The decline of the motorcycle, is it our fault?

Posted: March 21, 2018 in Motorcycle advocacy
Tags: , , ,

Here in the US, as well as many other places, motorcycling appears to be in a major decline. Most motorcycle manufactures are selling fewer bikes, industry aftermarket companies are facing hardship, publications are reducing output or closing shop. The economy may be rebounding which gives me hope that our avocation is just lagging and all will be better soon enough.

But if not, is it our fault? There have been many articles, post, opinions shared about how the younger generation (those dang whippersnappers, get off my grass) appear to have no interest in motorcycling. Or that they can’t afford motorcycles, or they are afraid of motorcycles, etc. etc..

Harley Davidson appears to be the most hurt by this apparent trend. They also appear to be the one company attempting to change that trend as well. They are spending a lot of money and capital on coming out with new products and promotions. Heck, they were the corporate sponsor of a new Winter X-Games event, the snow hill climb. But, their efforts are all about the company not motorcycling in general, as it should be.

The reason I ask the question “Is it our fault?” is what are we, the current crop of riders, doing to promote our passion to the next generation(s)? Do we hang out with the same bike loving groups? Do we ride with the same group of friends?

Because of this I am challenging myself and you to get out of the 2-foot rut in which you

The Grandsons out on the motorcycles

are riding. Find ways to talk with non-riders about what it is to ride, on-road, off-road it does not matter. Spread the gospel of motorcycle and see if you can convert, even one, to the world of riding. If only 50% of the riders out there can get someone up on two wheels in the next 5 years, we would have a 50% growth in the industry.

Here are a few ideas on getting non-riders involved, add yours to the comments:

* Take a non-rider out for several motorcycle rides (and don’t scare them).
* Going to the dealership? Take a non-rider with you to acclimate them to bikes.
* Have a stack of motorcycle magazines? Give a few to a non-rider, again acclimation.
* Have a track nearby? Take your non-rider to a race or event at the track.
* Know some young kids? Buy them any of the motorcycle themed video games out there.

Well that is my 2 cents on this discussion of the decline of motorcycling. The motorcycle brands can do a lot, but so can we. Don’t make it our fault.

  1. This is a real challenge for everyone that love motorbikes. Bikes are a sport, recreation and hopefully a viable, efficient transport option into the future

    • I hope so too but I don’t have a good feeling about the situation. With smart/driverless cars and the desires of the nanny state to “keep children safe” i would not be surprised if motorcycles were banned from the roads within 100 years.

  2. […] via The decline of the motorcycle, is it our fault? — I JUST WANT 2 RIDE!! […]

  3. MarinesPT says:

    I agree with you in this! I also think a lot of us are Gen X and up…. perhaps we should blog more about our adventures and get it on Instagram or where the younger gen lurks to spread the word. Perhaps they don’t know about the fact that life is the journey and necessarily the destination…. I’ll be blogging away too.. hope we meet in the middle somewhere 🙂

  4. I am fortunate enough to live somewhat close to the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL. We took our 13 year old there and he loved it! The consideration that was put into each display is top notch. I’ve been encouraging non riders to check it out in hopes that they will become interested in motorcycles.

  5. […] The decline of the motorcycle, is it our fault? […]

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