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