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  • 2 Post By VeritasImageryNW
  • 1 Post By Wrench
  • 1 Post By VeritasImageryNW
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Jul 19th 2017, 08:45 AM   #1
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Interesting Moto Statistics

Here are some interesting statistics regarding the current motorcycle industry:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/...floor-you.aspx

Some key points:

Number of women riders is up

"Women represented 14% of all motorcycle owners in 2014, up from 6% in 1990 and 10% in 2009. It may be one of the most telling figures in why Harley is struggling; its core customer of middle-aged males has fallen from 94% of the motorcycle-owning population in 2009 to 86% in 2014. It's also part of the reason Harley introduced its Street 500 and 750 models, and Polaris came out with its Scout and Scout Sixty models to appeal to these riders newer to the market. However, IHS Automotive data says Harley-Davidson still has a 60.2% share of women riders."

Average age of riders is up

"The median age of the typical motorcycle owner is 47..."

Number of younger riders is down

"the decline in riders under 18, which has fallen from 8% in 1990 to 2%, and those between 18 and 24 from 16% of the total down to 6%."

Riders have a higher income

"Some 24% of motorcycle owner households earned between $50,000 and $74,999 in 2014, and as much as 65% earned $50,000 or more. The the median household income was $62,200."
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Jul 20th 2017, 06:49 AM   #2
 Wrench's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  West Richland, WA

First and foremost, all those statistics are based on new motorcycle sales, so "number of riders up" actually means "number of XX statistic group sales" is up. I find it somewhat misleading.

Motorcycles, here in the US, are primarily luxury toys. It is rare for people to buy one as their primary transportation.

That being said, there are several key things that have changed on income levels in the last few years that reflect directly on the sales. 1) there are increasingly more women in the work force, and their income levels are now more equal to men's. 2) the "middle class" (mostly middle-aged) who preserved their credit scores through the 2008 recession are making more money now and borrowing to the limit again. The entire "frivolous toy" industry is going wild right now. 3) wages are finally making an attempt to catch up to the massive inflation surge we have had for the last ~17 years, and people are feeling more confident to spend.

It would be interesting to see these statistics corrected for inflation over the last 17 years and see where the income levels truly stand. Just between 2000-2017, there was over 42% inflation. Basically, if you made $70k a year back then, you would have to make about $100k now to be "technically equivalent". To have the same amount of "extra spending cash", you would need to actually make a few thousand more to offset the increased taxes at that income level. Only in the last ~4 years have income levels actually made large increases, which I believe has had a huge effect on consumer confidence. We still have a ways to go to match the inflation-adjusted median income levels of 1999. I believe it's on it's way there, so these numbers will likely be similar next year.
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Jul 20th 2017, 05:40 PM   #3
 Spydrmon's Avatar
 
  Mar 2016
  Bothell

Quote:
Average age of riders is up

"The median age of the typical motorcycle owner is 47..."
Average and median are two different measurements (not poking just clarifying).

From the article - "A graying market." Well no duh everyone ages and so do those with motorcycles. What this should indicate is that Harley rider satisfaction is high and considered a longer term investment than a one-off (or too damn expensive to buy another one every three years).
Jul 21st 2017, 03:06 PM   #4
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spydrmon
From the article - "A graying market." Well no duh everyone ages and so do those with motorcycles. What this should indicate is that Harley rider satisfaction is high and considered a longer term investment than a one-off (or too damn expensive to buy another one every three years).
Remember, this statistic is about the industry as a whole, not just Harley. This means that even those buying Ducatis and CBRs and such are older riders as well. We aren't seeing younger riders buy new motorcycles. And part of the problem is that the industry cannot sustain itself with the aftermarket. This is especially true for the imports that have a rather small aftermarket to begin with (not counting tires and maintenance parts). So though we may be adding new riders, it's not translating into income for the manufacturers.
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