“Why millennials are not buying motorcycles”

Chief Nose Wetter offers 25 reasons, including:

2. Can’t get their phone to their ear with a helmet on.

6. Might have a bug hit them in the face and then they would need emergency care.

10. Their pajamas get caught on the exhaust pipes.

12. The handle bars have buttons and levers and cannot be controlled by touch-screen.

14. It’s too hard to take selfies while riding.

There are many more at the link.  As a former motorcyclist, I had to laugh.  (On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of millennials on electric scooters or e-bikes in larger cities, so maybe they’ve just changed the type of motorcycle they ride.  Even so, there’s nothing like the wind in one’s face on a nice long tour of the countryside, with a good motor purring away beneath you.  I remember my late 1970’s BMW R100RT with great affection.)



  1. I had enough bad wrecks on a bicycle that I have never had a desire to be on a motorcycle.

    When talking with my now father-in-law asking permission to ask his daughter to marry me, he told me, after I said that I had no intention of ever riding a motorcycle, that having/riding a motorcycle would have been a deal-breaker.

  2. D J,
    explaining the attraction of motorcycles to those who don't care for them is a lost cause, as your FiL shows. Personally, I've never understood the antipathy. It's a vehicle. Some are more hazardous than others, some require more skill to operate.

    People have a weird perception of danger. I've talked to some who love horses, and hate cycles, yet horses are much more dangerous to ride, especially when considering the mileage covered. I've seen this even in the bike world. I have tried to convince fast street riders to take track classes. No way, that's too dangerous! LOL The track is safer than the street.

  3. Peter,
    the R100 RS/RT fairing was the benchmark for fast weather protection. Some people went to great effort to transplant it onto other bikes, it was that good.

    I had a '76 R100RS in the late 80's that I bought crashed. I liked the utility of the suitcases and the fairing, but the handling was meh, after having set up a Guzzi LeMans for the track. Unfair comparison, but I didn't feel like duplicating the effort. I think I bought it due to chasing one of them around the CA tracks. (that, and I worked at a BMW shop about '78) Good rider, but he kept breaking things. Both bikes really needed a floating rear differential for better handling.

  4. Those scooters they rent in the cities are barely such. And they have no upkeep and need very little brain matter to get from point A to point B. Just what a snowflake needs.

  5. Will,

    My FiL loved motorcycles and rode them…until an unlucky crash almost amputated his leg among other injuries. And then he was done with them.

  6. Millennials are too young to buy motorcycles. Go look up the peak demographic for new Harley sales – men aged 46-50. Men going through mid-life crisis. The oldest millennials are 39 – it's another six or seven years until they hit the crisis years.

    Likewise, if you think the opioid epidemic is bad now, wait until it hits the millennials. Right now it's merely the Gen Xer's, and there just aren't that many people in Gen X.

  7. I work for a software company that services the motorcycle industry. We're having a banner year for bringing new dealerships online. Of course most of our growth is boat dealerships and powersports (ATV, UTV, and dirt bikes) anymore, but the road bike dealerships are doing fine too.

  8. D.J.,
    unlucky, or untrained?
    By untrained, I mean someone who really doesn't understand how a motorcycle turns, and consequently doesn't practice turning, and stopping, hard. I've seen so many collisions where the rider either made an ineffective attempt to avoid the obstacle, or worse yet, actually steered INTO the object when they resorted to trying to steer it like a car.

    A surprising number cannot describe exactly how to initiate a turn, and will argue that a bike doesn't work that way when it is explained. Too many think they learned what they needed to know by riding bicycles. Not hardly.

    Too much riding time on bicycles is spent at such a slow pace that they DO turn like a car, until you go past the transition speed and the steering input reverses. Motorcycles spend most of their time moving faster than the transition speed, except for parking lots and u-turns.

    A u-turn is an excellent example of the transition speed steering change, if you pay attention to the front wheel angle changes as you make the turn and the speed increases.

  9. I hear that a lot.

    "He was inexperienced." "He was untrained."

    Please explain to me how you get to "trained" and "experienced" without going through the "untrained" and "inexperienced" stage.

    Motorcycles are wonderful, fun, machines and I do not begrudge anyone the joy of riding one. But trained or not, they can also get you killed just as dead through unlucky happenstance and no fault of your own.

  10. into my very late 60's my doctor finally convinced me I am a danger to others on my bike and that the bike needs to go. She said that not so much me but others. Many potholes in the road of life have had their way, call me puffed wheat. one impact on the head and I'm blind. not a good thing.
    So, traded the bike for a bucket list car. still, should have kept the bike as it was nice but this removed the temptation to just ride. but I see the unconscious idiot phone users operating autos ignoring basic rules of the road. you never know what their intentions are at intersections. did they even see you coming before they pulled out right in front of you or are they just being jackasses cause they can? Cops would rightfully empty the magazine into them for trying to kill them.
    No, millennials don't ride. doesn't matter why.

  11. D.J., I'm the opposite case. A wreck almost took my leg off in '08, & I'll never run (nor walk normally) again. I had 2 bikes at the time–I now own 6: admittedly, 1 is a parts-donor bike for another, and 1 iwas bought just to repair & sell.

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