Motorcycle sales have been on a downhill decline since last year.
Harley-Davidson, which tracks motorcycle registrations for bikes with engines 601 cubic centimeters and above, have shown reports that they’re down 6.7% over the first six months of 2017. Sales of its own motorcycles are doing worse, with shipments down 14.5% year over year.
It’s for that reason Polaris CEO Scott Wine recently told the American International Motorcycle Expo in Ohio that new riders are critical to the industry’s future.
Wine said the “reality isn’t fantastic” and noted that the industry really “has a long way to go.”
He was followed by Harley CEO Matt Levatich, who also said that developing a new generation of motorcycle enthusiasts was essential for the health of the industry. “Let’s not forget what an awesome thing riding is,” Levatich said.
Harley-Davidson has committed to adding 2 million new Harley-Davidson riders and launching 100 brand new models over the next 10 years while growing its international business by half.
To achieve its goals, Levatich told analysts that the mentality for motorcycles companies is to go “from thinking in terms of ‘we build bikes’ to thinking in terms of ‘we build riders.'”
Harley-Davidson Riding Academy is also evident in this new mentality of building their brand for new bikers. It has trained some 32,000 new riders.
Similarly, Wine said that with the global motorcycle market estimated to be a $54 billion opportunity, there was more than “enough to prosper if we get this right.”
Wine sees technology helping the motorcycle industry attract new would-be riders, such as allowing buyers to build their bikes online, which would demonstrate the growing trend into the customization and personalization that have been helping out many other industries.
Another thing that new riders should be introduced to is motorcycle insurance. Cyclists need to get a separate insurance policy to cover their bike, which, unfortunately, is not as easy as purchasing car insurance.
Motorbiking is considered very dangerous, therefore usually costs more to insure, but finding an agent that is able to find a low-cost motorcycle insurance can be simple.