Harley-Davidson, Inc. posted a double-digit sales increase in the third quarter.

The Milwaukee-based manufacturer's retail sales jumped 20.1 percent in the U.S., compared to last year's third quarter, and posted its largest year-over-year sales in 20 years.

Harley on Tuesday said U.S. dealers sold 48,529 bikes in the quarter, compared to 40,402 during the same period a year ago.

About 43 percent of those motorcycles were Tourings made at Harley's campus in Springettsbury Township.

Harley's worldwide sales also increased-up 15 percent as the company shipped 70,517 bikes, compared to 61,053 a year ago.

Those sales help buoy net income for the quarter to $162.7 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $134 million, or 59 cents per share, during the third quarter last year.

Motorcycles and related-products revenue grew 8 percent to $1.18 billion from $1.09 billion a year ago.

"Harley-Davidson had a great third quarter, with strong financial performance and retail sales growth," said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and CEO. "Rider response to the 2014 motorcycles we introduced Aug. 18 was extremely positive. In fact, initial retail sales of the new Project Rushmore motorcycles sparked the largest year-over-year new model year sales increase in two decades."

It marked the second consecutive quarter in which motorcycle sales grew in every region worldwide-increasing 16 percent in Latin America, 10 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, 7 percent in Canada and 2 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Harley shipped 54,025 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the third quarter-a 2 percent increase compared to 52,793 shipments in the third quarter last year.

The manufacturer expects to ship 259,000 to 264,000 bikes this year.

"Everyone at Harley-Davidson is proud of our accomplishments and results so far this year, as we continue to see the benefits of our manufacturing, product development and retail strategies," Wandell said.