The U.S. Commerce Department says 1.15 million two-wheelers and ATVs worth $3.6 billion were imported into the United States in 2006. Japan continues to lead imports, well ahead of European countries and burgeoning powersports regions such as China, Thailand and Brazil.
The Commerce Department documents imported motorcycles and ATVs by 12 engine sizes, ranging from "Not Exceeding 50cc" to "Exceeding 970cc." Also included are knock-down parts — taxable articles that are unassembled but complete as to all component parts and appraised by the U.S. Customs Service as the price actually paid or payable for merchandise, excluding U.S. import duties, freight, insurance and other charges.
Japan shipped 581,460 units worth $2.7 billion.
By comparison, Italy sent 33,921 units worth $149.6 million; Austria sent 23,152 units worth $96.4 million; Germany sent 13,273 units worth $152.8 million; and the United Kingdom sent 12,068 units worth $79.1 million.
China was responsible for shipments of 354,081 units worth a total of $138 million; Taiwan sent 40,421 units worth $49 million; Thailand sent 38,734 units worth $95.7 million; and Brazil shipped 34,019 units worth $71 million.
Interestingly, the Commerce Department says Taiwan did not export units larger than 500cc; China did not export units larger than 800cc; and machines imported from Brazil were sized between 90cc and 249cc. Commerce says imports from Germany had an average value of $11,512 per unit while imports from Austria achieved a per-unit value of $4,165, which indicates BMW imported more large displacement units than KTM.