What’s new and growing in motorcycling? Is there a growth area out there waiting or already present that’s about to explode or primed for steady growth? If you were a motorcycle company and your job was to build a brand new motorcycle, what would it be and who would you serve?
On the flip side, what are some segments with very little growth potential? What areas are shrinking, what’s flat?
How about new ideas that won’t go anywhere? What’s the next little thing, destined to fall flat and end up in the clearance section?
The Kneeslider fearlessly peers into the future looking for trends in motorcycling. We’ve wondered about this before and after more thought we’ve come up with some ideas. Today we’ll focus on the first declining market segment with future follow ups on other downward trends, non-starters and then finally the growth areas.
Declining trend number 1:
Racer replica bikes: Some years ago, some motorcycles appearing in showrooms developed into such extreme performance, razor sharp, highly focused machines no one could possibly utilize them on the street. No matter how skilled the rider, there simply is no place to unleash it regardless of a rider’s concern for the law, a bike with a powerband above 10,000rpm and suspension that begins to work above 100mph is so impractical even the racer wannabes are starting to figure it out. Beyond that, more riders are coming to the amazing conclusion that they will never become road racers. These motorcycles are necessary for a manufacturer to have a stock bike that qualifies for the races and they will produce them accordingly but fewer riders will spend hard earned dollars to own a painful and impractical ride.
If you like to ride a lot, these bikes quickly prove themselves temperamental beasts that want to run, really fast. Many of us have had the experience of running these bikes upwards of 100mph and seeing they really like it there, the engine settles down, everything is working and if it wasn’t for that minivan ahead, the gravel on the road, that guy turning left across our lane and police that frown on this sort of thing, the bike would be perfect. In the real world where more and more riders find themselves, racer replicas don’t work. It’s not a finger pointing lecture to say these things belong on the track, it’s simple reality, they only work on the track. As more buyers realize this, the segment will shrink despite the best efforts from the manufacturers.
Examples of what I mean by racer replica would be the GSX-R, R1, R6, ZX-10R and similar bikes.
Stay tuned for part two of this continuing series.