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Motorcycle sales continue decline in third quarter [Updated]

October 21, 2010 |  9:54 am

DirtbikeIrfanKhanMotorcycle sales continue to be hard hit, despite the declared end to the recession.

Third-quarter motorcycle sales declined an average of 16.6% versus the same quarter one year ago, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the Irvine-based trade group representing the industry.

Enduro, off-highway and sport-bike segments experienced the steepest declines, falling 38.2%, 29.8% and 26.1%, respectively.

Touring models and scooters fared best but still suffered declining sales, falling 3.6% and 8.8%.

[Updated at 10:50 a.m.: "The Motorcycle Industry Council has been around since 1914, and we tend to take a longer-trend look at things," said Ty van Hooydonk, communications director for the council. "The last decade, we had an unmatched, six-year run of million-plus sales. Sales were up every single year for 14 straight years through 2006."

Van Hooydonk pointed out that although motorcycle sales are down, tire sales are up 6.6% in 2010 versus 2009, indicating motorcyclists are still enthusiastic about the sport and riding.

"In many ways, we are better poised for a comeback than ever," Van Hooydonk added. "Americans have embraced motorcycles as part of the fabric of popular culture really like never before."]

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times