What Will Be Trending In 2017

1- Change Of US Leadership Makes Predicting Anything Much More Complicated.
Americans can’t recall a time when a change of leadership in Washington had the potential for such large and diverging effects on the U.S. economy. If you believe that the economy is going to be stimulated through new legislation and less regulation, for example by lowering individual and corporate taxes, with a tax holiday offering incentive for repatriation in the US of profits kept abroad by multinational corporations, by the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure to create a large number of construction jobs, etc… you can expect discretionary purchases to increase, and consequently the motorcycle industry to get a boost. American motorcycle manufacturers would benefit if the consumer has extra cash and borrowing costs remain quite low. Of course, if the US doesn’t get involved in a trade war which would create inflationary pressure on the imported products we all consume.

One of the biggest winners since the election has been the U.S. dollar rising sharply against all major foreign currencies. It means that in the US, Harley-Davidson and Polaris may face a tougher price competition from direct or indirect competitors like Triumph, Ducati, BMW, Royal Enfield, etc taking advantage of their lower home currency to offer much cheaper models. During the next 2 years the US motorcycle market is expected to remain somewhat stagnant or increasing only in the very low single digit. Harley-Davidson – much more than Polaris Motorcycles Division – relies on exportation to grow its unit sales. Would a slightly better demand in the US compensate for sales loss abroad due to a higher dollar? The introduction of the H-D LiveWire electric model susceptible to attract new motorcycle buyers being 2 or 3 years away, and in the absence of truly new affordable models, it could be a very challenging next 2 years for Harley’s domestic and global sales. Regarding the custom parts industry, the upcoming new administration is floating the idea of a 5% tariff on all imported goods. Most of custom motorcycle parts sold in the US being manufactured abroad, even when conceived here locally, it could spell trouble for many aftermarket part vendors and distributors, and this even if corporate taxes are lowered from 35% to 20%.

2- The Disrupted US Motorcycle Industry. Since 2013, when Polaris resurrected the Indian Motorcycle nameplate, it has been a kind of David versus Goliath competitive environment. Harley-Davidson is not a tarnished brand, is not in financial trouble and is not going to be dethroned by Polaris 2 motorcycle brands in just a few years. But at the end of 2012, Harley owned 57.2% of the heavyweight motorcycle market over 601 cc and larger. By the end of 2015 that had shrunk to 50.2%, even as that segment of the market expanded from 62% of the total U.S. motorcycle market – in terms of new units registered – to 85%. Harley-Davidson unit sales have fallen for 8 straight quarters since Indian Motorcycle was relaunched.  During that time Polaris motorcycle sales were up 67%, a very significant market gain almost essentially at the expense of its Milwaukee competitor. While the motorcycle market isn’t getting much bigger, it’s just being divided up differently. Indian started from scratch, so its growth will naturally seem exponential while Harley, as the more mature motorcycle maker, will appear to be growing much slower if any. It’s true that far more bikers still buy from Harley, but although Polaris is very secretive when it comes to publishing unit sales per brand and model, it is certain that an increasing number of riders are choosing Indian or Victory motorcycles. Polaris success is that in very short years it was able to offer all across the bike size spectrum alternate very competitive models in terms of performance and at great price points.

In addition, brands like Triumph, Ducati and Royal Enfield are aggressively pushing their bikes in the US. Triumph got strong traction with good sales of its “modern classics”, the Bonneville, the Thruxton and now the Bonneville Bobber model. Ducati perceived here during a long time as a Moto GP racer decked out in sponsor badges now offers city streets models and is also quite successful with its very affordable 6 Scrambler products . And India-based Royal Enfield recently established its North American headquarters in Milwaukee’s Third Ward and hired a former Harley-Davidson executive as North American division president. And let’s not forget that younger bikers (read below), as opposed to Boomers, are more interested by product value than image. As it’s often the case in such a disrupted market, being the leader manufacturer, Harley has more to lose when the consumer choice is much wider with quality products equal or sometime better for performance and offered at competitive prices. There are not yet definitive winners or losers in this brands battle, but for sure bikers will continue to benefit.

3- Cracking The Millennials Code With New Marketing And New Motorcycle Models. We are in a graying/whitening market with a large number of Boomers riding off into the sunset after each motorcycle rally. In the US, population aged 50+ is currently north of 100 million, and will reach 173 million by 2060. According to MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) the median age of the typical motorcycle owner in 1990 was 32, and was a married male who had a high school diploma. Today, the typical owner got at least some college education. But the median age has climbed significantly to 49 years old. Only 17% of riders today are under 30, compared to 41% 25 years ago. Regarding age, these numbers are certainly worse if you address specifically the heavyweight motorcycle market in which Harley and Polaris are competing.  In 2020 Millennials are going to comprise 49% of the work force and will replace Boomers as the biggest spenders and borrowers. The oldest Millennials (born in 1980) are 36 years old. Although they have more education loan debts than Boomers, the oldest already earn more than their parents did at the same age.  Individual earnings always peaking between the age of 34 and 52, they are the human force that will decide the success of most corporations, in and out of the motorcycle industry, for at least the next 20 years.

In a heavily disrupted market you don’t need to do something wrong to be wrong. Just don’t change and for sure you will fail. Get with the times, revisit your marketing, evolve your products, or get left in the dust. So all manufacturers and many in the custom motorcycle segment are reaching out (or pretending…) to attract this demographic. At the same time Harley is trying to maintain its preeminent position by serving the group of older bikers that created its success, the company is also courting, with some success, new young riders with the Street, the Sportster and all its Dark Customs lineup. Polaris had big success with the Scout and Scout Sixty, 2 bikes selling disproportionally versus all the other Indian and Victory models. But for both manufacturers, a couple of new low priced models will probably not be enough to attract a very large number of Millennials, fast enough to ensure their future.

The reason is the huge generational gap between them and the Boomers. They are much more than a “facial hair and flannels lover group”. Marketing and advertising of motorcycles need to be reinvented. Millennials are wired differently, less in financial success and much more into the right balance between home and work. They are more likely to make a purchase based on the value they get. They don’t buy things for status, image or brand loyalty, criteria on which Harley founded its success. They hate the flashy and gaudy and feel strong affinity with everything vintage if offering modern convenience. They appreciate simplicity, quality, authenticity. Regarding motorcycles, transportation is not their priority. the social aspect is. They love fun entertainment, but in small groups, not in massive gatherings like Daytona or Sturgis. Events like “Born Free”,  the “Mama Tried Show” sponsored by Harley-Davidson or the “Hooligan Races” sponsored by Indian Motorcycle are in the line of events helping both brands change their image, away from the stereotype of old overweight white guys riding touring bikes. In 2017, expect motorcycle manufacturers and independent show organizers to try brand new such events and parties all over the country and marketing them online, the place where the Millennials watch television, read the news, network, compare and shop products…and find their entertainment. 15 years ago internet was already pivotal in the way to talk to existing riders and has been the only way  to address Millennials via blogs and social media. A cultural game changer, many in the ultra conservative motorcycle industry still don’t know how to use it, even if they use it by ,just filling up digital space but without adequate marketing. Millennials will not reward manufacturers and brands only for their products, as stripped down and value priced their motorcycles may be. They will respond to those making a strong grassroots effort to create a “proximity” with them. Or for an authentic and fun experience Millennials will continue to look somewhere else than motorcycling.

4- Flat Track Becoming The Hottest Thing In Motorcycle Racing. I have attended a few American Flat Track races during these last 2 years. I have witnessed a growing attendance of youngsters driving their cars to the track and joining the traditional older v-twin crowd arriving on their Baggers. The return of Indian Motorcycle to the flat track circuit to challenge Harley-Davidson’s dominance is going to widen the interest of all the biker’s community and attract new riding and non-riding new spectators. Discovered by the youngest or re-discovered by their parents, this sport is perceived again as the most authentic and pure form of motorcycle racing, one with strong old school heritage capturing the essence of  what competing on 2 wheels is all about. Just naked machines, dirt and the sliding skills of brave young racers. For 2017, AMA has modernized each event format with a simpler class structure and rules easier to understand for new fans and has named friend of the industry seven-time Grand National Champion Chris Carr as Chief Competition Officer. All good. In addition, waiting for a race to happen in your region, it is now possible to watch each event live on internet on Fans Choice TV. Just where Millennials look for new authentic experiences…I have no doubt that Flat Track racing just entered the dawning of a very bright new era. And for those going to Daytona Bike Week, make a note that the 2017 flat track racing season will begin on March 16 at the International Speedway, with the race taking place inside the historic arena, a first in the sport’s history.

Have all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017 year. See you on the Tour, here and abroad.


66 Responses to “What Will Be Trending In 2017”

  1. 1 Willyd Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Went to the flat track races in Rapid City South Dakota last year and stayed after to let the traffic thin out. You are right on with the amount of cars leaving the parking lots after the race. Many more cagers there than bikes from my perspective.

  2. 2 Mark Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:52 am

    This is good stuff, but so much happened around 2007/2008* that impacted all sorts of purchasing and financials. When looking at this sort of thing I only feel comfortable going back to at least 2005, even earlier if possible. Two years history ain’t enough for a really good overview.

    But, great work up, Cyril.

    *Everything in banking should be fine, no repeats of the disaster eight years ago with the new big guy in place. Yeah. Right.

  3. 3 Greeko Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Another remarkable analysis by Cyril.

  4. 4 Joshua Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Excellent “photography” of where we stand. A lot of question marks for 2017 and beyond…

  5. 5 Douglas Merrell Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Cyril has very clear ideas. Probably the best observer of the biz as it is. Also agree with flat track racing.

  6. 6 B. Cantrel Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Disruption. The word scaring the baby boomers. I have the feeling that Cyril is somewhat exasperated by the inertia of all the boomers of the industry being so late in understanding today’s realities. This post is sharp.

  7. 7 P. Hamilton Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Wow. Cyril must be the most Millennial of all the Boomers. Great understanding, great analysis. Impressed.

  8. 8 Donnie Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I don’t see the custom industry doing good or doing bad in 2017. But Harley, Indian & Victory are better off exciting us with new models. The foreign brands are coming at a lower price thanks to the dollar getting stronger. Watch out mc manufacturers.

  9. 9 Mark Talbot Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Read 2 times. Very interesting.

  10. 10 Jerrman Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Great analysis of the market now and for the foreseeable future. The writing is on the wall. The industry has to understand, appeal and reach out to the millennium hordes in ways it’s never done before if it wants to stay relevant. The foreign brands are doing a better job at that than HD or Polaris and will be helped further by the currency differences. But the American brands do have some aces up their sleeves if they use them. HD has the Strrets (although they could be better) and Sportsters are going in the right direction, LiveWire is years away from making a difference. Polaris particularly should be jumping on consumer/street versions of the FTR750, lighter, more maneuverable, less expensive entries. They need a whole subline of Scout racing inspired bikes just like they did historically. They already have the cruiser market covered ten ways to Sunday and those bikes are the present, not the future and sure don’t appeal to millenniums. I do have concerns about the market though from a broader macro economic viewpoint. The sure to be coming deregulations, repeat of big banks and Wall Street running roughshod over the economy and possible rising healthcare costs may negatively affect the working class who are prime drivers of the motorcycle market. These trends do not bode well for the industry as a whole.

  11. 11 Patrick Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:34 am

    The white working class has been conned by Trump the con artist. He will help Wall Street (he started) and himself. No wall built by Mexico, no health replacement program, no massive deportation, etc. He is facing 70 lawsuits while President. Nothing of what he promised. Be ready for a severe economic recession in the next 2 years. Trump, Putin’s toy, may be impeached before his term ends. Evidently I see rough times for the motorcycle industry. Read Cyril again, but between the lines.

  12. 12 Catamini Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:36 am

    If you don’t understand, I’m sure Cyril can’t explain more.

  13. 13 Mike Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Patrick. The sky is falling. The sky is falling

  14. 14 beentheredonethat Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Hey Patrick need a ride to the airport so you can go live in
    some socialist haven and have the guvment take care of ya, call me I will take ya

    Harley Rules and it will always be that way face it

  15. 15 Stony Crane Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Great work Cyril, but I suggest the underemployment or unemployment coupled with the $1.3T in student loan debt, 40% of which is late or in default are driving most millennial decisions. I have outlined a solution which responds to many of the trends and problems here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/revitalizing-american-dream-stanford-crane?trk=prof-post

  16. 16 FactCheckTime Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    #1 The dollar at the moment is ahead not because of the 350 lb orangutan about to ascend to the Oval Office but rather because the EU is in financial turmoil , the BRIC’s have hit the wall [ with Brazil leading the way into the financial abyss ] and the whole BREXIT thing has everyone on edge . Give it a month though . The dollar like the DOW is heading for a major fall

    #2 The only thing ‘ disrupted ‘ in the M/C industry is the fact that sales across the board especially in the Heavyweight Cruiser / Tourer class are on a steep decline as older riders age out and the youth are taking no interest in new motorcycles

    #3 You can’t crack a ‘ code ‘ the does not exist . The simple fact is the Snowflake crowd can not be bothered to learn how to ride/drive/play a musical instrument sail etc . Anything that takes more effort than turning on their LapTops SmartPhone/Pads etc is beyond them

    #4 Flat track racing in the US is and has been dead in the water despite all the hype and hoopla to the contrary coming from the AMA who are in desperate need to garner both fans and participants in any form of M/C racing

    Which is to say ; this article is riddled from top to bottom with Pie in the Sky wishful thinking while ignoring all the facts and figures . Not that this comes as any surprise as we enter firmly into the Post Truth – Facts be Trump(ed) and Tweeted into oblivion reality be damned era

  17. 17 John Parker Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Remember my words. Trumponomics are going to fail.

  18. 18 FactCheckTime Jan 6th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Hey beentheredonethat . I’m afraid my good man it’ll be us having the last laugh while those of you fall into the abyss your precious overweight discolored demigod and his neo fascist Putin worshiping minions have in store for you . Fact is . Give it about 16 months . You’ll be wishing anyone but him was in office . Guaranteed . While I ? Will be laughing myself silly watching the likes of you crash and burn by your own hand .

  19. 19 Shanedrive Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Jaay-sus, didn’t know I was reading a political forum. There’s more than one pessimistic jerk here but I digress………………..
    I’ve been in the “industry” for a long time. 28 years and counting. Cyril, thanks for the articulation that I cannot put into words. Pretty much nails it and only in a way that can be done by someone who’s been in the “industry” for a long time.

    I’ve been telling many friends/customers the same, “don’t expect Polaris (and others) to topple “Titan” overnight”. It ain’t gonna happen. It’ll take quite a few years.

    Millennials- 2 of ’em are my kids. You nailed the “small groups/fun experiences aspect. Our oldest is exactly that on steroids. He’s 28 & he craves excitement and goes above and beyond what most would do to create wild adventures for himself. The younger is the same but not so hell bent. She’s a wee bit more mellow.
    Oldest does not ride “street” (yet) but I suspect he may someday. He’s all off road and has raced in the San Felipe 250.

    The other day he was fussing about wanting to participate in an ice race happening nearby. I had to “dose” him w/reality that the time frame to get into this (very) different form of racing is too short. He loves Flat track races too. So, regarding the poo-poo about a few comments of “cracking codes” I’d say–you nailed it. Flat track is far far far from dead.

    Exciting times are ahead. My shop is usually deader than a door nail leading up to/through the holidays. I currently have so much work happening that I’m beginning to get concerned about completion before the weather starts to break in late March/April. Our industry is doing just fine. thankyouverymuch!

  20. 20 Tommy Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    FactCheckTime. Cyril produces numbers, not you. The majority of Americans voted against Trump. Trump election is a political accident. Trump can dye his white hair in blonde every week, but he can’t hide how crazy, incompetent and crooked he is. Populism works well with the uneducated. Then the uneducated will pay the price. I agree that Trump is building a deep US recession.

  21. 21 EzJ Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Motorcycle manufactures & dealership management & employees continue to miss the boat – it’s the most easy- to-spot beautiful yacht in the harbor. Women riders 30-65. While graybeards (like me) ride off into the sunset, or after knee & hip replacements, back & neck fusions, transition to trikes, Slingshots, or classic muscle cars (see TV crowd shots @ Barrett-Jackson or Mecum auctions), “the industry” virtually continues to ignore the gals…unless they’re young, ‘good-lookin and dressed in “Daisy Dukes or Catholic schoolgirl outfits or riding as passengers.

    I ride with a few gals (including my wife who has been riding all her life, safely and with skill – hi honey), and they’re fed up with walking into dealerships and being talked-down to or ignored. My wife follows a women riders ONLY FB page started by a gal a little over a year ago who was simply a vendor. The page has grown to 10’s of 1000’s of females who don’t want anything to do with the SoA vibe or a bunch of inebriated, fat bellied, freshly tattooed credit card wielding boomer dudes ogling a few attention sluts or dealer-vendor models at big shows & rallies. These gals have money. They’re smart. They want respect. They want to learn. They crave the open road & the same freedom & sense of empowerment we fellas get when we’re in the saddle. They’re like what Al Pacino’s Scarface said about the USA when he immediately sees the opportunity something about…pickin gol from da streets, etc.”

    If I were HD or Polaris, I’d find a gals like Athena Ransom, Felicia Morgan & Valerie Thompson, the gal who ride Assalt Wepan for Keith Ball FAST, similar to what Polaris-Victory did with Arlen & family and build a division exclusively for women. The results would invigorate the industry and events that are dying on the vine these days.

  22. 22 Boots Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Just an observation. I’m glad Indian/Polaris has been successful as it re-enters the heavyweight motorcycle class. When a new motorcycle enters into a market and it sells 5 motorcycles the first year and 10 the next its going to show incredible sales percentages. That’s what’s happening now.
    I live in the Midwest and you can ride for over a month before you’ll see a Indian/Polaris on the road.
    I still think its great Indian/Polaris has been reintroduced. It will only make Harley spend more attention to their own product and hopefully will result in a better motorcycle for the riding public. Everybody wins!

  23. 23 Terence Bradshaw Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Cyril nailed a perfect observation of the main parameters influencing our industry and did it without taking a political stand for one side or the other. The man is shrewd. So, why devote your comments to defend your political preferences. Would be better if you suggest ideas to attract a younger generation to motorcycling.

  24. 24 Scotty Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Not working in the motorcycle industry, but visiting a few friends who are vendors of custom parts when I am in Sturgis. The problem is not that they are boomers, it’s that they talk and think like old people, congratulating themselves, thinking they are big guys, but having no idea of the new society in which they live and work. Completely disconnected from reality. In Cyrll’s article he mentions those trying or PRETENDING to reach out to millennials. I think the majority is PRETENDING. Maybe they don’t care to change their businesses because retirement is on the horizon.

  25. 25 EzJ Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    @ Scotty – Yep

  26. 26 DataPsy Jan 6th, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Well written. Also, interest in motorcycles overall is still declining. This “leading indicator” trend is visible if you go to “google trends” and enter the terms “motorcycle” from 2004 – present. Peak interest was in 2004 & 2008 with 2008 surprisingly being higher. Interest today in motorcycles is now only at about 17% of 2008 interest.

    So the overall motorcycle market appears to be consistently shrinking

  27. 27 Dyno Jan 6th, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Bikers have often mentioned the arrogance of the Harley employees at dealerships. What about the arrogance of the old timers of the custom industry, most over 60//65, who think that they are “legends” because they grew old in the business. Getting old doesn’t make you a legend. And since they think they are legends they can’t imagine that they have to change the way they do business. Sad.

  28. 28 Tom Ryan Jan 6th, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    From my perspective I think Trump has a chance of being one of the best President’s in U.S. history. Obama played everyone for fools, especially the black communities whom he didn’t help one bit. At this point Trump isn’t even President, and, yet he’s already setting a whole new agenda on what is to be done. He’s being attacked for it by the Dem’s, socialists and communists on a daily basis. The thing that really pisses off the lib media is that they aren’t getting access to all of the Trump info to rip it apart. What probably really scares most libs is, what happens if Trump succeeds? The Dems could be irrelevant for many years to come. Hopefully the motorcycle and car industry picks up big time once a lot of those crappy regulations disappear.

  29. 29 Dyno Jan 6th, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Tom Ryan. Obama has the highest approval rating (56%) before leaving office. More than Reagan, more than Bill Clinton. He created 11.3 million jobs, 75 months in a row of jobs creation. Get out of your bubble. Trump has zero political qualifications, contradicting himself and lying all the time.

  30. 30 Pat Schneider Jan 6th, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I don’t trust one second 70 old men who dye their hair in platinum blonde,

  31. 31 Jo Pacifico Jan 6th, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the new administration. At best, no influence on the motorcycle industry. But it could be tragic if he starts a trade war. It will push us into a recession. Remember that almost all recessions have happened under a republican president.

  32. 32 BobS Jan 6th, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I see bigger problems in the future of Motorcycles. I’m 50 years old. Right smack in the middle of heavy weight cruiser purchasers. Plus I ride! I am exactly who the manufacturers need to go buy a new bike when they come out with a new bigger better motor. But I work more hours for less pay than I did 10-15 years ago. Over the same decade, decade and a half, my health insurance keeps costing more but covering less. My property taxes keep going up. While corporate profits have skyrocketed, right along with corporate valuation and executive pcompensation I have been gradually falling behind. And it’s not because I’m stupid, look at any of my employers competitors and they all keep wages suppressed. So now the guys who would go buy a new motorcycle are questioning the affordability and we’re talking about raising the prices of them by thousands by means of placing tariffs on their parts. Tack on 3-4 thousand dollars of new taxes on a Harley and I’m out. Now multiply that by all of Harley and Polaris’s relatively small pool of potential customers and that’s not good.

  33. 33 Patrick Mahey Jan 6th, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Well, the comments above prove how divided our country is. The majority of Americans voted against Trump. But Trump is the president. Here lies the 1st major problem of our democracy. Give Trump a chance, yes. But I am deeply skeptical of his understanding of the world and of our country.Plus, I don’t trust the man.

  34. 34 Boots Jan 6th, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Dyno, Obama has high ratings because he didn’t do anything!! All of his screw ups, ObamaCare, Benghazi etc. we’re not covered because any negative comments would be concidered racist!

  35. 35 gtrjoe Jan 6th, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    …jeez…I’m just counting the days until riding season. Guess I’ve learned ~ ain’t nothing I can do about it but put my beer belly on my heavy cruiser and enjoy the ride!

  36. 36 Donnie Jan 6th, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Boots. when you do nothing you get high ratings ?!? This must explain the high ratings (although lower than Obama) of R. Reagan & B. Clinton. You don’t make sense. By the way, I just met this morning a contractor saved from cancer because he could get just on time Obamacare, all other insurance having declined him because of pre-condition. Obamacare is probably not going to be replaced but modified and improved. Bet? If you believe Trump promises, watch out.

  37. 37 Dave Blevins Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    My predictions for 2017???
    1… New motorcycles that look like old motorcycles will be very popular (all brands)
    2… Millennials have no money and will not factor into motorcycle sales enough to mention
    3… What is going on in D.C. will have little or no effect on the American motorcycle market
    4… Motorcycles will still be fun for those of us who like ’em, and everyone else can suck it
    5… Americans will continue to understand less, complain more, and stop reading completely
    6… I will still be the same as always, at work in the shop, riding, laughing, chopping firewood & BBQing,
    talking too much, and reading Cyril’s blog. 🙂

  38. 38 domino Jan 6th, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    When I grow up I want to be like Blevins………

    …………. Domino Dave ……………..

  39. 39 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Politics is for the bent, bombastic and parasitic or politicians 🙂

    Cyril is right to point out the other brands that are also nibling away at the pie. I looked at the total Triumph range on-line the other day and it is much bigger than I thought.
    Funny how the yellow peril is no longer the bogey man. The Big four metrics must still be selling well in some markets, chook chasers etc and sports bikes , remember when HD requested Reagan remove the tarrifs against them.
    Does not seem that long ago.
    About that time triumph was barely the smell on an oil stained floor.

    Times change unfortunatley the risk adverse society we are bringing our children up in where they play soccer instead of Rugby and are wrapped up in cotton wool is now showing up in mainstream young adults………………………………………………MotorCycles are Dangerous and modern society does not like that and yet there are huge numbers of work place deaths.
    Imagine driverless electric cars, where does MotorCycling fit into that scenario.
    Its all changing way to quick !

  40. 40 Damn Near Dead Jan 7th, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I’m 56 years old and I don’t have much time left. When you find out you have stage 4 cancer of the every-fucking-thing, you start to think. A lot. Too much, probably. There’s no more hope for better days, there’s nothing but regret. Not regret for me, regret for you. Please, for fuck’s sake, no sympathy” or “praying” posts. That’s not what this is about. This is about getting you to think a bit.

    My grandparents’ generation (The Greatest Generation) handed over the keys to a well oiled machine. In 50 short years my parents’ generation and my generation fucked it all up. We wrecked this once-great country, not “they” (whomever “they” may be). It wasn’t one political party or the other, it was us. All of us. We sent all the decent jobs offshore by shopping for price only. We handed our economy to Wall Street so we could play stockbroker with our retirement accounts. We did it all.

    So, these Millennials; they aren’t like us, and you’re angry about that? It’s true, they don’t work like us and they don’t think like us. Well maybe that’s good. Remember, we tore this country down. Now it’s left to them to build it back up. The least we can do is get the hell out of their way and let them go to work at it. In their way, not our way.

    Remember… PLEASE… no sympathy posts for me and no prayer posts. Just think a little. For yourselves.

  41. 41 FXR Buddy Jan 7th, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Ask some of the boomers you know who work in the custom motorcycle industry to define a millennial. Most will not be able to finish a sentence.

  42. 42 Greeko Jan 7th, 2017 at 8:57 am

    FXR Buddy. So true…

  43. 43 Pat Azoulay Jan 7th, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Cyrl didn’t write a political piece. So, why are you all restarting the Presidential campaign debate? Anyone with ideas to help the custom business?

  44. 44 JohnnySpeed Jan 7th, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Have any of you checked out instagram and the crazy amount of motorcycle content being posted on any given day? The Born Free show has exploded over the past few years and there are more vendors selling parts from manufacturers small and large and grass roots events being organized than I have ever seen. I’m a millenial, barely but I am, and I spent the first 15 years of my riding life riding alone because the old guys didn’t think my homebuilt harley chop was good enough because it wasn’t a big twin and it was too old. Guys my age were all building tuner cars and sport bikes because they were cheap. I also couldn’t find any events that weren’t old man Daytona wannabe cheeziness either. But just in the last few years there are so many cool local and national events going on in a season that there’s no way i could possibly get to them all. There’s also more women riding than I’ve ever seen. But they’re more likely to be on a triumph or and older honda CB than a harley unless it’s a sportster. I have also seen a remarkable amount of young women riding chopped sportys and shovels these days. The vast majority I’ve met have no use for the pink skulls and silly marketing that is aimed at them. But as more and more of them get involved in the industry there’s slowly becoming more real gear being made for women.
    The big thing I see from riders my age is a love for older, simple bikes, even if they only look the part sometimes, and lots of social events. If Harley started selling a proper FXR again it’d sell like hot cakes. I’d even consider buying one and I never buy new.

  45. 45 Mark Moses Jan 7th, 2017 at 9:56 am

    A few facts from my world: #1) The majority of Americans did not vote for DT. #2) Thank God for the electoral college, it protected the core of America from the extremes of America. #3) I am old, but am working harder, smarter and way more hours then I have ever been in my life and for less. #4) My shop is so busy that I just increased my employee count by 25% (read 2 people). #5) Every single Indian that is sold is one HD has not. #6) Number 5 makes me very happy, after crawling through glass for years and having my ass beat time after time for a brand that I blindly love. #7) I still LOVE motorcycles and the people that ride them, at least the majority of them, see number 2. #8) Some of the folks on here hate their mother and everything she stands for. #9) Passion and Loyalty matter. #10) Cyril is my hero…

  46. 46 calif phil Jan 7th, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great write up Cyril. Last spring I had a millennial want to get into riding, Said he didn’t care what brand he wanted a small bike to learn on a commute to work. I sold him a Honda Rebel and gave him a few riding lessons. He fell in love with riding and once he went on a ride with us old white guys on Harley’s he decided he needed a bigger bike. This summer I sold him a 1200 Sportster custom which he loves. He has no interest in loud pipes and the only accessory he wanted was a Klockwerks iphone mount.

    As far as the new President goes, I could not be happier, Having a man who loves this country at the helm is such a refreshing change. Every person I know in small business is optimistic about the future.

  47. 47 Jerrman Jan 7th, 2017 at 11:38 am

    The only thing the President-elect loves is himself. He has screwed working class people all his life and will continue to do so. If another economic recession happens the motorcycle industry is in for a fall.

  48. 48 BobS Jan 7th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I love how the liberal from New York City who got rich by hiring illegal immigrants, stiffing contractors, and refusing to pay workers owed overtime is the one who loves his country. But wait there’s more! This “New York values” guy outsourced American jobs and killed American steel suppliers by purchasing illegally dumped steel from China! And if that wasn’t enough the man supposedly worth 10 billion stuck America with 6 billion worth of debts through bankruptcy. Must be some new math that a guy who said he has 10 billion can’t pay six…Well at least he pays his taxes to the country that provided him such an opportunity to screw us. Oops. Douchebag loves his country alright, too bad his country is Russia.

  49. 49 Felix Jan 7th, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Mark Moses: Keep up your outstanding work. As far as I know, you have the most outstanding Indian dealership in the US. Your Indian customs are beautiful works of art. I hope to see a lot more of your Scout Fusions on this site. Good luck out at Charlotte.

  50. 50 Harry Myers Jan 7th, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    BobS. Bravo, I could not say it better. He is NOT my president.

  51. 51 Tom Gallo Jan 7th, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    DJT’s 4-year mandat. A war, a trade war and a recession.

  52. 52 Mike Jan 7th, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I am just wondering why liberals ride motorcycles. They are a manly hobby, people who like freedom usually own them, when you own one you could get hurt. They pollute too. No subsidies for bikes or affirmative action rules. Was up

  53. 53 BobS Jan 7th, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Mike that’s easy. You know the liberal motto, “If it feels good do it”…well, riding motorcycles feels good. Now conservatives on the other hand, they ride Motorcycles ’cause they’re insecure and need to belong to a group to gain a sense of self worth. So they all ride the same bike from the same brand wearing the same vests with the same patches. Now they have a sense of belonging to cover up for their shortcomings. And then some of us think liberals and conservatives are just two sides of the stupid coin and we like Motorcycles because we just do and don’t feel the need to explain it.

  54. 54 Mike Jan 7th, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Wow, so conservatives ride hd because they are insecure? Actually it’s because they like something made in America bud! by the way , have fun with your new bathroom rules , take care. Out

  55. 55 BobS Jan 7th, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    See, more insecurity. New bathroom rules mean nothing to me because I am secure in my manhood. I don’t care if a Harley rider is in the stall next to me, even if she’s standing up. I do my business, they do theirs, we go on our way. On the other hand an insecure person would be very alarmed if everyone in the same room wasn’t exactly the same. Same bike, same vest, same patch, same bathroom. Naturally conservatives are the ones freaked out about bathrooms, because they’re insecure and can only be around everything the same.

  56. 56 Mark. Jan 7th, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Sir Huze launched a raging debate. He must smile.

  57. 57 JohnnySpeed Jan 8th, 2017 at 10:31 am

    BobS – Totally on point. Two sides of the same coin and they both suck!

  58. 58 Paul Hemsley Jan 8th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Our president-elect is already delegitimized by many of his supporters and by almost all the millennials.

  59. 59 Mack Jan 8th, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Doesn’t matter whether you agree with it or not …supply side is coming ….more money in economy ..more disposable income…..more disposable income more motorcycle money ….so roll up your sleeves. And go get your slice … Whether you agree with it or not its coming ……make hay while the sunshines…….or go gripe about who’s right and wrong and how it will never work …..and that will leave more for me ……..economy is cyclical ….supply side is coming now ..read the tea leaves !!

  60. 60 SYF Jan 9th, 2017 at 11:11 am

    What Mack said!

  61. 61 Chris Jan 9th, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Supply side economics works if the demand side has money, which, it seems may not be the case.

    You can slash taxes all day long so Harley and Coca-Cola can reinvest those monies into additional production and hiring more workers (more likely, use it for increased executive compensation or dividends to share holders) but if folks don’t have any dough to buy, that extra investment is absolutely and unequivocally worthless.

    Using the stock market, the world’s largest legally sanctioned ponze scheme, as a measure of the health of the economy can be dangerous. 8 years of sustained growth without a typical cyclical correction can’t be sustainable for too much longer (one more year possibly; two would would be a historical anomaly).

    If the hope is that Trump’s promised corporate tax cuts are the hoped for driver of the economy, Coca-Cola having more money in no way affects my ability to buy Coca-Cola..

  62. 62 Jerrman Jan 9th, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Supply side economics aka trickle down economics works really well…for the wealthy and the privedged. Corporate execs, bankers, Wall Street people and the like will all benefit. But the theory and practice doesn’t help the working class and never will. So, if you’re in one of the former groups, congratulations. If not and you depend on weekly paychecks, you’d better hold on to those handlebars pretty tightly. It’s going to be a rough ride.

  63. 63 Blackmax Jan 10th, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Been waiting to read before I weighed in …
    As I’m sure you’ve all read the article in front of this by now,
    Polaris has gone & dumped the Victory line as being unsustainable/unprofitable
    (there will be more comment on that comment line)
    There is going to be MORE cost cutting not less as belt-tightening seems to be the order of the day
    Politics be damned !!! Jerman said it, the way it’s going to be sooner vs. later is that the rich get richer & the very small middle class & working poor get to exist !
    That means no discretionary money for things like motorcycles when the necessities of gas, food, utilities, etc are paramount
    Have we seen this before, yes we have & did we get thru it ?
    Yes, we did & we will again before it is all said & done
    Unfortunately, I think the Polaris bombshell is just the beginning & that’s a damn shame as competition is one of the few things that gets a company like H-D, off its ass, to make better & more consumer friendly changes on the bikes & on the price ….

  64. 64 Mack Jan 10th, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election……… from Bloomberg Not exactly a conservative propaganda machine:……..You guys have been brainwashed
    Or your not old enough to have seen what happens when the corporate tax rates are cut ….Hell even JFK knew that
    Obama wanted socialism……Get out of the way ..Or get in he way…. Nothing you can do the economy is about to catch on fire
    …… Without rich capitalist you don’t have jobs …..*See Obama and his Keynesian economics….How’d that work out for you?
    Def of insanity ” do the same thing again and again and expect different results ……Silly Democrats …..Put the dam money in the hands of those who know how to make more ..And a magic thng happens ……More jobs ….We got a hundred million out of work …Watch and see what happens when they get to working and got money in their pockets ……

  65. 65 Jerrman Jan 10th, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I think the Obama economy actually worked out pretty well for the 10.2% of unemployed that went down to 4.6% by the end of his second term. We are now at what economists call almost full employment. Not everyone has participated to be sure. And if you think that the wealthy employers or wall street greedies will help out the working class, good luck with that. Rich capitalists are rich because they keep the money for themselves. Giving it to the workers isn’t in their DNA.

    But, enough about economics. For all those HD lovers (I was one for a long time) and nay-sayers about the demise of Victory, it’s just a business decision that probably makes sense. Wasn’t even Trump’s fault. After almost 20 years, Victory sold about one-tenth of Indian which has only been marketed for the last five or six years. The writing was clearly on the wall. Unfortunately the motorcycle industry has been hitting a wall for some time now. HD has been buying back stock like its going out of style and not because the company is doing well. Sales have been down almost 25% since its high in 2006. If this is any indication of where interest in motorcycles are going, it’s not a good sign. At least not for the big cruiser market.

  66. 66 Axel Jan 31st, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Wait a second… People 50 and older are going to make up half the population in the next few decades and Harley should…… STOP marketing to them???
    The sky is not falling. Harley riders were old when I was a kid and I just signed up for Social Security.
    I’m pretty sure I’m correct when I say H-D is a lot better off now than they were when I started riding a mini-trail as a teenager. Abandoning half the population, especially when it’s the half with all the money, is a losing propostion.

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