The Powersports Industry & M/C Roadracing

Discussion in 'General' started by Pneumatico Delle Vittorie, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    As I’ve been reading the threads about MA and Mr. Spies etc., I see a lot of assumptions, guesses, and the phrase “doom and gloom” thrown around about roadracing in NA. So, to help the passionate and or psycho crazy BBS peeps out there that aren’t familiar with the industry I will offer these comments. And since I made my living in it (and collected this data stuff as part of my job at Pirelli), I give you the following.

    In 2008 the motorcycle industry had a great year with new bike sales (atv/utvs not included) of a touch below 1 million units. Of these new bikes sold about 50% were cruisers, about 15% were dirt bikes, about 8% were sport touring, and about 5% were sport bikes. And the remaining 12% includes Dual Sport, naked, and scooters.

    Move ahead to 2009 and the new unit sales DECREASED by 36% and we all know why. Then let’s jump ahead 10 years to compare 2018 to 2008. So 10 years later bike sales are still off by 46%. And replacement tire sales mirror the new bikes sales in mix and 10 years later tire sales are down about 22%.

    So, where’s the powersports industry today? The OEMs that also manufacture personal watercraft are happy as they saw an 8% increase in 2018 vs the PY, and these sales are coming from Gen X peeps. OEs that make UTV/ATVs continue to see strong sales with other brands coming in with new product offerings, like Roxor. And I see the boating industry (small boats, outboard motors, etc.) had a good 2018 with an 4% increase vs. PY.

    What this tells me about the OEMs is that 10 years of decreased bike sales have hurt them. Does it make sense for the OEMs to spend money roadracing when cruisers outsell sport bikes by ten times in these market conditions? Does anyone think this may have an influence on the lack of a new GSXR600 and CBR600 to compete with the R6? And now they're looking at the baby boomers getting older and the trend is not good as they are buying less cruisers each year.

    So, what can be found in all of this? The Powersports industry is changing quite a bit, and because of this motorcycle roadracing is changing too. Look closer and compare 2 & 4 wheel racing and you see big similarities. While it’s not a perfect match looking at the decline in motorcycle roadracing and NASCAR and it helps my point that everything we knew in the past is changing.

    It’s apparent that people are changing their leisure time habits and it’s hurting racing and more importantly bike sales. To all you naysayers Moto America is not messing up, WERA is not messing up, the OEMs are not messing up, and most importantly Mongo is not killing racing god damn it.

    Oh yeah Sean bring me a 100 bucks to the next Grattan round please. Ok let the bashing from the BBS experts begin!:D
  2. TLR67

    TLR67 Well-Known Member

    The industry is doomed.... you changed your Avatar.
    Mot Okstef likes this.
  3. blue03R6

    blue03R6 Well-Known Member

    I blame obama
    compmoto and roy826ex like this.
  4. G 97

    G 97 What's my name

    I’m actually surprised that the manufacturers were involved as long as they were and even more surprised that there are still a few in it. The reality is, with some exceptions, even their dealer organizations don’t care about racing and aren’t educated/informed in regards to it. Then factor in that the average sportbike rider doesn’t even know anything about racing. The manufacturers certainly aren’t getting a good return on their investment fielding race teams in the US especially when they can gain the same benefits with WSBK and MOTO GP.
    obcbr and ducnut like this.
  5. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    And how exactly do you know that this wasn't all part of his grand design?
  6. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    the dealer floor at my local spot has reflected exactly what u said over the past decade. UTVs and watercraft have taken over their floor. sport bikes are getting further from the door and getting less floor space. cruisers have stayed about the same.
  7. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    is the 46% off number based on peak 2008 sales?
  8. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

  9. roy826ex

    roy826ex Been around here a while

    How many here even buy a new off the floor motorcycle? Honest question!

    I buy several so I’m not the problem, the shit talkers/dreamers on the internet/forums are their problem really.

    Get past that “I want to buy” something I can’t afford part and the oems are loaded with cash. Or quit talking and actually buy something. Economics got nothing to really do with this. Current economy promotes growth. They’re just not utilizing it.

    Headed to the dungeon with it :D where I don’t even bother to go...
    Sabre699 and ducnut like this.
  10. motion


    I just bought 6 new ADV bikes. I would never buy a new sport bike, though, not at today's prices.

    I don't think its really a secret that young people are no longer in love with motorbikes. They are slowly dying out. Hell, I would bet 90% of under 25 year olds can't even drive a stick shift car. Things are changing.
  11. Dave K

    Dave K DaveK über alles!

    Corn gas, Trump and millennials!
    backbone, stk0308, roy826ex and 3 others like this.
  12. ducnut

    ducnut Well-Known Member

    Unless one is chasing contingency or the new model has some newly added and desirable feature, depreciation is on the buyer’s side. There’s no way I’d ever buy a new bike, these days.
    Kyle Brosius, roy826ex and Senna like this.
  13. G 97

    G 97 What's my name

    Dude, I went along with the NESBA SUCKS shtick but don’t make me draw the line with corn. :crackup:
    Cajun Kid likes this.
  14. G 97

    G 97 What's my name

    Yeah, no idea. I currently have 9 bikes. But to your point, I haven’t purchased one since 2001. I only have two that I purchased anyway, so maybe I’m not the best judge.
    roy826ex likes this.
  15. worthless

    worthless Well-Known Member

    Interesting that bike sales are off 46% and tire sales are only off 22%. For us street geeks, tire tech has come a long long way. You used to have to choose - performance in the dry, performance in the rain, or longevity. Not any more. I think my last set of tires on my FJR went about 11,000 miles and could take anything I was able to throw at it. Looks like the set I have on now will go even further. I know quite a few guys who are using the sport touring tires on sport bikes and getting much more than the 2000-3000 miles that they used to get (talking spirited riding...not track days and not highway only) and prices really haven’t changed much over the last 15 years.
    ducnut likes this.
  16. 2blueYam

    2blueYam Track Day Addict

    I believe that bikes are lasting longer. Models from 10 to 15 years ago are excellent bikes. No need to buy newer.
    ducnut likes this.
  17. rd49

    rd49 Well-Known Member

    Corn is fine as long as it is sweet corn, corn gas can go straight to hell. :D
    5axis, compmoto, backbone and 7 others like this.
  18. KNickers

    KNickers Well-Known Member

    The solution is obvious. We need to race cruisers. How bout a series with full baggers - two up. Gold wings vs Ultras - the new Superstock. I'd watch it.
  19. Inquizid

    Inquizid Member Well-Known

    The solution is to tell the fans an exciting and engaging story. During a scheduling conflict a few weeks ago I turned off MotoGP and the Marc Marquez show to watch the last Moto America superbike race 2 because I was more deeply invested in that storyline.
    ducnut and Senna like this.
  20. 2blueYam

    2blueYam Track Day Addict

    I am trying to picture a rules package that would get the Ultras competitive with a Wing. Even with a HD big bore kit I think not. Put a K1600 out there and it would be closer I think.

    Actually I think big adventure bikes on a 1/2 paved 1/2 dirt circuit would be a better solution.
    ducnut likes this.

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