, with the average household having 1.3 motorcycles, up slightly from 1.23 in 2014 but down from 1.53 in 2009. However, the percentage of motorcycles in running order dropped to 93 percent in 2018, compared to 96.1 percent in 2014.

“As used units become a larger part of the overall motorcycle population, it’s not surprising to see a slight decrease in the percentage of operating units,” Woodruff said.

“Our research shows that the average age of a pre-owned motorcycle sold in the U.S. is approximately eight years old. Plus, vintage bikes are on trend now and many riders are keeping non-runners as part of their collection.”

About Bud Wilkinson

An award-winning print and broadcast journalist, Bud Wilkinson writes the RIDE-CT motorcycle column and My Ride vintage car feature for the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. He studied journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. degree. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville.

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