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I'm not sure I agree with this but that may have to do with my area of the country.
There is a large number of younger riders & women riders in my area.
The bikes they ride are varied with the minority riding vintage machines or retro/modern, the two popular bikes are cruisers & sport bikes.
There is also a fair number of rat bikes, choppers, bobbers & custom builds being put together by the under 35 crowd.
I have watched many of the "kids" start out on sport bikes then change over to cruisers.

Guzzi's V7 (Classic/Retro/Modern) & V9 series (aimed at hipsters) are both doing well in sales.
Triumph's Bonneville & Thruxton line & the new Bobber also seem to be catching on.

I think the demographics are changing as my generation dies off so sales are going to be lower but I don't see the industry being in trouble except for those who have gotten used to the gold in their pockets while the boom was happening.
 

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I enjoyed Robert Pandyas work before he like the rest of Polaris forget about the bikes that appeal to younger and female riders and went all in inn 700-900 lb fake old cruisers. So for him to lead this round table I find odd at best. I also find it self serving to point the blame at everyone but themselves. No, it's not the riders that need to be "ambassadors", we did that and you turned your backs on us. And no it's not the marketing department that needs to convince recent college grads that riding an 800 lb 25-30k dollar bike is fun and economical.

The blame lies squarely at the feet of the individuals sitting at the round table. It's the manufacturers who ignored everything except the "premium" cruiser market. If you want college grads to buy motorcycles you need three things: 1, they have to be able to afford it. 2. They have to find the product desirable. And most importantly 3, they have to have fallen in love with a bike with a motor when they were 14. Or younger. You make a moped that a 12-14 yr old finds desirable and he or she will let all their friends ride it. There's your next generation.

If it were me, I would make something like a 100 or less cc Grom. Make the dash a smartphone charger/ app. Then use my marketing budget to pay Activision to put a weaponized version of my little bike in their Call of Duty game that gets unlocked after the rider connect a phone with the game app to a bike. Go ahead and tell me a 14 year old and his friends that rode one of these to middle school won't be looking at an 8000 dollar electric motorcycle after college and a big fat cruiser later in life...
 

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I enjoyed Robert Pandyas work before he like the rest of Polaris forget about the bikes that appeal to younger and female riders and went all in inn 700-900 lb fake old cruisers. So for him to lead this round table I find odd at best. I also find it self serving to point the blame at everyone but themselves. No, it's not the riders that need to be "ambassadors", we did that and you turned your backs on us. And no it's not the marketing department that needs to convince recent college grads that riding an 800 lb 25-30k dollar bike is fun and economical.

The blame lies squarely at the feet of the individuals sitting at the round table. It's the manufacturers who ignored everything except the "premium" cruiser market. If you want college grads to buy motorcycles you need three things: 1, they have to be able to afford it. 2. They have to find the product desirable. And most importantly 3, they have to have fallen in love with a bike with a motor when they were 14. Or younger. You make a moped that a 12-14 yr old finds desirable and he or she will let all their friends ride it. There's your next generation.

If it were me, I would make something like a 100 or less cc Grom. Make the dash a smartphone charger/ app. Then use my marketing budget to pay Activision to put a weaponized version of my little bike in their Call of Duty game that gets unlocked after the rider connect a phone with the game app to a bike. Go ahead and tell me a 14 year old and his friends that rode one of these to middle school won't be looking at an 8000 dollar electric motorcycle after college and a big fat cruiser later in life...
I agreed up until you went electric. Electric just doesn't have the soul a real bike has.
 

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I agreed up until you went electric. Electric just doesn't have the soul a real bike has.
Doesn't matter. They're wicked fun and a 25 yr old doesn't care, he wants the same thrill he got as kid the first time he twisted the throttle on something with a motor. Which is why "soulless" sport bikes are so popular with young guys. if you try and make a 25 yr old attracted to what a 55 yr old likes you will lose to the company that makes something attractive to the 25 yr old in the first place.
 

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Back when I was growing up kids it wasn't such a dangerous world. We rode in the back of pick-up trucks, rode our bikes without helmets to school in the morning and not come home until dinner time, rode mini-bikes and dirt bikes without protective gear and even licked a spoon with raw cake batter. LOL As time evolves all that stuff and especially those motorcycles are waaay to dangerous!
 

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I was never convinced that motorcycles were all that dangerous. My dad wanted a cowboy, but after dealing with horses, I concluded that motorcycles were much safer, Lou. But, you're right. We were encouraged to take chances, and we did. I don't think our parents thought of it that way, but rather just allowing us to have experiences that they knew would help us grow up and develope greater "strength". Kind of get a sense of priority about what is really harmful and what only seems harmful. We learned that pain was not perminant, and that we could endure it better than we might have imagined. We got to test limits and grow beyond those limits.
And, I guess, that while every mother hated the day her son/daughter got that first bike, we still got the priviledge because it would be a learning experience for us. I am so glad that our parents didn't try to keep us from life's bumps and bruises. And, for me, a motorcycle was part of that learning.

One of the problems today is maybe too much disposable income going toward these kids. In our day, if you wanted a bike or whatever, you had to beg, borrow, finagle, and whatever to get one, then do it again to keep in in parts and running. And it was good that the bikes of our day weren't so sophisticated. We could keep them running with tape, kerosene, wire, or whatever it took to clean, work around, cobble together and otherwise make the thing run by whatever backyard engineering we could devise. Not so easy today, and that's too bad. Maybe the makers would do well to make some very simple machines that would have this same appeal to young people.
 

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...greed... I would blame it on that

make motorcycles more affordable and less complex - tires!!! oh my God - do they have to cost $300 installed at a dealership? - maybe if brand makers gave free motorcycle courses and training on their models they would get more bums in saddles?

...just a few ideas off the top of my head
 

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Just saw this on the San Diego Union Tribune's website, thought y'all would find it interesting.

No easy ride: Motorcycle industry is in deep trouble and needs help fast, panel agrees.

There are pdfs of the roundtable discussions available here.
Not the brightest bunch of folks leading the motorcycle industry. Maybe that explains, in part, the continuing downward trend.

Just on the autonomous vehicle issue alone (listed as fifth item), they got it 180 degrees wrong. It's one of the few technologies that might help stem the tide. Lots of folks (experienced riders and those thinking about riding) decide to stay away because of texting, inattentive driving, road rage, etc. Self-driving vehicles provide the only hope that a car won't make a left turn when an idiot races through an intersection counting on right of way to save the day. Only technology that will prevent an inattentive driver from ramming from behind. And, at some point, DUI will become largely a thing of the past and we will look back in horror at all the avoidable tragedies. Probably not in my lifetime but at some point.

The AMA is making a bit of a fuss about not being well represented in on-going discussions but it's not a big deal. Self-interest dictates that cars will avoid running into people and other mobiles, including motorcycles. Last, but not least, when autonomous vehicles become common place, there'll be more incentive to ride a V-twin because of the visceral feel they can't otherwise get. Riding may become cool again. Assuming HD and Polaris manage to survive that long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just on the autonomous vehicle issue alone (listed as fifth item), they got it 180 degrees wrong. It's one of the few technologies that might help stem the tide. Lots of folks (experienced riders and those thinking about riding) decide to stay away because of texting, inattentive driving, road rage, etc. Self-driving vehicles provide the only hope that a car won't make a left turn when an idiot races through an intersection counting on right of way to save the day. Only technology that will prevent an inattentive driver from ramming from behind. And, at some point, DUI will become largely a thing of the past and we will look back in horror at all the avoidable tragedies. Probably not in my lifetime but at some point.
Agreed! As a rider, I can't wait until computers are driving the cars around me. It'll be much safer for us!
 

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When you think about it, it sort of gives us a chance to strike back. Imagine screwing with someone in a car programmed to automaticly stop when detecting an obstruction in front. Speed up, slam on the brakes, then ride away as they spill their coffee on themselves. I see lots of possibilities here.

Of course, I'm evil like that. :FIREdevil:


.Or ride close to their side, or back while the voice in the car drives them nuts with, "warning, object too close" over and over again. :biggrin:
 

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Don't say crash........:scared2:


But, it is a good point.
 

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Not the brightest bunch of folks leading the motorcycle industry. Maybe that explains, in part, the continuing downward trend.

Just on the autonomous vehicle issue alone (listed as fifth item), they got it 180 degrees wrong. It's one of the few technologies that might help stem the tide. Lots of folks (experienced riders and those thinking about riding) decide to stay away because of texting, inattentive driving, road rage, etc. Self-driving vehicles provide the only hope that a car won't make a left turn when an idiot races through an intersection counting on right of way to save the day. Only technology that will prevent an inattentive driver from ramming from behind. And, at some point, DUI will become largely a thing of the past and we will look back in horror at all the avoidable tragedies. Probably not in my lifetime but at some point.

The AMA is making a bit of a fuss about not being well represented in on-going discussions but it's not a big deal. Self-interest dictates that cars will avoid running into people and other mobiles, including motorcycles. Last, but not least, when autonomous vehicles become common place, there'll be more incentive to ride a V-twin because of the visceral feel they can't otherwise get. Riding may become cool again. Assuming HD and Polaris manage to survive that long.
Absolutely. I worry more about legislation outlawing non autonomous vehicles than I do cars around me that are programmed to not hit me.
 

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Absolutely. I worry more about legislation outlawing non autonomous vehicles than I do cars around me that are programmed to not hit me.
For sure way down the road...but yeah I do see such legislation you note coming .

If they ever get a grid system up & running involving autonomous vehicles, and I believe someday they will. A person driving a car/riding a motorcycle would really screw things up.

<caveat>...this is all IF I understand what the future thinkers want?...and I think I do.

The Jetson's world is coming......:biggrin:
 

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Hopefully not in my lifetime.
Our grandkids won’t know any better though. We will be legends in time I’m sure.

Regarding a dying MC market ? Sure I can see it.
Go By an HD dealership. All you see used is baggers and tourers. Owned by financially well off elders. I hardly see cruisers in the same capacity for sale 2nd hand.
The newer HD cruisers have gone thru a change to
Appeal to a younger crowd. Look at the fat boy
The new Dyna softail. Problem is ......... their still expensive. This is where triumph and some of the Japanese makers can shine once again. All they have to do is build bikes that people want.

While a sportster or a Scout is an affordable option it doesn’t appeal to many. We see more resurrected 10 to 15 year old bikes everyday that we’re bought for a fraction of its original cost. Good bikes that we’re desired back in the day. So yes the American Manufacturers may be loosing a little sight here. I think HD is in the game just their price is out of line.
Polaris needs a mid size cruiser (Spirit) (Apache)
(Mohawk) ???? And it needs to be below 15k to hurt the competition.
 

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I don't think a ban on non-autonomous vehicles will ever become reality simply because it wouldn't serve a purpose. What if a dog, deer, or child runs out into the street? Autonomous vehicles will have to see and avoid any obsticle anyway so no reason to ban older vehicles. The only threat I see would be from the EPA. And contrary to popular thinking the best thing that could happen for us is if all cars go electric as soon as possible. Think this through: Let's say some pea-brained science denier gains the reins of power and dismantles the EPA. We burn the sh!t out of coal with unregulated emissions. A decade later our air looks like Beijing's. At which point the pendulum will swing and very drastic measures would have to be taken to clean it up. Measures like banning internal combustion engines from city streets. If you think that won't happen it already is in places like Paris and London that lagged behind American enviormental protection.

Now consider a different scenario. Over the next decade our energy generation from wind and solar explodes. Our new cars are electric. Harmful emissions for all practical purposes are a thing of the past. There's not a statistically measurable benefit to be gained by banning our old motorcycles or hot rods. Those who might otherwise seek to are off chasing measurable things like pesticides in our food supply or lead weeping into our water supply or something else like that.
 

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Your premise is understandable, but I think, a little extreme. Maybe it makes the point, but I don't see it as real world.
and what the hell happened to my font? Excuse me a minute.
 
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