While 2017 was a rollercoaster year for motorcycles, our predictions for 2018 are much more positive.
But let’s start with a quick recap on the rollercoaster ride in motorcycling during 2017.
Good and the bad of 2017
- For the first time since the GFC, motorcycle sales were down for three consecutive quarters and we don’t expect the last quarter to have rectified the problem;
- Victory Motorcycles was axed;
- Erik Buell Racing finally disbanded and was sold off;
- Bimota has also wound down production and is expected to go bankrupt (yet again!);
- MV Agusta had liquidity problems all year and was finally saved by Russian investment;
- Touratech filed for bankruptcy, but was bailed out of insolvency by interior design and accessory manufacturer Happich;
- Ducati has spent the last couple of years on the verge of being sold and seems to have held on … for now;
- Old brands such as Lambretta, Jawa and BSA became set for a resurrection; and
- Harley-Davidson axed the revolutionary V-Rod.
Our (hopeful) predictions for 2018
- There will be a resurgence in sales of learner bikes in Australia with the introduction of more suitable models;
- Head-up display helmets and aftermarket units will finally hit the market and will turn riders into much safer motorists;
- Valentino Rossi will finally score his 10th world championship against a resurgent Ducati and retire;
- Harley-Davidson will continue its model offensive with 10 new models including a modernised Sportster range and a Bronx, 48X and Pan America, all names they have recently trademarked;
- Suzuki and Honda will introduce turbo motorcycles that will rekindle the interest in sports bikes;
- MV Agusta will stage a comeback from financial troubles to reveal a lust-have range of new four-cylinder bikes; and
- BMW will introduce an affordable electric motorcycle with adequate range and recharging times.