U . S . MOTORCYCLE SALES CONTINUE UPWARD TREND New motorcycle sales in the U . S . continued to rise across all segments last year , the Motorcycle Industry Council ( MIC ) announced . While bike sales continue to improve , it ’ s also worth noting that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation saw enrollment in its basic rider courses grow significantly in 2021 as well , so it ’ s good news all-around with more riders on more bikes .“ In addition to strong sales , we are seeing strong demand for riding training and education ,” said MIC president and CEO Erik Pritchard . “ The Motorcycle Safety Foundation saw an estimated 48 % increase in enrollment in 2021 over 2020 .” Overall motorcycle sales rose 14.2 % over 2020 , and 21.8 % over 2019 figures , across all segments . That includes scooters , which by themselves rose 19.6 % over 2020 , and 31.4 % over 2019 numbers , while on-road bike sales rose 12.9 % over 2020 , but what ’ s especially encouraging is sales of dual-sport and off-road bikes . The strange year that was 2020 saw a 46.2 % increase in dual sport sales over 2019 numbers , and in 2021 dual-sport motorcycle sales rose an additional 18.6 % over those 2020 numbers . Pure off-road bikes also saw sales rise 42.9 % in 2021 over 2019 . These marketing figures were gleaned from sales data that the MIC compiles from 14 major OEMs and distributors across America , and it ’ s an encouraging outlook as we vroom into 2022 .
BUMPER YEAR FOR BIKING DESPITE REPEATED COVID THREATS Amidst the doom and gloom of both winter weather and the lingering effects of the global pandemic , it may come as a surprise that 2021 was one of the strongest years for motorcycling in well over a decade , with new bike sales worldwide on an upward swing and more people joining the two-wheeled fold . Anecdotal evidence from training schools here and across the pond reflected a huge surge of people wanting to get into motorcycling and now the latest data confirms it . Ducati reports that 2021 was their best sales year on record , up globally an impressive 24 % on 2020 , which was heavily impacted by Coronavirus , but also a massive 12 % up on 2019 . And it ’ s not just Ducati celebrating success either , with BMW announcing 2021 was their best-ever year of global sales - jumping 14.8 % from 2020 . Despite concerns an exit from the European Union might hinder growth in the UK , motorcycle sales there increased by 26.6 %, spurring a 9.3 % rise in registrations .
BRACE FOR DAMAGED SUPPLY CHAIN RECOVERY With 2021 being the rollercoaster that it was , supply chains around the world have been hit with a crisis of limited product availability : “ Starting in 2020 , companies reacted to the economic downturn by cancelling production plans for the next year , only to be blindsided by an upswing in demand prompted by rapid vaccine rollouts and fiscal support for rich-world household spending ,” explains a report from KitCo . “ At the same time , virus containment measures and infection clusters triggered labour shortages and factory shutdowns , just as consumer spending was shifting from services to goods .” Right around this point was when the Powersports market saw an especially huge surge in sales ; people had nowhere to go , so they bought bikes and other toys to have fun locally . Today , restrictions are consistently looser than ever , thanks to the milder Omicron variants -- and with the loosened limitations come a tentatively positive upswing for the market -- an upswing that , if we ’ re
lucky , will mean an end to supply shortages and the healing of damaged income streams , predicts webbikeworld . com .“ At some point during this year , we will see a more ‘ normal situation ’,” says Soren Skou , head of shipping giant Maersk , who predicts employees will soon return to work at ports , inflating demand for shipment services and thereby contributing to the mending of at least one sector of the supply chain . All told , executives of Powersports manufacturers are anticipating a hike in raw product prices for 2022 . In the meantime , the global semiconductor shortage has impacted multiple industries , including automotive and powersports . Over 80 % of the microchips in products consumed by Americans are manufactured in Asia , whose production has reduced following the pandemic . This has resulted in a severe shortage across the world . As a result , companies like Bosch have increased investment in microchip manufacturing ; however , it will be a while until new players like Intel Corp and Samsung can overcome the current deficit . House Democrats and President Biden are pushing for $ 52B of investment in semiconductor production and research to speed up the process further . For consumers , we ’ ve seen vehicle costs rise by over 10-15 % the past couple of years due to product shortages and supply chain issues , and this will likely continue until a more permanent solution is found .
STUDY SHOWS THAT ETHANOL IS WORSE FOR THE CLIMATE THAN GASOLINE Analysis of corn-based ethanol production from end-to-end yields some potentially bad news for this biofuel . While riders have long understood that ethanol can have ill effects on our bikes , a new study published in the “ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ” found that it may have other downsides , too . Ethanol was supposed to be environmentally advantageous as compared to gasoline , but in the study , researchers dove deeper into how the U . S . Renewable Fuel Standard ’ s outcomes were measuring up to the country ’ s goals . Instead of simply limiting its observations to any one part of the corn-based ethanol production and consumption processes , researchers gathered data on all parts of the ethanol production cycle . Upon taking important things like land use changes , fertilizer increases , and the like into account , researchers reported findings that corn-based ethanol is 24 % more carbon-intensive than gasoline production . If these numbers are even remotely accurate , it ’ s concerning .“ It basically reaffirms what many suspected , that corn ethanol is not a climate-friendly fuel and we need to accelerate the shift toward better renewable fuels , as well as make improvements in efficiency and electrification ,” lead study author and scientist Tyler Lark said in a statement . This study ’ s release comes shortly before the U . S . Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose updated 2023 requirements to the country ’ s biofuel policies .
RHODE ISLAND PROPOSES TAX CUT FOR MOTORCYCLE RIDERS Rhode Island has just had a 2022 budget proposal that could potentially provide a “ sales tax exemption for the trade-in value of motorcycles .” Governor Daniel McKee ‘ s proposed 2022 budget , H 7123 , includes motorcycle tax cuts used strictly for pleasure purposes ; ( 67 ) Trade-in value of motorcycles “ From the sale and from the storage , use , or other consumption in this state of so much of the purchase price paid for a new or used motorcycle as is allocated for a trade-in
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