Data provided to Powersports Business from Kelley Blue Book senior powersports analyst Lisa Pelissier shows that KBB.com web hits for the touring and cruiser segments reached an all-time high in 2013, and the trend appears to be following in early 2014.
“Kelley Blue Book has been tracking the top 10 most researched vehicles in many categories over the years,” Pelissier said. “The cruiser and touring category is continually populated with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but sometimes a Honda will appear on that top 10 list. Twenty years ago, the options for customizable V-twin motorcycles were few. Then in the early 1990s, the ‘chopper movement’ exploded. Small manufacturers began to spring up nationwide, some selling just a few high-end bikes per year while others produced hundreds of motorcycles.”
The accompanying chart shows what that market has become in the last 20 years. With the recession, the V-twin boom slowed, many manufacturers went out of business, and interest dwindled down to a few top manufacturers.
“In 2011, the top 10 most researched custom V-twin manufacturers received 85 percent of KBB.com web hits,” Pelissier said. “Today, that number is 92 percent. Victory alone received 40 percent of KBB.com web hits for custom V-twin bikes in 2011, but in 2013 and thus far in 2014, they are at 55 percent, which is a commanding number. No one can predict what the future holds for the custom V-twin market, but despite the changes over the years, interest is still strong and growing.”