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Research Study Tries to Determine Why Millennials Are Not Buying Motorcycles

Apparently, posing hipsters on motorcycles hasn’t drawn enough young buyers.

We can all speculate why younger people are not buying motorcycles in sufficient quantities to assure the future health of this industry, but there seem to be very few, careful, scientific studies on the subject. An article posted on Barrons’ web site seems to have found one.

In the article, Barrons discusses a study by Bernstein Research on the subject. It appears they observed 5 reasons why millennials are buying fewer motorcycles, with the principal two reasons being college debt, and the fact that “millennials generally appear to be moving through traditional life stages later than previous generations.” They also cited decreased use of dirt bikes by youngsters, a form of “gateway drug” to motorcycle addiction.

Any way you look at it, the industry has a serious problem with its aging demographic. Give us your thoughts on the subject below.

204 Comments

  1. Smaug says:

    I think it’s because it takes actual physical commitment and work to get a license, and they’re not down with that.

  2. Bob says:

    Perhaps millennials are immune to marketing BS. They as the rest of us have come to realize that the bike is just a tool to sell something else less tangible and way overpriced.

    • Snake says:

      I’ll posit another reason why Millenials aren’t interested in bikes: The industry itself.

      For way over the past decade, since the mid-1990’s actually, the industry and its media has been telling every rider that they ‘need’ a literbike. So much so, that the 600cc class has almost died, and this has been noted in various industry magazines.

      Well, smart guys, the middleweight classes were the entryways into the motorcycle lifestyle. Affordable, manageable and insurable. But you pushed the flexible sportbikes, like the almost all-conquering super-practical CBR600 series, into the Supersport realm, making them too focused for a lot of riders who wanted to get into the sport. They were seen as uncomfortable and, for some riders, INTIMIDATING.

      So many would-be riders, riders who may have gotten interested in the goods young and bought into the sport when they could, simply stayed away. The industry is NOW making amends, introducing the light-middleweights like the Ninja 400 and true middleweights like the Honda CFR650F / Ninja 650 / Yamaha FZ07, but the point is that they missed years of generating potential buyers. Those buyers got interested in things other than, what they perceived to be, out of range motorcycles, and simply went on to other lifestyle pursuits – and the industry is, only now, paying for it.

  3. Will says:

    There Habits are watching U-Tube, gaming, Social Media, and texting, Some at the same time. Have now turned addictive. Transported everywhere by parents for the 1st 16 years of their life, No need to learn how to drive or ride. Theirs an App for that.

    • Snake says:

      You should also add: “Why, in MY time, we walked barefoot to school in 2 feet of snow. Uphill. Both ways! This kids have it easy! :cough, hack:”

      Please. Why don’t you come on the train to my hometown on summer weekends, full of Millennials going hiking along the mountain ridge to the south and east of town. Walking my [now] trendy town, taking in the sights and maybe a visit to the world renowned museum that moved here a decade ago. Find them out in groups in the parks, skateboarding, playing a team sport or hanging with friends.

      You don’t even know that generation and yet you’re passing judgment on them.

      They don’t necessarily want a motorcycle because they don’t NEED a motorcycle. Most of them are college educated and became accustomed to having services close by, without a real need for personal transport – on the rare occasion that they needed distance travel, they became accustomed to mass transit.

      And now, now that they have moved on to their occupational years, they are duplicating the same circumstances. Such as

      www dot apta dot com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/APTA-Millennials-and-Mobility.pdf

      www dot usatoday dot com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/04/24/millennials-prefer-public-transportation/8097555/

      They have decided to live in cities where public transport is king. They mostly don’t NEED private transport at this stage in their lives, and when they do they are more likely to just rent a car / join a car share / hire an Uber for those mostly infrequent occurrences. They *already* live where they can get everything that they feel that they need in life.

      They do not necessarily see powersports – cars, motorcycles, even powerboats and SkiDoos – as the only game in town for recreation. They are more than happy to grab their bicycle, or even time-share a bike, and hop on a train or bus to and take an outdoor day excursion. They are young and, for the type of active individual who would be interested in powersports to begin with, they are just as likely to also consider kayaking for a day.

      In other words, if you knew *anything* about Millennials you’d know that they grew up under a cloud of difficult economic and job opportunities, regardless of their family’s social position, and learned to partake in experiences rather than just consumerism. This has affected a large swath of industries, from jewelry to clothing to powersports – all these industries say “Buy us!” but they would rather try (as Mr.Mike, below, notes) to rent or simply do something else so that they can pay back their student loans while continuing to pay their stupid-level exorbitant rents…to a generation of greedy older people.

      • Grover says:

        “Your hometown” may not be representative of 95% of the other towns in America. What most of us have seen and experienced is quite different than what happens in your hometown. Things like “crying rooms” in colleges for students that can’t handle the outcome of a political election and other minor disturbances are created to baby/coddle this young generation. They need a safety net for all situations and definitely have second thoughts when considering something as dangerous as a motorcycle. They were brought up differently than say, baby boomers and are keen to political correctness, tolerance (as long as you agree with them) and other ideas that never concerned us growing up. They surely are a different generation with different needs and desires. Perhaps the next generation will see what their parents are like and gravitate toward motorcycling and others experiences that their folks reject. That’s my bet.

        • Snake says:

          That’s my *hometown*, but I currently live/work in American’s largest city and, unlike all too many older folk who only pass judgments, I actually have relatives, co-workers *and* friends in the Millennial age group. My SO is 18 years my junior. I am more than qualified to note what they go through every single day, as I lend an ear and shoulder to their troubles.

          Your phrase “other ideas that never concerned us growing up” – EXACTLY. Their world is MASSIVELY more complicated than what our was at their age, yet the old fart generations (I’m more than old enough myself!) INSISTS that [they] know better – sounding EXACTLY like *their* parents back in the day.

          “Kids today have it easy!”, sounding just like Archie Bunker.

          Back when we were young, and we tried to get our first living quarters, more than likely you met up with an owner of a private house or small apartment building, looked at what was available, told them your story…and, possibly, got an understanding ear and maybe a bit of a starting break on the rent. Now? You apply by email, send in your references including an approval for a full credit check, and pay 200% equivalent of what we paid.

          Then they go out for a job…for which the employer now demands a college degree, **even for a salesclerk position** (yes, if you don’t believe, look at the want ads). So they go to college and get degrees, racking up $20,000, $30,000, even $80,000 of debt.

          Then they go and try for a job: “I’ll pay you $40,000 [or less] a year, because that’s all that you’re worth in a ‘starting’ position”.

          Because that college debt and stupid-high rent will pay itself, don’t you know.

          So, no, I do NOT believe that the old farts have all the answers. If the modern generation doesn’t like motorcycling – deal with it. We aren’t riding horse and buggies anymore, times change.

          • Grover says:

            1) It’s too easy to blame the previous generation for your economic woes.
            2) Greed is a problem with every generation and is not isolated to any particular one
            3) Housing and education have been expensive for the last 40 years (or more).
            4) Go to a local college. No need to rack up $100,000 in student debt attending Berkeley and then blame someone else for your inability to purchase things.
            5) There is more to life than a tiny LCD screen. All previous generations socialized just fine without Facelessbook/Twitter etc.
            6) Politics shouldn’t compromise all your happy thoughts. Never has, never will.
            7) That’s my lawn you’re standing on!!!

        • Dave says:

          “What most of us have seen and experienced is quite different than what happens in your hometown. ”

          You haven’t seen or experienced any of this. It’s a fictional narrative that you’ve created based on a few pieces of propaganda to stem off the reality that older generations are fading. Boomers? Please. they’re the ones who wrecked everything, so nobody in a city or under 40 values those old ways, because they’re what brought us to the economic climate that we’re living with now.

          Over 80% of the US population lives in urban areas now. The description of millennial lifestyle is absolutely accurate, even if it’s not visible to you from your front porch.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Well, judging by all the whining and gnashing of teeth I see on this board, I don’t think it is the millennials that need crying rooms.

          I’ve said it before, but I come across the millennial generation all time while rock climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking. I may not “know” the millennials, but I do know that they are nothing like the coddled snowflakes that many older types seem to think they are.

        • WSHart says:

          Grover is correct.

          Many of the yoots of today require a “safe space” in which to curl up into their fecal position and suck their opposable thumb until they can suckle at the teat of the gubment.

          This is the effect of the Hollyweird sect of society. The filthy PC zeitgeist that has been foisted upon the land is a full of crap diaper.

          Motorcycling needs to be fun because it’s cool to do. Vinyl has been enjoying a resurgence because in spite of the efforts of frAudiophiles, kids have taken to playing records again on inexpensive to own all-in-one models by such makers as “Crosley”.

          So many mock these kids as “hipsters”. FTN. They are young people having fun while enjoying their music on a format long considered near flat-lining. Because manufacturers like Crosley made it affordable and fun again. I have two Crosleys and neither of ’em have destroyed any of my albums.

          I have two motorcycles and because they are a part of my life rather than “all” of my life, they have yet to destroy said life.

          Instead, they add to it.

          If a product doesn’t add enough to your days, then it will be dropped from your life. Motorcycling is no longer inexpensive. It is downright costly. Regardless of whether or not you have the money to afford it.

          If it adds to your life, it will remain a part of it. If others see that it adds to your life, they will inquire about it and if so inclined, give it a try. But not at these prices.

          Small bikes are bitchin’, so to all those bitchin’ about how there were no 250s and suddenly there were 250s and 300s but oh how they wished they were 350s and 400s?

          You reap what you sew. Keep bitchin’ and stitchin’ then.

          • Snake says:

            “curl up into their fecal position and suck their opposable thumb until they can suckle at the teat of the gubment”

            I’m glad that a completely different generation will take over the reigns soon. They are the future while the past fights for its right…to keep the past. And the world suffers constantly as a result.

            I’m sorry if the fact that younger people choose not to follow your preordained world order hurts your soul. I can only recommend that you get used to it. They’ll make the world as they dam well choose fit to, and the world belongs to *them*.

            Millenials have PLENTY of things that they are personally interested in, and simply because they aren’t interested in the same things we are does *not* make them ‘wrong’. Because, I’m sorry, you aren’t, by any huge measure, ‘right’.

            For example, one of the things that this research will come up with (which you didn’t need to ‘research’ if only you’d ask or know them beforehand) is that they are very sociable, they use the social apps because they have built a base of friends that they enjoy connecting to and actually seeing.

            Motorcycling, OTOH, is primarily a SOLO sport. Sure, you can ride in a group but you aren’t socializing whilst doing so in any way, you are simply in the same geographic area, doing somewhat the same thing. Only after you get off (or you have BT connectivity) do you actually communicate, but even with BT you really don’t fill your day with conversational comradery, you are often too busy keeping your hide in one piece.

            The insistence that Millenials understand and indulge in vehicular activities – bicycles, cars, mopeds, motorcycles, etc – is becoming antediluvian. The REASON that we, older people, became infatuated with vehicles is that they brought us freedom from parents and allowed us to explore past our restricted childhood boundaries. Most of us grew up in suburban or rural neighborhoods and we needed transport to get out of the immediate area: cue personal vehicles.

            Conversely, more Millenials have grown up in developed areas, from built-up suburbs to downright fully urbanized zones, and don’t really need motorized transport in order to travel long distances to find alternatives to their childhood situation. The alternatives to their current situation are just a neighborhood (or a few) away.

            So Millenials have a different view of the world, much more cosmopolitan. They are used to urbanized zones and happily inhabit them. We wanted to drive around, away from adults, and maybe find a hangout spot with friends; Millenials will come together as a group and enjoy one another’s friendship, regardless of location.

            Or, worse, our entire conversation about recreation time is moot: many other Millenials are working long hours in their jobs, trying to make ends meet. So they aren’t even thinking about motorcycling because they don’t even have that kind of luxury of time or disposable income.

            If in 20 years gasoline engines are a thing of the past and everyone is using electric mass transit, well then, that’s the world that they saw fit to create for themselves to live in and THEY have that right because they are the ones living while the rest of us…are now just dirt.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I agree. Age 42 makes me a GenXer, but bicycles, motorcycles and autos we’re our social media apps growing up. The freedoms and connections they allowed us back then are attainable through much cheaper and effective means these days. Times are different.

            Sandwiched between the two generations perhaps allows me the luxury of relating to both, and it gets hard to stomach the animosity, prejudices and misconceptions that each has for the other.

          • WSHart says:

            “Snake”. How quaint. I could give an intercourse whether or not so-called millennials buy a motorcycle or not. I could give a rats buttocks whether or not they get off their phones (except in traffic, fooking ‘tards not matter the age).

            Most young men today can’t talk to a woman except via text. Pathetic. WWII was fought by the aptly named “Greatest Generation”.

            Today for the greater part, we are shown an imitation of life by whiney little feMALES and the like. No one save manufacturers and dealers cares if they ride.

            I recently sold a few of my bikes and now have just two. I did this to make room for a new one that I am researching.

            You read like you’re more interested in being a “Just Us Warrior” than an adult. Not my fault. I’m not here to show you the way just as I’m not here to show any “millennials” the way. If they wont move, I’ll just go around them and continue down life’s highway.

            Fecal position suits them to a “T”. I could easily continue but I don’t wish to trigger any manlets who may be capable of reading and comprehending.

            FTN. I’m going riding in the morning. Not “virtual riding”. That’s for those with the aforementioned imitation of life who wear emotional Depends…

          • Snake says:

            “You read like you’re more interested in being a “Just Us Warrior” than an adult. Not my fault. I’m not here to show you the way just as I’m not here to show any “millennials” the way. If they wont move, I’ll just go around them and continue down life’s highway.

            Fecal position suits them to a “T”. I could easily continue but I don’t wish to trigger any manlets who may be capable of reading and comprehending. ”

            Damn, you come off as a self-righteous old fart. Nobody is right…except you.

            “I my day…” BAH! You day is OVER. DEAL WITH IT.

            I’m “over the hill” (past 50) and I *still* don’t tell other people that they have to do what I do in order to be “right”. The Millenials will do what they dam well please, and what they please is NOT to please *you*. If the Millenials don’t want to ride motorcycles, or even own cars: Good for them! They’ll find their OWN way and do NOT have to explain their lives to anyone, let alone a generation with one foot in the grave.

  4. Mr.Mike says:

    Another thing to consider is that Millenials as a demographic are very comfortable with subscriptions, with some preferring this model over paying for things outright. Volvo is doing something like this here: https://www.volvocars.com/us/cars/new-models/xc40/care-by-volvo.

    I could see some Millenials preferring to just pay a flat fee every month for a bike and service, just like they do for their smart phones.

  5. Al says:

    Things like ABS, Keyless ignition, Apps on phones to build your own bikes, Traction Control are add ons in the US, where as in Europe and Asian more bikes and options are offered as standard.

  6. Al says:

    Maybe because motorcycle industry doesn’t offer bikes that appeal to the millennials. Bike that you can get in Europe and Asia aren’t offered in the US.

  7. Scott says:

    Who even says they are not buying motorcycles. Yes certain brands are having trouble like HD, that refuses to change their model lineup beyond their core buyers. But many other brands are not having this trouble. Purchases of Motorcycles in general are down since 2009, but motorcycle sales went through a bubble at the same time as the housing market did. However sales are up from the 90’s and have been following a steady upward trend excluding the 2000’s bubble.

  8. Jason Marshall says:

    It’s economics people. Millenials are broke and can’t afford many luxuries. Also, one bad crash could ruin us economically for years from medical costs.

  9. Dave Joy says:

    Years ago, we bought a motorcycle because we couldn’t afford a car! All our mates had bikes
    so we rode around town and had fun!! Then we dated, got married, had kids and needed a car.
    So we bought an old banger and with lots of time and work and dirty fingernails and cut and bruised knuckles (and trips to the breakers yard) we kept them on the road! Then as we got a little older we started to earn better money and bought a new car and had it serviced at the dealership and all was rosy! Then when the kids had grown, left home and we had all this spare cash we thought “wouldn’t it be nice to have a motorcycle again?” And here we are, all us old bikers! Most kids these days have a car before they even finish school, whether its driving Mum or Dads car or getting one bought for them just for graduating!!
    How many parents out there would buy there kids one of those dangerous motorcycles!!
    Its a sad situation but the days of the motorcycle is getting near the end and when us old guys depart this world there are a very limited number of riders out there to take our place!

  10. arbuz says:

    In my view, the real reason is simple:
    Safety issues.

    Safety in road-riding,
    Safety in the related Sports,
    Safety (or lack of it) in perception of the people who ride.

    Here are the outcomes of the above:

    a) No need to by new motorcycle, because the new bikes do not substantially improve the safety features of the used ones (I am comparing used bikes from 2005 and up).
    Therefore, folks are not buying new bikes.

    b) cost of insurance is very very high, because riding motorcycles is perceived (and statistically supported as un-safe)
    Therefore folks, especially yonger ones, are not buying bikes.

    c) Not going to send my kinds to practice motorcycle-related sport — because they are un-safe.
    (soccer or tennis is better, even jiu-jitsu is safer, I think).

    So kids are not going to group up in motorcycle-related sports
    Therefore kids becoming adults, do not care about bikes.

    d) Judges/jury consider motorcyclist ‘partially-responsible’ for their injuries because they chose to ride motorcycles. (I remember at least one, may be more publicized cases where car driver walked away after killing bikers).

    So unless safety situation improves, or it will be impractical to drive a car — motorcycle sales will continue to decline.

  11. ham says:

    The times are changing.

    I just purchased my first e bicycle. It is phenomenal. I told my brother if they had had one of these when I was 12 I would never of had a Honda 90.

    In just a few years the electric motorcycle/scooter/bicycle will rule the majority.

    You see I ride a Motoguzzi Stelvio. I am 60 years old. But this Fuji 18 inch wheel fat tire bicycle makes me a star and I actually get exercise at the same time.

    Things, as usual, will be different. Paradigm shift in the making.

  12. BoxerFan says:

    I’ve been reading comments, and a lot focus on the monetary and digital-culture aspects.

    Nobody that I have read has yet mentioned the real reason for young people. Lack of sex appeal.

    Not only are bikes themselves not all that fashionable to new trends… but more importantly, owning and riding a bike won’t get you a girl’s attention. A girl riding a motorcycle might not even get a guy’s attention, or whatever permutation is new and current…

    In this risk-averse culture, adults have gotten their way, and unpopular risky behavior has become shunned, and the young are quite exposed to that opinion.

    Fuel use is not environmentally friendly. Riding on open ground isn’t environmentally friendly.

    Risking injury or death on a “Donorcycle” is irresponsible, potentially reportable offense. Heck, a motorcycle would probably be banned from a school parking lot… and the romantic interests would probably scorn it for the cultural and political correctness reasons above.

    I have family members and children of family friends… the young ones barely want to look at a bicycle. The older ones have no interest in driving cars… and don’t care well enough to become truly proficient drivers, and didn’t get their licenses until well after 18 years old, as a matter of commuting necessity. They still consider driving an unfortunately-necessary chore. That isn’t a mentality that is going to take further steps toward motorcycling.

    I heard “Donorcycle” so often when I was in college and had a bike, it became a pet peeve, and that was 20 years ago… the negative pressure has only gotten worse, and riders who still ride do it despite that pressure. Couple in the economic pressures on incomes, and high costs of modern motorcycling, the inertia pressure to stay inside and less mobile, or for physical activity to be centered around fitness, rather than transportation or geographical range… and that is a high mountain to climb.

    For myself getting into the middle-age category, I love bikes, but I haven’t had one in some time, and getting back into it is even a hard justification to make.

    I love learning and reading about bikes, and I would love to have another, but the day-to-day practicality, safety, and economic realities just don’t add up to get a bike back in my garage, after they were the factors for selling my bike off about 10 years ago.

    The sex appeal part left long ago… the girlfriend that turned into a wife didn’t even like the bike that much at that time… and later was part of the negative pressure against it, for fear on the grounds of safety, and not wanting to put the family at that sort of risk.

    Another bike, would face the same pressures my previous bike had. iIt would sit too much, half the year in the winter, and every time I walk to work, and drive a practical vehicle on practical errands, and don’t have a lot of other non-obligated recreation time that isn’t occupied by family members, for myself to just go ride. It would cost too much just to sit, and risk too much to court bankrupting and debilitating injury or death on bad roads in bad traffic.

    I don’t doubt the commenters who are saying that they find near-death experiences each time they venture out… I see how people drive cars anymore… and the traffic is often over-crowding the traffic capacity and maintenance condition of the roads, covered in sand, gravel, and pot-holes. The low-traffic roads are in even worse condition than the patchwork repairs on high-traffic roads.

    A high dollar hobby is hard to justify for just the few occasions that it can fit into the schedule, and even then is an ordeal and a risk to participate in. The debt and insurance factors just push an already weak equation distinctly toward the cons side of the pro/con list, with the main PRO being that I like interesting machines, and enjoyed riding when I used to have the free time to do so.

    With a lot lower costs, a lot fewer external responsibilities, more discretionary income, and much more time… and I might be able to justify a bike that would get more frequently used.

    • Mark Smith says:

      This exactly! I currently ride after a hiatus but I can completely relate to this post. I don’t have time to ride. I have kids to drop off or pick up. I work weekends or spend time with the family. I can afford to own a bike and so I have one, but if I had to do it again I would definitely buy something cheaper and used. I’m at about 2100 miles on a 2 year old bike. Awful…

  13. OLD Rider says:

    I’m a 60 young rider with nearly 50 years of riding experience. I like most of us cut my teeth on dirt bikes& endures, as some one pointed out there are less trails and places to learn at. And for me now I’m thinking of giving up riding because I’m terrified to go on the streets. I’m currently living in western N.C some of the best roads in the country. But the number of elderly drivers and the distracted younger drivers is bad, crossing the center line, pulling out in front of you.Every time I go out for a ride I have at least one near death experience ! I’m getting to old for that kind of adrenalin rush, the people I’ve talked to who love to start riding say they are to afraid, it’s to dangerous. Maybe more motorcycle awareness PR would help.

  14. J. Paganel says:

    What bike manufacturers don’t understand is that if you want a 20-30 year old customer, you need to go after the teenager. It’s ridiculously hard to get a kid on two wheels. Mopeds need a car license, over-50cc motorcycles need a bike license, which is a pain to get under 18. Over 18, see above – need two licenses. A farm kid can bomb around on a dirt bike, but if you live in the city, you’re pretty much screwed. I tried to get my kid a moped permit at 16, but it’s a huge pain the ass, and even the DMV doesn’t know how that’s supposed to work. Plus, the only mopeds we have these days are scooters. There isn’t anything that would look like a bike.

    Harley is making some motions to appeal to the younger crowd. They aren’t going far (or young) enough.

    Manufacturers need to look at getting teenagers interested. Make 50cc bikes that look like bikes, and aren’t sized for 5-year olds. Put some money in riding schools and tracks. Help them get permits so that a small bike can be a ride to school transport.

    Some lobbying to change laws to make motorcycles more appealing would be nice, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone to do it. AMA only cares about dirt trails and resisting helmet laws, and I haven’t heard of any other organizations.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bikes used to have much better mileage compared to cars. Cheap cars used to have terrible suspension and brakes, and were much less reliable than cheap cars of today.
    I believe that young people are abandoning motorcycles because cheap/small cars don’t suck anymore.

  16. HS1... says:

    1. About a third of children are raised by their mother or grandmother.
    2. Few places for youth to ride in cities and suburbs.
    3. Youth Sports demand much more time than a generation ago.
    4. Less disposable income for people in their 20’s.
    5. Less positive exposure of motorcycling in media and culture.
    6. AMA sucks crap really badly at promoting motorcycling.
    7. Manufacturers left behind beginners for a generation.
    8. Less kids know how to wrench on really cheap bikes.
    9. Cumulative effects of all the above.

  17. PBrasseur says:

    It’s not about the money, millenials are used to getting everything they ask for…

    Millenials don’t much like bikes is all and when they do their girlfriends forbid it!

  18. Fry says:

    Oh my god. You guys should hear yourselves: “The young, good for nothings, just don’t measure up to our generation’s bad-assed-ness”. Oh. Brother.
    Look, ‘young’ folks aren’t buying motorcycles because the industry is a bit of a junk show. Don’t blame the consumer if they don’t want what you’re selling. That’s pathetic. Has anyone gone into a dealership lately and tried to have a real conversation? The simple act of getting information, finding out about the tribe, comparing bikes, is a bummer experience. And completely old-timey, with it’s sales-rep desperado, let me get you coffee and hover while you look around discomfort. It’s often worse than buying a car at a dealer, only a Moto is often a luxury purchase, not a necessity. And a luxury purchase should feel different than a commodity purchase experience, regardless of price bucket.

    For an industry that touts rebellion and freedom as it’s foundational characteristic, the Motorcycle industry is profoundly backwards assed and conservative, seemingly run by a bunch of uncreative, conventional, run of the mill non-treprenuers. People will buy and ride motorcycles if you make the ownership experience rewarding, and appropriate for the user’s expectations and priorities. It’s that simple and it’s not the consumers’ fault. BTW, I’m 50, and I have to deal with consumer mind shifts every day in my line of work.

    • Blitz11 says:

      Non-treprenuers! Great word.

      As a young man, I worked here (brennys.com). His business is growing. Growing! Why?

      1. He has two millenial kids. They feed him information. He listens.
      2. He’s adapted to the times.
      3. Check out his commercials at https://brennys.com/Commercials

      He makes it fun. I owe Mark quite a bit.

    • Carbon Canyon says:

      Hmmm I have to disagree that it’s a “junk show”; there are some amazing bikes across the price spectrum. A huge issue I think is that there hasn’t been much thought as to how these bikes could appeal to non-riders more. Every company lives by focus groups, but they always bring people who already ride to those focus groups. I’ve worked with several brands, and I have yet to see a focus group that asks non-riders how we can bring them into the fold.

      The dealership model is dated but entrenched. Kawasaki tried to sell through Costco with limited success. I would like to see more experiments like that, but it will piss off the established dealers and might make them walk from your brand.

      What do non-riders want? How many people are almost in the fold but they have one small hang-up?

      For the older riders: if you care about the sport, stop antagonizing people who choose to ride different bikes than you. I will never give a scooter rider flak, or a Harley rider, sportbikes, ATV’s, 3-wheelers, etc. We have to be more accepting and less judgmental of all powersports if we want it to survive and grow.

    • Ron says:

      I don’t think times have ever been better for buying a new bike. Suggested retail is a joke right now, except on the high-end makes.You can find new 2017 Z900’s all over cycletrader.com for $6999.00. Last April I bought a GSXS-1000 naked ABS for $8500usd out the door. 145HP, brembo monobloc front calipers, super comfy seat and ergos, ABS amd traction control. Fantastic bike. Times have NEVER been better.

      As far as a hovering salesman bugging you, tell him to piss-off you will find him if you need him. Nothing wrong with backing up a rude salesman.

      As to why the younger people aren’t buying that’s easy. They don’t have disposable income. Companies aren’t paying a liveable wage to entry level people anymore. Heck, you are lucky to find a full time job in the USA at entry level because they don’t want to pay for any benefits anymore. I am 56 and have two Sons, 24 and 27 and they do not have the opportunities I did at their age. What is ironic as that most young people think we should allow all these immigrants unchecked into the USA. That situation is what has destroyed entry level paychecks IMHO.

  19. mechanicus says:

    I dunno, all points I’ve read here are valid. I getting down to the end of my riding time, and it’s been a fun run! Man, where did all that time go? From my first purchase of a junk un-fixable HD 45 in 1970 to my first reliable new-ish ’73 CB175 in 1973 up to my current touring geezer-glides with dozens of bikes in between. Maybe it will all sort out. All things are cyclical – usually following a cosine curve. We’re in a dip. It’ll move or move on the the next technology. That’s all I have. Mechanicus out.