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The Most Important Motorcycle of 2021 ?

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
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in general, motorcycles aren't really considered 'cool' by the kids anymore. its mostly 40-50 year olds yearning over them.

This brings up an important point: Why is it so damn important to the author of the article to bring motorcycling to young people?

Seems to me that it's a purely self-serving goal for old farts. We want our favorite motorcycle companies to thrive, so they can keep producing products to cater to us. And that's not gonna happen when enough greybeards get just too old to swing a leg over or can't balance their 700lb machines any more. Or they just plain croak. Nope. Gotta get younger people to support our hobbies. It's like a pyramid scheme.

There doesn't seem to be any altruistic motive other than that.

The kids got their own jam going. Like Stonks. And Selfies...

Just leave'em be and stop trying to get them to listen to Elvis and play electric guitars. And ride motorcycles.
 

TwistedKestrel

King of GTAM
Site Supporter
in general, motorcycles aren't really considered 'cool' by the kids anymore. its mostly 40-50 year olds yearning over them.
Hey now. I parked in exactly the right parking lot last year, and when I came back to my bike there was a flock of kids around it. One of them blurted out "I think your bike is cool!" Q.E.D.
 
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bigpoppa

Well-known member
This brings up an important point: Why is it so damn important to the author of the article to bring motorcycling to young people?

Seems to me that it's a purely self-serving goal for old farts. We want our favorite motorcycle companies to thrive, so they can keep producing products to cater to us. And that's not gonna happen when enough greybeards get just too old to swing a leg over or can't balance their 700lb machines any more. Or they just plain croak. Nope. Gotta get younger people to support our hobbies. It's like a pyramid scheme.

There doesn't seem to be any altruistic motive other than that.

The kids got their own jam going. Like Stonks. And Selfies...

Just leave'em be and stop trying to get them to listen to Elvis and play electric guitars. And ride motorcycles.
they need rent to own and similar ponzi schemes to housing to get young people to buy motorcycles they cant afford so boomers will have an ample supply of used bikes a few years down the line.
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
This brings up an important point: Why is it so damn important to the author of the article to bring motorcycling to young people?

Seems to me that it's a purely self-serving goal for old farts. We want our favorite motorcycle companies to thrive, so they can keep producing products to cater to us. And that's not gonna happen when enough greybeards get just too old to swing a leg over or can't balance their 700lb machines any more. Or they just plain croak. Nope. Gotta get younger people to support our hobbies. It's like a pyramid scheme.

There doesn't seem to be any altruistic motive other than that.

The kids got their own jam going. Like Stonks. And Selfies...

Just leave'em be and stop trying to get them to listen to Elvis and play electric guitars. And ride motorcycles.
I see your point. There's lots of products that have always been targeted at older demographics and continue to be successful, though I can't think of any examples.

I expect the issue with motorcycles is that the most profitable customers are the ones who have been involved for many years or at least had an early (ish) start or at least interest.

I don't necessarily believe that building something that is specifically targeted at a younger demographic is going to work. The young have ALWAYS been suspicious of being targeted by marketers and it seems the latest generation is even quicker than others to turn away.

Like someone else said with the 125cc Yamaha example, they need to build something with a low enough buy-in and enough versatility that they can actually use it. I became hooked or motorcycles because of riding to school and going out or taking the long way home after (or during) school. it was critical that I was able to securely take my books and crap with me and if I wasn't able to it's possible that I would have gone an got a car and miss out on all the glorious years of riding.
 

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
Site Supporter
I see your point. There's lots of products that have always been targeted at older demographics and continue to be successful, though I can't think of any examples.

I expect the issue with motorcycles is that the most profitable customers are the ones who have been involved for many years or at least had an early (ish) start or at least interest.

I don't necessarily believe that building something that is specifically targeted at a younger demographic is going to work. The young have ALWAYS been suspicious of being targeted by marketers and it seems the latest generation is even quicker than others to turn away.

Like someone else said with the 125cc Yamaha example, they need to build something with a low enough buy-in and enough versatility that they can actually use it. I became hooked or motorcycles because of riding to school and going out or taking the long way home after (or during) school. it was critical that I was able to securely take my books and crap with me and if I wasn't able to it's possible that I would have gone an got a car and miss out on all the glorious years of riding.

We're trying to force-feed motorcycling to young people who don't even like to own a car. Their preferred method of transportation is Uber.

I think motorcycles as a leisure activity in the western world is going to fade away, and quite ungracefully as well.

The only solution is to be rich enough to afford the niche products that cater to a much smaller pool of enthusiasts.

And, as everyone on GTAM will tell you, the only way to do this is to own a house. And buy Stonks...
 

timtune

Well-known member
I'm with TK on this one. I think there is still quite a portion of young kids who think bikes are cool. I get "cool bike" from younger kids and it's just a tarted up KLR.
 
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Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
Site Supporter
Hey now. I parked in exactly the right parking lot last year, and when I came back to my bike there was a flock of kids around it. One of them blurted out "I think your bike is cool!" Q.E.D.

Unfortunately, the plural of anecdote is not data.

Here is actual data compiled in 2017 by IIH Automotive on behalf of the motorcycle manufacturing industry:

- The median age of the typical motorcycle owner is 47, up from 32 in 1990 and 40 in 2009
- However, more troubling for the industry is 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%.

While the kids in the parking lot may think motorcycles are cool, this isn't translating to sales.

I think skydiving is cool too, but I'm in no rush to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
 
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Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
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Unfortunately, the plural of anecdote is not data.

Here is actual data compiled in 2017 by IIH Automotive on behalf of the motorcycle manufacturing industry:

- The median age of the typical motorcycle owner is 47, up from 32 in 1990 and 40 in 2009
- However, more troubling for the industry is 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%.

While the kids in the parking lot may think motorcycles are cool, this isn't translating to sales.

I think skydiving is cool too, but I'm in no rush to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Absolutely the most fun thing you can do is punch a hole in the sky with your body.
 

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
Site Supporter
Absolutely the most fun thing you can do is punch a hole in the sky with your body.

Yeah, I seen Wile E. Coyote do that many times.

It does look like fun.

From the Road Runner's perspective... :LOL:

35eb9-wile2be-2bcoyote2bfalling.jpg
 

TwistedKestrel

King of GTAM
Site Supporter
Sorry, I wasn't being serious with that remark
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
We're trying to force-feed motorcycling to young people who don't even like to own a car. Their preferred method of transportation is Uber.

I think motorcycles as a leisure activity in the western world is going to fade away, and quite ungracefully as well.

The only solution is to be rich enough to afford the niche products that cater to a much smaller pool of enthusiasts.

And, as everyone on GTAM will tell you, the only way to do this is to own a house. And buy Stonks...
I don't agree that it will fade away completely.

The influence of a market like the US will decline but there will still be bikes sold. They will just be drawn from other markets so perhaps smaller CC's etc.
 

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
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I don't agree that it will fade away completely.

The influence of a market like the US will decline but there will still be bikes sold. They will just be drawn from other markets so perhaps smaller CC's etc.

Note I said "motorcycles as a leisure activity in the western world".

For manufacturers like Honda, that western leisure big bore motorcycle segment is a drop in the bucket compared to the hordes of tiny cc commuter bikes sold in markets like India and China. Motorcycling will never die in those areas because it's basic form of transportation, not a leisure activity. They're treated as necessary appliances, not a luxury toy.

For manufacturers like Harley... well, that's another story...

Anyways, this is all speculation at this point. Who knows where the industry will go? Maybe they'll be able to turn it around.

I hope they do.
 

bigpoppa

Well-known member
we're self centered so naturally we think north america is all there is to it.
Willing to bet riding is alive and well in europe
 

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
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we're self centered so naturally we think north america is all there is to it.
Willing to bet riding is alive and well in europe

Europe is a huge area, every country has distinct differences.

From a European study on the motorcycling community: http://www.fema-online.eu/riderscan/IMG/pdf/deliverable9_motocyclingcommunityineurope.pdf

It's impossible to draw any one conclusion for the entire continent. Big difference between the south and north.

Italy has a huge moped/scooter culture. They get their scooter license early and it's considered a rite of passage for young people.
Meanwhile, Sweden has more big bore touring bikes than mopeds. The average age of motorcyclists there has also been rising and is older than North America at 53 years old.

Two-wheel uptake in the Mediterranean countries is probably closer to Asia than the Nordic countries which seem to face the same problems as North America with an aging demographic.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I'm with TK on this one. I think there is still quite a portion of young kids who think bikes are cool. I get "cool bike" from younger kids and it's just a tarted up KLR.
My kids are at the age where bikes are cool. My sons both have lots of guests at their houses, whenever I ride there the rabble always comes out to check the bike, many tell me they're getting one 'next year'. Of the two dozen young men that drool over bikes, only one has his M2. I think the reasons are as follows:

1) They are a bubblewrapped generation, motorcycles would floor their parents and quite frankly I think a lot of young men led such a protected existence they are too risk averse to even try. When I was a kid, every young boy I know would line up for a spin on a mini or trail bike -- most of my kids friends will sit on a 125cc dirt bike, few will damn the torpedos and give it a try.

2) Cost. The kid with the M2 has spent some time on my little bikes, after a lot of convincing he's bought into a 250 solution. His preference, as with many young men was a 600 -- but $3500 a year for insurance made that a non starter. If a young rider could get a 125cc city bike insured for $1000/season, I'm positive a lot more would try.
 

timtune

Well-known member
Not sure I actually "punched a hole in the sky" but jumping out of a plane was a bigger rush than anything I have ever experienced on two wheels. Not even close.

Where were we? Oh yeah motorcycles yawn.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
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Not sure I actually "punched a hole in the sky" but jumping out of a plane was a bigger rush than anything I have ever experienced on two wheels. Not even close.

Where were we? Oh yeah motorcycles yawn.
If my situation ever changes, í would be back in the door of a Cessna in a heartbeat.
 

timtune

Well-known member
I'd like to jump again but once you get a new hip you're not supposed to run or jump. Maybe just favor the good leg when I stall the chute??
Oddly enough the docter didn't think falling off a motorcycle was a big deal (I made sure to ask when the Squeeze was present).
 

bigpoppa

Well-known member
Two-wheel uptake in the Mediterranean countries is probably closer to Asia than the Nordic countries which seem to face the same problems as North America with an aging demographic.
Seeing a pattern here

maybe the youngsters are smarter than we give them credit for and dont see the point of buying a bike and paying for insurance for only being able to ride for half a year?
 

Lightcycle

Rounder of bolts, Dropper of tools
Site Supporter
Seeing a pattern here

maybe the youngsters are smarter than we give them credit for and dont see the point of buying a bike and paying for insurance for only being able to ride for half a year?

Not seeing the point of buying a bike and not being able to afford to buy a bike are two very different things.

A moped in Italy is an order of magnitude cheaper than a big touring bike sold in Sweden.

As is a Honda Hero 150 in Chandigarh vs a Harley Davidson in Los Angeles.

Also in much of the world, insurance is charged for when you ride, not for the entire year. It's only Onterrible that's back-asswards in this respect. Even in BC, we can buy insurance for 1 day.
 

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