2017 was a tough year for motorcycle manufacturers. Sales in almost every segment of the industry have either gone down or gone flat. It has gotten to the point that many industry professionals are beginning to worry, and are consulting their competitors to find out what is happening. Now as the Progressive International Motorcycle Show kicks off its nationwide tour in Long Beach, California, industry executives are taking the time to come together and discuss these problems.
Will Motorcycle Sales Pick Up in 2018?
Over 300 industry insiders were asked what they were doing wrong when they gathered in Long Beach on November 17th. The answers to this survey of professionals wasn’t encouraging. It seems the baby boomer generation can no longer be depended upon to buy motorcycles as the majority of these riders are starting to age out of the sport.
This leaves a serious void in the industry’s customer base, and millennials seem to be a poor substitution for their aging parents. Not only are millennials fewer in population numbers, most didn’t grow up playing on dirt bikes and other two-wheeled vehicles. Thanks to a modern era of video games and mobile devices, millennials are only discovering motorcycling as full-grown adults, and that has caused many to be reluctant to get into riding.
This has forced manufacturers to focus on groups not traditionally targeted as motorcycle riders—women and minorities. As another measure to fill in the gaps left by baby boomers, manufacturers are also trying to make lighter and more affordable bikes.
Ducati’s Scrambler line has done well with its small 803-cc model, but the manufacturer is now going to produce an 1100 model to try to close the gap between the small Scrambler and its big bikes like the Monster, Diavel and Panigale. BMW is also bringing small bikes to the American market with it’s G 310 R, a 300-cc sportbike that sells for $4,750 with ABS equipped. Electric bikes may also be a step in the right direction considering their low maintenance costs and ever-increasing battery range. BMW brought its C Evolution electric scooter to Long Beach for this reason.
Motorcycle executives seem to realize there is a problem, but it remains to be seen if their efforts will do anything to revive the industry. Only time will tell, and the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm will be there to let you know when the industry picks up.