Off-Highway and Dual-Purpose Motorcycle Sales Soar

Off-Highway and Dual-Purpose Motorcycle Sales Soar

Great news from the MIC. Now, can the industry keep those new and returning riders around. That will be the true test of this new enthusiasm.

Press Release from the MIC

Off-highway motorcycle sales rocketed 50.3 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9 percent in the same time frame, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System.

“Riding dirt and trail bikes has always been one of the best ways to spend time with family and friends,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Now, with the pandemic, it has amplified what’s positive about getting out on motorcycles. You can get out of the house, have fun with your loved ones, and still maintain social distancing.”

Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles, and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads. Dual-purpose motorcycles are street legal and are also designed to be used on off-road trails.

On-highway motorcycles saw sales dip 9.6 percent, while scooter sales rose 4 percent. Combined with off-highway and dual, this puts total motorcycle sales in the first half of the year up 6.4 percent compared with 2019.

The MIC recently launched a Commuter Distancing campaign to encourage people to consider motorized two- and three-wheelers as transportation alternatives.

“There are many benefits to motorcycles and scooters,” Pritchard said. “In normal times, studies have shown that they help alleviate congestion. During this pandemic, being on a motorcycle means being able to avoid crowds and lessening the chance of spreading and picking up germs. And many riders say it adds fun to a normally mundane commute. Our Commuter Distancing social media posts are a reminder of these benefits.”

The Commuter Distancing posts point people to FindYourRide.org, where they can quickly find information on how to get rider training and where to find a bike.

“It’s just a first step, and many in the powersports industry are waiting to help riders-to-be explore their options,” Pritchard said. “Sales from the first half of the year indicate growing interest in powersports products and we’re excited to help them on their journey.”

The MIC Retail Sales Reporting System gathers new motorcycle sales data from the 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S., providing a strong indicator of sales trends.

AAPEX 2020 To Be Virtual Experience

AAPEX 2020 To Be Virtual Experience

Just after the news broke that SEMA would not go on as planned in 2020, the AAPEX show that also runs in Las Vegas at the same time as SEMA, announced that it would be a virtual show in 2020.

Many companies and attendees take part in both shows during their time in Las Vegas so with one canceled it wasn’t difficult to see that the other would suffer a change as well.

Here is the complete release from AAPEX.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Aug. 5, 2020 – AAPEX 2020, scheduled for Nov. 3-5, 2020 at the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas, will not be held as an in-person tradeshow event this year due to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental prohibitions and restrictions on gatherings, businesses, and travel. Instead, AAPEX will provide a virtual/digital experience with many of the show’s same elements presented digitally. Given the State of Nevada’s recently announced long-term mitigation strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has indefinitely prohibited events with more than 50 participants, and the severe limitations on international and domestic travel imposed in connection with the pandemic, unfortunately, the traditional in-person event cannot proceed.

AAPEX will refocus its efforts on the virtual 2020 event to bring together the more than $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket community and enable exhibitors to introduce new products to their customers and additional domestic and international target buyers. The virtual event will be held the week of Nov. 3, the same week as the originally planned event, and additional details will be available Aug. 19.

“AAPEX attendees and exhibitors are essential to keeping the motoring public on the road, even during times of crisis. We work in a dynamic industry and change has always been embraced by our predecessors and the 4.7 million men and women who now currently work to keep our industry at the forefront of the economy. AAPEX didn’t become the extraordinary event it is today by thinking small and not evolving to changing times and circumstances,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “While we had hoped to meet in person, we are excited to use technology to bring together the supply chain of essential services to conduct business.”

“This was a difficult decision but circumstances on the ground made it impossible to have the show that we planned for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Paul McCarthy, president of AASA. “AAPEX and your industry associations have, and will continue, to support industry growth, pursue industry advocacy, ensure members’ safety, and do what is right for our industry.”

AAPEX 2021 will return to the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Nov. 2 through Thursday, Nov. 4. All inquiries should be directed to W.T. Glasgow Inc., (708) 226-1300, billjr@aapexshow.com.

For additional information, visit the AAPEX 2020 FAQ page.

Historically, AAPEX features approximately 2,500 exhibiting companies displaying their latest products, services and technologies that keep the world’s 1.3 billion vehicles on the road.

AAPEX buyers include automotive service and repair professionals, auto parts retailers, independent warehouse distributors, program groups, service chains, automotive dealers, fleet buyers and engine builders.

AAPEX is a trade-only event and is closed to the general public.

AAPEX is co-owned by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). For more information, visit www.aapexshow.com or e-mail: info@aapexshow.com. On social media, follow AAPEX at #AAPEX20.

The Business of Racing – No SEMA Show for 2020

The Business of Racing – No SEMA Show for 2020

Earlier this week, the organizers of SEMA put out a short statement regarding their 2020 show. It can been below in its entirety.

Statement from SEMA about the 2020 SEMA Show

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (August 5, 2020) — SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced today that due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be taking place in 2020.

While both event organizers and industry members have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show in November, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. SEMA expects the decision will bring much needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.

Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual tradecshow with related live elements. SEMA will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.

“The SEMA Show is committed to furthering businesses in the automotive specialty equipment market, and to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees will be issued.

Updates will be posted to SEMAShow.com.

This certainly didn’t come as a surprise and frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t come sooner. If it had gone on as planned I’m not sure how the spectacle that is SEMA would have taken place. There are just too many people from all around the world and although it is indoors and the convention space is huge, in this environment I couldn’t see it happening. I have some experience organizing a show booth for SEMA and by this late in the year, we would have been wrapping up some final details and dotting our I’s and crossing our t’s. Now those show organizers can rest up a bit and save some budget for 2021.

Dealer Registration Opens for AIMExpo 2021

Dealer Registration Opens for AIMExpo 2021

I know it’s still a couple of months away but the dealer registration has opened for the AIMExpo 2021. By now, you probably know how valuable I think these shows are for the industry so I won’t go any further into that. But if you’re a dealer. Register now and make plans to be in Columbus next year.That is assuming they don’t change the name of the city.

Either way, if you are in the powersports industry, you should be there.

Here is the press release from the show organizers. See you next year.

IRVINE, Calif., July 14, 2020 — AIMExpo opens registration for its eighth annual show, scheduled for January 21-23 in Columbus, Ohio. Dealers, media, and industry insiders can register for the trade-only show here: REGISTER. More information is available at AIMExpoUSA.com.

“AIMExpo 2021 will be a great way for the entire industry to kick off what will likely be the most pivotal year for powersports and prepare for the upcoming buying season,” said Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager of MIC Events. “The pandemic has nearly revolutionized how business is conducted in our industry, and there are still many questions as we look to the future. But we’ve seen unexpected positive growth, and we’re looking forward to powersports’ first tradeshow in over a year. While it’s a new world, we still recognize the need to collaborate, network, and have the meaningful face-to-face discussions that are not possible in a digital environment.”

Earlier this year, AIMExpo announced an evolution of the show, including a move to the first quarter of the year to coincide with the dealers’ buying season, a new focus as a trade-only event, and a partnership with Tucker Powersports to host its annual dealer show at AIMExpo. These strategic changes will allow the industry to conduct business more efficiently and to focus on growing the powersports industry, education, professional development, and networking.

“Partnering with AIMExpo allows us to bring the best possible experience to our dealers, and the tremendous interest in the 2021 show indicates they are as excited as we are for the show,” said Marc McAllister, president and CEO of Tucker Powersports.

“The industry’s response to these changes and this partnership has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Andre Albert, director of sales and marketing, MIC Events. “There has been a strong influx of both dealer and aftermarket brands expressing interest in participating in the show. We’ve seen the highest number of exhibitor RFP’s this past month than ever before.”

In addition to the above changes, the on-sight experience will be slightly different this year as well. “Safety, health, and security will be top of mind as we continue to plan AIMExpo,” Kernes said. “We will follow the recommendations and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, as well as those issued by state and local officials. And we will adapt and change our plans as recommendations become available.”

Additionally, Experience Columbus is coordinating an effort with its convention facilities, the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR™ accreditation program — the cleaning industry’s gold standard of prepared facilities and the only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities.

“Our city has already taken great strides toward making residents and visitors feel safe in this new era,” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “This GBAC accreditation will further prepare us and our partners to welcome more people back into our city.” Updates will be posted on AIMExpoUSA.com.

Dealers and industry professionals can register to attend for free HERE. To participate as an exhibitor, email us at info@aimexpousa.com.

About The American International Motorcycle Expo

AIMExpo, part of the Motorcycle Industry Council, is North America’s largest Motorcycle and Powersports Tradeshow and Lifestyle event with international reach. As a progressive and comprehensive B2B platform, it connects businesses to accelerate opportunity among exhibiting brands, distributors, dealers and media. This annual gathering attracts the influential leaders of the industry that are driven and focused on progressing the business of powersports. For more information visit AIMExpoUSA.com

Congratulations Larry – Enjoy your retirement.

Congratulations Larry – Enjoy your retirement.

More news from the MIC this week. Read the entire press release below.

Powersports Veteran Larry Little Retires After Decades of Key Industry Posts

Irvine, Calif., June 30, 2020 – Larry Little is retiring after more than 40 years and a variety of important work in the powersports industry – from publishing, to consulting, to co-founding the American International Motorcycle Expo, to volunteer work for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, plus a long record of service with the MIC, including a decade as chair of its board of directors. Today is Little’s last official day at the MIC, although the association anticipates maintaining the relationship for years to come.
 

Larry Little


“Looking back, I’m warmed by all the great people I’ve come to know in this amazing business of motorcycling and powersports, from dealers to aftermarket manufacturers to OEMs, and to have a true sense that an industry is made up and driven by a family of people and personalities, not just brands and companies,” Little said. “Looking ahead, my own family is enjoying getting settled in North Carolina and discovering the great motorcycle roads in the Southeast.”

Married to Stephanie Britt Little since 1979, the couple has a daughter and a son, Ashley and Shaun, both married and each with a daughter.

“We’re looking forward to spending time with grandkids and visiting those folks whom we’ve missed over the years while being active participants in the industry,” Little said.

His biography showcases an extensive career in the powersports industry, stretching all the way back to the 1970s.

“I still recall, as a teenage motorcycle enthusiast, telling a teacher in high school that I wanted to work in the motorcycle industry,” he said. “But I could have never imagined how fortunate I’ve been to be involved in the industry as I have.”

A lifelong rider, Little grew up on single-track trails in rural Upstate New York. His first industry role was selling advertising at Cycle News in 1978, followed by a stop at Motorcyclist magazine before joining Cycle World magazine in 1981, becoming publisher in 1990.

“Stephanie, who was already working in the industry, played a big role in landing my first job at Cycle News, and was my biggest counselor and cheerleader as my career developed,” Little said.

Still maintaining his riding skills, his time at Cycle World saw him participate in a 24-hour, team world-record speed run (averaging more than 128 mph), on the first-year Suzuki GSX-R750, in 1985.

In 2010, he left the magazine and formed The Little Group, a consultancy providing key industry insights including research on building a new industry trade show – which led to the launch of the American International Motorcycle Expo. In 2011, Little joined that effort as vice president and general manager.

Two years later, he was named the American Motorcyclist Association’s Rider of the Year for his efforts in helping to grow the industry, with an effective industry trade gathering, as part of the AIMExpo launch team. In 2015, AIMExpo was acquired by the MIC, and Little became vice president of MIC Events.

In early 2019, when the MIC Board of Directors committed to build a long-term industry expansion program, he served as the MIC’s staff lead on the Ridership initiative, with the stated goal of creating new riders, riding more.

“I’ve worked closely with Larry since 2015 when AIMExpo joined the MIC,” said MIC President and CEO Erik Pritchard. “Our initial conversations focused on the trade show, but they quickly evolved to discussions about the powersports industry as a whole. Our subsequent work together on Ridership has been rewarding and enjoyable. Larry is a friend and stalwart of our industry, and I hope to call on his expertise and wisdom for many years to come.”

“In retrospect, my first involvement with the MIC came while I was the publisher at Cycle World and championing the early Discover Today’s Motorcycling campaign to change public perception of motorcycling,” Little said. “And it’s pretty amazing that my last role at the MIC was in a similar effort to create a program to attract new riders to motorcycling.”

Little served as an elected director on the MIC Board of Directors from 1995 to 2015, including a decade as board chair. He also served for many years on the national board of directors of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, including three years as board chair. The PBTF produces the industry’s most-known charity effort, the fund-raising Ride for Kids.

For all that he’s done, through so many industry endeavors, Little is slated to receive the MIC Chairman’s Award later this year.

“Larry’s retirement is well-deserved, and all of us wish him many decades of enjoyment,” Pritchard said. “His expertise and temperament make him uniquely situated to serve as an emeritus industry professional, and I look forward to discussions over Spanish wine and good food for years to come.”  

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect, and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications, media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, data communications standards, and involvement in technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories, and related services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies, and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Keep up with the industry association on Twitter @followMIC and at MIC.org.

Congratulations Larry!

New Off-Highway Motorcycle Sales are Up

New Off-Highway Motorcycle Sales are Up

Good news from the MIC this week. It turns out the pandemic has had some unexpected effects on the powersports business. They are reporting than sales of new off-highway motorcycles from January thru March are up 18.9% over last year.

Wow! Up almost 20%!

It seems as though that despite being stuck at home, many people are turning to motorcycles as an outlet. I’ve heard similar numbers from our friends in the bicycle industry as well. I am even hearing that it is virtually impossible to get a beginner level off-road motorcycle anywhere in the country right now.

I’m also hearing that the aftermarket industry is up as well. People have turned to projects in the garage to keep them busy and getting old and forgotten machines out of the mothballs is a great way to spend some time.

So now with the increase in new and returning riders, how do we keep it going? It’s up to the powersports industry to keep a large percentage of these motorcyclists around for some time. Over the last several years, all of the OEMs and industry leaders have been trying to figure out how to renew interest in motorcycling. Well, we have it. Now what?

I’m curious to know what you think. Please let me know by emailing scott@scottlukaitis.com or by replying to this post on Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram.