updated 1:25 p.m. MT, Fri., Jan. 16, 2009
NEW YORK - Motorcycle makers showcased cheaper and more fuel-efficient models at the nation’s premier motorcycle show Friday, as the industry tries to navigate a tough road of crippled consumer confidence and tighter access to credit that are weighing on sales.
The companies sought to drown out the gloomy news with the revved engines of 600 bikes from more than 250 exhibitors at the International Motorcycle Show, which runs through Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
“We’re definitely seeing where manufacturers are taking advantage of the smaller motorcycles in their lineup, the motorcycles that don’t get the kind of attention when things are sort of economically strong,” said show spokesman Robert Pandya. “We’re seeing motorcycles coming in that were originally designed for other markets that, because of people’s consciousness for fuel economy and ease of getting around, are all of a sudden finding a home in the U.S.”