With all due respect to the motorcycle manufacturers out there, it’s hard to name one current or anticipated model that is causing any excitement, but, this isn’t a criticism, I understand their predicament. When the economy slows down and few people have the resources to buy a brand new bike, what are companies supposed to do? While a segment of the potential customers will always be able to buy whatever they want, in many, if not most situations, that’s not the case. Interestingly enough, there’s a really healthy market in used bikes.
Over in the sidebar, I try to find and spotlight a few used motorcycles for sale on eBay that are a bit special for one reason or another, they might be a low production model or maybe a well preserved or restored example of a classic that was popular when new or maybe newly appreciated now that they’re unavailable. Occasionally, it’s just something I like and it caught my eye. Whatever the case, they often seem far more appealing than anything you could get brand new off a showroom floor and frequently, as nice as they are, they cost less, too.
If a company is trying to turn out brand new models to sell, that’s a problem. The better the bikes are that they produced in the past, the more fond memories we have of them, the more often we’ll be swayed to buy a nice used bike and save the extra cash for something else, if there’s any extra cash to save. If, on top of that, the older bikes are less complex and easier to work on, that’s just a bonus.
Sometimes those pre-owned beauties are less than perfect, but they’ll still bring more attention in a bike night parking lot than a brand new model someone else just spent many thousands more on at the local dealer. Maybe the cool factor requires a little history and patina, it’s hard to bolt that on as it rolls down the assembly line.
As companies struggle to get you into the showroom, those used bikes keep looking better and better. You may not always find exactly what you want, though the large number of used bikes out there means it’s possible you will. Trying to design a new model that will sell in high numbers has got to be an unenviable job right now and it’s not their fault. Things will change, the companies and market will adapt, but what those changes will be isn’t yet clear. I wonder.