March 29, 2004
Filed under Features
Designed on the track, sold for the street.
Sales of on-highway motorcycles accounted for nearly 562,000 units in 2003, or approximately 60% of the new bikes sold in the U.S. last year. Of that, an estimated 21%, or a bit more than 123,000 of the units, were classified as sport bikes.
For many sport bike enthusiasts, the desire to ride likely grows stronger around the time that Bike Week takes place in Florida. Manufacturers begin advertising their new models, consumer magazines publish shootouts comparing the new hardware, and race teams are at the start of another season during which brand superiority, and some following year budgets, will be contested.
The sport bike crowd, a group in which many may be willing to liquidate a year-old bike because of a few “dated” parts or a slight deviation in performance, seems to like competition. And why not? The fruits of what OEMs learn in competition are often plugged directly into what sport bike pilots get in their road-legal machines.
In this issue of Powersports Business we asked manufacturers, distributors and dealers about the trends they are seeing in the sport bike market.
Sport bikes appear to be at the pinnacle of factory research and design efforts, and according to what we found, it seems enthusiasts within the category are among the most willing to spend their hard-earned wages on an assortment of hard parts, accessories and apparel meant to further enhance the bike and the riding experience. psb