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Old 10-06-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
Dread6
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Question Future of the Motorcycly Industry

Where do you think the motorcycle industry is headed?

I am seeing more user friendly bikes across all makes and models. Automatic transmissions, slipper clutches, different power modes, TCS, ABS better ergonomics. As though they are trying to capture a broader audience. I.E more female riders.(not attacking women) I did not realize females were so limited to what they can ride right off the showroom floor.

I use to think cruisers were the big sellers in the Industry, but from what I research its the touring and the dual sport bikes that are taking over. People want comfort as well as the agility.

The trend I am seeing is that the young 20-somethings are the big buyers, then around their early to mid 30's they are selling due to starting a family. Later on in their mid 40's early 50's the are remembering how good it felt owning a motorcycle and they are wanting that feeling back. The older group are looking to buy their now 15 - 20 year old bike if not buy something similiar to what they had.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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Couldnt agree more with you. I first began riding at the age of 30. By this time i was already married and had kids. My first bike and still have her was my 2007 RWB Honda VFR. And the reason i picked this bike was the fact it had the V4 Vtec motor and it gave me all i needed to keep up with my friends in CBR's and R1's but I was comfortable while doing so. Now with the corbin saddle and back rest my wife sits back and chills while my buddy's spouses complain how uncomfortable it is to sit on theirs. So yes as u age comfort becomes more of an issue. Not to mention the Ins is soooo much cheaper on an sport touring bike then a sport bike.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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I agree with your first paragraph. On your second, I slightly disagree because I think the standard/naked and adventure segment will be the biggest sellers. As the Baby Boomers are dying, their preferences for big cruisers and touring bikes will be overshadowed by young people in India, China, and Indonesia wanting nimble and utilitarian bikes. On your third paragraph, I agree and would only add that this younger age group wants to see more technology like HUD/smartphone interactivity in their helmets.

The bulk of R&D will be for the Asia-Pacific market (i.e. engine size). I was in all 3 of these countries recently, and I see HD's future as grim even in the US where most see bikes as luxury toys. The big bike market will be for the wealthier customers who want their superbikes for the track so if you want that litrebike, you'll pay more. More importantly, with driverless cars around the corner, the human being will be eliminated from the picture for commuting so you'll see more people flock to motorcycles.

Also, electric bikes are another huge segment whose future is bright as battery technology improves.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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Honda first used their Hondamatics in 1973, and they were really popular for touring in their 750 models. They were long and not crisp, so more avid riders preferred an actual 5 speed.

I think as technology has progressed and automatic transmissions have improved so significantly (due to tolerances and electronic pressure management), they are becoming more popular and cheaper to own and operate. These gearboxes are more accurate and rider friendly, and it takes less "skill" to drive one from a standstill.

Professional drag racing utilizes autos with high stalls and close ratios because it will consistently shift faster than any human. It also takes out the fudge factor of mistake.


Motorcycles get better MPG, and with gas prices, people might reason that a motorbike is a better alternative for touring.

Sport tourers are the most popular. People want an image of a fast bike & bad boy image sometimes, even if they ride it like a granny without her glasses in the rain at night.

Mustapha, denser populations have always used scooters & bikes. They are simply smaller at 50cc, not excessive (do you really need a 1800cc bike?), cheaper, and easier to park. It's been like that since the 60's. That has never change din the Asian countries you listed, so nothing new is there. There has always been a market for the UJM's with no costly fairings.

The driverless car is still prototyping. Electric cars have been around since the late 1880's...yes, 18 - 80's. We will still be piloting our rides in our entire lifetimes. That statement is ridiculous, and the industry is not changing their mantra because people are concerned about being in control.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #5
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auto bikes are expensive which puts off any beginning rider. I see the opposite trend being smaller, less expensive, no frills bikes like the Yamaha SR400, Suzuki TU250.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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If this is the future... it ain't too bright.

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Old 10-07-2014, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dread6 View Post
Where do you think the motorcycle industry is headed?

I am seeing more user friendly bikes across all makes and models. Automatic transmissions, slipper clutches, different power modes, TCS, ABS better ergonomics. As though they are trying to capture a broader audience. I.E more female riders.(not attacking women) I did not realize females were so limited to what they can ride right off the showroom floor.

I use to think cruisers were the big sellers in the Industry, but from what I research its the touring and the dual sport bikes that are taking over. People want comfort as well as the agility.

The trend I am seeing is that the young 20-somethings are the big buyers, then around their early to mid 30's they are selling due to starting a family. Later on in their mid 40's early 50's the are remembering how good it felt owning a motorcycle and they are wanting that feeling back. The older group are looking to buy their now 15 - 20 year old bike if not buy something similiar to what they had.
Actually over 50% oof the market is 40-50...30-40 is like 25%....so teh 20-30's are actually the smallest....
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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What do u mean females are limited in what they can ride right off the showroom floor? As in, bike being too big, too high, or something?

I agree. So much more luxury items now a days.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon Samurai View Post
Actually over 50% oof the market is 40-50...30-40 is like 25%....so teh 20-30's are actually the smallest....
I misunderstood what I read so I stand corrected. But even still I see
#1 Buyers 50+
#2 20 - 30's
#30 - 40's
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDazzle View Post
What do u mean females are limited in what they can ride right off the showroom floor? As in, bike being too big, too high, or something?

I agree. So much more luxury items now a days.
Sorry about that Ping Ping, I went back up in added that in there last minute. So yes, it is a very vague discription.

From what I have seen women are very limited to what bikes they can ride off the showroom floor over 600cc. Most of the bikes "recommended" for female riders are beginner bikes (500cc and under). Most of the complaints I see are seat height, and "too much power" which is personal preference IMO.

There exceptions on the list like the CBR600rr, and older carbureted bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustapha View Post
I agree with your first paragraph. On your second, I slightly disagree because I think the standard/naked and adventure segment will be the biggest sellers. As the Baby Boomers are dying, their preferences for big cruisers and touring bikes will be overshadowed by young people in India, China, and Indonesia wanting nimble and utilitarian bikes. On your third paragraph, I agree and would only add that this younger age group wants to see more technology like HUD/smartphone interactivity in their helmets.

The bulk of R&D will be for the Asia-Pacific market (i.e. engine size). I was in all 3 of these countries recently, and I see HD's future as grim even in the US where most see bikes as luxury toys. The big bike market will be for the wealthier customers who want their superbikes for the track so if you want that litrebike, you'll pay more. More importantly, with driverless cars around the corner, the human being will be eliminated from the picture for commuting so you'll see more people flock to motorcycles.

Also, electric bikes are another huge segment whose future is bright as battery technology improves.
really naked? I still say dual sport/sport touring only because I feel naked bikes are an acquired taste. I use to think naked bikes where crashed bikes people were too cheap to fully restore, or sport bikes turned into stunt bikes.

I am curious about the electric bikes, I would like own one or 2.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AgPete139 View Post
Honda first used their Hondamatics in 1973, and they were really popular for touring in their 750 models. They were long and not crisp, so more avid riders preferred an actual 5 speed.

I think as technology has progressed and automatic transmissions have improved so significantly (due to tolerances and electronic pressure management), they are becoming more popular and cheaper to own and operate. These gearboxes are more accurate and rider friendly, and it takes less "skill" to drive one from a standstill.

Professional drag racing utilizes autos with high stalls and close ratios because it will consistently shift faster than any human. It also takes out the fudge factor of mistake.


Motorcycles get better MPG, and with gas prices, people might reason that a motorbike is a better alternative for touring.

Sport tourers are the most popular. People want an image of a fast bike & bad boy image sometimes, even if they ride it like a granny without her glasses in the rain at night.

Mustapha, denser populations have always used scooters & bikes. They are simply smaller at 50cc, not excessive (do you really need a 1800cc bike?), cheaper, and easier to park. It's been like that since the 60's. That has never change din the Asian countries you listed, so nothing new is there. There has always been a market for the UJM's with no costly fairings.

The driverless car is still prototyping. Electric cars have been around since the late 1880's...yes, 18 - 80's. We will still be piloting our rides in our entire lifetimes. That statement is ridiculous, and the industry is not changing their mantra because people are concerned about being in control.
I do see HD being a "status" bike due to bad gas mileage, being hard to turn, and overall size and weight of those things. I think sportsbike will be more track oriented street legal bikes. They are just too uncomfortable to daily riding.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #10
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From the industry standpoint this has been an ongoing problem since the start of the recession. The industry has only recovered about 50% what its level were prior. There are many factors involved which have been brought up in some of the previous replies. What we are seeing in training is older students coming in as the majority due to their previous experience with motorcycles and tapering downward to younger students. We are currently seeing less under 20 year olds signing up for classes. Right now the industry is in a flux trying to make motorcycling look "cool" to bring back the market, with new products and tech that cater to millennial's need for interaction with the products. I can keep going, but I think you can see where this is leading.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dread6 View Post
I do see HD being a "status" bike due to bad gas mileage, being hard to turn, and overall size and weight of those things. I think sportsbike will be more track oriented street legal bikes. They are just too uncomfortable to daily riding.
Have you ever ridden an HD? Status bike for sure once you start getting up into the CVO line, but even the big twins will get in the 40s on mpg, and I certainly don't think even my old 883 Sportster (rubber mount) was any less comfortable than ANY sport-oriented machine I've been on. Definitely a preference issue in riding position, but you can't make a blanket statement like that. The nicest thing about HDs is the plethora of parts available: if the bike doesn't fit you, you've got unlimited options toward modifying your riding position.

Not to mention, while the heat from an air cooled bike may seem unbearable to you when it's 100F outside, not everywhere gets as hot (and humid) as it is here. Same with the overall size and weight argument, it's a matter of what you want to do with it. A Road King will shine on interstate travel, not carving canyon roads trying to keep up with the latest BMW rocket. They're definitely starting to move in the right direction though with their liquid cooling, and some of the new entry-level bikes.

I'm really not a huge HD fan, but I think they have an unfairly bad reputation among non-HD riders. (Also, I really prefer a more upright "standard" or nearly-"sport" riding position.)

One other issue that the industry seems to be facing is the current group getting interested in motorcycling seems to be more drawn to the "vintage" machines. The latest fad isn't to jump on the newest "Ninja bike", or new off-the-shelf "custom" HD "choppers"... You've got tons of reliable bikes out on the market (for example, any Honda built since the 60's-70's) that seem to be getting the attention of guys just getting into the scene, either interested in vintage choppers, bobbers, or cafes. Just look at all the boutique builders out there, and the majority of builds will be old platforms, not new bikes.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:05 AM   #12
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HD's are good for what they are. I've had two of them. Wouldnt going back as I like bikes that have more power, better handling and lighter. HD has the best dealer network hands down in America. Undeniable.

Dont listen to PIng, she thinks liter bikes are a waste :P lol
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