Motorcycle Industry is Doomed

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

  1. DiamondDan

    DiamondDan Adventurer

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    This.
    Kids don't care about driving, riding, or flying like they used to. There are lots of possible reasons such as:
    ....rather do gaming and social media for entertainment
    ...cost for insurance, gas, etc
    ...over scheduled with activities
    ...post college loadd with debt so unable to take on new loans

    My car dealerfriends tell me they are seeing many fewer 20 something buyers, and I know in general aviation, there are many fewer recreationally focused student pilot starts. It's not too surprising that power sports dealers (oops, there's that sports word) would struggle with the younger cohort.

    In time, kids will tire of social media. They have moved away from cell phone conversations and texting, and in time, Facebook and instagram will run their course. But the real challenge is to compete and win their attention and hours. If young adults are working two jobs and students are loaded up with activities, therejustarent the hours to expend on driving, riding, or flying.
    #41
  2. marc11

    marc11 Been here awhile

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    By calling motorcycling a sport you dismiss the fact that motorcycling is a common and viable mode of transportation. Driving can be a sport like NASCAR or f1 but we do not call it a sport in everyday life.

    By accepting that motorcycling is a sport you accept that all motorcycling is just a form or recreation which should be regulated as such and not seen as an equal to other forms of transportation.

    Motorcycling is not a sport but motorcycles are used in sporting events same as cars.


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    #42
  3. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    d00d. You're not driving the right kinda car... :deal
    #43
  4. Sticky Throttle

    Sticky Throttle Happy wanderer

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    Depends on your intent. Seems to me you could do either or both.

    How many sportbike riders do you know who buy a liter bike strictly for transportation? It can be transportation and, depending on intent and the way a bike is ridden, it can be sport.

    Does this issue really need to be complicated/debated? They do call certain types of bikes sport-bikes, sport-touring and dual-sports after all.
    #44
  5. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    "Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games."

    :deal



















    :hide
    #45
  6. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    I put off buying a bike for almost 10 years before buying one .

    I was 23 when I started looking at bike and here are the reasons why I didnt get one

    1 Another payment
    2 More insurance and other bs
    3 Evey one told me it was going to kill me , lost a friend on one a few years before, talked to him 45 seconds before he died
    4 gas mileage didnt offset the added cost and shorter maintenance cycles

    So the years past and other things came along ,rock crawling , marriage ,vehicles , kids ect ... but I kept looking at them time to time and about bought a V strom after sitting on it , still got the pic of it on my phone of that bike .Last July I walk into a bike shop , look at the Vstrom and KLR then notice an awkward little dual sport in the corner behind the helmet rack covered in dust and tires low in air . Find out its a super sherpa , I go home do my research find out its a good little bike , called the insurance company and find the insurance is cheap enough so I go back and buy it a week later . I was 32 , not a young guy but still below the studies average . In a prefect world I would have bought it when I was 23 but I guess its the same reason alot of guys wait until later to buy them . I would still be waiting if I HAD to have a bigger bike but I dont so Im having fun riding my little Super sherpa , I know some people think its sillly for a 225 pound man to be on a 250cc bike but screw them Im still having fun .:D
    #46
  7. Slaghammer

    Slaghammer Been here awhile

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    One small step in the right direction would be for the magazine writers to stop referring to perfectly good smaller, affordable bikes as " entry level " or " beginners bikes "

    .I get really tired of seeing comments like that and wonder how many sales are lost because of " image " perception that is unfortunately so important these days ?
    #47
  8. marc11

    marc11 Been here awhile

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    There are sports cars and sport utility vehicles and generally sporty cars too but people do not call driving, even when done recreationally like cruising a sport. Face it, the general non riding public sees bikes as toys.


    Odd grammar, words and spelling brought to you by my iPhone's autocorrect.
    #48
  9. Sticky Throttle

    Sticky Throttle Happy wanderer

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    Yep, ya got me. I see your point. I would never buy a Maserati or a Ferrari sports car for the sport of it. They're clearly utilitarian vehicles for transportation only. What would "sport" have to do with driving a sports car like... a SPORTS CAR?

    Dude, what was I thinking?! :lol3
    #49
  10. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    Some of you guys are pretty far out there, somewhere.

    It isn't a sport if you can't die doing it. Golf isn't a sport. Bowling isn't a sport. Both those things are what you do when your balls drop off and you can't do real shit like ride motorcycles in a very dangerous way any more. Softball isn't a sport. It's what some old pervs watch so they can check out the young lesbian chicks playing it. Same with ice skating. Just for checking crotches on the spinning girls (or guys for you so inclined guys, I'm not judging you or anything you sick bastards!).

    As for the price of things, how bad do you want it? Do you want that $65,000 Ford F350 Diesel? How about that new Corvette or Cadillac CTS-V? You have to pay to play. If you are just starting, there are those little Ninja things, $3-$4-$5000, can buy you a pretty new bike. Shit, you can buy a used GSXR1000R-1ZX-10CBR1000RR or whatever, that will run a high 9/low 10 second quarter mile, that will flat smoke those cars mentioned that happen to cost $75000 or so, for $5000 or less. You don't have to buy new. Bikes aren't really that expensive, at least compared to the money we make these days vs. the money we used to make when bikes were $4000 new for the latest and greatest. The technology is awesome. And that shit doesn't come cheap.

    I'd hate to see it fall by the wayside though. To me, it's the cheapest, bestest, cheap thrills you can buy. And you certainly can die doing it, so that makes it a real sport.

    Are we clear now, sports?

    Sent from my work computer using TouchMyDick fingers onusnexusfukus
    #50
  11. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    Sounds like you hate HD.

    Actually, HD aint going anywhere. And recent stats show that there are tons of young people buying HDs.
    #51
  12. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    If I recall correctly, H-D is doing better than anyone else. The dealer near my house just bought another dealer (Honda/Suzuki, I think) in San Luis Obispo last week.
    #52
  13. bobobob

    bobobob badbadbad

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    Or BMW or Ducati or Triumph.

    The doom is in the Asian motorcycle industry.
    #53
  14. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    My motorcycles, were all for transportation.
    #54
  15. marc11

    marc11 Been here awhile

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    No you are not seeing my point and instead of discussing it you just want to be a smart ass in the hopes that someone will be your friend. Thanks for playing.


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    #55
  16. mattness

    mattness Adventurer

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    most young people around here make 7.25-9.00 /hr... the few 5% get lucky and make 10+/hr. if you have a full time job you're a lucky bastard.

    I dont know about the rest of you guys around the U.S., but every factory wants to hire us young guys as temps for 8.00 / hr no benefits. retail wants to pay 7.60 /hr and fast food wants to pay 7.25. my college classes went up 30% this year, my books are all well over $150.. each. The cheapest apartment i found was 550 /mnth... if i paid electric and water... cheap cars out the door are over 20,000 now. Insurance for a USED car is 100/mnth + until we're 25 years old. Ive lost a lot of weight surviving on 2 dollars per day for food. haha

    young people are doing college with loans they'll pay back later, buying cars with money they don't have, and borrowing money off their parents/friends to pay rent.

    hard to pay for a bike when my generation is bringing home 250-400 dollars every 2 weeks. Everyone that rides around here has gray hair.

    edit: oh i failed to mention, several people i graduated with never took the driver's ed class. many of them still don't drive. heck, my sister doesn't even drive and she's 22.... come to think of it, I bet 1 in 4 of my friends doesnt have a license. not because they got suspended, but because they just never bothered. it's too expensive to own a car. I bet this is happening all over the country, especially in the city.

    I bet this is the worst time in U.S. history to be a young person. In 1968, when minimum wage was 1.80, gas was 25c per gallon. so, 1 hour of work could pay for 7 gallons of gas. you'd be lucky to get 2 gallons for 1 hour now... a mid grade car back then, like a chevy bel air, was around 2700 dollars. at 1.80, it took roughly 1500 hours to pay it off. today a midgrade chevy, like a malibu, around 25,000 dollars, would take roughly 3,500 hours to pay off at minimum wage.
    #56
  17. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    We talk about this on the car side all the time. Driving and riding are a lot of work. Riding, in particular, is quite physical. I don't do engine overhauls with my kids, but I do do diagnostics that use a laptop and OBDII software. It puts it in their mileu. Maybe one day they will get up with the hardcore dirty stuff. I hope!

    Part of the issue today is the culture of instant gratification, and part of it is that we are distracted by everything.

    I'm old enough to remember how emissions controls were going to destroy the automotive aftermarket industry, and young enough to remember when the internet was going to destroy the shopping mall.

    C'ars and bikes aren't going away. But they probably will change.
    #57
  18. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    +1

    30 years ago the european brands had lost market share to the Japanese to the point of being a footnote in the industry, even though British and Italian motorcycles (along with a few American brands) really established motorcycles before the Japanese invasion of the industry. BMW was a speck in the market compared to the big four, and Ducati and Triumph even less so (or basically gone altogether in the case of Triumph). Over the past decade there has been an incredible resurgence of the european brands, who have carved out brand identities in much the same way HD has, expanded their bike lines to cover virtually every base, and have done a much better job of establishing solid dealer networks than they had in the past.

    When people think of a BMW rider or a Ducati rider they get a very clear mental picture of a lifestyle and brand identity, be it the GS rider with his expedition cases and adventure gear, or the Ducati guys with their superbikes and leathers or Sport Classics sitting in front of an italian cafe. The Japanese manufacturers have virtually no identitiy. What do you think of when you picture the typical Yamaha owner? Suzuki? People identify with the brand image, and branding is more important today than it ever was, because everyone's bikes are pretty good today, and do more-or-less the same thing, so branding is where you either succeed or fail.

    If you look at notebook computers, a windows computer and an Apple more of less do the same thing. You can argue that one is better at some things than the other, and they both have their strengths, but ultimately they'll both surf the web, play your music, crunch numbers, do email, etc. If you remove the case, you'll be very hard-pressed to tell one from the other. They use many similar parts from the same suppliers, and they're all built more or less by the same people. Apple, however, can sell their notebook for approximately 50% more than the average windows notebook, and when they introduce a new one they have a press conference that makes front-page news worldwide, and typically has a waiting list for orders. The biggest difference between them is marketing and branding. The Apple has cool commercials with hip young people and edgy music, and they make you want to be part of that lifestyle.

    I think the bottom line today is that there are just too many manufacturers fighting for a market that appears to be contracting, and a few of them aren't going to survive. I think in a decade two of the big four will probably be history, or at least resort to downscaling their 2-wheel business into something like scooters exclusively. I think the future for cheap electric scooters will be the boost that the industry needs, though I consider that nothing more than transportation vs. motorcycling as an actiivity, sport, lifestyle, or whatever you choose to describe it.

    I don't know what the actual sales data indicates, but my seat-of-the-pants feel of the market is that the current young generation has less and less interest in motorcycling, and doesn't seem to be able to focus on much of anything besides their social media bullshit and smartphones. Given that a good percentage of today's young people are jacked on prescription speed it's probably just as well that they stay off of two wheels.




    #58
  19. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    It seems that people are just not happy with the vanilla reliability of the bikes from Japan. They want to start smiling as they walk up to their bikes... Not just when they ride them. Bikes from Europe have texture, (unlike the used bars of soap coming out of Japan)

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/601/1...mph-Motorcycles-Claims-2011-Sales-Growth.aspx

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_Motorcycles_Ltd



    (February 23, 2010) – [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]Triumph Motorcycles celebrated its U.S. Dealer Conference by announcing the continued expansion of its product line and the pending sale of its 100,000[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]th [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]motorcycle since returning to North America just 15 years ago. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana,Verdana]"Triumph has methodically grown our product offering and dealer network over the past 15 years, and we are seeing the fruit of that labor," said Mark Kennedy, CEO of Triumph Motorcycles North America. "It‟s no secret the economy has taken its toll on a lot of businesses, but motorcycling is alive and well and there is very strong interest in the motorcycles we build and the dealers that offer the Triumph experience." [/FONT]



    [FONT=Verdana,Verdana]Triumph sold 1,332 motorcycles upon its return to North America in 1995 despite industry speculation that the company might not survive. The marque has since introduced 50 new models that have won awards in virtually every motorcycle segment, most recently [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]Cycle World [/FONT][/FONT]magazine‟s "Cruiser of the Year" for the 1600cc Thunderbird and [FONT=Verdana,Verdana][FONT=Verdana,Verdana]Motorcycle.com’s [/FONT][/FONT]"Motorcycle of the Year" for the 675cc Street Triple R. Sales swelled to more than 10,000 sales in 2009 despite the fact the U.S. market shrank nearly 40% because of the recession. Triumph reported one of the smallest declines of all motorcycle manufacturers, added another 23 dealers in North America, and continued to increase its market share in the U.S. ...
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    #59
  20. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Oh I'm not contesting that if they were banned, the price would go up. I could buy 3 or 4 and stockpile them to see me out. In reality, even if it moved quickly (say, 10 years from now) I could handle it. In reality, it'll be waaaaay slower than that.

    My footnote on them being cheaper was in relation to an earlier point:
    The cost of new bikes today is better than it was 30 years ago. The figures vary from year to year and sometimes, when you adjust for inflation they are more expensive, other times they're less expensive. The thing that is consistent, however, is that as a proportion of what the average person earns they cost less. This is the best indicator of how affordable they are and they've never been "more affordable" to more people.
    #60