Oct 22, 2010

Insights from an Ex-Ducati Exec

Ducati North America head Michael Lock gave an interview to the New York Times about the state of motorcycling in the US and . . .  I agree with practically everything he said.

Lock has abandoned motorcycling for a Norwegian EV company, Think, and he appears to be feeling free enough from the constraints of politispeak to say what he thinks about the state of motorcycling in the US.

For example, as to the state of motorcycle sales in the US, "September was minus 39%, which was pretty tragic considering September last year was a disaster. So I know the trend is not upward and it’s not slowing down. The industry is still contracting at quite a pronounced rate." Or his opinion on Harley's market future, "A motorcycle is a status symbol. It’s a discretionary purchase. You buy it. You feel good about life. Where Harley goes in the U.S., the rest of the industry has to follow in many respects. The shadow Harley casts over the rest of the industry is undeniable and their age demographic issue along with general economic conditions was a perfect storm."

 Like most of us, Lock believes, "Motorcycling won’t die, but it has to be substantially restructured. A lot of the fluff marketing has to go away. Maybe motorcycling has to go back to being a simpler pursuit rather than the whole posing thing and all the race replicas. It has to go back to being a simpler pleasure."

So, bring on the 100mpg 250's and out with the hippobikes! Want to kick some life into US motorcycling, ride small and often.

4 comments:

Chris Luhman said...

great line: "bring on the 100mpg 250's and out with the hippobikes! Want to kick some life into US motorcycling, ride small and often"

Anonymous said...

Exactly! I'm always interested to see all the huge heavy Hogs sitting in driveways not being used as I ride to or from work, and in this season there are a lot with For Sale signs on them. Look in Craigs List and notice how many cycles are years old with not even 1000 miles on them. A lot of people would have a lot more fun on and use out of something in the 250-500cc range.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Honda is bringing out a new 250 road bike for the U.S.! Looks like someone is listening: http://powersports.honda.com/2011/cbr250r.aspx

T.W. Day said...

Way to go Honda. Looks like a terrific bike. Thanks for the heads-up.