How big is the motorcycle business?
Big. Multibillion-dollar big.
Motorcycling accounted for more than $10 billion in total sales of gear, accessories and vehicles in the United States in 2012, according a report released by the Outdoor Assn., which tracks the economy of outdoor leisure activities. Sales of "trip-related" products and services -- food, lodging, transportation and such -- totaled another $32.5 billion.
The "ripple effect" of dollars generated by motorcycle enthusiasts -- including wages paid in the manufacturing and service industries related to two-wheel sports -- accounted for more than $102 billion.
Those numbers, according the Outdoor Assn., are only for recreational uses, and don't even include expenditures for motorcycles used in industry (fleet sales of Harley-Davidsons to the local police) or non-leisure activities (sales of Vespas to the individual scooter-commuter).