VOG Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Though the topic is all about H-D, Indian will suffer the same outcome at the same time. Nostalgia does not exist with millennials. And they are the the future to contend with. Not my problem, thankfully!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,536 Posts
I’ve seen a lot of young kids riding victories because it appealed to them..... I hope somebody other than Polaris picks up victory and dominates all the brands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,207 Posts
I think the statement about making motorcycles popular is the most telling and best part of the whole thing. More traffic, larger bikes, more cost in all areas, the trend toward safety (real or imagined) by younger people, and other "modern day" factors makes selling bikes a lot more difficult in a new or younger demographic. But I don't see the days of a 13 to 15 year old going out and buying that first (cheap) bike of 100CC's or so and gaining the enthusiasm from that early experience. For one thing, that type of bike is almost non existent today, and it's no longer cheap or simple. Long rides on country roads or rural outlying areas where traffic is nil are just all but impossible anymore.

And, I don't know if any makers are willing to go "backwards" and start making and selling cheap small bikes the likes of a Yamaha twin jet, or a suzuki 90cc trail bike. Sure, there are lots of 250cc bikes and up in smaller frames, but they are fairly sophistocated and a bit expensive for that kid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,114 Posts
I've seen a lot of young kids riding victories because it appealed to them..... I hope somebody other than Polaris picks up victory and dominates all the brands.
Nobody can pick it up because Polaris won't let it go. The video was interesting but I see the problem as more nuanced. It's not that young people aren't into motorcycles. It's that they're not into the same kinds of motorcycles we are. Which crotchety old farts tend to bemoan, but most of us weren't always into the same kind of bikes either. A lot of old Harley riders started out on dirt bikes.
So what kind of motorcycle does a young person want? I have a guess. I'm picturing a gyroscopically balanced automatic electric that needs no training or licensing for. A 25 year old living in a big city that typically uses mass transit but wants something for when that's inconvient. But it has to be easy to park, store, fuel, and maintain. This is the guy that turns 35 or 40 and fondly recalls two wheeled transportation and thinks about putting a bike next to the minivan in his suburban garage.
The other problem I see is what we've turned our economy into, or what we've allowed it to be turned into. In my parents day a guy with a high school diploma could join a union, work in a factory, and earn a living. Enough so that if a motorcycle was in his interest he could get one. In my day a college degree became almost a necessity but four years of college cost roughly the equivalent of one year's salary of a college graduate. Today you have to go 50-100k in debt to get the degree and then you get to do a one year unpaid internship before getting a paid job that pays no more than it did 15-20 years ago. How the hell are kids today supposed to afford anything besides video games for Christ's sake? You want to see young people buy a lot of motorcycles? Make college free and 50k an average starting salary for a college graduate. They'll buy all kinds of stuff, including motorcycles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You want to see young people buy a lot of motorcycles? Make college free and 50k an average starting salary for a college graduate. They'll buy all kinds of stuff, including motorcycles.
And that's just the dilemma H-D and Indian are up against. Little by little, their sales numbers will diminish until it'll be hard to keep the doors open. No problem for Polaris. They'll stay alive because of the sheer volume of the dirt bogging crap they sell. Imagine H-D retooling to build off-road quads and utility vehicles. In orange and black of course.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,422 Posts
...I wonder what the percentage of current bike enthusiasts were exposed to motorcycles (as rider or passenger) when they were young?
...and what's the percentage of current motorcycle owners who never climbed into a saddle before they had the desire to do so?
...since less and less people live in a rual setting and more people reside in densely populated areas, I feel there is less of a chance for those people gravitate to bikes ~ now if motorcycle manufacturers put on training, safety and skills for free they might infect a new generation(s) with the "bug" and maybe sell some machines in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
There is an additional problem with young people getting started today. No place to ride that dirt bike many of you started on! I had a boss who had 2 teenage sons. They had dirt bikes, and lived on the "edge" of country. They couldn't ride in the country neighborhood because it was not legal. They couldn't ride along the wide grass right-of-way next to a 2 lane county highway by their house because again, not legal (they were stopped more than once by police). And they couldn't get permission to ride on various private property in the area due to concerns by landowners of being sued.

The end result now is you in many places have to be old enough to have your license, before you can shell out the money to buy a bike and start riding, to see if it is something you might even enjoy doing! I think going forward, unless potential new owners have friends who already have bikes and talk it up, "they" are not going to get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
I've seen a huge upswing in the style of bike seen on Sons of Anarchy. Mostly young riders. I see groups of 10 or more mostly 2 up using full face helmets.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Automotive fuel system
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,063 Posts
The only thing that has made HD move from their existing offerings over the last 50 years is the competition. They've always maintained the same platform and played technological catch-up since the Asian engineered bikes hit the Americas. Now they're being driven by a suddenly different customer base. Technology has changed the lifestyle of existing generations and will continue to do so. Watch for further smaller and stylized offerings from HD if they wish to stay in business. Whether it be two of four wheels the younger ones will be looking for affordable basic reliable transportation. That's certainly not the present HD.

Also keep in mind this is more an American situation. During the work week in the downtown core of many European cities it's block after block after block of motorcycles parked tightly together on the sidewalk. Thousands of them. It's amazing to see. For a few different reasons it's not a market HD can presently compete in. Again, it's the competition and in particular, Asia, that will drive the design changes as the NA manufacturers strive to compete there.

I think the gradual decline of the big Vtwins is going to continue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
As long as indian and harley don‘t offer modern designs, i dont see a reason why jounger people should want a big vtwin.
They may have some offers like a scout etc. but most of the younger bikers simply dont want one of these oldschool designs from the 60. all this leather stuff and old looking bent fenders simply screams for ooooold guy driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
Remember the ad "you meet the nicest people on a Honda" ? Well that ad help everyone!!!! maybe ALL brands should get together for a similar ad. A generic ad about motorcycles in general, each company that takes parts would have a clip of one of their bikes in the ad but the ad must NOT have anything to do with a brand, just the idea of : "Say! looking for a great new experience"? Come join the motorcycle family! Know someone, neighbor (etc.) that owns one? Ask for a ride! Talk about miles of FUN per gallon!!!! But CAUTION is recommended as YOU WILL BE "HOOKED".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,190 Posts
Remember the ad "you meet the nicest people on a Honda" ? Well that ad help everyone!!!! maybe ALL brands should get together for a similar ad. A generic ad about motorcycles in general, each company that takes parts would have a clip of one of their bikes in the ad but the ad must NOT have anything to do with a brand, just the idea of : "Say! looking for a great new experience"? Come join the motorcycle family! Know someone, neighbor (etc.) that owns one? Ask for a ride! Talk about miles of FUN per gallon!!!! But CAUTION is recommended as YOU WILL BE "HOOKED".
Polaris MIGHT finally do.... with Indian:banghead: (maybe help with spelling...A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-E)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Remember the ad "you meet the nicest people on a Honda" ? Well that ad help everyone!!!! maybe ALL brands should get together for a similar ad. A generic ad about motorcycles in general, each company that takes parts would have a clip of one of their bikes in the ad but the ad must NOT have anything to do with a brand, just the idea of : "Say! looking for a great new experience"? Come join the motorcycle family! Know someone, neighbor (etc.) that owns one? Ask for a ride! Talk about miles of FUN per gallon!!!! But CAUTION is recommended as YOU WILL BE "HOOKED".
Who's going to pay for it? Manufacturers are just interested in plugging their own brands. It would need to come from some national motorcycle association.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
I had no favourite brand when i bought my vision, just went with test rides and research. Not disappointed in the bike coming up 8 years but not happy with polaris.
If I decide to buy again I will do the same and buy what suits me best and I will include Indian in the tests.
If an electric powered bike comes out on top so be it but I suspect electric bikes are lagging well behind electric cars. I have test driven a Tesla X and as a driving car it was average to good and hugely over priced at $275,000 little Aussie dollars for the one I drove.

How will you feel when your V twin with sports cams and exhaust etc get left for dead by a suit in an electric family car.

Bikes have such a long way to go. Slowly EFI replaced carbies and electric starters replaced your leg. Still a bit of a debate on ABS, traction control which are not new technology.

Would you describe Victory, Harley and Indian or even BMW as ground breaking modern machines? How will old designers and accountants appeal to modern youth?

Enough rant?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,114 Posts
Who's going to pay for it? Manufacturers are just interested in plugging their own brands. It would need to come from some national motorcycle association.
You answered your own question. An NMA could be funded by manufacturers just like the NRA is, and it's purpose could be for the promotion of motorcycling period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,075 Posts
I say give me back an old r750 BMW with all the trimmings that made those bikes great like the earl type front gear and the shaft drive and that lovely side to side power surge thump of each sideways mounted cylinder firing.....

I loved those bikes very much in my youth and if had the money would definitely own one now....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,878 Posts
Hard to say for sure but I think the guy in the video was pretty much right on the mark for the future of motorcycles in America, AU, Canada and other countries where big twins are currently popular.

Polaris made a fatal mistake dropping Victory with its edgy design. It was pulling young riders in from all demographics. Like the video said; young people aren't drawn to HD like their dad's and granddad's. Indian either but Victory was fresh, new, and born in their era which is why it was such a fatal mistake for Polaris to shut it down.

If they had any sense at all about the motorcycling world they would have at least downsized it to a few models if need be but I guess we have beat that poor dead horse enough.

Young people want low maintenance items they don't have to work on. I think that's why electric bikes will one day be king of the city and day rides. Tires and brake flush and pads for routine maintenance. Ready to go right from the dealership. No tuning, exhaust, baubles, just get on it with your electronic key fob in pocket and go (after unplugging it). Even better; there will be a wireless charging pad underneath where the bike is normally parked with an alternate way to charge it elsewhere.

Gotta get the young people interested in bikes to begin with though. That's the trick. Maybe HD should think about paying to have a video game for cruisers, choppers, and touring bikes with a handlebar game controller where the player rides, meets other riders, form groups and make plans for day rides and cross country trips. The player can start small and work their way up to whatever kind of bike they like. There are already games for the crotch rockets. The game should have lots of realistic scenery and a real feel like being there but not quite. That's the carrot. The stick is their new found desire to do it for real.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top