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Motorcycles - US - May 2016

"The market for new motorcycle sales is one of great challenge. The industry is also challenged by an aging core group of owners, with those over the age of 55 slowly giving up on motorcycling, and efforts to draw women into the market less effective than the industry might desire."
- Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Motorcycles rarely the primary vehicle 
  • Youngest non-owners have limited experience with motorcycles
  • Older adults give up motorcycles

This Report explores these challenges via coverage of ownership by type of motorcycle owned, spending on bikes, accessories, and gear, and emerging trends in bike technology, as well as identifying, on the basis of consumer attitudes and experience, which demographics carry the potential to grow sales.

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel defines motorcycles as two-wheeled or three-wheeled motorized vehicles capable of traveling faster than 30 mph. The primary focus of this Report is on the sale of new domestic motorcycles, but used sales are explored in terms of the competition they present for new motorcycle sales.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Motorcycles rarely the primary vehicle
            • Figure 1: Use of motorcycle as primary vehicle, March 2016
          • Youngest non-owners have limited experience with motorcycles
            • Figure 2: Experience with motorcycles, by age, March 2016
          • Older adults give up motorcycles
            • Figure 3: Past motorcycle ownership, by age, March 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Classes and rentals to generate next generation of riders
              • Figure 4: Interest in renting and learning to ride motorcycles, by age, March 2016
            • Building on trade-ins and pre-owned sales
              • Figure 5: New vs used motorcycle purchases, March 2016
            • New technology and designs are leading to safer rides
              • Figure 6: Type of motorcycle owned, March 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Rise in confidence, disposable income leads to growth in 2014-15
                • Discretionary purchase subject to cyclical downturns
                  • Demographic trends unfavorable
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Motorcycle sales on the rise 2014-15
                      • Motorcycles rarely primary form of transport
                        • Figure 7: Use of motorcycle as primary vehicle, by geographic area, March 2016
                      • Used market highly competitive
                        • Figure 8: New vs used purchases, by age, March 2016
                    • Market Factors

                      • Prime motorcycle-owning demos in decline
                        • Figure 9: Male population by age, 2011-21
                      • Disposable income a limiting factor for motorcycle sales
                        • Figure 10: Real disposable personal income per capita (constant 2009 dollars), 2006-16
                      • Consumer sentiment drives discretionary purchases
                        • Figure 11: University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, 2010-16
                      • Over-$75K households critical to a healthy market
                        • Figure 12: Amount spent on most recently purchased motorcycle, by household income, March 2016
                        • Figure 13: Number and share of $75K+ households in us, 2009-14
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Harley, Honda atop ownership
                        • Smaller brands having trouble converting interest into sales
                          • Bikes go electric, get connected
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Honda vies with Harley for top post
                              • Figure 14: Brand ownership and consideration, March 2016
                          • What’s Struggling?

                            • Niche products having difficulty capitalizing on existing interest
                                • Figure 15: Brand ownership and consideration, March 2016
                            • What’s Next?

                              • Electric becoming viable alternative
                                • Zero offers affordable options
                                  • Major manufacturers enter electric market
                                    • Motorcycles get connected
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Steady ownership led by men and 45-64s
                                        • Leisure-oriented vehicles most popular
                                          • Work-hard, play-hard ethic promotes high spending
                                            • Limited experience among non-owners
                                            • Motorcycle Ownership

                                              • Motorcycle ownership stable at less than 7%
                                                • Figure 16: Motorcycle ownership, October 2010-December, 2015
                                              • Twice as many men own motorcycles
                                                • Figure 17: Motorcycle ownership, by gender and age, April-December 2015
                                              • Highest ownership rates found at ages 35-64
                                                • Youngest adults 18-34 least likely to own
                                                  • Figure 18: Motorcycle ownership, by age, April-December 2015
                                                • Ownership highest among households with $75K+ incomes
                                                  • Figure 19: Motorcycle ownership, by income, April-December 2015
                                              • Type of Motorcycle Owned

                                                • Strength in multiple bike categories carries benefits
                                                  • Figure 20: Type of motorcycle owned, March 2016
                                                • Men dominate market for sport and dual-purpose bikes
                                                  • Figure 21: Type of motorcycle owned, by gender, March 2016
                                                • Younger riders choose sport bikes
                                                  • Figure 22: Type of motorcycle owned, by age, March 2016
                                                • Mid- to high-income households drive growth in hot categories
                                                  • Figure 23: Type of motorcycle owned, by household income, March 2016
                                                • Hispanics more likely to own off-road and dual-purpose bikes
                                                  • Figure 24: Type of motorcycle owned, by Hispanic origin, March 2016
                                              • Type of Motorcycle Planned for Purchase Next

                                                • Sport bikes, cruisers, touring and standard bikes top choices
                                                  • Figure 25: Type of motorcycle to be purchased next, March 2016
                                                • Lower-income buyers interested in dual-purpose and small engine
                                                  • Figure 26: Type of motorcycle to be purchased next, by household income, March 2016
                                              • Purchasing – New vs Used

                                                • Nearly half bought last bike used
                                                  • Figure 27: New vs used purchases, March 2016
                                                • Women more likely to buy used
                                                  • Figure 28: New vs used purchases, by gender, March 2016
                                                • Lower-income owners more likely to buy used
                                                  • Figure 29: New vs used purchases, by household income, March 2016
                                              • Spending on Bikes

                                                • Top of line bikes most commonly purchased
                                                  • Figure 30: Amount spent on most recently purchased motorcycle, March 2016
                                                • Urbanites pay top dollar
                                                  • Figure 31: Amount spent on most recently purchased motorcycle, by area, March 2016
                                                • Hispanics avoid low cost bikes
                                                  • Figure 32: Amount spent on most recently purchased motorcycle, by Hispanic origin, March 2016
                                              • Spending on Parts, Accessories, and Gear

                                                • Bikers spending large sums to customize vehicles
                                                  • Figure 33: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, March 2016
                                                • Boomers owners hesitant to spend on parts and accessories
                                                  • Figure 34: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, by age, March 2016
                                                • Urban centers prime market for parts, accessories, and gear
                                                  • Figure 35: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, by area, March 2016
                                                  • Figure 36: Amount spent on motorcycle gear, by area, March 2016
                                                • Focus on Hispanics can drive sales of parts and accessories
                                                  • Figure 37: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, by Hispanic origin, March 2016
                                                  • Figure 38: Amount spent on motorcycle gear, by Hispanic origin, March 2016
                                              • Experience with Motorcycles Among Non-Owners

                                                • Non-owners have limited experience with motorcycles
                                                  • Figure 39: Experience with motorcycles among non-owners, March 2016
                                                • Some Boomers are now former owners
                                                  • Figure 40: Experience with motorcycles among non-owners, by age, March 2016
                                                • Blacks less likely to have experience with motorcycles
                                                  • Figure 41: Experience with motorcycles among non-owners, by race, March 2016
                                              • Attitudes toward Motorcycles

                                                • Among non-owners
                                                  • Few non-owners have positive attitudes toward motorcycles
                                                    • Figure 42: Attitudes to motorcycles among non-owners, March 2016
                                                  • Male non-owners more interested in ownership
                                                    • Figure 43: Attitudes to motorcycles among non-owners, by gender, March 2016
                                                  • Younger consumers most interested in exposure to motorcycles
                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes to motorcycles among non-owners, by age, March 2016
                                                  • Among owners
                                                    • Customizers represent steady revenue stream for dealers
                                                      • Figure 45: Attitudes of motorcycle owners, March 2016
                                                    • Younger owners enthusiastic customizers
                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes of motorcycle owners, by age, March 2016
                                                    • Sport bike riders most likely to customize
                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes of motorcycle owners, by type of motorcycle owned, February 2016
                                                      • Figure 48: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, by type of motorcycle owned, March 2016
                                                  • Social Aspects of Motorcycles

                                                    • Bikes are a statement of self
                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward the social aspects of motorcycles, March 2016
                                                    • Men offer unfulfilled potential as brand ambassadors
                                                      • Figure 50: Attitudes toward the social aspects of motorcycles, by gender, March 2016
                                                    • Younger riders appreciate social aspects of motorcycles
                                                      • Figure 51: Attitudes toward the social aspects of motorcycles, by age, March 2016
                                                    • Sport bikes integral to owners’ identities
                                                      • Figure 52: Attitudes toward the social aspects of motorcycles, by type of motorcycle owned, March 2016
                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                    • Data sources
                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                            • Terms
                                                            • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                • Figure 53: Attitudes toward the social aspects of motorcycles, by area, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 54: Attitudes of motorcycle owners, by area, February 2016
                                                                • Figure 55: Type of motorcycle owned, by area, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 56: Attitudes to motorcycles among non-owners, by age, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 57: Type of motorcycle to be purchased next, by area, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 58: New vs used purchases, by type of motorcycle owned, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 59: Amount spent on most recently purchased motorcycle, by age, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 60: Amount spent on motorcycle parts and accessories, by household income, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 61: Experience with motorcycles among non-owners, by gender, March 2016
                                                                • Figure 62: Attitudes of motorcycle owners, by gender, March 2016

                                                            Companies Covered

                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                            Motorcycles - US - May 2016

                                                            US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)