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Jan 19th 2020, 07:29 PM   #1
 Flyboymedic's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Hazel Dell, Wa

  Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S, Suzuki VStrom 650, Yamaha Radian, MZ 125SM
Post Can the U.S. Motorcycle Industry Be Saved?

These are some really good and enlightening videos that were put out 2 years ago, and I encourage you to read through the comments about the state of mc decline cause and effect and potential solutions. You can speed these up to 1.25 or even 1.5 and still get the message, but be sure to scan through the comments.






Edited by Flyboymedic on Jan 19th 2020 at 07:36 PM
Jan 20th 2020, 08:51 AM   #2
 craiger's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Molalla

  2007 Aprilia Tuono Factory, 2010 Honda VFR 1200f DCT
Dude, you have 6 bikes? Man.. I wish. I don't have a toy box big enough to fit 6 bikes in to. If I could just sell my truck.. Motorcycle industry, hmmm. What to do? IMHO, I don't mind that 'Merican's aren't riding as much, it's like MotoGP here in the states, ask any cager/idiot who Vale is and all you'll get is a blank stare. Ask'em who LeBron is, and their face lights up. Whatever. Ebb and flow, is all. It's all cyclical. Maybe if the feds had the balls to raise gas prices to Euro levels, sales would skyrocket. But who wants that? Me, for one, support that. But that's a whole 'nuther therapy session. Once the manufacturers start adapting to what consumers want/need, things'll get better. If not, well, then they will fall by the wayside. Most people don't even know what they're missing. But us 'Mericans are lazy and apathetic. Why get geared up to go to work, when one can just jump in their $60K cage and sit in traffic playin with your phone for 2 hours a day? I think people LIKE sitting in traffic, gives them justification for going in to debt for a depreciation hunk of underperforming, polluting POS. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. Have a nice day !!
Jan 20th 2020, 10:26 AM   #3
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  NW Oregon

  R1200ST, CB350
I watched parts of it. It's a guy talking, with strange edits where he does wipe transitions right in the middle of a sentence, as if even he doesn't want to hear where he was going with it.
MV Man likes this.
Jan 20th 2020, 10:36 AM   #4
 Parilla125's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  SeaTac

I guess I would ask "Why?"
To create more competition for me in the used motorcycle industry when I go to buy one? To make more money for the manufacturers that sell new bikes? All industries have ups and downs. Not sure I understand why I need (or would want) to go promote ANY of my hobbies to get more people involved.
When you see companies get bail outs and then give MANY millions to the leadership group as a reward to themselves instead of putting the money back into infrastructure, development, or raising wages or benefits for the people putting their product together, I wonder if they SHOULD go away, and another group take their place.
I will say, living in the Seattle area nearly all my life, it was ruined by this type of thinking, starting in the '80's. It was promoted, pushed, and definitely got people moving here for 'growth', which was claimed as 'needed'. Now look at it. The "Small town feel in a big city" and "Seattle Vibe" was eliminated along with the 'small town' courtesies it used to have. It is now a dirty fast paced mess, like most other big cities.
Jan 20th 2020, 10:37 AM   #5
 
  Jan 2016
  Oregon

  2018 Kaw Ninja H2 SX SE
It can't be saved, but it might be re-invented by Electrics.

Nobody NEEDS a motorcycle. (Well, maybe WE do...) It's a toy, an extravagance. One that's difficult to use in bad weather...

Millennials value Experiences over Stuff, Possessions. They prefer Activities like snowboarding, bicycling, over non-physical activities like riding.

Off-roading, adventure bikes are so popular now.

Harley guys like to park the bike and hang out in the bar.

Edited by motoman on Jan 20th 2020 at 11:00 AM
Jan 20th 2020, 10:49 AM   #6
 
  Mar 2016
  Seattle

  '14 KTM Duke 690, '18 BMW R12RS, '05 BMW R12ST
It appears to me that the bubble of sales from 2000 to 2007 was the anomaly. We're back to normal.

A few stats I'd like to know: What portion of the 2000-'07 bubble was HD? My educated guess is that the majority of it was big, expensive, lifestyle bikes, even more-so than the non-bubble-baseline.

Assuming the vids are accurate, it's somewhat reassuring to know that the decline of motorcycling isn't a full reality right now, but is simply a return to normalcy, normal levels of demand for bikes, NOT driven by the free-money-home-equity ponzi-scheme that drove the oughts-bubble.

The task, our task, however, remains the same: How do we create new bikers?

IMO, recognition of our population's increasing urbanization, the declining disposable income of great swaths of our economy . . . drives the market to:

Smaller
Cheaper
Marketing campaigns that emphasize low cost, ease of use, easy parking, getting through dense traffic
An evolved regulatory-environment that promotes the above.

Edited by FireDave on Jan 20th 2020 at 07:30 PM
Jan 20th 2020, 11:54 AM   #7
 
  Feb 2016
  Spokane

  Vstrom 1000, DRZ 400 XR600 and way to many vintage mxers to list
The fact of the matter is the motorcycle industry is now in the midst of the second lost generation. Two generations of folks that are not enthusiasts of motorcycles.

At many dealer meetings over the last couple of years, I heard the following "we are betting on grand parents getting their grand kids into motorcycling." Well that hasn't happened.

Perhaps you have seen the "grass roots" campaign from most all of the manufactures about family outings and motorcycles, spouses riding together, etc. Quite frankly it has not worked as yet.

There are a few in the industry that are betting on the electric bike. I am not so sure.
Jan 20th 2020, 02:38 PM   #8
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  NW Oregon

  R1200ST, CB350
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman
Nobody NEEDS a motorcycle.
A lot of people cannot afford or justify a car, do most of their traveling solo, and cannot rely on public transportation. A lot of students fall in this category. Generally scooters fill this role, and scooters are motorcycles.

Also I've got a lot of Indian and Chinese colleagues and it's amazing how many of them tell me that where they come from a motorcycle is the only practical way to get anywhere on time. Europe isn't far off this model either, although the congestion part of the picture is far less severe and public transportation tends to be outstanding.

The line between scooters, e-bicycles, e-cycles and all the fun variants like electric unicycles is only going to get more blurred. What we need is to create more priority lanes for people using appropriately scaled transportation, and get all these cars with nothing but one solitary phone-yapping idiot in it off the road. Motorcycling will benefit by being part of a broad, respected and appropriately accommodated category.
Parilla125 and chadams66 like this.

Edited by WarpShatner7 on Jan 20th 2020 at 02:42 PM
Jan 20th 2020, 03:27 PM   #9
 chadams66's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Garden Home

  2012 Versys...'83 BMW R80 RT...Suzuki GS 450t
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman

Nobody NEEDS a motorcycle.

Harley guys like to park the bike and hang out in the bar.
needs is debatable..they certain fit the needs of many people..not all though...

I went on a week long ride with some Harley riders..we spent about the same amount of time on the bikes as in the bars...bars for breakfast..bars for lunch..bars for dinner..and what the hell let's just stop for this bar...quite the tour of bars...I don't drink much and I never drink and ride...

can the industry be saved? there will always be a market for motorcycles..maybe not American made big V-Twin motorcycles..maybe not at the scale they're now manufactured at...it kind of depends on whether or not electric motorcycles will thrill people like ICE bikes do...

Edited by chadams66 on Jan 20th 2020 at 03:34 PM
Jan 20th 2020, 04:07 PM   #10
 
  Feb 2016
  Spokane

  Vstrom 1000, DRZ 400 XR600 and way to many vintage mxers to list
Except for the 1970's, Dirt Bikes and the off road market in general are a very small piece of the overall motorcycle industry.

But years ago the number of kids on dirt bikes was an analytical factor that could be used to judge the number of street bikes to be sold 15 to 20 years later. The industry defined dirt bikes for kids the "gateway drug" for future sales.

Unfortunately, lack of local riding areas, motorcycle costs, etc. has mostly doomed kids and dirt bikes.
FireDave likes this.
Jan 21st 2020, 06:04 AM   #11
 
  Apr 2017
  Seattle

  DL650A
In the 1960's and 1970's we had a lot more disposable cash. One job could feed, house, clothe a family with leftover money for toys. Today, not even two jobs can support two people for millions. There isn't enough disposable income for toys.

Also, Seattle weather sucks for bikes a lot of the year.
Jan 21st 2020, 08:07 AM   #12
 Bald Guy's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Kennewick

  Versys 1000 SE LT+, Ural Patrol and a shit load of BN125
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstevens
Except for the 1970's, Dirt Bikes and the off road market in general are a very small piece of the overall motorcycle industry.

But years ago the number of kids on dirt bikes was an analytical factor that could be used to judge the number of street bikes to be sold 15 to 20 years later. The industry defined dirt bikes for kids the "gateway drug" for future sales.

Unfortunately, lack of local riding areas, motorcycle costs, etc. has mostly doomed kids and dirt bikes.
Not only do you not see a lot of kids on dirt bikes, you don't see many kids on bicycles any more.

When I would see I had several teenagers in class, I would assume that it was going to be an easier class. You know, participates in athletics, rides bicycles, catch on quickly. I soon dropped that line of thinking. A surprising number of them can't ride a bicycle and have dexterity and balance issues.
dstevens likes this.
Jan 21st 2020, 10:33 AM   #13
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman
Nobody NEEDS a motorcycle. (Well, maybe WE do...) It's a toy, an extravagance. One that's difficult to use in bad weather...
This is the biggest part of the US problem, and always has been. We are the only continent where motorcycles are viewed primarily as toys. Everywhere else they are viewed as viable, if not important, means of transportation. And traffic laws in those areas show that. Lane filtering, lane splitiing, etc allow motorcycles to flow through areas where car and truck traffic back up.

And then, as another pointed out, most of us transitioned from riding bicycles to riding motorcycles. With so few kids riding bicycles these days, we aren't getting that same transitioning.
Jan 21st 2020, 11:24 AM   #14
 
  Feb 2016
  Spokane

  Vstrom 1000, DRZ 400 XR600 and way to many vintage mxers to list
Perhaps there will be some future catalyst that brings folks to the fold of motorcycle riding.

There was such a catalyst in 1971. I was only 12 years old, but it had such an impact on my life and my family's life that I will never forget it.

My dad owned the Suzuki/Hodaka shop in San Diego, Pacific Beach specifically, from 1969 to 1980.

From 1969 through the summer of 1971 my father sold 5 to 10 motorcycles a month, mostly Suzuki's and some Hodaka's and mostly street bikes. On July 28, 1971, the movie On Any Sunday premiered in many theaters in Southern California. The month of September 1971, my father's shop sold 60 motorcycles, mostly Hodaka's and most of those were on order. No one anticipated the catalyst that single movie had on the motorcycle industry. By 1972 Suzuki was producing the TM series of dirt bikes. For most of the early 70's my dad's bike shop became a dirt bike shop.
MV Man likes this.

Edited by dstevens on Jan 21st 2020 at 01:10 PM
Jan 21st 2020, 04:40 PM   #15
 Willow's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Silverdale, WA

  848evo, DRZ400SM, XR100
Two words (as mentioned already) LANE SPLITTING

That's going to save the motorcycle industry, especially in the cities!

Edit: That is legalized...........
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