Author Topic: The Grey Pound ?  (Read 592 times)

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Offline mcchoc

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The Grey Pound ?
on: June 03, 2021, 03:21:48 PM
This topic has been mentioned before, but as time moves on it becomes ever more prescient.
I’ve now been riding for forty five years, and intend to ride on until I’m no longer able to.  I often find myself at the bike gathering places nearby – Seaways Cafe at Fridaythorpe or the Tea Cabin past Fimber a few miles further towards the Yorkshire coast.  And it’s always the same story.  As ignitions are switched off and gloves and helmets are removed, a sea of grey/balding heads and wrinkles is revealed (I include myself in this description) - in short, a generation that can remember exactly where they were when Kennedy was assassinated.
I retire from my job lecturing in an FE college this summer – and I know for a fact than none of the fifty or so young adults I teach has the remotest interest in motorcycling.  Many of them already drive cars –even though they all admit they don’t even have the ability to change a wheel with a puncture.  A phone call to the AA is all they know.
So – when I and my fellow contemporaries shuffle off this mortal coil, who will replace us?
 Mysteriously, bike manufacturers seem to be able to invest the huge sums demanded by constantly updating and offering new hi-tech models for a presumably shrinking market - in a sector which was always dwarfed by car industry volumes anyway.  What demographic predictions are they following?
Maybe they’re wrong - and the powers that be are quietly heaving a sigh of relief and praying that once we Baby Boomers are out of the frame, there will be no more to follow us, and they’ll no longer have to cope with us madcap people who put hedonistic kinetic pleasure ahead of a nice cosy and totally risk-averse life?

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Online CaptainTrips

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Re: The Grey Pound ?
Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 05:16:48 PM
Electrification. That is the big watershed moment for the motorcycle industry. Will motorcycles as we know them become utilitarian appliances like electric scooters?
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

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Offline Admin

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Re: The Grey Pound ?
Reply #2 on: June 03, 2021, 05:37:03 PM
Maybe the perception doesn't match the reality though. In the UK the number of registered motorcycles was roughly 20% higher in 2020 than it was twenty years ago back in 2001. With those sort of numbers it certainly isn't in free fall.

Maybe the type of motorcycle is different, more scooters (??) or something like that.

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Offline XCaTel

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Re: The Grey Pound ?
Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 06:50:04 PM
*Originally Posted by Admin [+]
Maybe the perception doesn't match the reality though. In the UK the number of registered motorcycles was roughly 20% higher in 2020 than it was twenty years ago back in 2001. With those sort of numbers it certainly isn't in free fall.

Maybe the type of motorcycle is different, more scooters (??) or something like that.

I believe this is exactly it, a large uptake of inner city commuters' scooters. Actual motorcycle sales were down a few % but not in freefall.

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Offline chris1982

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Re: The Grey Pound ?
Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 08:06:41 PM
I think there are several different reasons why younger people aren't considering motorcycles. I am under 40 (just) and have been riding since I was 20, partly because my Dad had a new Bonneville at the time and partly because I needed a cheap form of transport for work that was easily accessible just by doing the CBT. From the moment I rode the bike on the road during the CBT, I was hooked and haven't looked back since, having taken my bikes across Europe many times and I think you can't beat motorcycling on any day, but especially when the sun is shining like it is at the moment.

I would say that the principal reason for younger people not getting into motorcycling is money. Firstly, the tuition and testing is expensive and complicated, much more so than for a car, then the clothing, helmet, etc. needed on top of that. The ease of doing a CBT and going out on L-plates helps, but then those riders are generally not graduating to getting a full license as they choose the option of a car license instead for practical and cost reasons. Gone are the heydays of bikes from the 50's through to the 70's when they were a cheap and easy transport for the masses before cars really took over. In cities, bikes still make some sense for commuting but only smaller bikes really and public transport may be just as good for commuting, in fact, I walk to work because it is quicker than using the bike, which I now just use for fun, days out and long distance trips.

However, where I work, there are two younger guys in their 20's who both have bikes (Honda 750 and KTM 390), which they use both for commuting and fun, I reckon I've got a chance of getting the lad with the KTM onto a bigger Triumph as he wants to use his bike for him and his girlfriend to do trips to Scotland and abroad when allowed, the KTM won't cut it two-up with luggage. Therefore, I think there is hope that the next generation will come through, maybe electric bikes will help with that in the future, biking just needs a better press overall, easier routes into biking (fat chance from government!) and us 'experienced' bikers to help them along with encouragement, training and just showing them how enjoyable biking can be.  :306:

 



nonskid