The motorcycle industry is in trouble. Why, you might ask? Since the recession, motorcycle sales haven’t exactly been restored. Worse yet, the prime customers for motorcycles have been getting older and older. Pretty soon, these riders just won’t be able to ride—though the spirit will definitely be willing. So what is the industry going to do? Turn to the power of the new millennium.
Moto-Millenials—The Future of Motorcycling
The financial crisis of 2009 probably hit motorcyclists a bit harder than anyone could have expected. In 2006, the industry sold over 715,000 motorcycles, but in 2009, manufacturers sold just under 420,000 units. That’s a 41 percent decrease! Worse yet, the industry has never recovered from that drop. In 2016, the Motorcycle Industry Council says that only 371,403 new bikes were sold. That means, even though the recession is over, people haven’t started buying new motorcycles like they used to, and this is sparking fears that the industry here in the U.S. could collapse.
In 2003, only 25 percent of the U.S. motorcycle buyers were riders age 50 and older. Today, riders 50 years of age and up make up almost 50 percent of the market. What happens when these riders can’t ride anymore? This has been a concern for manufacturers for many years now, and they have been busy trying to find a solution.
Harley-Davidson led the charge to get newer, younger riders into the life. Its dealerships started holding riding schools for new riders, and they started target the next generation of Americans—millennials. Their rider courses are now teaching around 65,000 new riders a year, but new riders can’t immediately hop on a Harley right after they learn. So, Harley developed an entry-level bike, the Street 500. However, Harley isn’t the only manufacturer realizing the potential of the next generation.
Kawasaki released its Ninja 300, BMW launched the G 310 R, and Ducati unveiled its revived Scrambler. All these bikes have two things in common: lower displacement and a cheaper price tag. These new models seem to be selling like hotcakes, which means we should expect to see many millennials enjoying the freedom of the open road very soon.
Brought to you by the attorneys who ride at the Metier Law Firm—we’re there when motorcyclists need help.