10 reasons why motorcycle sales could decline

Motorcycles have a lot of benefits: they provide fun riding experiences, you look cool riding one, and they get impeccable gas mileage. Despite this, motorcycle sales have been weak for decades compared to car sales.

Here are a few reasons why it’s so difficult for bike manufacturers to sell new motorcycles these days.

1. Aging customers and industry

Sale of motorcycles | Getty Images

According HotCars, the motorcycle industry has spent most of its time marketing to the baby boomer generation. While you can certainly still hop on a motorcycle at any age, many buyers have since moved on to other passions. Additionally, the industry is missing out on new sales due to its lack of marketing to younger customers.

2. New buyers have little money to spend

Today’s youth economy is totally different from what it was for the baby boomer generation. Millennials and Gen Z adults generally do not consider spending their life savings on recreational vehicles. Cars are usually their first priority as these vehicles are more practical and provide shelter throughout the seasons.

3. Minimal Preferences

Grand touring motorcycles have been popular for decades thanks to their revolutionary designs and powerful engines. However, HotCars points to the fact that a younger generation is less interested in using these bikes as extensions of their personality. They want a stealthy, affordable two-wheeler that can still get them there quickly.

4. Fewer people get a driver’s license

Driving licenses have also been less popular recently, especially in densely populated cities. When public transport is so easily accessible, why would you need a car? Even though you can buy one upfront with no car loan to pay off, you still have to worry about gas and regular maintenance.

Depending on your previous driving experience, getting your driver’s license can also take months. After obtaining a driver’s license, you must then begin the process of obtaining a motorcycle license. It’s a time-consuming hassle that many people don’t want to deal with.

5. The biker gang stereotype

Some biker gangs have violent histories, and a few have even aligned themselves with harmful hate groups. Unfortunately, these bad apples have painted a negative image of groups of motorcyclists who just want to have a good time. No one wants to get involved in a hobby that could ruin their reputation.

6. The growth of urbanization

As cities become more crowded, the importance of public transit and carpooling is more emphasized than ever. There is less traffic with fewer vehicles on the road, reducing stress for drivers and passengers. It also means fewer harmful emissions are released into the atmosphere.

7. Motorcycle Accident Awareness

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Even if you wear all the recommended safety gear, studies show that riding a motorcycle is still potentially fatal. Motorcycles can often get stuck in the blind spots of large vehicles like trucks and buses. Helmets can reduce fatalities, but probably not as much as airbags and seat belts.

These days, buyers can purchase vehicles almost entirely online without ever stepping into a showroom. However, HotCars maintains that buying a motorcycle online is not a wise choice.

Motorcycles are sometimes shipped in crates, which means a higher risk of damage if the bike is not properly secured. You also probably won’t be able to test drive the bike before you buy it.

9. Riding gear is too expensive

A helmet, gloves and boots are considered essential for safe motorcycle riding. Jackets with armored padding and additional eye protection are also recommended. All this safety equipment can often cost thousands of dollars.

10. It’s cheaper to buy a used bike

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Modern bikes have their charms, but all their accessories and technologies inflate their prices. An older bike is obviously a fraction of that cost, and many still hold up well today. Perhaps a return to simple, no-frills design language would help bring down the prices of new bikes and attract thrifty customers.

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