Skyrocketing gas prices are sparking interest in buying motorcycles for the daily commute, according to vehicle pricing and information website NADAguides.com.
The company defines an increase in motorcycle buying interest as the number of new motorcycle prices its website provided to consumers in March 2008 vs. March 2007.
Interest on the site increased 48 percent this March compared to last March, even though sales of motorcycles were down over seven percent at the end of 2007 and OEMs are starting to report sluggish Q1 sales.
With daily headlines predicting $3.50-a-gallon gas this summer, consumers are looking for fuel efficiency.
"We believe the current state of the economy, coupled with recent summer fuel price predictions, has caused consumer mindset about motorcycles to shift," said Lenny Sims, motorcycle editor and vice president of operations at NADAguides.com. "In our opinion, motorcycles have become attractive options as primary vehicles for daily drivers — due to their fuel efficiency — and are no longer considered just a luxury, secondary-vehicle purchase."
Sims thinks this increase in buying interest should help offset sales declines of on-highway bikes in the coming months, because consumers who use NADAguides.com are typically in the 30 to 90-day purchasing cycle.
According to NADAguides.com, motorcycle buying interest in March 2008 was spread across a variety of bikes and scooters that the company has organized into three separate categories -- Most Researched Short-Range Commuters, Most Researched Mid-Range Commuters and Most Researched Long-Range Commuters.
Short-range commuters, according to NADAguides.com, are ideal for short back-and-forth jaunts, used predominantly on surface streets. Mid-range commuters are ideal for driving moderate distances, either on surface streets or highways. Long-range commuters are ideal for driving long distances, predominantly on highways.
Most Researched Short-Range Commuters
1. Yamaha Majesty 400
2. Honda Silver Wing
3. Suzuki Burgman 400
Most Researched Mid-Range Commuters
1. Honda Shadow Spirit 750
2. Suzuki Boulevard S50
3. Kawasaki Vulcan 500
Most Researched Long-Range Commuters
1. Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard
2. Honda Gold Wing Airbag
3. Yamaha Royal Star Venture
"Not only do motorcycles offer drivers an economical daily driving option, there are many different types of bikes available in a variety of different pricing categories," says Sims. "When it comes to motorcycling, consumers have plenty of choices."