Is Motorcycling dying?

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Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by johnnyboxer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:03 pm

Well is it?

Surely not................ the cry will go up from the aficionados here

BUT....scratch a little deeper and it might be

Today I went to Darlington, a town of maybe 30,000 at a guess and all the former bike shops had shut, boarded up

That got me thinking, I had a quick ready reckon of towns local to me & counted up all the bike shops that had closed up, lost their main dealer status or packed it the last 10 years

It was a bit of a sobering thought and none had opened to take their place

I then thought, how far I would need to travel to view and new Honda/Suzuki/Yamaha over 600cc and worked out it would be at least a journey of 50 miles, when before it would have been about 10-20 miles - 10 years ago

To see a BMW/KTM/Triumph etc it would be 30 miles & I live in Yorkshire, the largest county in the UK................not the Shetland Islands

The amount of bike related businesses that have closed is quite frightening

So that got me thinking again...

Fewer youngsters seem to be getting into bikes

Bike Licences seem to be getting harder to obtain

Bikes aren't 'cool' to youngsters anymore

Motorcyclists are getting older

Bikes now, cost a heck of a lot nowadays to buy NEW - starting to £8000 upwards to about £16000, which is a heck a lump of dosh to a lot of people

More and more regulations are being introduced

Insurance companies are placing restrictions, like mileage and carrying pillions etc

Bikes are more complex now, requiring main dealers to service and fix

Motorcycle sport is continually under threat and I see the latest is a campaign to close Mallory Park, due to residents' complaints about noise

All of this is polarising our hobby, reducing new entrants to motorcycling it slowly dying?
We buy things we don't need

With money we don't have

To impress people we don't even like

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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by GUNDOG » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:07 pm

No. :P
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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by Buellie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:10 pm

Yes......figures for people taking the bike test show a 50% decrease in the last 2 years

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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by Mickdb1 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:16 pm

I think it is seriously under threat in the UK from
1 Over technical spec of the new bikes
2 Insurance premiums and restrictions - I am sure I saw daytime riding only somewhere recently, on a limitation of use
3 Fashion = its going out of with the young uns cos they cant afford it
4 Bloody weather
5 were all getting older (see 3 above)
You dont pack up biking when you grow old

You grow old when you pack up biking

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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by herman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:18 pm

Yes it probably is as we know and love it. :( I think hopefully you and I will not see it though. What it needs is to become socially unacceptable, frowned upon by the whispering classes and generally not what your children ought to be doing. Then a new generation will hopefully be attracted to it again, stick two fingers up to the establishment and revive sales of 500cc loud twins and tuning parts. I will be sat outside a pub with a gert grin watching if I'm lucky. :)
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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by johnnyboxer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:59 pm

GUNDOG wrote:No. :P
I think it is...............not much new blood under 25

I grew up in the 1970's and 80's, in a small town of about 15,000 souls in South Devon, hardly universe central

In that small town, we had a Honda main dealer, Yamaha main dealer, Suzuki main dealer with commuters to superbikes, plus MZ and Jawa dealers

Additionally there was a motocross shop and a trials bike dealer

All thrived, because everyone had bikes, for work or pleasure

Now the only one to survive is the Honda dealer and it's a shadow of its former self

So where's todays boom going to come from?
We buy things we don't need

With money we don't have

To impress people we don't even like

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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by -Ralph- » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Of course it is, slowly.

If you strangle the new blood coming in with ridiculous laws restricting you to 125 for two years and making you pass three tests and wait 4 years before you get to ride a big bike, then it will die off.

For every elderly biker that dies or retires from riding, if there isn't a 16 yr old to take his place then biking is dying.

That's what the politicians want of course.
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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by Mad Cow » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:12 pm

A lot has changed since I started bikng right at the end of the 70's, although my local bike shop from those days still survives even though I can think of loads that haven't.:(

At least one thing has improved, I don't get thrown out of pubs anymore.....

But then again most of those pubs have closed down too :whistle:

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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by dubber68 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 pm

Yes it is, a cheap car will be more comfortable, cheaper to run and you can take your mates with you. Manufacturers need to attract new blood by assisting new riders with free lessons from main dealer employed instructors and making bike ownership affordable with easy to maintain bikes that are cheaper to run, this will lead people onto the more aspirational high profit models in time. I know it is easy to say and may not be so easy to do when regulations are getting tighter all the time.
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Re: Is Motorcycling dying?

Post by ChasF » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:24 pm

My lad who has just passed his bike test thinks that he's going to be smoking the tyres on his KTM supermoto and then he'll just pop home, bung on the off road wheels and then show me how it's done on the trails.

There are a number of downsides to this fantasy:

He can't afford the bike.

He can't afford the insurance.

He's limited to 50bhp?? until he's 24.

It's cold in winter and much nicer commuting in his car.

He's not into fettling. I think rebuilding his 50 to an 80 with different crank, clutch and ignition put him off that for life (as it nearly did me).

I think unless it's in your blood it's very hard to justify until you have some cash when you're older.

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