In Virginia the weather has taken a beautiful, sudden turn from a lot of rain to a lot of heat and bright sunshine as April comes to a close and we welcome in May. Already seeing a couple of days reach higher than 90 degrees on the thermometer, it has warmed up quickly — perhaps some indication that a very hot summer lies ahead. And other than plummeting into a nearby pool, lake or ocean, what better way to beat the heat than to hit the open road with nothing between you and the pavement except the metal steed of your choice? Or, if you can’t have your choice, how about a steed that is safe, affordable, better for the environment, and efficient in these tough economic times? Because it seems the only things rising faster than the temperature these days are motorcycle sales and enrollment in motorcycle safety classes, the latter of which I would highly recommend prior to enjoying life on two wheels — or three, not to exclude the trike riders! کرولای جرمنی

While some statistics may show that overall motorcycles sales took a hit last year –down 7.2% from 2007 according to The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)) — compare that drop to the drop in the automobile industry, where the top Japanese automakers averaged a 12.3% drop and the top U.S. automakers averaged an alarming and job-cutting 24.7% drop in sales. But without delving any further into statistics than necessary — since it’s not really part of the point I am trying to make – my point is that a lot more people are parking, if not selling, their gas-guzzling [and therefore money-guzzling] SUVs, and once again buying and mounting the original “green” machines.

A recent boom, as I would describe the motorcycle population on the road in the last year, began as a way for people of all driving ages to fight increasing gas prices. The most obvious indication here was the ridiculous 41% increase in scooter sales. Now, if you’re like me, the word “scooter” conjures up images of Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) doubling on their moped in Dumb and Dumber. But that which was formerly considered an embarrassing – and in the aforementioned blockbuster, laughable — means of transportation now begs the question, “Who is laughing now?” Though many scooter riders don a full-faced helmet and dark visor — for safety reasons, of course — you will find no inferiority complex from those now proudly conserving their environment and saving money at the pump. And while maintaining incredible fuel efficiency since their invention, scooters have come a long way in style, too, especially since 1994 when Lloyd Christmas was in the market.

In addition to the scooter scenario, I have a couple of theories I believe are boosting motorcycle sales. We all know downsizing from four wheels to two is actually greener and helps defend against roller coaster fuel prices. But come on, not everyone is in a pinch. And what better excuse to scratch what has been itching a lot of people for a long time? While I’m aware that plenty of folks are scared to death of motorcycles, I would argue that many more have been waiting for the right “reason” to buy one. Riding motorcycles isn’t just for gangs, roamers and vagabonds anymore. As a matter of fact, the population of “rubies” (rich urban bikers) is one of the fastest growing groups of bikers out there. And more and more women are giving up the back seat for a throttle of their own. When I took the motorcycle safety class, there were ten students in my class. Eight of them were women! There are now bikes of all shapes and sizes to fit people and egos of all shapes and sizes.

All of this leads to my second theory. With new waves and circles of riders come new waves and circles of peer pressure. Come on, man, get one. Everybody’s doing it. You know you want one. Are you scared? Okay, so maybe the peer pressure I’m talking about isn’t exactly the same as the after-school special scenario, but we do live in society where many feel the pressure to keep up with the Joneses or are easily pushed over by the influence of others.

In a round about way, I am trying to shed light on a current situation. Motorcycles, especially used motorcycles, are on the move. With a lot of new riders graduating on a weekly basis, people are looking right now for a suitable motorcycle. While many are able to continue buying new, which is also great for our economy, a lot of people are cutting back. I submit to you that now is an excellent time for those who can upgrade to do so and put your “old” bike on the market. Because what began as a response to rising gas prices has evolved into motorcycle fever. Bikes, trikes, hogs, scooters… you name it, there’s someone out there looking for it. There’s someone out there looking to beat the heat and “join the gang” in a motorcycle revival that’s sweeping the nation. So take advantage of the market and sell your bike. It’s time for an upgrade.