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This ad from our H-D brothers had me dying. The comments section is littered with people who saw the same thing I did. H-D is desperately trying to identify and market to a new generation of riders using such blatant stereotypes it makes you cringe.

Harley-Davidson on Instagram: “Get ready for summer with fresh new styles from the #GarageCollection. Swipe through to shop or visit your local dealer. ☀ #HarleyDavidson…”

But it does beg the question: How does the motorcycle industry rekindle a love of riding?
Is it a problem that can be solved by marketing or is it just that motorcycle sales are hitting a natural plateau?

I'm inclined to believe the latter. Newer generations have different mindsets and goals. They are no longer driven by a sense of freedom and personal responsibility. They want to be coddled and they want comfort and luxury. I don't see too many in the younger crowd getting off on the idea of surviving out on the road with nothing but the clothes on their back. I think it's ignorant to think the younger crowd isn't buying a 52mpg machine because of the environment. I think making an electric bike is a silly gimmick that is patronizing and panders to an extremely small percentage of the population who don't even ride.

I'm actually secretly hoping that sales do tank and they start making motorcycles for people who actually want to ride, i.e. - such low demand that motorcycles no longer cost as much as a sports car. But, I'm no economist - maybe a lower volume scenario would actually drive costs up.

What say you all?
 

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start bribing facebook... twitter... and do some in your face type advertising..LOL... no it is the generational issue... I mean they can't wait for self driving cars, electric cars or no transportation at all.... their world revolves around what we are doing right now... the interwebs of things... but IMO if legal/illegal immigration is going to be the reason our population grows the mfg. might want to look at smaller bikes... 250-750 range... they are still very popular in other countries and to Americans totally affordable without hurting the pocket book and they really are a throw back to us from the 70's... never thought much of taking a 750 for a 400mile trip one way... you wouldn't catch me doing it now that I'm spoiled.. but they aren't
 

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I hear the same thing in other areas of my life as well......Amateur Radio being one of them. People are always trying to think of ways to get younger folks involved. We have far too much TV, Social media, computers we carry in out pockets and make a call on once in a while.....most of the younger generation I don't think are even remotely interested in anything outside of what is in front of their face at the moment.
 

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I think where both MOCOs screw up is price. I know very few young pups who can afford a 19-25K bike. If they are serious about attracting millennials, then they are going to have to come up with a few models that don’t cost an arm or leg. Maybe it means producing cheap 883s for Harley or 750 CC Scouts for Indian. I personally think both MOCOs have priced themselves out of the market with the younger generation and its only a matter of time before it bites em in the ass.

Bubba
 

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Media hype doesn't help us. 50 or more people can get injured/killed today in car wrecks with barely a whisper on the news but a motorcycle wreck on the other hand is front page news and broadcasting loudly from every station.

SOA didn't help. Everybody thinks that we we act like.

Different priorities. Younger generation are not real explorers. They shop the internet for what they want or want to do and go do just that. I can take off and ride for hours and happen upon something to see or do.
 

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one market they really need to hit and hit hard is the military... these guys and gals are not of the same cloth as the rest of their generation... they want adventure.... they seek it... give them more than $750 in accessories... these privates/specialist are still single and have disposable income... entice them into a Scout or the FTR line... give them a hell of a break on the price... then to top it off give them the price they paid back in on a trade in for a big-twin within a calendar year... get em hooked... plus I think you'll find if they are treated right... they are VERY brand loyal...

one other thing give them free "motorcycle learners course"... I know some bases have it and it maybe required.. but when you're talking Guard or Reserve they have no bases...
 

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When I look at a new bike that cost as much or more than our new 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat with all the toys installed I suddenly realize the value of a much cheaper, gently used motorcycle. I just can't bring myself to spend that much on a bike any longer. Maybe I'm getting old and cheap but I enjoy riding my cheapo 2004 Sportster as much as my 2015 RM. I do think cost is a big factor plus the kids today are happy inside using their computers and phones. My grandsons sense of adventure revolves around gaming. He don't even have his license yet at 17 as he just isn't in that big of a hurry to drive so he says.
 

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Adventure bikes that make you look HOT. A bike is a fashion extension and statement. It needs to have a fast internet connection and be able to take selfies every where you go. It’s not the journey or the destination that matters but how you look both getting there and on arrival.

I am not joking. Seriously, build a bike that says , “Hey, I am hot!”

By the way, the bike needs to be low maintenance, store easy, and come in an array of colors and patterns.
 

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Gotta have voice recognition for touch screens too...:) You know them Millennials have to surf the net and watch YouTube videos while riding.


Bubba
 

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Another thing, why doesn’t Road Command come preloaded with two cameras, one facing forward and one on the driver, FB, Twitter, and Instagram apps.

Again, not kidding. When I arrive, a picture of me doing so should be automatically made.

And why can’t I rate the road I am on or the people I am passing. I have a story to tell.
 

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Gotta have voice recognition for touch screens too...:) You know them Millennials have to surf the net and watch YouTube videos while riding.


Bubba
You mean upload to YouTube the ride they are currently blogging about.
 

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How do the big-3 market their muscle cars nowadays? The REAL versions, not the 6-cylinder trim level. That’s gonna be the similar target audience wouldn’t it? Gear-heads that want to be more in-tune with the actual ride.

Like high plains rider said, military is a prime market. HD does an ok job at overseas bases with whatever exclusive deal they have with AAFES car sales. Issue there tho is the price. I was a single E-4 in the market but all I could get approved for loan wise was in sportster price range. Personally those models just never did it for me.

In my opinion Indian has a ton of room for improvement in their marketing. I’ve never seen or heard an Indian advertisement in the normal course of my life prior to actually researching the brand.

Harley was smart when they landed that partnership deal with the UFC back in the Forest Griffin days. Example of marketing to the actual target audience for a product.

Is the issue that HD and Indian are slipping when it comes to reaching the target audience? Or is the issue trying to GROW the target audience?
 

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In all seriousness, while checking this site at a restaurant called Treo in Palm Springs, various people have come up asking me if that is “my” Indian parked out back. This is a Daily occurrence and to be honest, my Vintage is indeed fully dressed out. Old, young, straight, gay, men, and women, and I suppose many others not mentioned, pay tribute.

I think the question we are all asking is what is it about an Indian that make this such a regular occurrence? And Indian, since you are indeed watching, keep this in mind.

Before I bought my Indian, my friends would ask me what I wanted to do. I always laughingly replied, “Find an Indian and ride her hard.”

If I hadn’t christened my bike as Cochise, I’d have called her Elizabeth Warren, better know as Pocohantas. But it’s a red skinned bike, not blue. (Okay, decipher that at many, many different levels)
 

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I hate the fact that it seems like we need to tell the younger generation it New Green Deal Compliant and or come with free healthcare or college. I was laughing my butt off reading the comments on the clothing line specifically the vegan man bun.
 

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As a resident millennial (25) and new rider (80,000 km and 7 states aside I still haven't had my license for more than 2 years) I suppose I ought to chime in. I don't share much in common with the majority of my generation and it was growing up in a family of riders that got me into riding, not commercials or Instagram ads. However, I have successfully convinced 5 people to take riding lessons and buy a motorcycle in the last 2 years, 3 of them are my age. 2 of those 25 year olds have convinced 2 other people to take lessons and buy a motorcycle, see a pattern here?

Even from my vantage point, riding with people my age almost every day, observing the kind of bikes they're buying, the gear they're buying, the kind of events they're attending, and their opinions on whatever new model is the flavor of the week, I have been completely unable to identify one foolproof method for creating young riders. They all have different taste in bikes, they all have different opinions on new tech, they all dress differently, this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. The only single thing that I've been able to identify is that they all got motorcycles when they saw their friends enjoying motorcycles, pretty simple isn't it? It's a domino effect and it doesn't reflect any one style or trend, it's the simple fact that they saw another person their age having a load of fun doing it and wanted to join them.

So Harley and Indian and Triumph and the rest of them can go ahead dump as much money as they want into marketing research, go ahead spend a week designing the perfect milennial Instagram ad, go ahead and hire a team of narcissistic millennial journalists to ride cross country and share it on Facebook, it's probably going to work and you're probably going to recruit some new riders, but from what I've seen in the last couple of years it has nothing to do with your cute new t-shirt design, it's simply because you're showing millennials that millennials are riding.
 

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there you go... it's kinda' like fishing... you have to fish and fish and fish to catch that first one.... then all of a sudden you are on a school of walleye and have your limit... the trick and convo on this thread is how to catch the fish... you've summed it up nicely... now what kind of bait?
 

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How do the big-3 market their muscle cars nowadays? The REAL versions, not the 6-cylinder trim level. That’s gonna be the similar target audience wouldn’t it? Gear-heads that want to be more in-tune with the actual ride.

Like high plains rider said, military is a prime market. HD does an ok job at overseas bases with whatever exclusive deal they have with AAFES car sales. Issue there tho is the price. I was a single E-4 in the market but all I could get approved for loan wise was in sportster price range. Personally those models just never did it for me.

In my opinion Indian has a ton of room for improvement in their marketing. I’ve never seen or heard an Indian advertisement in the normal course of my life prior to actually researching the brand.

Harley was smart when they landed that partnership deal with the UFC back in the Forest Griffin days. Example of marketing to the actual target audience for a product.

Is the issue that HD and Indian are slipping when it comes to reaching the target audience? Or is the issue trying to GROW the target audience?
They're Original target market is literally dying off every day. The 20 year olds are satisfied riding virtual motorcycles via XBox and playstation 4.
 
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