In 1960, when the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission of the United States Forest Service conducted the first U.S. National Recreation Survey, “off-highway motorized recreation” was not included as a recreational activity. A few people were driving into the back country with motorcycles or 4-wheel-drive vehicles but not enough of them to register as a population-wide activity.
Fifty years later, to say things are different almost gets it.
According to the 2008 Forest Service report “Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in the United States and its Regions and States: An Update National Report from the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE)” retail sales of new All-Terrain Vehicles and Off-Highway Motorcycles more than tripled between 1995 and 2006, with 1,034,966 units sold in the last year for which statistics were available. An estimated 8,010,000 ATVs and Off-Highway Motorcycles were in use on back country roads and trails during 2001-2003.
We sure do like our internal combustion engines.
In the spring of 1967, Outdoor Life featured ads for motorcycles aimed specifically at fly fishers, with Suzuki touting them as an environmentally friendly solution to pollution.