One reason Europeans tend to ride motorcycles more than Americans, and commute to work on them more, is the price of gasoline (or “petrol”, as it is referred to across the pond).
A few months ago, gasoline appeared to be headed north of $2.00 per gallon in the U.S., permanently. Suddenly, in part due to Russia’s defiance of OPEC, U.S. gasoline prices plummeted to roughly $1 per gallon for Regular (87 octane).
The cost of petrol in Europe long ago made travel by motorcycle, and even scooter, an attractive, and even necessary alternative to automobiles. While manufacturers here in the U.S. carefully study customer interests and “focus groups”, they might better be guided by the prospects of gasoline price changes.
The world market for gasoline (at its root, for barrels of oil) is highly volatile and political. If the U.S. is to see another dramatic rise in gas prices, manufacturers with practical, fuel-efficient commuter machines will reap large benefits.