I came across an interesting read on here the other day from Drew Faulkner at Moto Adventurer; What is the Future of Motorcycling?
He was specifically relating to the decline of motorcycle sales in dealerships and how a lot of them are slowly closing their doors. This got me thinking, are the dealerships dying?
Personally I have only once bought a brand new bike from a dealership and that was when I was young and 1st started riding. Since then motorbike dealerships have been more a place to mooch around with your mates, look at the bikes you’ll never be able to afford and get a feel of your dream bike and occasionally buy new gear if they have a good selection. Although gear is often found cheaper online and I personally as a women find there is more choice online. Maybe just my opinion but I’m curious to know, how many of you out there specifically go into a dealerships to just buy a brand new bike?
Again on the social aspect, we would often went to a dealership to have a bite to eat and catch up. Although since coming across the pond, I haven’t seen a cafe in a dealership here yet but maybe that is part of the problem? Similar to the decline of the pub trade in the UK, they just simple cannot survive unless they are offering something more. For pubs its usual food/accommodation to keep afloat. Maybe dealerships need to do more than just sell new bikes to entice bikers in. A social hub, somewhere to catch up with mates? D.I.Y workshops such as that of the infamous motorbike cafe Chequered Flag in Cornwall? More 2nd hand bike sales? Although that said I do often see dealerships organise group rides and quite a few have their own workshops and clothing lines. So why the decline?
There were a few reasons Drew threw out as to why there might be such a decline; The generation of millennials not into biking? The cost of motorcycling is too high? Manufacturers not selling what people want? Biking is seen by many as ‘too dangerous’?
In my personal opinion the cost of buying from a dealership is just too much and yes the era of penny pinching, upcycling and re-using is definitely upon us. Although the good thing about buying brand new I suppose is the care package and warranty that comes with. I would personally rather buy a 2nd hand bike and do it up, then again I was born at the very start of the millennial generation and I guess not bought up to always have ‘brand new’. It not just the cost of buying brand new either, but generally I find their services too expensive. A prime example being when I took Bobby in to get looked at and was quoted hundreds of dollars, yet when I went for a 2nd opinion at an independent garage, it turned out to be a quick fix costing a fifth of what I was quoted.
I think there is still a future for motorcycling and dealerships but I just think our ways have changed somewhat, from the way we live to the way we spend. Maybe dealerships need to look at these trends more closely.
What’s your opinion. Are dealerships dying? What do you think is the future of motorcycling?