For most of us, 2021 was kind of a rough year, thanks to COVID-19. For European motorcycle manufacturers, 2021 was a great year, though—KTM, Ducati and BMW all posted record-setting sales numbers.
Ducati’s motorcycle sales climbed 24 percent year-over-year in 2021, to 59,447 units sold worldwide. No big deal, you might say. Of course Ducati would sell more bikes than it did in the shortened 2020 sales season. Get this, though: Ducati also sold 12 percent more machines than it did in 2019, before we’d ever even heard of a coronavirus pandemic. It’s the best-ever year for Bologna, and with the hot new DesertX adventure bike for 2022, we’d expect another strong year ahead for the brand. The ADV segment is still super-hot, and the DesertX has that retro Dakar look that Euro buyers are especially hot for, at this time.
If you think Ducati’s mark of almost 60,000 bikes sold is impressive, then take a look at BMW Motorrad. The German manufacturer sold 194,261 bikes worldwide in 2021, up 14.8 percent from 2020’s number of 169,272 bikes. Like Ducati, BMW’s best-ever year previously was 2019, at 175,162 bikes sold, and BMW easily surpassed that mark in 2021.
As always, BMW’s GS series was the cornerstone of its lineup. BMW says the R1250 GS alone accounted for about 60,000 machines sold. That’s a lot of adventure bikes, and BMW’s new tourers also sold well (and it’s got the updated K1600 series on tap for 2022, so expect more sales there this year). It seems people are anxious to lay down some miles, after being locked up for months thanks to the pandemic.
KTM and its associated brands (GasGas, Husqvarna) sold an amazing 332,881 motorcycles through 2021. This is a huge number, even dwarfing BMW, and it’s a big jump over KTM’s 2020 sales numbers ( 270,407 units sold worldwide) as well as its 2019 numbers (280,099 bikes sold globally).
How did KTM sell so many bikes? Easy—it has machines that are available at a wide price range, and it has strong overseas sales. Roughly a third of KTM’s sales came from Euro customers, and the rest came from overseas markets. Remember that KTM has budget-friendly machines like the 200 Duke in the lineup, as well as a lot of dirt bikes, and the offroad world has exploded in the past two years. Last year looked really good for KTM/GasGas/Husqvarna, and the future looks even brighter, as long as the finances keep flowing through our global economy and the moto industry can avoid worst supply chain crunches.