SIC 5571 Motorcycle Dealers


SIC 5571

This category includes establishments engaged in the retail sale of new and used motorcycles. This classification also includes those dealers who sell motor scooters, mopeds, and all-terrain vehicles.



Motorcycle Dealers


Motorcycling remains one of America's most popular forms of recreation and transportation. The number of people who enjoy motorcycle activities is comparable to the number of people who engage in fishing, golfing, and camping. Because there are many sizes of vehicles available, motorcycling has become a family recreational activity. In addition to providing enjoyment, motorcycles, scooters, and all-terrain vehicles are used in industry in various ways.

Retail motorcycle, moped, and all-terrain vehicle dealers are divided according to whether they are engaged primarily in selling new or used vehicles. Vendors of new motorcycles, mopeds, and all-terrain vehicles own franchises to sell products of specific vehicle manufacturers. Dealers who do not operate as new vehicle franchises sell used motorcycles in addition to vehicle parts, accessories, and clothing. Almost all dealers, however, have vehicle service departments, which are also sources of significant revenue.

In 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded approximately 4,271 establishments engaged in the retail sale of new and used motorcycles. There were about 43,249 people employed within the industry that shared $1.4 billion in annual payroll. In 2003, the total number increased to 9,603 and together they generated about $9.9 billion in sales. The average business represented approximately $1.10 million. The total number of people working within the industry also climbed to 55,658. The majority of these businesses, 1,149, were located in California, followed by Texas with 652, Florida with 609, and Pennsylvania with 425.

There were a total of 3,583 businesses engaged in the retail of motorcycles and they controlled almost 40 percent of the market. Motorcycle parts and accessories numbered 2,886, or about 30 percent of the market. Motorcycle dealers numbered 2,381 establishments, or more than 24 percent of the market. There were 471 businesses that sold all—terrain vehicles, as well as parts and accessories. In addition, there were 133 motor scooter retailers, 84 moped retailers, and 65 motorized bicycle retailers.

As a public service and a sign of commitment to their customers, most franchise dealers have joined or formed nonprofit associations to act as advocates for their products and to provide education about the use and enjoyment of these vehicles. They provide information about safe riding practices and work to increase owners' awareness of the impact that their motorcycles, scooters, and all-terrain vehicles can have on the environment.


Although there were more than 7,000 nonfranchised retailers in the industry, it was the 3,400 franchised outlets that garnered more than 80.0 percent of the industry's business. According to industry statistics, the average franchised motorcycle outlet had total motorcycle related sales and services of $700,000 in the mid-1990s, compared to $122,500 for the average nonfranchised outlet. On average, sales of new motorcycles, scooters, and all-terrain vehicles made up approximately 54.0 percent of a franchised dealer's business, while 23.2 percent was attributed to sales of parts, accessories, and apparel. In contrast, 68.0 percent of nonfranchised outlet sales was parts, accessories, and apparel.

There were franchised and nonfranchised retail outlets in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although California had almost two times more retail outlets than any other state, the business was otherwise evenly distributed across the United States. According to MIC statistics from 1997, approximately 6.5 million motorcycles were owned in the United States, representing approximately 2.5 motorcycles for every 100 persons. In terms of...

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