Today Was a Sad Day

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by cabanza, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Jan 14, 2010
    Cin City, OH
    True, it seems Millennials are not only not buying cars, many aren't even getting drivers licenses.

    The hipsters destroying 70's Honda's may not be enough to carry on the motorcycling tradition here.

    Except in HI. When I was there for a couple of weeks in Jan., Honolulu was crowded with young folks, and people of all ages, on bikes, scooters especially. They recently had to plate 50cc bikes, but they're still everywhere. But considering the climate, it seemed more basic transportation than sport.
  2. dceggert

    dceggert Been here awhile

    May 22, 2006
    Metro Detroit - almost like offroad riding
    If those people are encouraged NOT TO BUY where am I going to find my source of 5 year old bikes with less than 1,000 miles on them? all means, buy droves!
  3. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

    Dec 31, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    I keep hearing this, and I don't mean to sound dismissive, but it's just not true. Motorcycles are so cool that they've fully infected youth culture, in cities, at least. Far, far more people want to look like they ride than do, but that's the point. Motorcycling's cool as sh*t. Fashion brands have been riding the moto look for a few years. Others - like Deus, or Jane - use motorcycles as bait so their fashion brands look more 'authentic'. YouTube and Vimeo are full of fantasy videos built around motorcycles, with view counts far in excess of what a rider-only audience would generate. In the entertainment biz, it's become fashionable for actors to be closeted riders... I just visited a store in the fashion ghetto of West Hollywood last week that sells $2400 helmets. Stop at Deus for a coffee, and the people in there outnumber the bikes parked outside by about 10:1. A bunch of motorcycle hashtags on Insta have multi-million post counts... it goes on and on. The challenge for the riding community is how to turn that fantasy into action, not to make motorcycling "kewl". It hasn't been as kewl as this in decades... people just aren't converting.
    shoeb likes this.
  4. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

    Feb 9, 2015
    Sheffield, England
    I'll agree with this; want to make a brand/ celeb/ film hero look cool? Put them on a motorcycle. Seriously, think how many times James Bond has thrown a bike up the road. As a cultural icon, the motorcycle still stands for "badass", whether for better or worse.

    The problem is when young people go from that fiction to the reality of the dealership, where bikes carry heavy price tags, are marketed almost exclusively to crusty old codgers and get you f*cking cold and wet if you actually ride the damn things. It's quite a leap, and neither the existing biking community nor the manufacturers seem to be bridging it effectively.
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator

    Sep 25, 2001
    Maybe the lingering effects of the hurricanes and flooding in TX are keeping people busy with rebuilding, or simply wiped out their savings. Besides, winter is not a time of robust MC sales, anyway.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  6. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

    Jul 9, 2009
    Wandering WNC and sometimes in Costa Rica
    I got some news for you
    Dealer margins or markups are not that big in the recreational segment.. Some people seem to think there is 5K in profit on a 12K motorcycle. or Jet ski or Quad Just not so. You might be surprised on how many units go out the door with the factory discount being the only profit a dealer makes
    Those of you who on occasion use the term stealer should open your own dealership and try dealing with asshats like yourself
    stilcrazee and Don03st like this.
  7. oic

    oic Business is ALWAYS personal

    Sep 6, 2014
    Directly under the earths sun.
    I have been giving this a little bit of thought lately. Rock music falling out of marketability more or less mirrors the slump of motorcycles. I think R&R did a lot to sell motorcycles to the image chasers. There is still great guitars and drums being played but not with the same exposure. The fun, party life style isnt sold today the way it was in the late 70s-late 90s.

    Although my MC love started long before I knew what partying was as I suspect the same of many here, the majority of MC consumers (HD guys) are not putting 30k miles on a yr, own 5 differnt bikes and taking classes on how to go round a racetrack. The rock and roll mentality sold bikes. I don't see a powerful sales guy like that now. We are nerds about riding motorcycles, and like RDA said, ALL of my friends are motorcycle nerds. Racers, ex-racers, retired guys that moved here because of the riding. For us, its all about how it goes, turns and stops. Nothing to do with image

    ETA, Im seeing an awful lot jacked up and loaded SXSs at races and events, 20k for these things and they act similar to the image guys. Loud stereos, loud exhausts and all of the look at me stuff like a lot of the cruiser guys like. $$$ is being spent just not on 2 wheels
  8. Paebr332

    Paebr332 Good news everyone!

    Apr 23, 2012
    Shippensburg, PA
    Nah, that can't be it.
    derblauereiter likes this.
  9. Sootgrinder

    Sootgrinder Been here awhile

    Jul 27, 2016
    Here in Appalachia the big sellers for the past few years ate the side by side utvs. It is obvious that those are where the dealers are making money. I think the street market is going through changes and will have to adapt to the changing desires and budget limitations of new riders. Only a very few young guys in my work and social circles are into bikes. The weather here dictates that a bike is pretty much a 5 month a year toy and very few young people choose to spend their seemingly limited extra money on a part time toy. Another factor that may play into it is that more and more people have to use their personal vehicles for their jobs, but their companies forbid using a motorcycle. I'm in that boat.
  10. Sonicbooms

    Sonicbooms Been here awhile

    Jan 29, 2018
    Rocklin, California
    So maybe the United States quality of life is on the way down and that would dictate less discretionary income to spend on toys?
    Richy and William Wolfen like this.
  11. Vrode

    Vrode Hangin' Out

    Jan 21, 2014
    High end/high dollar bikes don't sell in huge numbers here. The ATV/UTV market is doing well so some folks have money to spend. Younger riders are usually a little cash constrained but one of the dealers around does a lot of business in spring/early summer on used bikes. Buys a lot down south at auctions and flips them up here. I'll bet he makes as much on them as he does on new stock. I was in the showroom and there was some 2016's around. Nothing older than that I don't think.
    Sonicbooms likes this.
  12. Sonicbooms

    Sonicbooms Been here awhile

    Jan 29, 2018
    Rocklin, California
    Vehicle flipping in my area a very big business. People making a living on it these days.
    Vrode likes this.
  13. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

    Mar 2, 2007
    I went to a multi Japanese manufacturers motorcycle dealer in Naples Florida today to look at a bike I am interested in and the place was deserted except for the sale people. It was 85 degrees F outside with the sun shining brightly. Bikes packed in so tightly that you could barely walk around.
  14. st3ryder

    st3ryder Been here awhile

    Jan 27, 2012
    I don't see that as an anomoly. I always see previous years' models, sometimes last 2 or 3, on showroom floors. And have for the past 23 years. Almost any factory dealership. Nothing off putting abut that IMO. Depends on the model. Some models are slow sellers for whatever reason.
  15. Chaplain

    Chaplain Been here awhile

    Apr 28, 2011
    Appomattox, VA - AKA the surrender grounds
    When I was a kid....

    Born at the end of the baby boom, I can remember riding in the back seat of the car - no seat belts, no air conditioning. The family car had three-on-the-tree, no power brakes, and no power steering. Summer was hot in the car. Winter had us bundled up like the Michelin Man.

    It was a long hot ride with wind noise from Philadelphia across Jersey on the Black Horse Pike to get to the beach. Open cockpit biplanes (some dating back to WWI) towed the advertizing banners. Does anyone else remember when jets in the movies made a radial engine sound when going into a dive? The sound of cylinders firing in order was just part of anything that moved.

    Going for ‘a ride’ in the car was a treat in the summer evening; ‘cause at least the air was moving.

    The point I am making is that a mere two generations ago transportation was not the air conditioned, air bagged, power everything fuel injected instant start ABS traction control blue tooth ready navigational system back-up camera auto parking wonders of the current age.

    Driving required some effort. Even getting a car started in cold weather was an art. Few of my friends in high school had a car that did not need constant fiddling to keep it going.

    Young parents today are required by law to transport that baby home from the hospital in a car seat/baby bucket. (I do not disagree with the practice). But the kid will never ride in a car without a booster seat until about the 4th grade - if then. Baby will never feel wind in the face going down the road. By the summer between 4th and 5th grade I was riding a bicycle all over town. I was in a ‘just be home by the time the street lights come on’ house. (And we were to be home for meals or the Marines would be sent in by Mother...) Now everyone is escorted from pre-arranged activity to pre-arranged activity in air conditioned air bagged comfort.

    When my kids were in Elementary school (20 years ago) the school administration was incredulous that I preferred that my girls learn to look both ways before walking to the school ACROSS THE STREET (there was a cross walk), instead of a 45 MINUTE BUS RIDE to get to the school across the street! The school admin types were convinced that it was so much safer on the bus TO GET ACROSS THE STREET ( in a 25 mph zone with a cross walk ). I wanted my kids to walk 3 minutes each way rather than get on a bus for an hour and a half ride (45 minutes each way) to get across the street.

    A vehicle like a motorcycle in today’s world is an inconceivably dangerous, uncomfortable, primitive contraption. In the US bikes are as expensive as cars. Gas is cheap. And bikes, at least the most popular in the US, don’t get any better mileage than small cars.

    Bikes pay the same tolls as cars on most toll roads. Few places have dedicated motorcycle parking. God help you if you try to take a bike to a Jiffy Lube for an oil change. Need a tire between home an work? Sheesh. Few offices, shopping centers, etc. have provision for dealing with helmet and gear. Three season commuters sometimes come in wet!


    I can still remember the first time on a bicycle I hit a curve fast enough for counter steering to be really apparent. My first real freedom was on two wheels. Spooning a tire on a small motorcycle was not much different from dealing with a bicycle tire. Setting points on an ignition was not much different from the points on a ‘67 VW. Adjusting valves - already been there, done that. Shifting? Most vehicles I owned had a clutch.

    Can we imagine the kids of the present culture getting on a motorcycle in any numbers? Friends, family, and acquaintances look at my wife and I ‘funny’ when we tell them we rode to Canada last summer on a week’s vacation. Even other ‘riders’ ask when I am going to put the bike ‘up’ for the ‘season’. Not only are bikes not practical and inconvenient, for much of the population using a motorcycle for transportation makes about as much sense as flying to the next city by open cockpit biplane.

    For riders, or at least for me, on every ride, the first curve when the bike and rider lean into the turn, magic happens. But young people today are culturally and experientially removed from the visceral experience of mechanized transportation. The ‘advances’ of our society have done this to many of us. The transition from a Model A or a ‘67 VW or even a slant-6 with a 3-on-the-tree to a motorcycle is much less of a stretch than moving from a Nissan Sentra with CVT, ABS, Traction control, and change the spark plugs ever 100,000 miles, etc.

    Getting on a motorcycle is just a much bigger step that it used to be.
    MarkC, Billy52, PJay and 17 others like this.
  16. Caesars_ghost

    Caesars_ghost Air Cooled.

    Sep 13, 2015
    Last time I was in a multibrand dealership the selection was shit. You might have a massive dealership, but when you carry the big 4, plus a few other brands, and half of your floor space is dedicated to side by sides, quads, jet skis, etc, there's simply no way to do any of the lineups Justice. Which means you end up with a few of everyone's sportbikes, and a bunch of cruisers, and that's it. More niche bikes, like, say, a Versys, KLR, V-strom, DR650, let alone really niche bikes like WR250R, Honda NC700 just get ignored, because there's so many models competing for so little floor space.

    To me this really begs the question... If a bike doesn't sell well, is it because it's not appealing to many people, or is it because dealers think it won't be appealing because it doesn't neatly fit their (probably less scientific than they believe) ideas about what will or won't sell, and so they don't order them? And if they don't order them, will a large percentage of the riding public even know they exist?
    Jarlaxle, Toto, runpet and 1 other person like this.
  17. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Mar 19, 2008
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Well, for me it's motorcycle(s) I'd actually like to buy. Cross all Harley's offerings off the list. KTMs that cost more with the reputation for higher maintenance, X those off too. Boutique bikes with fussy valve train adjustment... GONE!! Sorry, Ducati. A great sport-tourer that's smaller and nimbler than a Goldwing... got one... but the 'Wing, even after losing 90 pounds... NOPE. Any ADV bike that's over 450 pounds... NO. All motorcycles designed to only carry a fourteen year old sized passenger who can ride with her knees next to her ears? Uh uh. Nope. Not going to buy. Motorcycles designed so you HAVE to have them serviced at the dealer while you munch special chocolates to prepare you for the presentation of the bill atop a paper doily on a small silver platter? Looking at you, BMW. Maybe I should go look at a Suzuki WeeStrom, because that's about all that hasn't been eliminated. Wonky styling... hmmm.
    zuma likes this.
  18. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen Dirt Seeker

    Dec 5, 2015
    Cypress, TX
    There's something to this, I think. Might not apply to everyone, but I think the real average income is slipping. There's also a lot more things fighting for that discretionary income. Phones and other electronic gadgets seem to be winning that fight. Shame really. I'd give up the phone for the bike any day of the week and twice on Sunday!
    Jarlaxle and Snowbird like this.
  19. dustin2

    dustin2 VFR800

    Dec 18, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Billy52 likes this.
  20. wvtaco

    wvtaco Been here awhile

    Apr 13, 2013
    Curb weight of 474 lbs for the 650. You already said no.

    I bought my first new bike in 2014 at 31. A left over 13 model for about 1200 off of msrp. A vstrom, only took 5 dealers to even find that one. No one in this part of the state stocks anything road legal that arnt RR or cruisers. In 15 my dad bought his first new bike. A left over 13 vn1700 nomad at Romney. Now that dealer had a great selection.

    Now I would be all for a new 2 up machine. Fjr, new wing, k-bike but I just can’t afford it. Seems every year I make a few dollars less and insurance keeps going up but maybe that’s just in the lower wv area.