The Economy and Motorcycling

If you are a motorcycle manufacturer, dealer, investor or work in the industry, times are not what they use to be and will likely get worse before they get better and I believe they will get better.

Now, if you already have a motorcycle and own it outright, or are keeping up with your payments, your motorcycling may not be effected too much.  In fact, you may find that your motorcycle helps your economic situation, or at the very least help keep you sane while dealing with your economy.  Simply put, if you don’t use your motorcycle as a daily commuter, start.  You will save a little in gas money and have fun at the same time.

How will the economy affect the motorcycle industry and motorcyclists in the future?

I see fewer new motorcycles being produced and sold over the next two to three years. Current owners will keep their motorcycles longer and will spend more on maintaining, upgrading and customizing.  New riders and former riders will still be joining the motorcycling fraternity, but on used motorcycles, which will help keep the parts and maintenance industry alive.  I also see the manufacturers cutting their production overall, but not across the board of their model line.  They will focus on motorcycles that are multipurpose in nature and reduce or stop producing motorcycles that are already “customized”, returning that element to the rider.  The manufacturers will also eliminate motorcycles in their line that are similar in use and style.  This will allow them to reduce production cost and leave them with the ability to increase production volume when needed.  Customer satisfaction and profitability will be their focus.

What must the motorcycle industry do to stay viable in our current economy and set them up for the future?

Simple.  Attract new riders to motorcycling!  Work with dealers to help them set up new rider courses and educate the dealers on how to evaluate what a new rider needs and then sell them what they need, not what’s on the showroom floor.  Get the motorcycle fanatics who don’t ride, riding.  The more riders we have in the motorcycling fraternity the better.

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