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2011 motorcycle sales increase after two years of declines

Hondacbr250r

Motorcycle manufacturers have finally ended their two-year sales slump. Purchases of on-highway motorcycles increased 7% in the first quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter a year earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trade group in Irvine that represents power sports manufacturers.

Sales of scooters and dual-sport models were particularly strong, increasing 50% and 24% respectively, in the first quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter in 2010. The increase in fuel-efficient scooters and commuter-oriented dual-sport mirrors a trend from 2008 that saw such models increase in popularity along with increased gasoline prices.

Sales of off-highway motorcycles, however, continued their downward spiral, decreasing 5% for the quarter versus a year earlier.

Motorcycle sales began their precipitous drop-off in 2009, falling to 655,000 units that year after six  years of 1-million-plus sales. In 2010, annual sales dropped to 440,000 units.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: 2011 Honda CBR250R. Credit: American Honda Motor Co.

 

 
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