This L.A. Times story, “Women drive increase in sales of motorcycles, survey shows” out yesterday quotes the new Motorcycle Industry Council 2008 owner survey with some interesting statistics:

Sales of cruisers, sport bikes, tourers and off-highway or dirt models are all down in 2008 compared with last year, but scooters and dual sports (bikes that can be ridden on the street or off-road) have seen 50% and 30% gains, respectively. Overall sales are expected to be down this year. Through the third quarter they were off 2.2% compared with the first nine months of 2007.

The survey also has some interesting statistics regarding women riders, noting that 12.6% of motorcycle and scooter riders are now women, up from 9.8% in 2003. According to the article the periodic survey will be maintained and updated online beginning in 2009. Full results of the 2008 survey will also be released in early 2009.