Jun 17, 2014

Down, Down, Down

Dirt bike sales are down ~20% and there is little expectation of improvement. One reason is that new equipment is a shadow of the kind of product we used to expect. The industry blames it on rider/customers, “Joe Customer also doesn't fully understand how high-strung a modern four-stroke motor is. They still think it's their dad's old XR and treat it with similar (inadequate) maintenance schedules. For example, pistons need to be changed around 20 hours, but many guys still think they can still get 200 hours on their stock piston. They fail to realize it turns into a live grenade after too many hours in service, and then complain about how expensive it is to rebuild the entire motor when it blows.” Obviously, the number of people who are willing to dump that kind of cash into a toy motorcycle are dwindling as the American middle class disappears. The 1%’ers are busy buying up collector crap, over-priced vintage bikes that they pay a tiny collection of experts to restore and, then, those bikes are ferried around in luxury toy haulers. These people aren’t motorcyclists any more than a Hollywood actress is a diamond miner.

Motorcycle tire sales are down 12.7% in the 1st quarter of 2014. That probably seems like a non-issue, but it means bikes aren’t being ridden, which means the riding season is either shortened by bad weather or . . . there are fewer riders on the road for a ton of possible reasons. The loonies at the MIC wildly speculated that motorcycle miles were up 4.3% last year, 3,028, from the previous year’s 2,903. We know better, though. Any verifiable evidence of motorcycle mileage would produce numbers a lot closer to 50% of the hopeful, delusional cheerleaders from the MIC. These fools have done everything they can to prevent any positive press for motorcycling over the last 30 years. Now, they are reaping the rewards.

2 comments:

Richard M said...

Wait a minute! 20 hours, 200 hours! That seems unreasonable for anything not being raced or is that the assumption?

Thomas Day said...

I guess that's a raced bike, off-road. Seems pretty radically expensive and fragile to me, though. Not many kids can afford to race with that kind of maintenance costs.