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Author Topic: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise  (Read 3779 times)

Offline Hope2Ride

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Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« on: April 02, 2014, 06:55:42 PM »
When reading the MN Motorcycle Monthly I came across something that surprised me. It says the average age of motorcyclists has been steadily climbing over the years. and the article states "It's fair to speculate that the ordinary motorcycling participant will be very near 60 by 2020 and that might spell the end of motorcycling as a popular activity in the U.S." The end of motorcycling as popular?  :o  I find that hard to swallow.

Based off these statistics...
the average age of motorcyclists in the 80's it was 23 yrs
in 1998 it was 33 yrs
and 2003 it was 40 yrs
and in 2011 it was 43 (Harley riders was 58)

I don't agree that in 6 short years that having older riders on the road will make motorcycling unpopular. But I guess only time will tell.


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Offline Greg

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 07:02:34 PM »
I don't agree that in 6 short years that having older riders on the road will make motorcycling unpopular. But I guess only time will tell.

I agree. It's just too darn cool to go away.  :)  (mostly joking)

I think part of what is lessening it's appeal is the cost factor. When I started riding in 1999, I could put $20 in my pocket, go ride 200-300 miles, have lunch along the way, and have change at the end of the day! $1.50 / gallon gas is gone forever :( .
These people have taught me more about riding than any day spent on a track: Larry B, Tony K, Vince J, Mr. Wonderful, V2Neal, Marty F, Kevin B, Devon W, Ehrich, Mike A, John L, Arnell, Kirk, Ray C

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Offline vince

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 07:14:19 PM »
This has to be flawed in some way. With all the forum out there like this one. The group is getting older for sure. This is true even for snowmobiling. There are 35 members in my club and only two are under 50.
But now with bikes, some of the other forum are very young. 30 or less and mostly about 24 as I look at most of there ages.
I thought when I quit CRA there would be no one to continue the club. But it is alive and well even with track only days cutting in on racing track time.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 07:16:56 PM by vince »

Offline gdawgs

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 09:08:54 AM »
the statistics are not flawed.  when you talk about the baby boomer population, that general fact often overwhelms statistics. 

so popularity and other soft measures should not be correlated to the stat.  the stat just says the mass of population is just growing older.  that is all.  if you wanted something useful, you would isolate that fact, and counter it to make the stat more applicable. 

bad correlations occur all of the time. 

Offline GUZZI JOHN

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 10:14:36 AM »
 That's absolutely correct! The young folks can't text & ride!! ::)
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Offline Mike Duluth

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 10:15:56 AM »
Am I getting too old to ride with you guys? :'(
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Offline Vander

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 10:36:02 AM »
Boy... I wonder how the got that info.

1. Number of people with M/C endorsements?
2. Number of people with M/C registrations?

Problems with 1?  LOADS of people keep their endorsements even though they haven''t ridden in decades.  Add that with the number of baby boomers?  ...that may explain the statistical skew against reality.

Problems with 2?  I know plenty of younger riders that do not technically own their machines.  It their parents are the registered owners, you get skewed results there too.

But anyway... it sure doesn't seem correct to me either.


Offline Elk

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 05:52:44 PM »
It may be a function of the continuing popularity of Harleys among superannuated first time buyers, especially among professionals.  I know many lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. who bought their first bike, a Harley, in their mid-50's or older. 

Over half of new motorcycle registrations are Harleys:

"In the U.S., the total number of new motorcycle registrations in 2013 was 306,000, a 2 percent increase compared with 2012. The number of new Harley motorcycles registered in 2013 was 168,000, up 4 percent from 2012. The percentage of new Harley motorcycles on the road as a percentage of new motorcycles registered was 55 percent in 2013 compared with 54 percent in 2012."
See, http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2014/03/19/harley-selling-more-motorcycles-both-in-u-s-and.html?page=all

I doubt motorcycling will disappear in five to ten years, regardless.

Offline pkpk

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 09:37:01 PM »
This statistic does not surprise me.  While I do think the BBB (Baby Boom Blob) contributes to the skewing, I can't help but notice that just about everywhere I ride, there are mainly graybeards.  Whether it's along the river, down in Wis twisties or on trips to Black Hills or Colorado, it's seems like mainly people over 40.

I have a few theories.  Back in the 60's/70's, motorcycles had more of a romantic coolness factor (the bad boy image) which drew a number of younger riders.  I recall our HS parking lot had almost as many motorcycles as cars.  I just don't see that rider romanticism in younger gen today.

I also recall how a number of college students owned a motorcycle as their only means of cheap transportation back then.  Riding a bike for transportation seemed more mainstream back then.  Today, most nice motorcycles are expensive and get stolen when parked outside.  I also wonder if insurance premiums priced a number of would-be riders out of riding.

Offline vince

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2014, 09:46:22 PM »
I think insurance does play a roll in this. I didn't know that these young riders paid so much to ride a sport bike. When they ask how much I pay and I tell them less than $200 for full coverage. They say man that is cheap I pay $350 a month. I say a month. That's more than the bike payment. I meant $200 a year. Your better off not getting any.

Offline Elk

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 03:18:32 PM »
Back in the 60's/70's, motorcycles had more of a romantic coolness factor (the bad boy image) which drew a number of younger riders.  I recall our HS parking lot had almost as many motorcycles as cars.  I just don't see that rider romanticism in younger gen today.
Good point.  This is also the same group riding Harleys today.

Quote
I also recall how a number of college students owned a motorcycle as their only means of cheap transportation back then.
I keep expecting scooters to become seriously popular, but they do not seem to take off.  It may be we have just too much cold weather.

Offline Mike Duluth

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 05:34:38 PM »
I agree with Vince. A lot of the young people I used to ride with had money concerns. I would think some are focused on there careers and some don't make enough money or haven't learned how to manage there money yet. This sport is not cross country skiing or bicycling, there's big cost after you perchace your gear. I'm sure it's a lot like not being able to afford that cool car when we were young, now it's the baby boomer that have all the GTO's, 57 Chevs, Road Runners and such. So at this point I would think it's more about being able to afford it than it is about age.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 05:53:22 PM by Mike Duluth »
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Offline Elk

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Re: Average age of motorcyclists is on the rise
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 08:13:26 PM »
The $350/month story is sobering.