500f4ec364b924c26fcac1874f3391a0f8fdbc52 ride or die bikers hang up their leather jackets

Globally renowned motorcycle brands, Harley-Davidson and Honda, are relying on new and upcoming generations to save the industry.

So, why the sudden panic? Well, everyone ages and in turn, riders eventually have to hang up their jackets.

The Honda Rebel 500…

The new Honda motorbike is definitely an eyecatcher for those young rebels… or even the more mature, yet young at heart males. The Honda Rebel 500 has been designed with small, light and more affordable specs in mind – trying to fit into the 1980s, when young men and women suited up with their black leather jackets and tight jeans.

Honda’s aim with this new concept is to lure millennials into retaining the ‘biker family’ traditions for another 50-years. According to Mark Hoyer, Cycle World magazine editor-in-chief, the Rebel 500 concept was aimed at “selling this perception of lifestyle… it’s a cultural movement,”.

Are you saying, the 21st Century is witnessing a rebranding of the entire motorcycle industry? Or are Honda and Harley-Davidson actually revving through a midlife crisis?

Here are a few facts about the motorcycle industry:

  • The motorbike market fell hard due to the recession
  • Bikes have been spiralling down since the 41% reduction in bike sales in 2009.
  • 2010 witness another 14% axing in sales.
  • In 2016, the new bike market rolled off half as many a decade ago.

The ‘generational time-bomb’.

In 2003, only one-quarter of bike riders were aged 50-years and older – gradually growing towards half by 2014. With riders aged 50-years and older dominating the current motorbike market, who knows when they may decide to hang up their leather jackets. The Modern motorcycle industry is journeying with a market who might only be able to buy one more motorbike.

A change in strategy…

Motorbike manufacturers are placing hope in the hands of millennials, due to the lifetime value they will have, should biker crews shepherd young bike riders. We guess it makes sense to persuade demographics who are far from being rushed to the GP for arthritis.

2010 – Say goodbye to Sturgis and hello to Coachella’s quasi-hipster music scene. This was the same year in which Harley-Davidson hosted riding academies to create an opportunity for sales and revolutionised a true starter bike, the Street 500.

With urbanisation altering the modern and technological period, brands such as Ducati and BMW’S G 310 R have since taken advantage the motorbike market; bringing in many road safety features for a ride with peace of mind.

But, change is not always a good thing.

For many years, motorcycle engineers focused on powerful and big engines, with loud roars. However, the new generation may seem slightly intimidated by the machine and less keen on expensive motorbikes.

The not-so-intrigued by the horsepower game late bloomers, have been captured by smaller, budget friendly bikes.

2011 to 2016 saw a 11.8% increase in bike sales with smaller engines, while bikes with bigger engines only got a 7.4% increase.

It’s kind of sad witnessing a growing industry take the plunge. However, the combustion-engine cars are slowly going down under the dumps – receiving a replacement of zero fuel emission electric cars.

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