“Transformation” It’s popular topic in the marketplace. “Evolution”, tends to get less of the attention. Transformation occurs, relatively speaking, in an instant, which means that a belief or approach towards something can change almost overnight; sometimes triggered by an event. 9-11, for example, transformed air travel quite literally overnight. Evolution, on the other hand, is a slower process usually characterized by a change over time where people quietly recognize a new reality.
So, maybe the idea of “motorcycles as a solution” is an evolution? The growing electric motorcycle market might be transformative, but they have been at it for a while.
When you consider that the historical view of motorcycles in North America has grown from the lifestyle perspective, maybe evolution is the best way to understand how motorcycles can now be a solution.
Let’s be clear; the money to this point has been in selling the lifestyle. On-road or off-road, it was about a personal statement. Whether you are a weekend rebel or a confined 9-5 drone, motorcycles were your salvation. Dealers were there to help you realize your dreams. You would be actualized simply through choosing the right model of motorcycle. Factory ads pounded away at the idea that a motorcycle would complete you. It was the freedom you craved; you needed.
Then a funny thing happened. Reality caught up with the motorcycle lifestyle. There was more to life than making a personal statement. A little bit at a time of course. First, it was with the on-road group as sales levelled off. Don’t worry said the factory marketing execs to the dealer groups. Things will be fine. The aging market will continue to buy motorcycles. We are attracting new riders with new products. The marketplace is not saturated. People are craving freedom and self-expression more than ever before.
Then there has been a shift in off-road riding. Access to riding areas is under increasing competition from other user groups. Off-road powersports machines may not – for the first time – be a growth area. No matter how you slice it, motorized vehicles are no longer warmly welcomed in the great outdoors.
There’s a more promising side of the picture – motorcycles as a solution. The forces that have squeezed the motorcycle lifestyle take a back seat when you see motorcycles are a growing part of the personal mobility, smart transportation choice. Motorcycles offer genuine, proven advantages.
Motorcycles “done correctly” are a growth area for sales. It’s not just a case of offering consumer incentives to highlight the benefits motorcycles. Motorcycles carry a higher level of risk. If you aren’t trained properly, it can be an unrewarding experience for both rider and other road users. However, starting with all levels of government recognizing the role of motorcycles in the transportation and environmental solution, risks can be managed. The bicycle groups have been successful in this regard.
The wider impact of motorcycle use on society, from lessons learned around the world, will evolve locally. The benefit will be increased awareness for road safety and increased consumer incentives. Creating a sustainable environment for safer motorcycling and for motorcycling to develop as part of the provincial and national transport policy will become obvious. It’s proven that motorcycles are in fact a genuine solution to transportation needs and costs.
So be excited about the future of motorcycling. The practical exhilaration of motorcycling is part of the daily transportation spectrum.
Motorcycles OK sees motorcycles as a solution. You should too.