Motorcycle Industry is Doomed

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by HelmetHead Cycle, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    This depends greatly on location. The actual DOD requirements aren't particularly strenuous, but in some locations it's more difficult than others -- often because of a lack of sufficient qualified MSF instructors to teach the classes. It's true that some commanders are hard against motorcycling for various reasons, but as often as not it's hard to get into the required classes because there aren't enough classes, because there aren't enough instructors to teach them frequently.
  2. hankgs

    hankgs Long timer

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    I am a 51 yr old rider, (relatively YOUNG in the BMW set!) and I have to say, I somewhat agree with the OP. Most kids are NOT outside riding bicycles, or for that matter doing anything, unless Mom DRIVES them to school or soccer practice. This maybe different in other areas of the U.S., but here in So Cal, the little fuckers refuse to walk or ride a bike ANYWHERE!
    When I visit relatives in Holland, EVERY kid is on a bike- I am talking in the rain, wind and snow!!!! Parents would laugh if the kids asked for a ride anywhere.
    Our country is all about smart phones, iPads and Xbox. Makes me sad.
    I have tried to share the riding experience with fellow co-workers and friends, and yes, even my wife. Invest in going to the MSF riding school and see if you like it, THEN buy a bike or moped and have fun!
  3. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    You obviously don't have a clue what I am talking about. Read the post after yours. Like I said, two friends gave it up this year because their commanders have it made it too difficult for them. You have to remember that military riders answer to how their commanders enforce the DOD regulations not necessarily the actual DOD policies. Both of these people are posted at NSA or other Washington Naval District locations.
  4. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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    I usually keep to my lurking, but it seems I'm kind of in the targeted demographic here.

    My situation: I'm 21 and have ridden since I was 18. Yep, I'm a newb. There's no way I could ever afford a new bike, but I have owned four older ones in the short time I've ridden. The average price I've paid for a bike ends up being about $600. If it's above about 40 degrees and a light rain or dryer, I'm on a bike, unless I have to haul things.

    My friends almost all think that motorcycles are cool, but the majority of them are also terrified of "how unsafe they are." Many of them say they could never ride because of how dangerous it is. In my experience, this has come down from the older generation quite a bit. I struggled for 3 years with my parents to let me get a bike. I did it all myself, no help from them, just as I have with all my other projects, and I've been safe about it. Now, my dad is considering getting a vstrom and my mom actually learned how to shift on one of my old Hondas. If there is anything that I see to be hurting the motorcycle industry/hobby, it's that negative stigma that so many people overmuch associate with it.

    I suppose the other thing is that my friends don't see it as a viable mode of transportation, which means that of the few friends I have that ride, most don't ride often at all. People look at me like I'm an alien when I leave the grocery store with a backpack and tank bag full of groceries on the XT350. The average person just doesn't think it's possible.

    As to the industry, I think it's a long way off from being doomed. I worked for Chrysler as an intern, and the number of people who rode to work every day was amazing. America is too rich and coddled for motorcycles to become as mainstream as they may be in other countries, but I highly doubt they will ever disappear unless they are outlawed.
  5. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    "...too difficult for them" ?

    Your two friends must not want to ride very bad if they are unwilling to meet a few reasonable rules laid out by the DOD.
  6. officerleroy

    officerleroy Been here awhile

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    Wow, I was gonna chime in but you've pretty much said everything I was gonna say. I'm 27 and just don't understand the attitude of other guys in our generation. It's "cool but too dangerous"?? :huh?? Which goes right into your last point "too rich and coddled". I think you've hit it right on the head.

    I'm just worried that it's this same generation [ours] that will slowly but surely regulate/legislate motorcycling as we know it into oblivion (displacemnt/power limits, closed riding areas, etc.). Doomed? Maybe not, but I'm certainly not optomistic.
  7. KG6BWS

    KG6BWS Been here awhile

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    Not necessarily true, not all of them are exactly reasonable. Like someone else said, what the DOD says are the rules, and how the CO interprets the rules, are two entirely different things. I forget which forum I read it on, might have been here on ADV, but I remember reading about several different commands that made it so difficult it was near impossible. I recall one of them requiring rider training up to the trainer level. Basically meaning that if you werent a qualified trainer, you were deemed too inexperienced to ride. Same guy had also said the nearest training was something like a 8 or 10 hour drive away. I recall another guy saying his command outright banned riding.

    WHile it sucks, and is stupid IMO, when you sign that contract you literally sign your life away. Some commands, Im sure, are better than others but if your CO doesnt want you riding hes going to make it as difficult as he possibly can and theres nothing you can do about it.

    If, on the other hand, you just dont want to follow the rules and meet the requirements, well then tough shit...dont ride.
  8. ct-ktm

    ct-ktm Long timer

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    I was just responding to the original post..
    Didn't think Harley bikes sales were slipping that bad but he says it like he knows?
    If the younger guys don't buy bikes I could see a problem eventually..?
  9. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    It's too Dangerous. But I bet they have a medical marijuana card, right? For their bad back, their glaucoma, their high stress level? Or the guys obsessed with being "Extreme"? Trying to act the part of Metal Mulisha? Or extreme snowboarders? Or is it all a show, just trying to appear to be one of the cool guys? On top of that, I think that every one of my kids' (22 years old) close friends, are developing severe drinking problems. When everything they do, everywhere they go, revolves around going to bars, or kegger parties, or just buying a case of beer several times a week to get fucked up, well, it seems to have overtaken any and all of their other activites, Judo, Mixed Martial Arts, racing bicycles, going hiking (now it's going somewhere to get fucked up), going to concerts, etc., etc.

    But motorcycles are too dangerous. Oh well, whatever your priorities happen to be.
    As for the situation with the Marines, I'd venture a guess that most guys don't stay in more than 5 or 10 years. You could always plan around that, for when you get out.
  10. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

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    but thats just it, motorcycles are about freedom, not rules
  11. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    But they volunteered to give up their freedom and follow rules for a time in order to protect ours. Nobody forced them.
  12. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    We used to build massive ramps to see how high and far we could jump our bikes, and we never had helmets. Played tackle football without any gear, shot each other with BB guns. Spent a little time in the emergency room every once in awhile, but that was just part of growing up. We used to douse tennis balls in gasoline, light them on fire, and have flaming tennis ball fights! I chalk most of what I am today at my ability to dodge a flaming tennis ball!


  13. Parx400

    Parx400 Long timer

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    Bad urban planning that led to white flight of city centers to the suburbs makes using a motorcycle as your primary transportation less attractive. Not everyone has the stones to suit up and lane split in the rain in early morning traffic for 45 min everyday. As the price of energy goes up and people come back to major cities (ones that are safe) i think you will see scooters and small motorcycles increase in sales (BTW scooter owners in many cases become motorcycle owners).

    The biggest problem is the American mentality of safety. We are brain washed at a young age to be obsessed with safety and we pay for it with our personal freedom and our taxes. We have been brought up believing that motorcycles are death machines instead of small transportation that should be encouraged in major cities.


    I live in Sacramento and in processes of buying a house in the midtown/ downtown area. I see lots of young people who own scooters and smaller bikes there, same with down town SF. I will be brapping around on my plated WR450 until I get a scooter of some sort.
  14. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Yes we did.
    Freedom comes at a cost,
    We gave up some of ours to keep yours

    What will you do when nobody cares enough?
    What will you do then?

    Things have changed but for the better?

    Just thinking
  15. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Just chipping in from the other side of the pond here.

    Currently the government has been over itself trying to change the regulations for getting a motorcycle license. Here in the Netherlands as an example, we first had two kinds of motorcycle licenses - light (upto 25kW or 250cc) and heavy (>35kW or >500cc). If you were 18, you were only allowed to ride light, and if you were 21, you could ride heavy.

    As per this coming saturday, things are changing though - there are now going to be three kinds of licenses you can obtain; pre-light, light and heavy. if you are 18, you are only allowed to ride pre-light. This is a license for <11kW (or 125cc) motorbikes. If you're 21, you can go for the 250cc license, and if you're 24 you can go for heavy (22 if you already have either the pre-light or light license). The fear is now this will put alot of youngsters (and new riders) off motorcycles.

    Also, in Europe there's been a lobby to get mandatory technical inspections shoved down the throats of the riders - thankfully, due to the copius amounts of protests the past year this plan was scrapped.

    Still though, all of this surely doesn't bode well for the future - there's too much interference from the regulators who have never done a yard of riding in their lives, and if the hobby (or sport or whatever) loses its appeal, fabricators will start to feel the strain soon enough.

    Having said that, if someone is crazy enough (and let's face it, most of us kind of are) they'll start riding sooner or later. I'm the first and as of yet only person in my entire family (both from my mother's and father's side) who rides. I'm 26, got my license at 25 (without other license or moped experience) and I can't really see myself anywhere else. I'm just wired differently, I guess.
  16. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    thank you!
  17. officerleroy

    officerleroy Been here awhile

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    If you can dodge a flaming tennis ball you can dodge a cager!!
  18. DOGSROOT

    DOGSROOT OUTSIDE

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    So you are openly declaring yourself a flaming tennis ball dodger?? :hair
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  19. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    This is the standard in Germany for a long time, I think also in Spain. What puts kids off of the 125s here in Germany is the insurance cost. Most kids wait until they are old enough to do the A2 (>125, <37hp), because it costs so much less to insure the 250.

    The issue is that the EU is trying to standardize the licenses from country to country. So some get more restrictions, some get less. The Germans are freaking out because you can no longer get a free up from A2 to A3 after two years like you used to.
  20. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Presumably this ends your current (or perhaps, previous) situation in NL, whereby users of small capacity motorcycles (scooters, really) were able to ride in Cycle Lanes, seemingly without legally being required to wear helmets?