Millennials & Motorcycles
The word "millennial" has been thrown around for sometime now and appears to be sticking. You might have heard the term watching the news or reading your local paper.
I mean the word is catchy, right?
If you're trying to figure out what a millennial is chances are you are not a millennial and might be a baby boomer or somewhere near that category.
The problem with millennials today is that most are not riding motorcycles as a hobby or even as commuters as there interests lie elsewhere. This puts a strain on the already cripple motorcycle industries.
Despite millennials lack of interest in motorcycles I firmly believe (as a millennial myself) that its possible that millennials can save this industries from hitting rock bottom - let's explain how.
What is a millennial?
The definition of a millennial (also known as generation Y) according to Wikipedia; "There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years for millennials."
In other words millennials are the generation after the baby boomers. Baby boomers are also known as generation X.
So what do millennials have to do with motorcycles?
As baby boomers start to age they will have to hand over the touch to younger riders such as millennials.
The only problem with that is many millennials are simply not riding as much as the older baby boomer and veterans, which puts a gap in the motorcycle industry.
Harley-Davidson rider age profile. Notice the average rider age increase?
For example, the average Harley-Davidson rider is approx 47-50 years old depending on demographics and location.
Obviously rider profiles will be different based off location, demographics and even motorcycle brand and model.
Harley-Davidson has always been known to attract older clientele but even Harley-Davidson is struggling to bring millennials to there brand.
Harley is tackling this problem by manufacturing and designing motorcycles to suite the millennial age group.
According to Cycle World Harley sales have plummeted for Q2 and Q3 - Harley has also stated that they intend to add 2 million riders across the U.S.
Why aren't millennials riding?
There are over 75.4 million millennials nationwide surpassing baby boomers at 74.9 million.
If baby boomers are the minorities (in the USA) then why aren't millennials dominating the motorcycle industries?
I will give you 6 simple reasons of why millennials do not ride. With myself falling in the millennial category I can go off of my own personal opinion and experience that most millennials would agree with.
- Financial state
- Not interested
- Dangerous (safety hazard)
- Wasn't introduced to motorcycles
Motorcycles for an average millennial can be expensive not to mention the labor and the maintenance that go a long with it. Tires, oil changes, tune ups, upgrades, it's endless. Most would rather spend there money on a new iPhone.
Many millennials are simply not interested in motorcycles. There car or bicycle gets them to point A and to point B - that's all that maters
Everyone and there grandma always say motorcycles are dangerous. Many will always tell you the negative side of things and not tell our the positive side.
I ride motorcycles because my Father. If it wasn't for him I'm not sure if I would be riding today. Many millennials weren't introduced to motorcycles thus not being interested.
I'm sure you have heard that story a person told you how he wanted a bike but his parents wouldn't let him growing up. Yep, thanks mom and dad for spoiling the fun.
Twilight, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Xbox 1 - the reason why many millennials are lazy and fail to get into hubby's or tasks they can enjoy.
What millennials want
The millennials that do ride motorcycles tend to ride different brands or models of motorcycle as compared to baby boomers.
For example, you wouldn't see a 25 year old riding a Harley Road King classic on the street simply because it's not appealing to that age group - but what is?
- Cafe Racers
Getting the motorcycle industries back on track will require motorcycle company's to listen and understand what millennials are actually looking for.
Maybe if companies made bikes that fall into the above categories perhaps there wouldn't be such a halt or gap in the industries.
Let's face it what millennial can afford to drop $10K on a motorcycle that they don't really want?
Not only do manufactures need to make motorcycles that go along with today's trend but they also need to make them affordable.
Here is yet another compiled list of how to attract millennials and get them riding.
- Affordable motorcycles
- Motorcycles designed for beginners
- Trendy designs
- Under 1,000CC
If you haven't noticed, European motorcycle manufactures are the only brands successfully producing motorcycles suited for millennials.
Royal Enfield, Triumph, Moto-Guzzi are just a few European brands that all free trendy and affordable motorcycles geared toward millennials and baby boomers afford like.
Just this year Triumph launched there new Triumph Bobber clearly targeted for millennials and Bobber lovers. The new model received mixed reviews.
Triumph had the right idea but the design wasn't thoroughly planned out. Despite negative feed back, the new Triumph Bobber is still selling very well.
How to get millennials riding
Saving the motorcycle industry will take both older generation and younger generation together to make a difference. As time goes on and new generations are introduced I personally feel that it's going to be more difficult with a motorcycle companies to target the young crowd.
The decline in motorcycle sales starting in 2008 - slow recovery
I believe the motorcycle industry can learn a lot from the automobile industry. The auto industry was heavily hit back in 2008 along with the motorcycle industry but the car industry had a much stronger recovery.
So before dismissing millennials think about the impact they could have on the motorcycle industries. They could either make or break it.
In my eyes the future looks bright and I see notebooks millennials riding that ever before.
I appreciate you reading today. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Know a millennial? Share this post with them.
Thanks for reading today - ride safe