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2014 Trends in Motorcycling – Our Readers Weigh In

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We want your thoughts below in the comments section about 2014 trends. The United States market has so much variety now, from big cruisers and exotic sport bikes costing more than $20,000 to the rapid emergence of small-displacement, inexpensive commuter bikes and beginner bikes. Some of the traditional categories like sport bikes have softened, while dual sport and adventure touring motorcycles have become more popular. Naked bikes used to be parts-bin specials, but now they are getting top drawer components and engine performance. Customizers used to focus on cruisers almost exclusively, but cafe racers and standards now command the attention of many enthusiasts looking to add their personal touch to their ride.

Yamaha has embraced three-cylinder engines beginning with its FZ-09, and Honda is making good on its promise to develop more production bikes with V-4 power. What engine designs and layouts are trending upward?

When it comes to accessories, the only limit is our imagination. From cosmetic to functional, accessories serve many needs. LED accessory lighting, in some cases more powerful than the stock lighting on your motorcycle, is one emerging trend.

Motorcycle/scooter hybrids are always interesting, and there are always new developments in this area. Big engines, big performance coupled with step-through design and CVT transmissions, as well as pure electric alternatives.

In short, what’s your vision for the future of motorcycling? What trends will emerge or strengthen next year?

221 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    I have had a lot of motorcycles (20-30) in my 70 years. I got rid of all my big bikes and how have a 650 Vstrom and it’s the most fun and great for an old guy. Done with big expensive bikes.

  2. Vrooom says:

    I’ve never been one to think I could justify a $20,000+ motorcycle despite being able to afford it if I made it a priority. The FZ09, the Honda’s, new V-Strom (which is a bit expensive), there are a lot of bikes to be excited about without going broke.

  3. KENT says:

    entry level bikes at sub $1800 dollar level, The Grom is a great idea but over priced it could be a cult like bike if the price was lower . I would like to see a low dollar touring bike with enough grunt to pack 2 people and luggage and enough room for people to be comfortable for $10000 or less.
    this is not a bike wish list but a wish for areas to use bikes and put on races . there used to be hare scrambles, flat track races ice races , motocrosses , gymkanas and events that encouraged families to get into motorcycling . if we do not start getting this type of activities back we will hav a dwindling amount of new riders joining our sport and life style . Greetings from Medicine Hat Alberta.

  4. Jeremy in TX says:

    My favorite trend is the return to value. These new machines, such as the FZ-09, the Honda 500s, the CRF250L, offer a lot of motorcycle for the money. I’m sure most people relate this to recessionary effects – people being more cautious with their money or having less of it, etc., but I think it has more to do with manufacturers realizing that many wealthier buyers are tiring of super premium machines and that the next generation of riders needs to be pulled into the market with fun, affordable, practical, and modern bikes.

    I am the perfect target market for those 17K+ bikes: young(ish) with the means to buy and accessorize. But they cost so much and have so much that it just sucks the fun right out of the buying/ownership experience. My last two purchases have been expensive, heavy, big-cc adventure bikes. Those same bikes cost quite a bit more now but offer little in the way of usable improvement (diminishing returns, here we are). Now I’m holding out for a fuel injected DR650. AND I’ll probably buy an FZ-09 or something similar to go along with it.

    I don’t know if those sentiments are exclusive to me and the riders I hang with or if the feeling is more widespread. But I think I’m just done with the high-dollar stuff. It isn’t fun anymore.

  5. Jamo says:

    The Ninja 1000 with 2 or 3 cylinders rather than four. Or a 1000 cc Bonneville.

  6. Tony says:

    I’d love to see something along the lines of the CB 700 Nighthawk. Hydraulic valve adjustment, shaft drive, semi-sporty seating position, quarter fairing, reasonably fast. I have to admit though the FZ9 with a small fairing would about do it for me.

    • George says:

      IMO the day of shaft drive is passed except for big touring bike.

      25 years ago chain technology was crap, compared to today’s chains.

      I have had many shaft drive bikes: Yamaha 650 Seca and several BMWs. I have also had several chain drive bikes. Maintenance wise, I will pick a modern o-ring chain over a shaft except on a big touring bike. Shaft drive is NOT maintenance free shafts fail, u-joints fail, bearings and bushings require cleaning and lubing and replacement…and the maintenance is time consuming and very expensive. Chains are just a lot simpler and a lot lighter.

      My FZ09 would not be as good of a bike with a heavier shaft drive. It is unbelievably light weight.

  7. motowarrior says:

    We are living in the third Golden Age of motorcycling. If you can’t find a suitable motorcycle among the current offerings, you will never be pleased. Shut up and ride!

  8. NORKA says:

    Many years ago Honda changed the motorcycle culture with their “You meet the nicest people on a Honda ” ads showing riders having fun just ridding their Honda 90cc. That’s what we need today, people just having fun riding. The manufacturers and the enthusiast media need to start a campaign to change the culture from 900 pound cruisers and 10 second quarter mile speedsters to one emphasizing “get a bike and go have fun riding”. Size, power, type engine, style, price, etc do not matter; I have had as much fun on a 350cc as I have on my 1000cc.
    I just returned from Ecuador. The roads there are full of cyclist and they appear to be enjoying themselves, yet I seldom saw a bike larger than a 250cc.

  9. Fred says:

    Smaller, simpler, cheaper, easier to maintain by the owner, with super high gas mileage; would certainly interest me. Build the Yamaha Moegi, and I’d buy one. As it is I have my reservation in on a 2014 ELIO from Elio Motors; and I certainly hope that they actually do make them, as an ELIO will be my new year-round winter and summer motorcycle (of sorts).

  10. RobbieAG says:

    I hope to see more options in the mid-sized (and mid-priced) adventure touring class. The Honda NC700X is nice, but I’d like to see ones with more power and better suspension. Hopefully Yamaha will do one based on their FZ-09.

  11. vladislav p says:

    safety: continue with trends of stability control, add early warning, and for some models a form of on-rider airbag

    engines: single and two cylinder turbo diesels

    luggage: configurable luggage systems that allow to add or remove capacity

    helmets: a form of integrated aircooling, better motorcyclist-friendly navigation systems

    comfort: better integration between motorcycle and the wearable safety gear (air cooling, warmers, sweat management, ability to safely and quickly take off the gear, secure attachment of gear (so it can be left of with the bike). need also integration/connectivity standards between motorcycle parts and the gear (so that multiple motorcycle manufactures and clothing manufactures can participate)

    more models and options with more than two wheels (eg piaggo mp3), providing improved yet agile handling.

    looks: more models with spoke wheels :-) !. for sport bikes, need to improve the back and tail sections (they always look like unfinished parts). Also those sections can carry more functions around stability control and visibility improvement.

    other: need to allow parents and spouses (not governments) to limit speeds with overrideable controls.

  12. James Langley says:

    I would like a 600-900 cc bike with 100 hp. At least 8 inches of travel. Good strong electrical system. Belt drive. No chain to lube and adjust.

  13. Dennis Hill says:

    A medium sized sports tourer, 1000 cc or less. Maybe Yamaha’s new triple, under 600 lbs., minimum electronics, heated grips, cruise control and enough alternator to power heated gear. I know I’m not in the mainstream here but the NT700V was close. The new V-Strom 1000 is close but we all know this isn’t an ADV so why the pretense? Give me 17″ wheels so there are sport tire choices

  14. ApriliaRST says:

    I think the future is the single cylinder bike.

    Balancers can quell vibrations while electronics including ride by wire can smooth out the power band and keep peak torque high. Following this formula, a manufacturer can make one basic bike serve several markets from sport bike to dual sport, for novice to experienced rider, because overall weight can be kept low. Specific models inside this group of basic bikes could also be made easily adaptable to multiple roles, increasing the appeal to buyers who want– or can store or afford– only one bike.

    The KTM Duke and Kawasaki KLR are current examples that could be better adapted to this formula.

  15. Gutterslob says:

    Insects. They’ll all look like frickin insects!!

  16. starmag says:

    There’s never been greater variety or function available to motorcyclists of all stripes. I just hope the “ugly is hot” styling trends, with hideous headlights, tailight brackets and all those silly angles will finally run out of steam.

    There’s trouble up ahead for the manufacturers. I really don’t know how they will get kids faces out of personal electronic devices long enough to consider motorcycling. I’ve seen kids texting each other across the same table. My friend’s kid refused a car his dad had bought for him because it had a manual transmission, because it would limit his social networking possibilities while driving. If he won’t even drive a manual car because it’s too limiting socially, good luck getting the kid on a bike.

  17. Max says:

    I’d be happy to see the EPA give motorcycles a pass so that we don’t have to spend a small fortune undoing what the mfg was required to do to win their seal of approval. I’m not against pollution regulations, but let’s face it, there are a lot more lawnmowers running around sans anti-pollution devices than there are bikes. And you aren’t even required to air atop of your lawnmowers engine to operate it. I say catalyze the lawnmowers and give us engine straddlers a break.

  18. guuu says:

    I hope Honda doesn’t go with V4s other than halo bikes. As cool as they sound (at least on paper), in real world they make little sense. The performance advantages vs. inline fours are miniscule (see MotoGP) if they exist at all. And V4 is always going to be more expensive to make. That doesn’t go well with the megatrend that the middle class people in developed countries have less disposable income than before.

  19. Dingerjunkie says:

    The two key things that seem to have been lost are simplicity and character. “Naked” bikes are really the faired models with “band-aid panels” to cover where bodywork was supposed to flow. Tech has been applied to make bikes more appliance-like (traction/anti-lock control) at the expense of attitude and character. At the same time, these technologies are applied in ways that really eliminate garage mechanics. The elemental connection between the bike owner and their machine has been replaced with the mindset of a cage owner, from my perspective.

    Electric does nothing for me because I want a bike that, should I get the urge, I can ride 500 miles in a day, solo, while still being my weekend fun and daily commuter.

    Give me “sporty”, not super-sports, performance. Give me a bike where I can feel like a hero at under the ton (character), while still being able to do a one-hour highway drone comfortably. I want something where I can maintain all the systems myself without paying shop fees, where I can either choose to either run it with minimal maintenance for 15K miles or rebuild it myself (with basic tools and a laptop) in a garage weekend if I flog the pi$$ out of it.

    Want to make a guy like me happy? Apply tech to improve simpler systems that someone can rebuild and customize on their own. Jettison the traction/braking control and provide outboard/snowmobile-style fuel injection on a street-legal two stroke. Emissions standards can be met. Manufacturing/maintenance costs would go down (fewer parts), aftermarket would explode (hello, pipes), power-to-weight would improve in the right way, and riders could experience the joy of a bike with powerband-character again.

    When I think “small,” I don’t think CB500…I think this generation’s RD350.

  20. JR says:

    Motorcycles are fair weather machines. They need to be affordable from the time of purchase through the time of ownership, with all routine service that can be completed, done in the owners garage. Mechanical engines that need to be wound up to very high rpm to develop normal street and highway power wear themselves out in short order. Engineered features that simplify the machine and it’s service as well as ownership along with light weight are what should be manufactured. Example, V-twin, air cooled, 103 HP, high torque, 1203 cc’s , 395lb dry weight with belt drive in a compact sport machine is a good start. This may be the reason some machines that are overly complicated in design, have a hard time selling in the first place to the experienced rider, because it’s more then just the manufacture’s suggested retail price when you get right down to it.

    • Randy Singer says:

      I’m not sure that a bike with all of your specifications can exist. For instance, a 1200 that weighs only about 400 pounds and which is still affordable may be tough to come up with.

      I own a bike that is really close, it is a Suzuki SV1000N (naked). 90 degree V-twin, about 120HP and 400lbs. Few purchased one. Cycle World called it “the best bike you didn’t buy.” Owners love them to pieces for their broadband abilities (sport riding, track days, touring, and commuting are all handled with aplomb) and an engine with both a broad powerband and high-RPM power. The SV1000 has become an affordable on the used bike market cult classic.

      But apparently a bike like this isn’t what lots of riders want, or they would have sold in greater numbers.

      • abenormal says:

        “I’m not sure that a bike with all of your specifications can exist.”

        I’m pretty sure it exists because I have one in my garage. It’s a Buell XB12STT.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “For instance, a 1200 that weighs only about 400 pounds and which is still affordable may be tough to come up with.”

        could always buy the superleggera…? that’s a 1200 that only weighs about 400 pounds. oh wait, that’ll run ya $65,000.

  21. Brent says:

    Electric bikes now have real-world useful speed and range. I expect they’ll get cheaper. There will be motocross as well as road race series for them. To make bikes more useful as the sole transportation of commuters, they need more lockable storage. In Europe, Peugeot sells a ‘cargo bike’ that’s a scooter that, instead of wasting that space between the rider knees has a big lockable compartment that will take a suitcase or sever bags of groceries. It’s only 250cc, but with a little bigger engine to make it freeway capable I think it would make a great day-to-day appliance like ride for the person that just wants to slice through traffic and easily find a parking slot when running errands.

    What I’d like are light, fast simple 2-strokes. A KTM 250cc MX makes 50hp and weighs 220lb. That’s a great basis for a canyon carver, track bike, and a commuter. Clean up that engine and throw a fairing on it. I think all this talk about “nakeds” is crazy. Have you tried to ride 100mi at current freeway speeds (85mph) on a “naked”? My arms get tired.

  22. Montana says:

    How about a 350 lb. electric with 60 HP, 60 Ft. Lbs. of torque and a 350 mile range?

  23. Norm G. says:

    I have seen the future… in it there was a turbo… and the turbo was good.

  24. TunaPete says:

    In recent months I’ve had the opportunity to ride a Can-Am Spyder ST (semi-automatic transmission) and a Honda CTX700 (dual-clutch automatic transmission), and I’m convinced that only old farts like me will know how to use a hand-clutch and foot-shift transmission, in about twenty or thirty years.

  25. Magnus says:

    Young people live on their smart phones. Zero has the right idea allowing the user to adjust their ride via their phone. That one connection will sell whether electric or ice. These same people have little interest in tinkering, they are end users. Simple, cheap, exciting (both visually and while aboard). Honda had it right with the Cub as did Harley with their “trade up” sportster deal. The emergining world markets of India and China will make the USA maket superfluous to the big manufacturers. Expect fewer models specifically for the American market.

    • casatomasa says:

      Magnus the profit, spot on. The new generation and their smartphones are inseparable link the two and they will beat a path.

      • mickey says:

        Im not so sure. Young people are also used to creature comforts like heat and AC and staying dry.Unless you are lucky enough to live in the one or two places on earth where it rains very little and the temperature is just right, we are asking them to give up a lot of comfort for what?

        IMO you have to WANT to ride a motorcycle. Same with hunting and gun ownership. These groups are always asking what they can do to get more young people interested. IMO you can’t. People either want to ride a motorcycle, want to hunt, want to shoot guns..or they don’t.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “IMO you have to WANT to ride a motorcycle. Same with hunting and gun ownership. These groups are always asking what they can do to get more young people interested. IMO you can’t. People either want to ride a motorcycle, want to hunt, want to shoot guns..or they don’t.”

          2 points, nothing but net…!!!

        • KevinJ says:

          Agree completely. I’m a bike and a gun fanatic. Don’t see many kids getting involved in either hobby. Without a new wave of young people getting involved, I’m afraid a lot of this discussion may be moot.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “IMO you have to WANT to ride a motorcycle. ”

          True of all recreation. It’s up to the marketing departments in the industry to figure out how to make people outside the community interested. It’s all about story telling.

        • Stratkat says:

          i think most of us in our late to mid 50s ride because of Evil Knievel.
          the world has changed, its almost too safety conscious now. when was the last time you saw a motorcycle ad on mainstream TV? we grew up with that, at 10yrs old i could not wait to get my hands on a motorcycle. how many kids today even ride a bicycle? with us it was a natural progression. im not sure that culture exists today.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “we grew up with that, at 10yrs old i could not wait to get my hands on a motorcycle.”

            that and a BB gun. :)

          • mickey says:

            Heck, the Wide World of Sports not only showed Evil, but also road races, flat tracks, motocrosses, and TT’s and the manufacturers ran ads. We could follow the Grand national Championship right there on the tube. There were only 3 channels. Now the only place you will see motorcycle racing or ads is on one cable channel, one of 700 channels. I don’t think kids today know much about motorcycles at all, and only see one occasionally being ridden down the street.

  26. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Sport bikes have softened for the following reasons:

    1) They have gone ghetto (stunting, styling, sky-high prices and insurance rates)which has alienated some consumer groups.

    2) HP/ liter ratios are so high, even supersports are overpowered

    Its only natural for the sport-bike buying public to demand simpler, lighter, small-displacement alternatives (a niche that used to be occupied by nakeds).

    KTM is leading the way with refined thumpers and Yamaha is following. Give me a 350 lb 500cc fared sportbike (clip-ons) with decent power under $8K and I’ll buy it in a heartbeat. Just make it ugly so it doesn’t get stolen.

  27. sherm gallay says:

    Here’s what I would do if I was a young guy without a lot of loot. I’d think about exactly kind of bike I wanted, style wise and performance wise, without worrying about cost (yet). Then I’d see what new bikes meets my specs, and note the prices. Next is to go buy a recent model used bike that does pretty much what the new bikes do, but pay no more than half of new bike prices.

    From what I’ve seen the used market is loaded with recent, low mileage bikes of every type, and at half or less of an equivalent new bike. Used to be Harleys were the exception, but not any more.

    I feel for the manufacturers. There is a limited quantity of middle age and old geezers. And some of them buy used. I’m guessing that when a new model is designed, or an existing model is being updated, “will the geezers buy it?” must be a key consideration. Making ABS standard on the new Busa’s may be a result of this thinking.

  28. dino says:

    Less is more, keep it simple, etc…
    Big motor in a little bike being the rare exception!
    FORM, over function!

  29. adaleb says:

    We are beginning to see the Golden Age again, especially with all of the middleweights coming out of Japan. Great news with Moto Guzzi getting BOTY, and Triumph is looking strong across the board, especially, with all the tweeks they continue to do with the Bonneville / Thruxton. Who would have thought ten years ago we would see Ninja 1000′s with ABS, traction control, programmable power modes for under $12,000. Amazing technology, amazing price.

    I see friends and I see my kids getting excited about motorcycling again. Maybe this new crop of affordable bikes will get them outside and away from the computer?

    I do worry that H-D is getting stuck in the mud. Same stuff, different color, and no one to care. My early twenties boys are looking at Ninja 650′s and Honda 500′s rather than Sportsters. One has to wonder if the closed Buell five years too soon? Could Buell have designed a $7000 sportbike around the new water cooled 750 vee twin?

    I agree that adventure bikes may be cresting. Take that seating position and move it to a $10,000 fully faired streetbike with a comfortable gel seat standard.

  30. Mike says:

    I love the new Ducati Monster 1200 S!

    I also like the trend with scooters like BMW’s C650 GT. I’d like to see this scooter made lighter, and replace the CVT tranny with a fun dual clutch auto/manual tranny.

  31. Asphaltsurfer says:

    More electronics- Nav, HUD, radar road sensors, electronic crash prevention built into bikes, helmets and gear. Making it safer will attract new riders and help keep us old ones riding longer. And the sport desperately needs younger riders to grow. Making them an extension of their video game/iPAD like the new trend in cars might help attract and keep interest in the youth.

    Maybe a return of the turbo in sport touring or a Peterbilt-Harley diesel collaboration- wouldn’t that make an interesting cruiser?

    Here come the Chinese, Koreans, and Indonesians starting at the beginner level and pushing hard into the sport bike level. It certainly seems a changing demographics limits sport bike growth. Already most manufacturers are only focused on a single liter bike superbike/GP replica. Japan INC- go naked and practice the KISS principal ala FZ-09 to keep prices down and China to just building parts.

    I love the new Indian but only a few are young enough to still ride but old enough to remember them. That is a vary narrow niche but I think they”ll do okay – they’re smart, talented and the American cruiser market is a big pond with a lot of fish.

    BMW, IMO, will start looking and feeling even more like their car division. Where’s my X drive GSA? The Italians are going to struggle with a shrinking boutique market- hand built, limited production exclusivity will continue on small scales existing more from passion than logical business sense and that’s why we love them.

    Prediction of a new segment- like the current street bike retro trend (HD, Indian, Trump Bonny/Truxton, Honda CB, etc) what about retro dual sports?” Imagine a new Yamaha DT1 replica- easy to ride, economical and something to remind the aging clan what they grew up on riding :)

    At least that’s what my cloudy, cracked crystal ball says anyway

  32. Rocky V says:

    Clean Burning 2 Stroke’s
    A Zrx 1200 type Turbo Diesel
    A Zrx 1400
    A 1000cc single air cooled
    Yamaha 300cc triple
    Honda V4 300cc

    A on off road based on the 450 mx bikes

  33. seth says:

    trends I’d like to see

    Upgrade of the low end dual sports dr650, xr650L, klr650, with FI and 15% ethanol setup for all, and better tires, handlebar rise, subframe, 3rd gear durability, upper chain roller, doohickey, etc. where needed.

    Fat front 18″ wheels, giantized tw200s

  34. Lare_7 says:

    I think the wave of the future is a retro-standard-sport-tourer… a larger Triumph Bonneville (i.e. 1200-1600cc) with electronics/GPS, traction control, good suspension, attractive hard bags, and optional clear windshields/lowers that don’t make the bike look like a sport-tourer but still function like one.

  35. kando says:

    electric bikes will go away as they are not true “motor”cycles, Baggers will continue to thrive and look better. adventure bikes are on the downslide, yamaha is a a copy cat, Indian will faulter unless they widen their range to include bikes without the valanced fenders, cruisers will continue to grow market share, Harley will thrive as they introduce more improved bikes and water-cooling. More powerful smaller displacement bikes will out number super sports ie 675cc to 855cc sizes vs 1600cc plus.

    • Dave says:

      Technically, electrics are the only “motorcycles” and I.c.e. bikes are “engine-cycles”. Electric is here to stay, like it or not. The strides they made this year are probably the most significant thing to happen in motorcycling in the past 20 years.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The strides they made this year are probably the most significant thing to happen in motorcycling in the past 20 years.”

        you are correct. but that’s not the question. the question is what you’re going to do to get people to care…? crack that nut and you’ll have something. otherwise, kando’s opening sentence is a real possibility. Apollo 13 was a fluke, failure is ALWAYS an option. ask Sony how that whole “Betamax” thing worked out.

        • Dave says:

          Re: ” ask Sony how that whole “Betamax” thing worked out. ”

          They’d pivot the conversation to walkman and CD. ;-) Failure is an option but it is not necessarily the end. As long as we’re motivated to find alternatives to burning oil, electric will continue to be viable. If not this time, then some time in the future.

      • kando says:

        we all have our opinions about burning oil, but again this is not a “motor cycle”, they are boring and ugly won’t sell more than all electric cars do. who but a few city dwellers want to worry about the next plug in station 50 miles away. To increase the capacity they would be 1000 hulks, adding more charging stations would only defeat the purpose as you know they would include gas station style food marts…..sorry it won’t happen, hydrogen before ac

    • richard says:

      thats what they said about electric cars 10 years ago…electric bikes are here to stay..theyll just get better

  36. Gary says:

    In my opinion a lot will hinge on the economy. If recovery gets some momentum you’ll see spending pick up on higher-end bikes … not super thrifty gas sippers, which is the trend today.

    I am delighted to see an apparent resurgence in standards. I learned how to ride on bikes like CB750s and GS1100s … comfortable bikes with decent performance. The modern equivalents are much, much faster and lighter.

  37. mat says:

    I would like UJM to focus on more comfortable sport/sport touring bikes. Let the potato potato club focus on big heavy cruisers with “New Liquid Cooling”

  38. Mark G says:

    If you read between the lines a bit, the over-reaching trend seems to be that there are more bikes with all-around goodness. ADV bikes that handle well on many roads, un-faired sports bikes that have all day comfort, that handle well, and one could take on a two to four day trip. Anyone seen the KTM 1290 super duke with the soft luggage on it? I think most riders are tired, and most can’t afford, to have three to five specialized bikes. I can afford it and still wouldn’t.

    And manufacturers are, to some degree, searching for the “next big thing”. One thing seems certain, the “Transformers” look seems to have, at long last, run it’s course. Kawasaki in particular has made some stunningly awful looking bikes. Someone needs to remind them they are making motorcycles for grown-ups.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “One thing seems certain, the “Transformers” look seems to have, at long last, run it’s course.”

      all’s I can say is “good luck with that”. T4 drops 27/6/14.

      • richard says:

        the younger set like the modern street fighter look or transformer…they are the future for volume sales…most manufacturers are trying to appeal to the younger generation with these models…Harley especially with cool looking Sportsters and Dynas and are becoming quite successful in that direction.Most younger buyers are not interested in Softails and Touring models. With the introduction of the the new 500 and 750 liquid cooled….6 speed( a big selling feature)…and also the possibility of Harley riding schools in the near future thay are going for that market big time.

  39. Gronde says:

    If you can’t find what you want to ride from the current offerings…then you really don’t want to ride!

  40. Don Fraser says:

    The business for Japanese bikes has not been good for the last 4 years and does not seem to be getting better. Sport bikes in Western NY are about dead. Honda seems to have finally awakened and has released a whole bunch of interesting stuff. Somebody needs to slap Yamaha to see if they are alive. Kawasaki is trying to be high end and they used to be the king of inexpensive, indestructible fun. Suzuki???? I don’t personally understand 500 lb. adventure bikes, $22,000 Harleys, loud pipes, or modified Ruckus’s or Rucki or whatever. The only glimmer of hope are with all the folks bobbing the old cheap stuff.

  41. Sean says:

    Id like to see more top end SS’s modified only by creating a more comfortable riding position and better wind protection.

  42. Gham says:

    The best news for this year is we weren’t subjected to a new line of cruisers from Japan and few care about a 600cc sportbike shoot out.That Moto Guzzi won BOTY is historic,and Honda’s new 500cc line puts affordable fun in most anybodys reach.
    Indians back and I can sit on the sidelines and watch the pirate wars,but we still can’t get a decent small displacement adventure bike.Why didn’t Moto Guzzi make a V7 scrambler? Why can’t we get a Yamaha SR400? I’m not paying 14k for a Suzuki Vee Strom,I don’t care how good it is.Sport Tourers may be dead and offer the best deal for 2014.BMW still makes ugly bikes and I don’t care if they did have their best quarter.

    I miss the Sportster Roadster and have never watched “Duck Dynasty”.

  43. mickey says:

    If you are talking sales trends, I expect the market will be strong for ADV bikes and of course cruisers, and less so for sport bikes, sport- tourers, standards and retros.

  44. EZ Mark says:

    The best thing that could happen to motorcycling is if people would stop using their bike to compensate for their manhood insecurities.
    Let people buy what they like and can afford. Too many riders forget how hard learning to ride is. Be supportive, even if your friend buys a 50cc scooter or a 250 single cylinder. Don’t call it a ‘Toy’ or a ‘Girl’s bike.’
    You probably didn’t start out on a 1000cc plus machine, don’t give the new guys crap because they don’t want to either.
    There’s strength in numbers. Let’s get over the macho BS and get more people riding!

  45. Theo says:

    The trend I support is more “transportation system” and less “fashion statement”.

  46. Motorhead says:

    I think
    1) “there’s a wonderful bike for absolutely every rider.” No longer will it seem like everyone is buying about the same sport bike or the same cruiser.
    2) Next, with Japan’s exchange rate making the Japanese bike much more affordable in the US and Europe, all bikes prices will slide down on bikes from Europe and the US.
    3) Finally, expect lots and lots of electric bikes, high-end “Tesla-level prices” and kids entry-level electric bikes leading the way.

  47. Mark says:

    I think that due to insurance rates and the fact that todays job market makes it harder for younger people to own sport bikes makes it more advisable for companies to make lower cost bikes for this segment of society. That being said, it only makes sense for companies to make bikes that would appeal more to older riders. Hence, adventure bikes, cruisers and touring bikes.
    I would like to see companies make bikes with engines that have hydraulic, no need to adjust, valves. Put these engines in mid-size cruisers or standard bikes. I like the traditional look of cruisers and standards ie; round headlamps. I don’t like the new standards because they lean more toward sport riding. Us old geezers don’t bend like we used to. Companies should be aware that us geezers have a lot of disposable money.
    To give an example of how I think the companies are not getting it is regard to the Honda Valkrie. (spelling??) Many of us who owned the original Valk are very disappointed that Honda went with this design. All Honda had to do is put the 1800 in the ole bike and that would, in my opinion for what it is worth, made the bike. Just a few thoughts from my end. Thanks for listening.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Companies should be aware that us geezers have a lot of disposable money.”

      actually they are aware (very aware). the problem comes in that they are clued in to more things than ever. like the trend showing these same people exiting the sport altogether. they’re taking their money and going to Disney World…!!

  48. Tim says:

    I think what’s happening is very exciting and motorcyclists should embrace it. We were running the risk of entire generations not being introduced to motorcycling because they were priced out of the equation (at least in relation to new bikes). By coming out with less expensive intro bikes, we’re helping to insure the health of motorcycling and, in turn, the future development of more exciting motorcycles. Everyone wins. I believe the Grom may be the most important of the new bikes. Hopefully it will bring back young riders. One reason motorcyling is so popular with baby boomers is the availability of small beginner bikes when we were kids. Once you have motorcyling in your blood, you never get it out.

    Bikes like the FZ-09 are great, as well. We’re getting away from the increasingly uncomfortable sport bikes, but not taking performance out of the equation.

    After a few stagnant years, we’re finally on the verge of a very exciting time for motorcycling.

  49. Dan says:

    Smaller cheaper budget bikes for the millennials with student loans and low paying jobs, expensive adventure tourers for the older yuppies who are over sport bikes but aren’t excited by standards.