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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.


  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:

    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 ( 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

      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 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.

  20. Kbar says:

    They are too busy shopping for a smart phones and skinny jeans. The concept of hard work at a young age is lost today.

  21. allworld says:

    Have they looked at where millennials live? Urban dealerships have for the most part disappeared. Out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps a different way bikes are sold would be helpful, instead of full dealerships have “authorized sales agents in store fronts and in shops like H & M, and Prymark…

    Local municipalities should offer more motorcycle parking only locations and of course lane splitting or motorcycle only lanes on expressways.

    There is no App for marketing at least not yet

  22. Provologna says:

    Re. the caption under the top most image: Wow, I’m shocked that image comprising a bearded rider, and his expression, denim uniform, and Ray Ban sunglasses has stopped working! /sarc off

    Cliché, much?

  23. Nate says:

    You’re making this way to hard. Millennials are not buying motorcycles because they are broke. They don’t have jobs and they are still living in mom’s basement at 35.

    • J. Paganel says:

      They are broke, and they are living in basements. However, they do have jobs, and often more than one.

      Things really are different now than they were 50 years ago.

  24. Bob K says:

    Lots of people here are stating that dirt bikes and mini-bikes are the gateway drug to motorcycling and that not having open land to ride them is the problem. I disagree. I consider the gateway drug to be the simple single speed coaster brake bicycle.
    By the time I was 5 and got my first bicycle, it didn’t take long to figure out that this 2 wheeled contraption was my ticket to independence and freedom and I was no longer confined to a few square blocks around my home. I rode everywhere, including places so far away my parents would have beaten me black and blue for had they known at the time. I remember it clearly 45 years on. Once I discovered a world larger than a 1/4 mile radius of home, I was hooked on being an explorer for life.
    Now, all those places can be discovered in the palm of your hand. There’s no need to go outside and break a sweat to travel a distance to see something. Kids today, simply aren’t into “play.” In a neighborhood of 1000+ houses, I can count the number of kids on bicycles on my hands and feet…and I’m missing all the toes on one foot. I see a total of 3 bicycles in the bike rack at the elementary school on the edge of my neighborhood. In the 70s, the 20 bike racks we had were overflowing with bikes.
    They’re really not excited about modes of transport to go anywhere for any reason, much less for pleasure. Transportation is a necessary evil that they hope will some day disappear because it consumes time they’ll never get back. Doing it for pleasurable purposes is far from their mind.
    There’s nothing the motorcycle industry can do to get the millenials into motorcycling. It starts at home… Gotta kick them out of the house and tell them to play and ride a pedal (non-assisted) bicycle. Otherwise, they’ll just sit in their rooms all day looking at porn on their phones and making the bald man cry.

    • Orbit398 says:

      Great write-up


    • Auphliam says:

      Ding Ding Ding, We have a winner!

      Spot on commentary, sir

    • edk800f1 says:

      I was astounded to find out that a coworker’s young son wasn’t interested in a bicycle.
      I think that there’s even less interest in driving cars.

      • Fivespeed302 says:

        The only way I could get my nephew to ride his bicycle without training wheels was to bargain with him. The deal was that he had to ride his bicycle around the block twice and then I’d take him for a ride on my motorcycle. It works!

    • J. Paganel says:

      Are you serious?

      Bicycles are the modern urban obsession. If you live in the actual city, they are everywhere.

      Now, if you live in suburbia, they aren’t. That’s not because “there is no need to go outside”, it’s because there is nowhere to go. The ice cream shop isn’t a few blocks away, it’s in a strip mall that you have to reach via a highway.

      Plus, there is the matter of possibly having the cops called on you if you are a kid on a bike.

      You are complaining that they don’t want the freedom they can’t really have.

  25. Fj pilot says:

    I didn’t start riding until I turned 30 so the whole dirt bike route never applied to me. When I bought my first bike (used), I had already paid off my student debt, Already owned a house, and had a career. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. Housing market is screaming the blues too as millennials aren’t buying houses yet either. There seems to be more emphasis on immediate gratification with dining out, electronics, etc vs: learning a skill. Motorcycles are virtually the same price as they were when I entered into the market. Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki all have sub $10k bikes. I attend local motorcycle events that take place at a restaurant and they’re well attended. But the number of them attending a real motorcycle race weekend is just a small percentage.

  26. Fj pilot says:

    I didn’t start riding until I turned 30 so the whole dirt bike route never applied to me. When I bought my first bike (used), I had already paid off my student debt, Already owned a house, and had a career. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. Housing market is screaming the blues too as millennials aren’t buying houses yet either. There seems to be more emphasis on immediate gratification with dining out, electronics, etc vs: learning a skill. Motorcycles are virtually the same price as they were when I entered into the market. Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki all have sub $10k bikes. I attend local motorcycle events that take place at a restaurant and they’re well attended. But the number of them attending a real motorcycle race weekend is just a small percentage.

  27. oldjohn1951 says:

    I’ve read all the comments and many of the arguments made are valid; sad to say. I got started with motorcycling in the mid-1960s. Bikes were cheap, plentiful, sold in many places including department and hardware stores and even go-kart tracks and the days of motorcycle license endorsements had not yet arrived. The tables have turned 180 degrees in 50 years. I would love nothing more than wave a magic wand and make all the restrictive laws and the damn 1970s EPA requirements that killed the 2 strokes gone. It won’t happen. We are entering uncharted territory and new thinking is going to have to emerge. In the meantime, I’m going to keep riding and let others see that this old man isn’t going quietly into the night.

  28. kyle says:

    Quit beating around the bush. Millenials are wussies with a capital P. And I am 1986. Raised on dirt bikes. In college debt. In many life transitions. With a 2017 Triumph T100 currently owned by some bank.

  29. red says:

    as dirtbikes wane, seems to me mountain biking is coming on strong. I wonder if this trend may be cannibalizing mx/trail bikes and creating cyclists instead of motorcyclists. A lot cheaper to get into and plenty of free riding areas. Trailheads around these parts always fill up on nice weekends.

    There’s not a lot of places left to legally ride motorized offroad bikes around these parts. Have to load up and drive somewhere (in your truck/trailer = more $$) and none of those places are free, many require memberships. I don’t have dirtbikes anymore mainly for that reason. that plus I’m old and brittle.

  30. Scottie says:

    In NYC there are many children who never even learn to ride a bicycle, let alone get their drivers’ licenses. I guess it’s always been that way, but I could not wait to drive and always wanted a bike, but didn’t actually get one until I was in my 40s.

  31. Don M. says:

    I was introduced to m’cycling in the 60’s, with my older brother’s Sears-Allstate 90cc. Got a Honda 350 when I was 16, am now 63 and have owned 40+ bikes. Those who don’t ride, or even want to ride, are astounding to me! Riding is far more dangerous these days, with all the distracted drivers, but it’s all I REALLY care about, even after all these years. I’m addicted! Why isn’t everyone? I have no clue.But I feel sorry for them…….

    • Grover says:

      I agree, motorcycling is an addiction. I can’t fathom why any young person WOULDN’T want to ride a motorcycle! I just don’t get it…

  32. Neil says:

    1. Cell phones – gaming, Instagram etc
    2. Parents act like driving slaves for their kids so they don’t become heroin addicts
    3. Kids are brainwashed with tablets – I see it every day
    4. Kids don’t want to work – “I would never do “THAT” job. I’m going to be a Hip Hop star.
    5. Outside? What’s that? Ew, bugs! Ahhhh!

  33. Drake says:

    Dirtbikes – no place to ride anymore.
    Streetbikes – crowded roads full of giant cars with texting assholes behind the wheel.
    Money – yeah, that. I have a 20-something in by basement. Can’t get her out. My ex wifge has a 20-something in her spare room. Can’t get him out. Both employed 40 hours a week. Cannot afford even “cheap” rent. Both work at “good” employers who happen to pay squat.
    Screens – that, too. They care a LOT about screens.
    Etc – neither of my teenagers gave a crap about drivers licenses.
    WHO CARES if motorcycling dies? Maybe it’s a good thing. It will be here for US who love it, and not for THEM who do not. Seems perfect.

  34. Nick R says:

    Lots of valid reasons mentioned (and many not-so-valid). I’m a “millennial” so I’ll put my dollar on the barrel.

    Cost is a huge part, but not just in the purchase of the bike, gear, and maintenance/repairs. Speaking of repairs, you’d be surprised how many of us “too soft” kids can fix. After all, just like we probably programmed most of your VCRs and fixed your computers, we’re able to find the information and parts online necessary to do the job ourselves. We’re surprisingly good at home repairs, considering most of our parents were content to just hire out work.

    No, the cost I’m referring to (in addition to motorcycle-specific costs and things like college debt and expensive housing) is health care. A so-so lowside on one of the poorly-maintained roads could lead to a bankrupting hospital bill in the blink of an eye, in addition to the lost value of that craigslist bike. Most of us, already burdened with the aforementioned economic pressures, can’t afford that risk.

    Something else I haven’t seen mentioned is that we’re an increasingly health-conscious generation that has grown up seeing what a lack of diet and exercise does to an aging body. Motorcycling doesn’t have the other benefits that similar (in ours minds) pursuits, like bicycling or running, can provide.

    Don’t get me wrong- I love riding motorcycles. I even got into them relatively late in life (college) and that Ducati Monster 620 truly acted as a gateway into the hobby. But, just like everyone else, millennials are growing up and trying to afford housing, debt, and kids. I sold my last Ducati, an ’04 S4R that I really treasured, to help with the down payment on our first house, with a (now-born) daughter on the way. And I my wife and I still have all our bicycles.

    • Grover says:

      You sold your DUCATI to fund a home purchase? Boy, you need to get your priorities sorted out!

  35. ScottB#43 says:

    It’s not just the Japanese Manufacturers ignoring the problem. Harley and Indian are as well! Can you imagine what would happen if these two American companies made entry level dirt bikes? It would definitely spark Dad, the Harley owner, to get his kid on a bike “like” his…

  36. Dirty Bob says:

    Millennials face a difficult time. The motorcycle industry has made most bike too costly to own. My local HD dealer charges 130 per hour for maintenance and worse the bike are computers, this limits any general maintenance. Motorcycles cost too much. Dealers are getting big money for the bikes with prep/delivery fees. There are no more 2 cycle 250cc for under $500.

  37. Mike says:

    A lot of people love those 5″ screens in their pockets. Let’s get some tech on the bike. Look at Audi’s MMI Digital Instrument Panel introduced on their TT sportscar. Let’s get some tech like this on the bike. That links via Bluetooth to their phones in their pockets. So the instrument panel can tap into phone apps like GPS and Maps. So I can say (on my bluetooth helmet), “Siri, find me a gas station” or “Siri, find me something to eat” and have directions on my screen.

  38. takehikes says:

    I have two sons that are sort of art of this issue, they are 31 and 33. they have no debt but they also even at this age have nothing. Not for lack of trying but its a tough sled these days. There is no money for a bike at any price pretty much. I also think the manufacturers (and us) abandoned affordable bikes. So many of us started on a Honda 160 moved up to a 350 and then oh my god maybe a 750. No one bought a used bike right away pretty much. When you did it wasn’t expensive nor super high performance. We also did all of our own maintenance and modifications. Much of that has been beat out of the market place. I rode all over America on both Honda 350 and 450’s. No one would think of doing that these days yet its what I had so we did it. Times change and the bike companies have chosen a path as have the so called millenials. All I know is in a few years down the road they will be able to buy damn big expensive bikes for pennies on the dollar from old farts that sunk big money in to their land yacht.

  39. A P says:

    So many comments and no one has hit on the most obvious deterrent… insurance cost. Used to be motorcycle insurance,especially for sub-500cc bikes, was a small fraction of car insurance. It’s one thing to pick up a used/fixer-upper bike cheap, but when yearly insurance premiums costs as much as, or more than, the bike itself?

    The core problem is that insurers are being allowed by gov’ts to separate the motorcycle risk pool from the passenger vehicle/light truck pool. The relatively small pool of motorcyclists are required to carry nearly all the risk (cost of claims) despite the Hurt and MAIDS reports both showing it is other vehicle drivers most often at fault.

    YES, insuring younger or less experienced riders will be greater risks, but not that much more than for cars. Bikes cause far less third-party costs, but that gets left out of the calculations. Bikers are just more vulnerable to injury than car drivers/passengers in similar incidents… bikers share this problem with pedestrians and bicyclists. So why does pedestrian and bicycle risk stay embedded in the car/light-truck pool and not motorcycles? The bicycle/pedestrian death/injury/cost rates are very similar to motorcycles. The answer: Because pedestrians and bicycles don’t meed license permits or insurance coverage.

    Imagine everyone over the age of 16 being required to take a pedestrian/bicyclist license test ,and bee insured every year or they get no payout if involved in a car collision while walking or bicycling…

    Motorcycles are easy to target, and cost insurance companies more per-incident than car/car incidents, EVEN WHEN THE CAR DRIVER IS AT FAULT.

    The other stuff about phones and video games is valid, but every driving-age youngster I’ve taken for a ride gets off thinking “I’d like one of these”. Then when I’m asked “how much”, the spark dies when I tell them that for the first 5 years they ride, they would pay multiple $1000’s per year to insure a beginner-cc bike. Forget even a 600cc sportbike, let alone a liter-plus cruiser or touring bike.

    Why the motorcycle manufacturers don’t use their collective clout to stop this obvious restriction of trade is a mystery to me. Autonomous cars will make this mess even worse.

  40. PN says:

    I’m sure college debt is a lot of the reason. The other is, probably, most of the public thinks riding a motorcycle is freaking dangerous. We hear it all the time. But fun never goes out of style. A third reason could be that for most people reality comes mediated nowadays through television or your phone. Lots of people don’t really experience actual life anymore, with its rough edges. That’s why I like to tour on a bike. You’re alive, you’re in the moment, and even if the weather is adverse, you’re not dead.

  41. rider33 says:

    there has been a lot of nashing of teeth on this in the moto-press. The reality is quite a few categories are experiencing similar ever-older problems, the under thirty set isn’t into golf as much, hasn’t been buying cars as often, or houses, or a lot of things. As I recall boomers didn’t exactly behave just like their parents either, each makes their own way. The gateway thing tho is real, odds are nearly every current rider started on something a lot smaller and a lot less expensive. Until recently, there were very few options in that regard. Until entry bikes are both affordable and aspirational odds are their way-to-tight money will be going to others places. Personally, I think ebikes may be they way in. Spend any time on a peddle assist bike with trottle over-ride and it’s not that far a leap to wonder what a bit more power might be like.

  42. Mark says:

    There are several reasons why younger kids are not buying bikes. Many of the reasons have already been stated. I think the cost of bikes is a large factor. If they are going to buy a form of transportation with any money they have it won’t be a bike. Bikes are mostly a toy.
    Another factor is the cell phone. Its hard to ride a bike and use the cell phone unless you get a bike that will accommodate the use of a cell phone but those bikes cost too much.
    I see my grand kids and they are just not interested that much in outdoor activities. They don’t seem to be that adventurous as we old geezers were. We didn’t have cell phones. I think the lack of cell phones helped us to be come more resourceful where as they can’t live with out their phones. I remember I couldn’t wait to go exploring on my bike. The feeling freedom can not be compared. Now the kids use their phones to explore.

    • Uffe says:

      Sad but true. I probably wouldn’t encourage my son to get a street bike either, since every time I’m out riding, I encounter countless idiot drivers in their cars and on their phones texting.

      By the way, why is the field to type comments black? I can barely see what I’m writing when using my iPhone.

  43. Rich says:

    I was raised in the 60’s and times were different – not better – just different. At about the age of 7, I had a bicycle and pretty much unlimited freedom – “Bye mom!” “Be home by dinner!” If you stayed at home, you were either bored or put to doing chores so my friends and I went everywhere and anywhere! And when I was able to save some $$, I had a minibike at 14 – why? Cause it exponentially expanded the sense of freedom and exploration my bicycle gave me! It continues today!

    Today times are different – not better – just different. Kids have less freedom and more structure and much more entertainment (TV/cable, video games, computers, etc). The environment that allowed me to experience motorcycling is not here today. I’d wager if I grew up today I wouldn’t be a motorcyclist!

    Manufacturers have to target young adults and get them exposed. Scooters! – flood the market with scooters and maybe a spark will ignite a few millennials to ride!

  44. FreddyJ says:

    1) Younger generations are more about having experiences than accumulating stuff. I could see bike-sharing concepts like Twisted Road catching on, but…

    2) They don’t seem all that interested in driving themselves. I hear more and more kids turning 16 that aren’t chomping at the bit to get their license. If you don’t want to learn to drive a car, you probably won’t want to learn to ride a bike because…

    3) They have seen too many horror stories on social media. It’s one thing to hear about a tragic motorcycle crash, but it makes more of an impact to actually see the aftermath. Our culture is also less risky with a higher value on personal safety, which has been going on for decades now.

  45. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Just a few things I can think of:

    1) When I was 15 in 1981, there was actually a place I could ride my dirt bike (actually a 1972 Yamaha dual-purpose bike with the street-legal lighting and tires removed) on land practically bordering my family’s property.
    Extremely convenient.
    Also, nobody seemed to mind a kid riding his dirt bike as long as you didn’t violate common-sense rules (like riding across somebody’s front yard or farming lot they didn’t want any trespassers on).
    Today, that seems to have been reduced greatly, both in available land to ride on without getting shunned/arrested, and the acceptance of riding a dirt bike, where you are often looked at as if you are participating in something “harmful” to the Earth.

    2) A biggie:
    Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki, the makers of all of those relatively inexpensive dirt bikes – in the late 1960, all of the 1970s, and the first half of the 1980s – ALL have dropped the USA market like a hot potato and now concentrate their efforts on “emerging” markets overseas.
    NONE of the reps working for these companies in this country will talk about this without some real prodding, as if it’s some kind of dirty secret.
    It’s a no-brainer that the USA is no longer their main market.
    These neat and cool smaller-displacement bikes people may be going ga-ga for now?
    They’re not made for the USA (like they used to be), but made for other countries, instead, and we get the same thing with different plastic bodywork and decals.
    We get their stuff that’s been repackaged and we’re made to think it’s soooooooo cool.

    3) The editor of Dirt Bike magazine through it’s “Glory Days” of the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, Rick Sieman, wrote a book titled Monkey Butt, and this book came out after he’s gone through the peak years of dirt bikes in this country.
    In this book he makes it clear, after talks with AMA reps, that the then-powerful Japanese factories simply wished the USA dirt bike market would “dry-up and blow away” because it had become a bothersome nuisance to these manufacturers.
    Doubt you’ll hear a USA Honda or Yamaha rep say that.

    4) Inflation has gone through the roof.
    I remember when a motocross bike like the Honda CR250R and Yamaha YZ250 passed the $3,000 mark, and the magazines were printing concerns on how much higher could the pricing go before the “sport is ruined”.
    Well, today, that once-troublesome $3,000 price is now considered dirt-cheap.

    • Denis says:

      John, I think you are right on the money with point number 2. I often wonder why the Japanese manufacturers largely abandoned the small, street legal, dirt bike market. I recall how many of my friends and schoolmates from the late 60’s and early 70’s were able to afford these bikes and got a start that eventually led to a lifelong desire for bigger bikes. It just seemed like a natural progression. I notice now that 16 year old kids start out on machines that are very fast and powerful—too much at once! You have 600cc sport bikes that have performance that rivals 1000cc bikes of the past. I talked to a long time Honda dealer who recalls Moms coming in with fat check books and dropping big money on hyper-powered crotch rockets so Junior could have his first bike. He mentioned to me that he felt very uncomfortable about this and warned some of those kids that they may be biting off more than they could chew. Maybe the interest in motorcycle ownership could be revived if we go back to what I believed was a natural progression. But, then again, maybe I’m too old to understand how things work today.

  46. Debra Apple says:

    I got hooked, although i didn’t actually get my own bike until aged 30

  47. MGNorge says:

    Just thinking about housing in our area (Seattle) and how sky-high property has gotten. Just recently the median home value in Seattle has reached over $800k. That may be fine with those making BIG income but it’s leaving lots of folks behind. A result of that is multiple people, even families, living in homes just to afford them. Likewise, kids getting out of school with large debt hanging over their heads pray they land that sweet tech job or they’re SOL. Quite a bit different than in my day. Under the circumstances even if they had the motorcycling bug a bike may very well be a luxury they can’t make happen.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I live in Colorado along the front range. While not as bad as Seattle, housing is definitely a painful reality for people, especially those younger families in the greater Denver area. Even renting a decent house or apartment is pretty ridiculous. There just isn’t much left over from the paycheck.

  48. Denis says:

    I’ve said it before—in order to be into motorcycles, you need three things: Money, Time, and Passion. Passion is the biggest and most important and part of it has to be born in you. As far back as I can remember, internal combustion engines have always fascinated me. When I was a small child, I was exposed to motorcycles every time I visited Grandma’s house. It was there that my younger uncles, who were still living at home, would be in the garage working on them. They rode British bikes—one of them had two Indians—and just the site of those handsome looking machines would fuel that inner passion. Later in life, it was all those lawn mower engine powered mini bikes that neighborhood kids fiddled with. Then there was the TV series “Then Came Bronson”. There was a Honda dealer not too far from home and when I would ride my bicycle there and go inside, the owner never chased me out. He would answer all my questions no matter how ignorant some of them may have sounded. I bought four motorcycles from him over the years—all of them new, All I ever wanted was a motorcycle of my own. Dad (who had no interest at all in motorcycles) let me own a motorcycle as long as I bought it with my own money and maintained it on my own and was old enough to have a motorcycling license. I now am the grandfather of a little grandson who is not quite 2 years old. When he was only 1, I showed him my old Honda CB750 and let him push the starter button and bring it to life. I then let him blip the throttle and instead of being frightened by it, he could not get enough. The look in his eyes and the excitement he had cannot be described! When I tried to remove his little hand from the throttle, he wouldn’t let go. How does a child so small show such a huge interest? It must be born in him. Why more kids today are not like that is a mystery to me. No Passion= No Drive= No Money= No Time= No Bike.

  49. ScottB #43 says:

    The way I see it is this isn’t caused by this generation, It started with my generation. I’m 55 years old and have 4 grown children. I tried getting them all involved with the sport since they were 10 years old. I’m a General Manager of a multi-line motorcycle dealership and I see the next younger generation looking for their first bike never having the chance to ride before now. When I was young, sure there were more places to ride and my parents didn’t worry about me going off by myself to have fun but they also took the time to let me experience the outdoors by camping and going places that I could ride my dirt bike. Like everything else in this world, constructive parenting is the key to raising a successful kid. Of my four kids, only two really wanted to get into the “bike” thing. The other two enjoyed going along and experimenting but never really thought it was that big a deal. However, those two kids have kids of their own and are teaching them how to ride things. Discretionary income is a huge issue because there are too many other things it can be used for but if we would have prioritized riding and spending time together outdoors our kids would be more interested in these vehicles. There is land out there to ride on and if we would have taken the time and money to do those things, there would be more interest in recreational vehicles such as motorcycles. The good thing is that it’s never too late to get it rolling again. As a dealer, I spend hours talking to parents when their kid drags them into the dealership. I explain the fun that our family has had being together and what it has taught my kids and grandkids about togetherness and responsibility. I think the manufacturers marketing should be re-directed to those values and really work with the dealers to promote the sport at the beginner level. They don’t spend a bunch of money on it because the margins aren’t there on the small dirt bikes but in the long run it’ll pay off because everyone gets older and the “seed” needs to be planted at an early age.

  50. Mr.Mike says:

    Having been riding since 1972 and later having raised two now adult male Millennials I have observed the following with them and their friends as reasons why they haven’t yet picked up the motorcycling bug:

    Kids live much more structured lives than before with parents dragging them from one weekend and after school activity to the next. Kid don’t have the time to get on a bike and go ramble through the woods like I did, and parents are certainly less inclined to let them go off and do dangerous unstructured activities such as dirt bike riding.

    Where I grew up we had four channels on rabbit ears. There were only so many times you could watch “Gilligan’s Island” re-runs before you had to find something else to do. Now there are lots and lots of distractions with nearly infinite opportunities for entertainment available.

    More kids seem to live in cities and suburbia now with less open land to get hooked on those first dirt bikes.

    Riding motorcycles hasn’t entered the popular culture as something that their peers are even doing. We need a Millennial version of “Then Came Bronson” for this age.

  51. Harold Klassen says:

    I think that the manufacturers have brought this on themselves. I’d love a dual sport single 650 under 400lbs. 6 speed, but the only ones available are 25-30 yrs. old! Yamaha doesn’t even have one, the new R. E. just a little too small. KLR, DR, XL, should’ve been brought up to modern times, FI, more road/dirt worthy, lighter, decent fuel range, etc. that would make them a lot more fun=more sales. Right now they cost 1500-2000 more than they should for what they are! I don’t see anything coming that really catches my interest. Kawi can bring out a turbo sport touring bike but won’t update the KLR, doesn’t make any sense, I don’t care about a turbo charged bike. By the time ktm & yamaha bring out their new dual sports I’ll probably have lost all interest, oh well!

    • Scott says:

      The topic of this article is “Why aren’t millennials becoming interested in motorcycles?”

      Not, “Why are so many disgruntled old guys so mad about everything?”

      We already know you’re mad. We know that the older people get, the more they pine for the good ol’ days. That’s not going to change. It doesn’t matter what the manufacturers produce, it’s never going to be good enough for some people. There’s ALWAYS going to be something wrong with whatever they make. If you want to keep making excuses for why you won’t buy any bike on the market, that’s not a manufacturer problem. That’s a you problem.

      The factories don’t care about that. They’ve already gotten everything they’ll ever get from you. Why waste their time and resources chasing unicorns? If they are going to stay in business, they have to figure out what will sell to the young people who will be their customers for the next several decades. And what will sell to them will almost certainly not appeal to you!

      Old people have to realize that whatever you have to choose from now is pretty much all you’re going to have to choose from going forward. If you can’t find something on the market – with literally hundreds of bike models to choose from – that you would enjoy riding, then maybe it’s time to throw in the towel…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        And we already know you are mad at the disgruntled old guys. You risk becoming a broken record yourself.

        Discuss it, argue a point, or ignore it, but I think it is time to show a little class and lay off the insults. You have demonstrated that you are very capable of witty and entertaining commentary without having to stoop. Rise above. Or not… It’s the internet after all.

      • WSHart says:

        Scottie, lad…No one is “mad” about everything. Older people are just plain disgusted. We’ve seen what is possible by having lived it, both good and bad.

        Many, not all, of us can afford a new bike. But we put a value on what we’ve earned in life and how those earnings are to be spent. Earned. Not given, not entitled to but earned.

        It would seem that a great many younger people make pathetic excuses while older ones give solid reasons.

        Maturity is not caused by the passage of years but rather by what is learned during a lifetime. Your words show that you’ve chosen to be bitter, not better.

        Throw in the towel? Please. You throw it in. Adults will use it to wipe the sweat from our brow after a days hard work.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The problem is that people keep on buying DRs and KLRs anyway. There just hasn’t been much incentive for Suzuki or Kawasaki or Honda to update their offerings or for Yamaha to even enter that market.

      KTM, Husqvarna and Beta make the dual sport bikes you describe. They are pricey and specialized, which may or may not quite fit the bill for many current dual sport thumper fans, but they are amazing machines.

  52. bike rider says:

    Four things will keep my grandsons from riding – places to ride, safety, role models, and escaping poverty.

    When I was a 10-14 year old, we had places to ride in or on the edges of small towns in Minnesota. Minibikes, dirtbikes, home-made contraptions – we rode them all in the yard or on fields and woods near our town. That’s rare today. Safety becomes foremost in our minds the older we get, and frankly I don’t want my grandsons limping and aching for a lifetime because I got them into biking. Role models aren’t all around they way it was I was a kid; there was always a handful of cool high school guys riding, or tough guys in their 20s and 30s cruising or tearing around and basically signaling to the deeper part of my brain stem that, “That’s how I can be cool.” And finally without an expensive college degree, and now beyond a four-year degree (and the lack of high paying construction jobs) it’s tough to escape poverty. All money needs to go to pay for an education, with little left over for non-essentials like a motorcycle.

    So in closing, Kids on the edge of town, hell-bent on imitating other bikers, risking injury, getting it into their blood and embedding into the deepest regions of their brains, and finally having their college tuition covered, WILL get into biking.

    • FreddyJ says:

      I’m not sure I agree that there are a “lack of high-paying construction jobs”. I have heard from numerous sources that any kind of skilled trade (plumber, electrician, machinist, welder, etc.) is in VERY high demand. We are encouraging our oldest to consider vocational training in high school because there is such a demand for practical skills and less demand for a traditional 4-year degree. If you’re going into engineering, accounting, medical school, sure. But my BS in BS (communications) wouldn’t be very marketable today.

      • bmidd says:

        We can’t find good young workers that want to work in the electrical field, mainly because it involves work. You have to put in your time to learn your trade, there is no instant gratification, therefore there is no interest from young people. Not being an ageist, just telling the truth.

  53. Sam says:

    As Clint Eastwood described them, “pussies”!!!

  54. relic says:

    CL is full of used bikes for the same reason used car lots are full: the high cost of parts. A head gasket was over 100 $ ten years ago. Carb rebuild kits $250 for one carb.

  55. gt08 says:

    Many comment about going on craiglist for used bike.
    In fact here in Montréal, Canada. Dealer dont even put use bike on floor.
    They put it in container to go in the middle East. They do more money this way.
    They think newcommer will buy brand new bike the first time. Bike they can’t even tried before the buy…???
    No wonder why dealer are disapering one after one. Giving place to 1 or 2 megadeadealer that keep price high. Continuing to kill the sport.
    Insurance is prohibitive. Why Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Yam and the other, don’t insure the bike they sell. Give me insurrance for 2 or 3 first years. Help people going back on bike.
    Dealer association could partener to sell insurance for bike.
    Yerterday i was at one mega dealer on north shore of Montréal.
    Was suppose to be fun. Fact that i get out sad. And sure i will not buy there.

  56. Stan Gale says:

    While still in diapers saw a motorcycle for the first time. It was parked but I instantly knew what it was and how it meant joy and FREEDOM. Anything with wheels was of intense interest. Bicycled everywhere including a newspaper route and earned a 100.00 used Honda C110 when 14-15 years old. (Didn’t even think to get parent’s “permission”.)
    “On any Sunday” came out. Steve McQueen/Malcolm Smith etc. We had motorcycle heroes!
    The manufacturers were building entry level bikes that were fun and affordable.
    50 years later, it’s an R1 and YZ250F. The 250F on the MX tracks keeps me perfectly young and always proselytizing.
    We need the manufacturers to position motorcycles as something exciting, sexy, and safe to do with proper training.
    And there’s got to be a huge push for real training so people can truly be skilled riders. (I was an idiot who got away on testosterone and reflexes for years before Keith Code taught me REALLY how to ride.)
    The manufacturers need to hire young good-looking guys and gals and do public relation campaigns specifically to capture youth interest and cultivate it.
    They need to do events and do demos/give training.
    They need to have promotional sweepstakes so you can win a Rebel or R3, etc.
    Social media showing younger people having big fun on bikes.
    We won’t get all of the youngsters to look up from their phones – but the ones that really want to enjoy life to the fullest will bite.

  57. Pacer says:

    PS4 vs ZX-6. Whatcha ya gonna do. They didn’t go outside as kids.

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      Marijuana legalization/ adoption, improvements to VR… tough to beat an enhanced digital experience…just sayin

  58. Dino says:

    I wonder about the electronic influence on the young-uns. So much virtual reality, they get enough “thrill” and don’t feel the need for cycles or fast cars or anything else thrilling in real life. I am old enough that i had only reality to play in, and would rather ride my bike than do anything “virtual “

  59. CrazyJoe says:

    There’s to BS in motorcycling. On one end of the spectrum you have the sports rider who does yoga stretches before he rides. Stands to reason he also hates the diabetic overweight Harley rider who asks is the guy on the R1 with the yoga pants a girl. You see its a viscious circle or cycle and they don’t want to be a holes like their elders.

  60. Scott says:

    Slow day at Fox News? Breitbart offline? All someone has to do now is write “triggered” and I’ll have BINGO!

  61. WSHart says:

    Motorcycling is no longer affordable, ergo it is no longer available to be even remotely desirable.

    This has been stated before but that makes it no less true. Tires cost far more than a car’s and last only a few thousand miles. And again when compared to cars, motorcycle service is outrageous in both cost and frequency needed.

    Who wants to ride when doing so brings you closer, sooner to having to get new tires and/or a service minor or (GASP!) major? And insurance is just as usurious but that is likely due to people in the past riding like they own the roads and the rest of the world are merely back-markers. The present pays for the past and unless it corrects those impressions it is highly likely anything will get better.

    Of course the badass Ton-Up laddies here will decry all of this but they’re just being juvenile typists. For motorcycling to “survive” it needs to change. Anyone can “change”. What this industry needs is the same thing we all need. Change for the better.

    Too many that come here and pound their keyboards are all about the bitter. They hated the success of Harley and now applaud HD’s sales slump. This article points out the hard truth that the slump is industry wide.

    Oh yes. For those that feel otherwise might I remind you of Victory’s sales success with this parody of same? It’s not hard to be up 100% in yearly sales when last year you only sold one bike.

    Make it affordable in every way. It doesn’t have to be the fastest around a track or down the road. It doesn’t have to be the most bitchin’ in looks. It doesn’t’ have to do anything other than make it’s owner satisfied. You know. Happy.

    Not being able to afford something after you acquire it is guaranteed to give you buyer’s remorse.

    And I guaranty buyer’s remorse will spread like the plague and keep others away from doing that to themselves.

    • Pacer says:

      Go on craigslist. It most certainly is affordable. All disciplines. Maintenance is not out of control, bikes are better than ever. Also, liability insurance alone won’t break the bank.

      • WSHart says:

        I’ve seen Craigslist and no, motorcycling is not affordable to the masses.

        More thoughts regarding the decline of sales:

        It ain’t a “sport”, it’s more a pastime or a hobby. Racing is far from a “sport” but it is a skill set. For the greater part it doesn’t require anything remotely resembling athleticism. It can be cool to watch and cheer on the participants and motocross/supercross are perhaps the most strenuous of these and I will grant that many riders train in an athletic manner to ready themselves for racing, but riding in general is not a sporting event. If so, perhaps Goldwingers form the Sumo faction of said “sport”?

        People today are occupied with being unoccupied. I went to dinner last night and here is what I witnessed:

        People not talking while waiting for their food to arrive. All of them were on their stupid phones like flies on a cow patty. Years ago conversation would flourish until the arrival of the food and then…silence. Albeit silence interspersed with a bit of talk. Now, just silence. The silence of the spams, if you will. Morons.

        The content in making a motorcycle is nowhere near that of what goes into making an automobile. Yes, there are economies of scale to keep in mind, but that in no way justifies or even rationalizes what bikes cost today.

        As Harley goes, so too will other marques follow. I would sooner buy a new car for the same or less than spend $30,000 on a new touring rig. $20,000 for an adventure tourer? Bah! That is patently absurd. Can I afford that? Yes, but why would I want to? Ego? Need? Want? Whatever.

        If the manufacturers want motorcycling to be popular again, then it must be affordable to the masses, not the asses. And those jackasses come in a variety of makes and models. And no. Lane splitting for everyone ain’t the answer. Here in California the lanes are turgid (look it up kiddies) with buttwipes on two wheels, revving their motors and threatening people if they don’t get “out of their way”. The CHP is rife with retards too lazy to do anything about this so, they work to make it legal so they don’t have to do anything about it.

        The answer isn’t in legalizing idiocy, but in making something viable by making it an affordable alternative. I know several younger people who do not even have a car driver’s license. They don’t want the headache of that cost to their way of life right now. Some have said that a small/midsize scooter for around town use might be nice but that they would have to see what the real cost of it would be and how it would impact their way of life.

  62. dave says:

    Many great points here. Taking a step back tho, it’s NOT just motorcycling that’s been dwindling. I have 7, 9, and 11 YOs and I can’t believe they aren’t more excited to doo cool stuff with dad (or anyone). Dirtbikes? Meh. Powerboating? Meh. Paintball, BMX, Skateboarding, Remote control cars, etc. They’re just not into what we were into. Times and interests change. 2 generations before US, no one really thought about dirt bikes, motorcycles, etc. We just hit the peak. It’s not that my kids don’t like these things, they’re just not that into it. So many other options, including and especially, digital anything. This is gonna be a long battle for me to get them into the great outdoors, but I’m gonna keep pushing.

  63. Miles says:

    Reading through the comments here, I understand why young people don’t want to ride bikes. You guys are a bunch of “get off my lawn” old cranks. Your attitudes make motorcycling seem uncool. Why would any 20 something want to engage in an activity where he might run into someone like you?

    Anyways, here are two other reasons.

    1. Money: 20 somethings have a more difficult job market, housing costs are more expensive, and student debt is higher than previous generations. Many have seen their parents’ wealth get wiped out in a single market downturn. Having grown up with, and experienced their own economic insecurity, they are reluctant to invest thousands of dollars into a hobby. Also, insurance costs for young men are astronomical.

    2. Laws and convenience: Why are there motorcycles and scooters all over Europe and Asia? It’s easier and cheaper than a car. To focus on just one law: How many states allow lanesplitting? It’s still just one. How many riders are motorcycle only, where a motorcycle is your only form of transportation? Unless you live downtown in a big California city, it’s more convenient and in many cases cheaper to own a car. The motorcycle is a luxury, not a necessity. Yet American motorcycle advocacy groups waste most of their time fighting helmet laws and noise restrictions.

    • Scott says:

      +1 to everything Miles wrote.

    • Dave says:

      Motorcycles & scooters are easier & cheaper than cars in Europe is that gas costs$8/gal. there and many cities have restrictions on cars & parking. It doesn’t hurt that they have excellent rail service that makes driving long distances unnecessary for most. We’re the only developed country that thought it was a good idea to sell off and bury our rail infrastructure…

  64. Blackcayman says:

    Motorcycles were not allowed in my house growing up.

    I was the kid in the car looking longingly out the window fascinated with motorcycles. Two weeks after my 18th birthday I was an owner…a low miles 1980 Honda Nighthawk 450 (in 1982) bought for 1250 dollars.

    Since then I’ve always had a street bike. I’ve had plenty of other power-sports machines, like snowmobiles, PWC and ATVs. Motorcycles are the best IMHO because they can also get you were you are going.

    I’m probably a rare case of a 1st generation motorcyclist.

    With all the cheap entry level Asian MCs and scooters, there are plenty of entry points into the joy of two-wheeled fun (Groms are Cool). No doubt “MANY” Millenials have been captured by electronic gadgets and social media. If you doubt it, try getting one to drop FB for a couple of months…….

    Regarding Student Debt…the real question we should be asking is “What forces were at play, that allowed the price of higher education to balloon so much faster that everything else?………… “”””The average annual increase in college tuition from 1980-2014 grew by nearly 260% compared to the nearly 120% increase in all consumer items.””””……….

    It certainly wasn’t FreeMarketism

  65. LordBeal says:

    Sam nailed it (as far as motorcycles go, his understanding of being shot for no good reason not so much). Honda needs very much to re-introduce “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” along with appropriately priced and sized two wheelers. The Rebel 500 and 300 are outstanding, but Honda also needs to bring back the Passport (C-70) with a 110 sized engine, or even make it electric. They have one in Japan, bring it here!

  66. MikeG says:

    Bullet points:

    — Motocross bikes cost $7000+ and big bucks to rebuild (thanks to the AMA allowing 4-strokes to be twice the size of 2-strokes, killing our beloved sport for anyone but the privileged)

    — Even in our huge country, corporations and developers have dictated how land gets used and squeezed more development out of every acre. Goodbye Saddleback, goodbye Riverside, goodbye Carlsbad, and goodbye to all the great places to ride we used to be able to drive our mini-trucks to after work for some quick laps 🙁 Dirt bike riding and racing requires huge commitment and/or huge MONEY.

    — SUVs! Urban assault vehicles are amazing machines…safe, fast, comfy…and the bane of most new street riders. Very intimidating.

    — Every time I’m in Europe, I notice that motorcycling is quite healthy there (don’t know the actual stats) so I imagine they have more motorcycle-friendly statutes. One look at the lane splitting debate here tells me we’ve lost our chance to be a motorcycle embracing culture. There’s this pervasive nanny state do-gooder mentality in the USA (spread across BOTH political ideologies, so don’t start) that really steers us away from being inclusive to motorcycles and allowing riders to exploit their unique benefits (parking ease and lane-splitting being two.)

    • Dave says:

      A 450cc 4-stroke is not “twice the size” as a 250cc 2-stroke (even if it were 225cc). It fires 1/2 the times for the same number of revolutions at the crank. In simple terms, that means a 250 2T should be able to process more fuel than a 450T per minute. In reality, the 450 4T makes more power on less fuel. 4-strokes are superior engines. Case in point- a current 250f is faster on track than a 250 2T used to be. A 450 is faster than a 500 2T used to be (and vastly easier to ride).

      KTM still sells 2-strokes. Are they 30-40% cheaper than their 4-strokes?

  67. skybullet says:

    It isn’t the money it’s priorities. Craigslist is full of bikes that are affordable for anyone who frequents Starbucks. When I was about 6 years old I had a burning desire for a Cushman. At age 11 I paid cash for a cardboard box of parts that was supposed to be a Whizzer. It never ran but a year later I bought a clapped out 200cc Villers that did. Too bad kids and young adults are missing the euphoria of a motorcycle. I raced off road for many years and just completed a 2000 mile trip on a state of the art sport touring bike, the euphoria is still there. Like everything in life, if you don’t think you can, you will never find out.

  68. Grover says:

    Nobody had to push me or my friends (born in the late 1950’s) to get into motorcycles. It was a desire we had before we were age 10 and we were going to feed it no matter the cost. Lack of money, danger, warnings from loved ones and even death could not stop us once we were old enough to aquire a motorcycle. Funny thing, we’re all still alive and kicking after spending a lifetime riding in So. Cal. Even if Millenials stop buying bikes there will always be the secondary market full of low mileage bikes just waiting to be snapped up by enthusiastic riders. It might sound cold, but I don’t care if Millenials ride or not. A bigger concern is the impact of autonomous vehicles on our “privilege” to ride.

  69. Rapier says:

    I knew when I waded into the comments the #1 reason sited would be that the kids are too damn soft today. This is a complaint that has been heard for 100,000 years, give or take, since fire was controlled, or was it when animal skin were first used and clothes were invented. I can hear the grunts now, ‘why back in my day….’ well you can fill in the rest. It’s nonsense.

    • Butch says:


      I can remember my dad saying the same thing when I was a kid.
      I’m 68 now and saying pretty much saying the same damn thing he said.
      My 4 year old grandson could use an electric impact driver by the time he was 2.
      I intend to pass my mechanical knowledge of motorcycles and everything mechanical I can, as long as I can.

      • Rapier says:

        I’m 66. It occurred to me when I was young that older people who got into the whole ‘the younger generation has gone to hell’ thing had something in them I didn’t like.

        Over the years it has become clear to me that “thing” can be summed up in one word, resentment. I’ve also seen that more and more peoples lives seem to be consumed with resentment. One branch of which is ‘those young people are *&%#!. Which invariably is joined by long lists of others who they think are bad. Even our churches are now filled with resentment.

        I can’t be bothered with those who enter this doom loop. Resent yourselves away.

  70. Hot Dog says:

    35 years of “trickle down” economics has drained the middle class and everything has only gotten more expensive. While the polarization of wealth towards the top has limited many, I think the real monster in the shadows is social media. Everyone walks around with their nose up a little black box, oblivious to everything.

    I agree that a dirt bike is the gateway to all things good. I bought my 6 year old grandson a dirt bike for Xmas, so I’ll be living my theory.

    • carl says:

      I agree just think a top of the line pickup now hits $100,000!!!! Wages just haven’t kept up with expenses and motorcycles are a luxury not a necessity especially when half the country is under snow half the year.

  71. Sean says:

    Groms and Z125s. This is their gateway drug, and seeing packs of them riding around on their “modded” Groms in skinny jeans, sneakers and half helmets makes me chuckle. This article was linked on /r/motorcycles and millennials there soundly raged against it (of course)

  72. Davr says:

    There is no government program to pay for a motorcycle

  73. THE RICK says:


    • Scott says:


    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I see millennials out all the time. They are rock climbing, skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, running, cross fitting, obstacle course racing. Whatever one might think of millennials, I don’t see them as being lazy or fragile..

  74. ChrisRR says:

    Some of the blame lies with the Harley culture. What millennial in their right mind would want to ride an old fashioned-looking bike or wear the Harley “uniform”? I love the sound and feel of a Harley, but the looks are hopelessly dated, and I’m 55 saying this, imagine how a kid in his 20’s or 30’s feels

    • JOHN TOTH says:

      dumb comment , the millennials can buy any bike they want , they are just not buying any.Plenty of BMW’s, triumphs and Jap bikes out there. Bottom line is these kids cant afford any of them. Any chance you dont like Harleys?

  75. jpierred57 says:

    French ex Motorcycle (61 y):I ‘ve been riding motorcyle since 16.Triumph,Suzuki,honda (last cb 750), I learned with french police training since 14.I raced a bit between 1973 and 1980, But on public roads, always had a safe behaviour.
    The real fact is that Motorcyclist State of mind changed a these “old days” ,We ( I and friends) had developped a natural helpfull behaviour, not only on motorbikes. At that time motorcyclist almost always knew how to repair their bikes or friends bikes, No specific bikes laws distinguishing bikes and cars. We learned that a good morcyclist is someone who can master his bike at high and low speed.
    Now, in France (and suppose in Europe, too) the motorcycle market has been divided by 2 since 10 years, roughly,we had the pressure of ecologists that claimed for electric vehicules before knowing themselves if that technology could be realistic indeed,
    from economic aspect, and ready to go. What happenned, as in a lot of countries, a bunch of lawyers and public officials manage to make laws ,that are only good from a theorical law point of view. The fact is ,now, most electric vehicules, including bikes worth 2 times dearer than conventional fuel engines equivalent. Nobody buys them over here.
    As Traffic gets more and more complex,near or inside big cities, riding motorcycles might have been a solution, but (leaving at about 30 miles from Paris) I noticed that public parks are too few or too expensive. Our Buying power decreased a lot , in particular since 10 years, the young persons have much more difficulty than we had.
    Motorcycling was very often, a transitional way to reach adult stage.
    As all is a mattter of state of mind, I noticed negative points that worsen the motorcyclist word:
    1/ Giving an example with the very few champions is a very bad idea for the average .
    Motorcycling should really be considered as a pleasure but also as a useful object
    The race is useful, but Marginal.
    2/We had motorbikes that could have a mixed utility (go to work, touring …)where we could easyly share with a passenger
    Let’s look at the new bikes: they are so oriented in specific category, that make them obsolete within 2 or 3 years.
    Roadster are just modeling on cheap race bikes , who can afford to buy a big trail bikes?
    …In fact if an object miss some intelligence in usability, it tends to disappear over the long term. the only intelligence that remains is in the way it is produced, not used to.Probably at start, it seems marketing services goes a wrong way, they should start with a very correct value analysis, these efforts are, obviously not developed enough.So most of Motorcycle makers seem to create fast products that ensure them a short term yield, we are far from developing a long term positive behaviour and young people are not foolish.

  76. nomadmax says:

    I’ve been riding for 50 years now and will continue to do so until I’m unable or dead. It’s not important to me if young people do or don’t ride motorcycles; it’s only important to the motorcycle industry.

  77. Bill says:

    I know this is a symptom and not a cause but so many bike shops have closed in the greater San Francisco Bay Area that it’s a hassle just to take your bike in to have it worked on. My two bikes; a Sporster and a Gold Wing, both have hydraulic valves which only require oil changes, tires and batteries. I’m convinced that bikes would be more attractive to new riders if they had hydraulic valves. That’s just my personal opinion. Also a lower maintenance final drive like a belt or a shaft. Many years ago Yamaha sold a 50cc bike with a drive shaft called the Yamahopper so I know it can be done.

  78. EGS says:

    In my area, motorcycles are treated as anti-social statements of a deprived person who doesn’t follow liberal, pacifist norms. My kids were stopped by the police for riding their XR50 on the front lawn in an ‘unsafe manner’ (was doing wheelies). A couple towns over they implemented an ordinance making it illegal to ‘operate off-road vehicles’ (ATVs, dirt bikes, etc.) on PRIVATE property.

    My sons still ride on occasion but one admitted to feeling guilty because it portrayed him as an irresponsible father and ‘burning gas for fun’ is wasting resources.

    Who brainwashed these kids? I thought that was my job…

    • Randy says:

      Leave the “liberal” out of it, I’m a liberal and have been riding for 50 years. As for your son, what ever happened to using a motorcycle for your commute to save gas?

  79. dman says:

    I’ve been riding since the early 70’s but did not start on dirt bikes, though I’ve dabbled with them over the years and currently own a 650 dual-sport. My daughter in her mid-20’s (is that a millennial?) owns a street bike. Where I live, there is no easy access to legal dirt riding. But there are miles of world-class mountain bike trails, and the trails are busy weekdays and weekends … I mean hundreds of riders on a nice Saturday. Our town of 50,000 population has several pump tracks – essentially MX tracks for bicycles. Some of these mountain bike riders are old, like me, but many are millennials or even young teens. They are outdoors, riding, some at race pace, and many with bike handling skills I can only dream of. So, not all young people are Facebooking or video gaming. The question is … how many will try motorcycling as they get older and earn some money? Or will they invest instead in long-travel carbon fiber trail bikes, with pedals, and nice Sprinters or Tacomas to haul them to Tahoe or Downieville or Moab?

  80. jim says:

    the electronic heroin wins every time. smart phones are smarter than the the humans. now they’re all addicted and have graduated to being a servo mechanism for apple. there’s nothing in there that would leave room for a nicely powered, light, sweet handling gyroscopic device.

    still that new kawasaki 400 hit all them notes for the 1st time since my 350 honda.

  81. Roadrash1 says:

    At 57, I love riding as much now as when I started 45 years ago.
    I’m fortunate to live in a lower population area. I don’t think I’d want to ride in a busy metro area.
    My daughter is 18 and wants to ride. But, like many kids her age, hasn’t received her drivers license yet. But, she’s working on it.
    When she gets her drivers license, she can take the motorcycle written test and I’ll sign her up for an MSF course.
    I do believe there are many reasons for the lower rates of new riders. Seems like they covered those in the article.
    The college debt can’t be overstated. Many of these kids are carrying student loan debt that equals or exceeds what a starter home in the
    Midwest used to set you back.

  82. redbirds says:

    Had not given it any thought before but dirt bikes were the path that fired mine and friends interest in riding. That was over 50 years ago, my brother raced motocross and I wrenched for him and we road trail together on thousands of acres of land that was close to home. He still rides as well. The high price of modern motorcycles and the scarcity of open, unposted land to ride on have contributed to this decline I’m sure. Another limiting factor is the high cost of parts and dealer service. Motorcycles were far less complex back then and we all took pride in being able to do most any repairs at home.

  83. Jeremy in TX says:

    Man, there sure are a lot of prejudices with respect to the millennial generation. Maybe because I don’t precede that generation by too many years, I just don’t see much reality to much of the negative commentary.

    Lack of access to places to ride dirt bikes is probably a big issue and will continue to be. That is how I and many of the riders I know got into motorcycles. I think there is also less inclination to risk in today’s society as well.

    But I think the article is largely right when it says it comes down to money. Rent and utilities are at all-time high. There are also additional “necessities” that didn’t exist all that long ago like pricey health insurance, high-speed internet, mobile data plans and smart phones. Then add the student loan payments. Monthly cash out flow is pretty high. Starting salaries are still pretty low. Motorcycles are expensive, costly to maintain, impractical, and relatively dangerous vs a used Civic.

    A lot of age 30ish millennials I meet are actually interested in my bikes, some hoping one day to buy one. But the conversation usually ends on the same note – if only they could afford it.

  84. Rapier says:

    I believe the main reason is fewer and fewer young men have affinity for mechanical machines. The machines young people like today are digital. They offer power of a different sort.

    Truth be told many motorcycles sold since the Honda revolution of the 60’s were never driven much. While many more were sold in the waves of the economy up and down it was always a hard core minority who put on the most miles. The casual rider is disappearing because they spend their money on high tech stuff.

    Then too, even riders don’t appreciate how much faster and more crowded the roads are now than even 20 years ago. While today’s bikes are far more capable the skills to operate them safely is a lot greater now than used to be. The speeds especially greater. I know few will believe this but it is much harder to be a beginner now unless you took it up as a kid. Which gets into the little dirt bike thing. Where can you do that now without putting it in a truck and driving it somewhere far off?

    Then too, little bikes and beginner bikes are not cool. If you tell me you didn’t get into bikes because they are cool, I will call you a liar. Part of the loss of cool is because what I said at the start, Digital is cool

  85. Richeddect says:

    All of the above. Expensive, expensive to insure, dangerous (drivers that don’t drive), and since you can’t work on it yourself anymore, expensive to maintain. My alma mater cost 40k during my time but now it’s 100k! And who can afford to buy a house with a garage for said motorcycle? Granted, I live in Silicon Valley, but it looks expensive everywhere.

    • William says:

      Thats a good point. If you start off with offroad riding, that usually requires a truck to haul it with and a garage to store the motorcycle in. Maybe a trailer to pull. Trucks are expensive. The houses I see built now have no room to park a trailer and the garages are more like closets. With the job market being bad like it is, I have moved across country a few times. Riding becomes a big hassle. If you have stable employment you can do those things like motorcycle riding. So I think the job market also has a big effect as well as housing.

  86. louis says:

    Did the people doing the study ask millennials why they aren’t interested in motorcycles? I am interested in motorcycles, but I stopped riding after 34 years and 20 bikes almost 2 years ago. I am 58 now. Compared to when I started riding in 1984 the world has gotten much more crowded. There is so much traffic, I just don’t want to deal with it. I’m also tired of hearing loud Harley’s all the time, tired of even seeing them, they all look and sound exactly the same. Riding motorcycles used to be what only a few of us did, it was different and set me apart from everyone else. Now it seems like everyone rides them, they have lost their attraction. My 25 year old son has absolutely no interest in them, especially after seeing videos of horrible accidents on YouTube. Maybe the millennials children will be interested in them, but they will probably all be electric by then.

  87. edbob says:

    How I got hooked: 1979- 7 years old and sitting behind my favorite uncle, holding tight to his shirt tails while bombing along the snowmobile trails (summer time) in the Adirondacks on a 1972 Suzuki TS185 enduro. He only took me 1-2 times a season as we didn’t get out there much, but there were many nights in between when I dreamed of some day driving that bike myself. I was nuts over any motorcycle I saw. Eventually, I got my hands on it when I was 12, and on the same trails – I fell a lot as I could hardly hold it up and only got to it once or twice a year when we visited for weekends. I ended up only being able to afford to run a bike of my own until I was 25 and done with grad school, married, and with a place of my own to keep it.
    Present day – 45 years old with 3 kids. They seen me riding for years. The wife has no interest. My son, interested, but no where really to learn. I’m hours away from those same trails where learning wasn’t so damn dangerous as it is now because we have to ride on the streets of Long Island. I think nowadays the trails are too restricted and regulated to have a bike on anyhow. I bought an old Suzuki for my kids to learn on, and we ride up and down the driveway (they’re 11, 14, and 16). Will they be interested when they’re old enough? I hope so, but they definitely won’t have the passion that I did because of the lack of access. I’ve been told I’m crazy by everyone for letting my kids even look at a motorcycle, let alone try to ride one. More than ever, people see their kids as investments, and do everything they can to promote and protect, fun be damned. Not everybody does this, buts it’s pretty common because of how competetive life is for these kids.
    So maybe it is the lack of exposure to dirt riding, but moreso its the number of kids that are way too sheltered and protected, and have it ingrained in them that they have to mitigate risk at any cost, even a good time.

  88. David Fisher says:

    I ride motorcycles and bicycles. One thing that I hear all the time is that both of these activities are becoming more dangerous than ever. Car drivers are too focused on their phones. Road rage is rampant. Last year my 599 was totaled when I was hit broadside by a driver who just wasn’t paying attention. Last week I was run off the road while cycling by some guy in a big pickup who just didn’t think I should have been “sharing” the road. He even threw his coffee cup at me! A lot of cyclists are giving up on road riding and moving to dirt. Most people I know think I am crazy to ride either way. There are days when I think they may be right. (Regardless, it sure is fun!) I am not sure that money is the issue because I know lots of cyclists who are riding $8000 plus bicycles.

  89. Butch says:

    Wastebookers, Gamers and overweight, pizza eating, soda swilling, underachieving, narcissistic, girly men (boys).
    What do you expect ?

    • downgoesfraser says:

      What do expect from Butch?

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      I dont know if riding is the antidote for those things…I will agree that you never see a motorcycle at the psychiatrists office…

      • Anonymous says:

        As a psychologist who has ridden for 35 years, I can say that’s not true. And many of my patients ride.

        But I agree student debt, electronics preoccupation, and fewer dirt bikes are key reasons millennial aren’t buying. In sufficient numbers. I started on dirt at 12. Today I have to be a member of a dirt bike club, trailer and dual
        sport to ride dirt. All great options.

        Kevin P.

  90. ApriliaRST says:

    Well, I guess everyone disagrees with the reasons stated in the article.

  91. john says:

    By millenias I’m assuming you’re referring to todays Beta male pussies so the question was already answered….

  92. Miles says:

    Maybe we should tone down the criticism of new riders trying to find their way such as the caption to the photo above calling the guy a “posing hipster”. If we don’t make the sport inclusive it will continue to fade.
    I own (and ride) a bagger, dirt bikes, antique and vintage bikes, 2 choppers and a bobber. I waive at every single biker no matter which two wheels they are on and I will answer any questions I am asked by anyone that shows an interest in the bike I happen to be riding. Being inclusive is one way we can all help.

  93. Nate says:

    We’re told millenials get smaller living quarters, with less or no garage space. If they can’t garage the bike, then maybe they think why bother getting it?

  94. carl says:

    Around here one word “INSURANCE”

  95. downgoesfraser says:

    I am 67 and first ride was my cousin’s CT70. Bought an SL350 for 8 weeks pay, my ’69 Z/28 cost me 37 weeks pay. I had a hard time keeping the Z/28 in one piece, but found motorcycles hard to break. Modern cars run and run with almost no maintenance. Worked in the motorcycle, snowmobile, atv business since. Have been watching this go downhill for the last 10 years. Times change, how many ride a horse? Real income in the middle class has been declining for 30 years. Cars, rent, tuition, health care have done up. Motorcycles are expensive toys. Have noticed that many bikes have only been ridden 2 or 300 miles between annual inspections. Side by side sales are the only thing keeping the lights on in most metric dealers.

  96. Larry Kahn says:

    Too much easy access to porn.

  97. cinderbob says:

    Young people today are being raised as snowflakes! Consider the “safe zones” in today’s schools, for example. The little darlings sensibilities are FRAGILE beyond belief, so get the Ritalin! They spend much of their time looking for new and novel ways to be offended. How dare anyone speak a word that disagrees with the far-left indoctrination our educational system feeds them, for example. BTW, this isn’t the kids fault, it is the natural result of the sick society in which they are being raised, and in which we ALLOW them to be raised.

  98. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    I just sold my last motorcycle, a Triumph Scrambler, after 54 years of riding dirt and street. There has been a very real cultural change in American recreational intrests, as clearly seen in Southern California open desert riding. In the 60s and 70s the upper Johnson Valley would be over run with a thousand bikes on any weekend. Now only a dozen camp sites on Soggy Dry Lake. All of the above reasons are possible, however I am pissed for another, which is why I have stopped riding. The street bikes are all a stupid design exercise in style over common sense. Every stepped seat reduces a potential customer base to 10 % of the population instead of a flat seat accommodating 90 % of human stature. Kawasaki, Ducati and others have 5 inches, at best between the left foot peg and shift lever. The engines are no longer accessible for normal maintance, hidden behind all kinds metal and plastic junk. Jay Leno is right. One should be able to see thru a motorcycle, engine, carbs, curved fuel tank, flat seat, spoked wheels. Worst of all most folks select a ride for IMAGE enhancement. Owh I look like an adventurer, or ooh I am a Crotch rocket racer, or the forever owh I am a real tough guy chopper. Image has driven design into the ground. Only sensible bike left – Suzuki thumper 650, one carb, flat seat no origami toy styling. Just a machine. That is all.

    • Scott says:

      Yeah. That’s the reason. If only bikes looked like they did in the 60’s, Millennials would buy them in droves!

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        It is not the appearance, but the functionality of the bike that bears comparison. OVERALL, bikes now are heavier, faster, more complicated, and proportionaly much more expensive to buy and maintain. Throw in a larger population of cagers who are stupider, and have no situational awareness and both motorcycles and motorcycling are not worth the risk. The uniqueness that apeals the longest is the lean in a corner. Acceleration, speeds over 110mph one can get used to, but not the ability to fly into a corner. So we all pay a heavier price for unnecessary performance, which costs in weight, and $900. valve adjustments. Newbies are aware of this ratio. I am too. Think 1966 Bonneville, 395 lbs, 115mph, reasonable giddy up, and 40 minute valve adjustments. Oh and it looks like a motorcycle, not a bunch of scrap welded into a fence with a scalloped seat.

        • downgoesfraser says:

          May I suggest a new 400 Ninja. Lighter , better performing, easier to maintain, cheap insurance……………..

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            It sounds right, but ergonomics will still be too tight for a full size adult male, with a wee bit of arthritis. It is very encouraging to see interest from both the manufactures and riders in mid size bikes. I wish I had a 66 Yamaha 305 for the sound alone.

    • Sean says:

      “carbs”? Dude, it’s almost 2020. I’ve not ridden a bike with a carb in 20 years. LOL. I’d much rather plug in a computer and do some tweaking in a matter of minute than tear down a bike to adjust “carbs.” I’ll never understand luddites.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        So there you are, on a beautiful weekend, riding to Death Valley and the fuel injection pressure pump, that takes up space in the fuel tank dies right now. Guess what ? A carb with enough fuel and gravity will not be affected by electrics, computers, sensors, or plastic high pressure fuel line fittings. Okay silly me, just plug in your computer to a passing pucker bush and all will be OK fine.
        Can’t help with the luddites.
        PS- A carb functions in an analog fashion, smooth, predictable, not ratchet on and off, but sorta like a good Saturday morning dog.

        • J. Paganel says:

          A carb will be affected by all kinds of things. Mystery ailments galore. Tiny orifices that you don’t even know exist get clogged, parts smaller than a matchhead get lost..

          Getting floats set is almost black magic.

          FI either works, or it doesn’t.

  99. Martin B says:

    We forget that sports are also a great time filler. I played soccer but had asthma. I had spots and was awkward with girls, so motorbikes (a family tradition) kept me occupied and out of trouble. And they were so much cheaper than cars, which were high priced because of import restrictions in NZ. A group of friends at high school used to ride over the nearby mountains on weekends, so that became our racetrack. Some of us went on long tours at holiday time. Even after I got a job and became officially “an adult” I usually had a bike in the garage.

    These days second hand cars are a LOT cheaper than motorbikes, and young people are even poorer than we were, because school holiday factory jobs are very difficult to get, and student loans (not needed in my day) are a huge factor. And the amount of time a lot of people spend on their cell phones is staggering. I got rid of my smart phone because it was such a waste of time. I’m not sure I’d like to be young these days, and I’m glad I had the fun I did when I was young.

  100. Aussie mike says:

    I’m 67 & bought my first motor bike at 18. Reasons for buying it was i couldnt afford a car as i was at Uni. By 27 i was married with 3 kids. Wife drove a VW Beetle & i rode a Honda 250 Twin. Was on a single income & most of my mates had bikes cause a 2nd car was not affordable. Fast forward to today, i now own Victory Hammer S, my wife & I both own cars & the 5 kids are all married. My Hammer S cost more tham my wife’s Mitsubishi ASX. Motorcycles are just way too expensive & riding bikes in congested cities is no longer fun but also dangerous. Look at asian countries. Motorcycles are everywhere because they are cheap to buy & maintain. IMO motorcycles have become a luxury item for baby boomers.

  101. joe b says:

    There is always the exception, but its not their thing. Motorcycles are for old people, and thats the problem. They dont want to be seen doing something, thats not cool. Cool stuff is not what old people do.(what they think, not me). Why would we think, they would like what we do?

  102. North of Missoula says:

    The millennial generation grew up with parachute parents who didn’t let them get dirty or even cross the street by themselves. For most millennials the though of riding a motorcycle brings about feelings of impending doom and death. In my generation there was a sense of adventure associated with high risk activities.

    Now we are headed to a world where cars drive themselves. Eventually driving a car by yourself will be seen as too risky. People will not be trusted to make sound decisions when it comes to personal safety. Humanity is getting softer with each generation.

  103. WBond says:

    I agree. Number one, too many kids in suburban areas and there are no dirt bikes. We had mini bikes, dirt bikes when we were kids and when we got older to bought big boy bikes. Today, the new generation only rides a motorcycle in a video game. If you’re a father, go buy your kid a mini bike or dirt bike and get one for yourself and create some memories and a new generation of riders.

  104. MalcolmM says:

    It isn’t just motorcycles that millennials are avoiding. My principal hobby is remote controlled airplanes. Over the last few years, the number of people in my hobby has dropped a lot. Old timers drop out and millennials have other interests.

    I don’t want to knock the younger generations (I’m a baby boomer) but they definitely seem more interested in their electronic gadgets. When I was a kid, if someone was flying any kind of model airplane in the local park, kids would be fascinated. Now I can be hovering my 20 lbs 3D airplane a couple of feet off the ground and kids don’t look up from their cell phones.

    As for not taking up motorcycles, I agree with the reasons others have mentioned here, particularly the costs and the heavy traffic. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I almost never see a motorcycle on the roads in Vancouver. Most of the younger people here are struggling to pay rent or save up for a small apartment.

  105. Dave says:

    When most of us started riding, a CB350 was an awesome bike that was inviting to a new rider. Flash forward 20 years and the only bikes tahtweren’t either huge, or intimidating rockets were dated, uninspiring bikes that the salespeople didn’t even like to sell.

    It’s turning around. There are cool, new lightweight bikes that everybody thinks are cool and small transportation (motorcycles) can make a lot of sense to younger professionals.

    Funny how much “get off of my lawn!!” I’m reading here. Drugs? Uninterested in anything but their phones? Millenials are better educated and prepared than we were at the same age, but if that’s what y’all are seeing from your front porch…

    • jabe says:

      Not sure what your observing in your part of the world but I have to agree with most of the others here. Kids today seem only interested in their mobile devices or gadgets like it. My daughter and her husband’s cell phone and cellular bills far exceed the cost of a motorcycle payment and they are living the same life as so many their age.

      • Dave says:

        I observe what I do all over the world. Like every “old” generation, this one is finding something about younger people to degrade them (remember when it was sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll?). When I ski or bike or camp with my kid, I see just as many or more kids than when I was one myself. The world is changing faster than older people are comfortable with, just like it always has.

  106. John says:

    Aside from the costs, you have licensing and insurance that you have to add. And you can´t chat with some girl while riding a motorcycle. The cost of a basic motorcycle is absurd. A 2500lb car costs only twice as much as a lb 500 motorcycle. Most everything about building a motorcycle is dramatically cheaper, and yet…….

  107. Scott says:

    Things change. It’s a whole different world than what a lot of us grew up with. If The Millenials – or any other generation – don’t want to ride, what do we care? There will always be an outlet for kids like the ones we were. We might not recognize what they ride as “motorcycles” by our personal definition, but there will be something. Extreme sports will always exist in one form or another for those who dare.

    Keep in mind, there were plenty of non-adventerous couch-potatoes and bookworms in the previous generations, too. It’s not like every single one of us played outside, rode motorcycles, and fixed everything by ourselves. Just like, not every kid today only cares about his phone and his social media.

    And believe it or not, most kids today actually don’t eat Tide Pods or snort condoms…

  108. Tank says:

    When we were young we didn’t have internet, video games, cell phones or Netflix. It was a lot easier to get bored. When I got bored, I would go ride my bike. It was also a lot less dangerous back then. Cell phones ruined it for motorcycles.

  109. Tom R says:

    For millennials, today compared to when I was in my twenties:

    -The price of bikes relative to income is 2-4 times higher.
    -Insurance per month is often more than a payment for a bike.
    -Traffic is much heavier and faster, drivers are frustrated and less safe, roads are in generally poorer condition. More scary than fun.
    -There are many more hobbies and pastimes competing for one’s attention and money. Heck, last season the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers couldn’t even fill a 30k seat stadium.
    -Riding just does not have the “cool” factor anymore. “My grandfather rode motorcycles. I don’t want to do what HE did”.

    Any many other reasons. It is actually surprising that millennials buy motorcycle at all.

  110. fred says:

    I started riding in the dirt when I was 8. I was lucky to have a father that was okay with motorcycles, he was a motorcycle mechanic in the army during ww2. I have never quit riding. I don’t think many kids get the chance that I got.

  111. Dan says:

    Fewer quiet roads and empty fields for a beginners to learn on

    • JImS says:

      This seems to be the overriding factor. It’s been mentioned a couple of times in the comments and I would cite that as the biggest reason. I started out on mini bikes in an open lot. Dirt bikes and motocross were the next natural extension. I became passionate about motorcycles yet I also played baseball, football and rode horses. My home was more rural and I believe that benefited me greatly. It’s hard to get that for your kids today. My little acreage is surrounded by housing editions these days.

  112. Bubba Blue says:

    Several reasons. (1) Insurance is way too high for them. It’s more than the motorcycle. (2) They ARE buying motorcycles. They aren’t buying NEW motorcycles because they’re too expensive.

    (3) Many don’t need motorcycles to get girls. They’re screwing all the time from Tinder and that’s more fun. (4) Many are on drugs and they have no motivation. (5) Many are all geeked up on iphones and motorcycles just aren’t cool anymore. Bad PR.

  113. Buzz W says:

    They don’t have any money.

    A Gender Studies degree and 50 grand in student loan debt will do that to a person.

  114. Gary says:

    I agree about dirt bikes being the gateway.

    I have two sons in their early 20’s. One took to dirt bikes early in life (age 7) and the other never showed much interest. The son that rode was my riding buddy until he turned about 13 and he stopped riding to pursue other sports. Now graduating college (debt free) he is talking about getting his license. I’ll gladly help him get his first bike, or even give him one of mine. I’d be happy to have my riding buddy back.

  115. Tex-Scout says:

    Until manufactures install cameras that face the rider so they can Instagram or post crap on social media they won’t want to ride.

    Being an Indian rider, I use the example of a camera right above the nav screen on Chieftains or Roadmaster…

    • Tex-Scout says:

      Also I didn’t grow up riding at all. I was placed into many musical disciplines and motorcycles were out of the question.

      The bug bit me while at college at the end of my freshman year in spring 1997.

      All these years later I’ve never forgotten my mom’s anger about the whole thing. She’s come to terms with it 21 years later now.

  116. blitz11 says:

    I put my kids on dirt bikes at ages 5 & 7. (Daughters, two years apart.)

    Spring through fall, we’d hit the trails nearly every weekend. At age 12, I had them start driving the car / trailer rig on the gravel roads. By age 16, driving was a piece of cake.

    Best years of my life. My older daughter started racing sailboats, but can still haul the mail on her KTM, but doesn’t want to ride on the street. My younger daughter does week-long, 4-5K mile tours with us (all in our 40’s – 70’s) and has a ball. (At 16, rode my $200 craigslist Suzuki GS650e 4,000 miles; at 20, she rode the Duke 690 5K miles.) She will ALWAYS have a motorcycle. A KTM Duke 790 is her next ride. I promised her a new bike if she graduated from engineering school in 4 years. She’s gonna’ do it.

    Dirtbikes ARE the gateway drug, and in my family, I’m the pusher. It doesn’t hurt that my wife rides, too.

    My kids are TOTAL outliers, but are ok with it, ’cause they’ve been to the other side. Millelenials just don’t care – about cars, about motorcycles, dirt bikes, anything. It’s very scary. I see it in the engineering classes i teach. Connected to their phones, disconnected from other people and experiences. Sad, really.

    • Jonathan says:

      i think blitz11 hit the nail on the head. for better or worse young people just dont care. they are a technology generation, thats their motorcycle.
      im 56 and when i was a kid there was Evel Knievel, there were motorcycle toys, there were motorcycle commercials. it was woven into our society, our brains. a kid couldnt wait to get their hands on one. it was a natural progression, we were also heavily into bicycles, the gateway drug. we wheelied them, skidded them, jumped stuff on em, pretended they were motorcycles! dirtbikes sure for those lucky enough, for us it was mini bikes. the site of Richard Burke putting his foot down and doing a perfect 360 on his orange CT70 is still etched into my mind, lol. i wanted one sooo bad!!

      • gary t says:

        I can relate to these 2 posts, and I am thankful every day for the passion I have for motorcycles. I had an older neighbor kid down the street that always was talking about mini cycles, XR75s All sport steens His uncles Ossa and his other uncles Hodaka etc. And yes, he had an Evil Knievel lunch box. I always appreciate the fact that he got me interested in bikes. Thanks Mike!

        • GP says:

          I agree with disappearing mini bike/dirt bike opportunities being one of, if not the single most important reason for the decline in interest. Here in New England, recreational TRAIL RIDING HAS BECOME A CRIME, with punishments that rival, or exceed those of drug use, shoplifting, vandalism, etc. – unless it is a sanctioned, insured, controlled event – and how can any young person practice to be confident enough to participate in one of these events? They simply cannot unless their parents sacrifice the time to accompany them, and trailer the bikes to some “approved area” (good luck finding one).
          I suspect that many of us Boomers grew up trail riding right from our parents driveways – alone, or with friends (NOT with parental supervision!). I know that my brothers and I did. Most kids today just do not have that freedom due to laws that have essentially made trail riding a real crime…but recreational marijuana use has just been de-criminalized here in MA…

  117. motocephalic says:

    Making more low end bikes, dual sport types, might make it more affordable. Most people (except me) consider a bike as recreational only. The industry is starting to make nice small bikes, powerful enough to ride on the highway, yet still reasonably priced. I think that is how you hook millennials.

    • William says:

      That might be the solution to many of the problems mentioned in this thread. More dual-sports. That way people do not need a truck or trailer to haul, and those things add cost. They can do both offroad and street. So not limited to the dwindling offroad areas as much as a dirt bike. Lower cost, lighter, more upright seating. The height can be a problem though. Of course some dual sports are not low cost, but that’s ok, it can give a person something to ponder about as a future purchase.

  118. Rman says:

    Millennials don’t seem to like to buy anything (houses, cars, etc.). Maybe if leasing was an option more millennials would get into motorcycling.

  119. MGNorge says:

    “They also cited decreased use of dirt bikes by youngsters, a form of “gateway drug” to motorcycle addiction.”

    That was me in spades. The hook was set for a lifetime!

    • paquo says:

      I know right my friend in grammar school had an amf/harley mini dirt bike and a go kart and i got hooked, although i didn’t actually get my own bike until aged 30

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