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Sharing and leasing could help motorcycling

Millennials are not interested in motorcycles, but could be enticed if they could share rides or have the option of leasing instead of buying, according to Wall St investment research company Bernstein Research.

The company began looking at the motorcycle industry in the wake of several years of downward sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and plummeting stock prices.

Their report follows another report by a group of American industry luminaries cleverly called Give a Shift that found millennials were not interested in motorcycles. 

5 reasons why millennials won’t rideBMX and mountain bike racing couple Barry Nobles of the USA and Aussie Olympian Carline Buchanan share a passion for two wheels that extends to their Harleys. millennials leasing

Bernstein Research found five reasons why millennials are not buying motorcycles.

The main reason was that they are more likely than previous generations to attend colleges and universities and be burdened by massive student debts.

“Perhaps they don’t like owning cars and houses because they do not want the burden of debt that accompanies the ownership of those things,” the report says.

They also found young people are maturing at a slower rate.

They say motorcycle riders typically buy bikes just before starting a family and when the children leave home. However millennials are reaching these stages later in life.

The other three factors are:

  • A decreased interest in dirt bikes which traditionally were the starting ground for riders; 
  • Fewer mass-media role models such as Valentino Rossi, Steve McQueen and Barry Sheene; and
  • Urbanisation, although they pointed out that motorcycles and scooters could actually be a solution to urban conditions of traffic congestion, scarce parking and air pollution.

“Perhaps millennials prefer ‘experiences’ over ‘things’ because they cannot afford to buy ‘things’,” the report found.Hipsters motorists want self-driving vehicles novice child leasing

Leasing and sharing

Their suggestions to attract more young riders were to try leasing motorbikes rather than selling loans.

They also suggested motorcycle companies “experiment with some of the concepts embodied by the sharing economy”. They cite the rise of Uber and the use of shared vehicles in some metropolises.

Interestingly, BMW Motorrad recently suggested that future riders might share bikes rather than owning them.

The Bernstein report also suggested subsidising kids’ dirt bikes or producing a TV show with a “young, cool” motorcycling protagonist.

  1. I cant speak for sales but i certainly see plenty of new riders learning. Maybe this rrsearch is biased towards the new Harley sales perspective. Maybe its UK focussed. Maybe its a load of bollocks. I certainly wouldn’t start a sales program based on these findings.
    As for sharing and leasing – well if you see motorcycles as a souless product maybe you would think that way – but I learned long ago – don’t loan your motorcycle to anyone.

  2. To the two ladies who kindly exibit a sign stating (Harleys make use horny).
    To save the motorcycle world as we know it that sort of encouragement goes a long way.
    Keep it up and by the way my middle name is Harley so as a 60 year old life long motorcycle rider that it breaths new life into my soul.

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