Advocating for motorcycling's future.

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Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby BudDaytonRat » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:35 am

This might be an interesting topic to discuss at our January meeting, besides the weather. :obro:
In the January 2018 American Motorcyclist magazine there is an article by Scott Harden advocating for motorcycling's future. According to the bio on Mr. Harden, (has enjoyed a nearly 40 year career as one of the world's off road racers. He also compiled an impressive resume of motorcycle industry executive manager positions.) The first two sentences in the article states. The news isn't good. The motorcycle business is in a rut. He states the industry is suffering at almost every level. As I read the article I kept thinking of a song by the Rolling Stones, Doom and Gloom. He is advocating we as motorcyclist should help save the industry. He lists ten things we as motorcyclist should do. They are.1. Share your passion with others. Expose non friends to our sport. 2.Attend an event. Invite a non motorcyclist friend to an event. 3.Take a friend for a ride. 4. Teach a friend to ride. (I know this issue raises all sorts of issues, but many enthusiasts-like myself have enough property and small displacement bikes to teach people to ride.) 5. Invite your non motorcycle friends to dinner or a movie. He suggests The World's Fastest Indian. 6. Share the experience. Talk positive about riding etc. 7.Invite non motorcycle friends to go camping. 8. Visit your local motorcycle dealer and invite a non motorcyclist's to tag along. 9. Target Social media. Share info and photos about rides. 10. Reach out to millennials.
What do you think about Mr. Harden idea of advocating for motorcycling's future? I do one, three, six and nine. Not really trying to save the industry just conversation and accommodating someone's desire to take a ride. If you want to read Mr. Harden article it can be found on the AMA web site. www.americanmotorcyclist.com
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby SpeedmasterRTO » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:54 pm

BudDaytonRat wrote:This might be an interesting topic to discuss at our January meeting, besides the weather. :obro:
In the January 2018 American Motorcyclist magazine there is an article by Scott Harden advocating for motorcycling's future. According to the bio on Mr. Harden, (has enjoyed a nearly 40 year career as one of the world's off road racers. He also compiled an impressive resume of motorcycle industry executive manager positions.) The first two sentences in the article states. The news isn't good. The motorcycle business is in a rut. He states the industry is suffering at almost every level. As I read the article I kept thinking of a song by the Rolling Stones, Doom and Gloom. He is advocating we as motorcyclist should help save the industry. He lists ten things we as motorcyclist should do. They are.1. Share your passion with others. Expose non friends to our sport. 2.Attend an event. Invite a non motorcyclist friend to an event. 3.Take a friend for a ride. 4. Teach a friend to ride. (I know this issue raises all sorts of issues, but many enthusiasts-like myself have enough property and small displacement bikes to teach people to ride.) 5. Invite your non motorcycle friends to dinner or a movie. He suggests The World's Fastest Indian. 6. Share the experience. Talk positive about riding etc. 7.Invite non motorcycle friends to go camping. 8. Visit your local motorcycle dealer and invite a non motorcyclist's to tag along. 9. Target Social media. Share info and photos about rides. 10. Reach out to millennials.
What do you think about Mr. Harden idea of advocating for motorcycling's future? I do one, three, six and nine. Not really trying to save the industry just conversation and accommodating someone's desire to take a ride. If you want to read Mr. Harden article it can be found on the AMA web site. http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com


Direct Link to the article: http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/advocating-for-motorcyclings-future
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby SpeedmasterRTO » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:20 pm

BudDaytonRat wrote:This might be an interesting topic to discuss at our January meeting, besides the weather. :obro:
In the January 2018 American Motorcyclist magazine there is an article by Scott Harden advocating for motorcycling's future. According to the bio on Mr. Harden, (has enjoyed a nearly 40 year career as one of the world's off road racers. He also compiled an impressive resume of motorcycle industry executive manager positions.) The first two sentences in the article states. The news isn't good. The motorcycle business is in a rut. He states the industry is suffering at almost every level. As I read the article I kept thinking of a song by the Rolling Stones, Doom and Gloom. He is advocating we as motorcyclist should help save the industry. He lists ten things we as motorcyclist should do. They are.1. Share your passion with others. Expose non friends to our sport. 2.Attend an event. Invite a non motorcyclist friend to an event. 3.Take a friend for a ride. 4. Teach a friend to ride. (I know this issue raises all sorts of issues, but many enthusiasts-like myself have enough property and small displacement bikes to teach people to ride.) 5. Invite your non motorcycle friends to dinner or a movie. He suggests The World's Fastest Indian. 6. Share the experience. Talk positive about riding etc. 7.Invite non motorcycle friends to go camping. 8. Visit your local motorcycle dealer and invite a non motorcyclist's to tag along. 9. Target Social media. Share info and photos about rides. 10. Reach out to millennials.
What do you think about Mr. Harden idea of advocating for motorcycling's future? I do one, three, six and nine. Not really trying to save the industry just conversation and accommodating someone's desire to take a ride. If you want to read Mr. Harden article it can be found on the AMA web site. http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com


I will start by saying I agree with all of those points. I want to take that further by saying that I personally think that cost is the greatest barrier for most newcomers. A new “entry level” motorcycle is going to set back a buyer what, about $4,000? That problem, combined with “cultural stigma” and urban legends makes the “cost” too great for many people to cross the threshold into the sport. Walking into a dealership for the first time (Obviously not Joe’s), prospective first time buyers are rolling the proverbial dice when dealing with their first sales person. They may get the moto-equivalent of a used car salesmen that lacks an endorsement or perhaps a salty entrenched veteran that just needs to make an end of month sale; neither of which do I suspect will properly size up the buyer and get them the correct machine for their needs. Being turned off by crusty “biker image” and sleazy salesmen is the first hurdle, but it doesn’t end there.

Conventional “wisdom” says that motorcycles are dangerous, and are primarily toys in the united states; which leads me back to cost, why invest in a dangerous toy that I can’t ride year-round? The industry needs to focus on lower costs, disputing “conventional wisdom”, and expounding on the advantages of owning a motorcycle. I literally just counted up the days, the Scrambler rolled 334 days in 2017. Yes, I am extreme, but I’m here to tell you, I bet there was snow on the ground for no more than 20 of those days. Despite the lack of “filtering” laws, I still get to work faster on the bike than I do in the car. The bike gets around traffic faster, even without the ability to split lanes or filter to the front of stop lights. I also don’t stress about finding parking most of the time, and beyond physically arriving sooner, I also think that the commute “feels” shorter, even if the time is only marginally different. Everyone here knows, you’re more engaged while riding versus driving. Motorcycles are also more fuel efficient, and arguably better for the environment than cars. Why should I drive a 6 passenger SUV to work (alone) each day when I can take a 2 occupant Motorcycle; which likely gets double the gas mileage?

There are 3 main things that the AMA needs to focus on, in lieu of repealing helmet laws (I oppose helmet laws, but spending money on opposing helmet laws is just dumb).
1. The AMA needs to be doing honest research on motorcycle crashes; the existing statistics are all but completely inconclusive, we have no knowledge of the persons safety gear and experience. Moreover, judging accident rates based on miles traveled is ridiculous considering the number of endorsed motorcyclists that don’t own motorcycles, and the number of motorcyclists I know with multiple bikes (having only 1 bike tends to put you in the minority in Joe’s RAT Pack).

2. With a respite from litigating the repeal of helmet laws, the AMA should be championing causes that post advantages to motorcyclists, like motorcycle exclusive parking, “dead red” laws, lane “filtering” (stopped traffic only), and potentially lane “splitting” (I suggest it be legal only when traffic is moving under 25mph). I will go further to say that the AMA may want to take action to fight “distracted driving”. I admit, I do not how to legislate away stupidity, but if there are technological or legislative measures that can be taken to keep people’s hands on the wheels and eyes on roads, that makes a whole lot more sense than “feeling the freedom” in my hair.

3. While the majority of the burden falls on us, the motorcycle masses, the AMA would be wise to support media that explains that riding a motorcycle can be affordable. I will use Rosie the Scrambler as an example, while I admit, I do not consider a $6,000 used motorcycle to be “cheap”, it is sadly “reasonable” by motorcycle standards. I went back through my receipts from day 1 of owning the Scrambler; adding up the costs of oil, filters, tires, light bulbs, tools for valve checks, gaskets, and all the incidentals (except gasoline, which per mile is cheaper on the bike). Covering about 28,000 miles in the first 12 months (July to July), I spent right about $2,000 on the Scrambler in the first year of ownership; that’s $168 a month and less than $0.08 per mile (That’s $480 for a 6,000 mile year). How many people have a car payment combined with routine maintenance (which I know is cheaper on a car) that's under $170 a month? That’s my big selling point, yes, you can buy a “beater” $1,000 car, and likely operate it cheaper than a motorcycle. However, I suspect that the average American has a car payment, well in excess of $170 a month. If you have a car with a heavy payment, yes you should drive it; meanwhile if you have a bike with a payment, and it gathers all the dust in your garage, you’re throwing your money away. My point is that the prospective buyer has a good shot at buying a reliable, affordable, used bike at a low cost, pay cash, and save a boat load of money in the long run. I’ll gladly claim that financing a $4,500 Honda Rebel, and paying cash on a $500 “Beater car” still makes more economical sense in Dayton than financing most used cars.

In summary, the motorcycle industry image is typically $12,000 or more motorcycle that is “pretty”. They're mostly fat cruisers, but even the average “adventure bike” costs more, and spends more time at Starbuck’s and in the garage than it does on the road. That’s the problem; the average millennial gets a lot more bang for buck from a tablet, laptop, or hiking in the local state park than they get from a motorcycle. That image needs to change; along with the associated costs and piss-poor dealer customer service (Again, not Joey, he’s the shining light on the hill).

:chs: Cheers to you Bud, I suspect this rant will find its way onto my blog. Hopefully that influences a few newcomers.
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby BudDaytonRat » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:14 am

Well said. The AMA I feel supports the no helmet law to have an ally with ABATE states where they have chapters. They have supported studies that focus on crashes and safety. You should post your reply on the AMA web site.
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby SpeedmasterRTO » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:27 pm

I sent my response to the AMA Last night (https://motoadventurer.com/2018/01/11/a-letter-to-the-ama-what-is-the-cost-of-motorcycling/)


The response from the AMA this afternoon:

Hi, Drew,

Thanks for taking the time to contact the American Motorcyclist Association and share your thoughts about Scot Harden’s Plus 1 initiative and other motorcycle-related topics.


The AMA is working with Scot Harden on his efforts, as part of our mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. It’s good to know you, too, support this movement.


Since you state that you are unfamiliar with the AMA’s efforts, please take the time to consider this publicly available information:

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/AMA-Board-of-Directors/Position-Statements


Visit our homepage and read the news, “For Members” and other sections, where we keep motorcyclists up to date:

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/

Sign up for AMA Action Alerts and e-newsletters that address concerns and offer information:

https://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/register?1&m=16006

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/AMA-Social-Media-Channels


Please let me correct your misunderstanding about the AMA’s actions concerning motorcycle helmet laws. The AMA supports and encourages the use of helmets, but not their mandated use. Any argument in favor of mandatory helmet use could also be used to justify a ban on motorcycles. You can read our full position statement at the link above. The AMA is a member-driven organization. If AMA members in a particular state ask for our help in supporting or opposing a change in law, regulations or policies, we provide assistance, as long as the proposal does not contradict our position statement.

Those “alternative” issues you propose all are already on the AMA agenda. An AMA employee is the chair of the federal Motorcyclist Advisory Council. The AMA played a key role in getting the California lane-splitting law passed. We have supported “dead red” laws and other proposals that would benefit motorcyclists. We work with ABATE and other groups on many of these issues.

Regarding distracted driving, please see our position statement. Also, I am the AMA representative to the Risk Institute at the Ohio State University, where I work on distracted driving issues from the motorcyclist’s perspective.

The AMA is at the forefront of every issue you named.

At the same time, please note that the AMA is a motorcyclists’ organization, not a dealer or manufacturer group. We represent the interests of individual riders and groups, as well as event organizers and promoters.

Concerning your suggestion that the AMA fund or support research on motorcycle crashes, please visit this site:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/tfhrc/projects/safety/motorcycles/MCCS/

I doubt that many, if any, AMA members completely agree with every AMA stance on every issue that arises. Is there any group where that would be true?

In short, if you became an AMA member, you would be a part of the largest group of motorcyclists in the nation, supporting our advocacy efforts at all levels of government, our recreational riding program, our competition sanctioning program and all the other worthwhile activities the AMA is involved in.

At the same time, AMA members receive American Motorcyclist magazine each month. The magazine contains updates on all the latest government news, as well as feature stories on riders, racers and advocates.


You can become a part of all this here:

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/Join-The-AMA

Please let me know if I can be of additional assistance.


Regards,


Jim Witters

Managing Editor

American Motorcyclist Association

13515 Yarmouth Drive

Pickerington, OH 43147

Phone: (614) 856-1900, ext. 1279

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby BudDaytonRat » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:41 am

I'm glad you got a response from the AMA. Needless to say I'm not surprised they pitched you to join. You should consider doing so.
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby Motoboard » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:48 am

For those of us who lived the motorcycle boom years of the late 60's and early 70's, I would be willing to bet most of us started on a mini bike or a small dirt bike. We could find places to ride, and our love for two wheels and a motor was born. As we aged we bought bigger and better bikes. We grew the sport and the market. Cheap credit in the 90's and early 2000's added to the boom that everybody wants to return to. Back in the day, motorsports didn't have competition for attention from 600 TV channels, computers, video games, and the internet. And one more huge change was the expectations of investors to new entrants into the market. In the 60's and 70's investors were happy with a 2-4% return, and ecstatic with 5% and up. Now, they want 15% right off of the bat, and that is why Buell, Victory, and probably soon, Motus will all be names in a history book instead of bikes on the street. You cant enter the market with a 20-30 thousand dollar bike and think you are going to put a dent in it. So, here is what I believe to be the only solution to save the motorcycle industry. CHEAP DIRT BIKES. Like the SSR models for sale at Joe's. Under $1000, and just as much fun as the ones we rode as kids. The industry need to breed a new generation of kids loving motorcycles. And I mean loving them more than the electronic crap they love today. The AMA needs to quit worrying about who wears a helmet, and put their efforts into creating and preserving places to ride. They need to pressure the insurance industry into making track days and race days affordable for clubs to host. They need to work with tracks to lower the price of a track day and and make it so that it doesn't take a weeks pay to go play at Mid Ohio for a couple days. Cheaper insurance rates will allow more off road events and we can begin to recreate what made motorcycling so popular 30 years ago. The greedy instant profit days are over. Slick marketing and merchandising will not do a damn thing to make a kid love a motorcycle. The really sad part is that Harley is the major player in this country today. They sell more bikes and and are the model that so many have tried to copy. And now every major manufacturer is feeling the pain of that decision to follow Harley down cruiser lane, thinking that huge profit margins on chromed hippos on roller skates would keep the cash rolling for ever. Harley is doing nothing to bring in new riders. All their money is going to retain what they have and get them to upgrade. Indian will face the same doom if they don't change their ways soon. So, how can you help? I agree with the idea of sharing our love of motorcycles with the uninitiated. But that will just be a band aid until a new generation of riders begin upgrading their 80's to 250's, their dirt bikes for street bikes and the cycle can begin again. Find a local club and support it. Join it, go to races, volunteer to flag. Encourage clubs to keep the price down and offer free friends days to allow non riders to go out in a dirt field and ride without the worry of cars, trucks and all the hazards of the street. I cant emphasize enough that this all has to start with cheap dirt bikes and places to ride them. That love will last a lifetime, and as a few of us remember, there was nothing better than than the freedom we felt the first time we twisted a throttle as a child.
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Re: Advocating for motorcycling's future.

Postby saddlebag » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:30 pm

It's a nice idea, but back in the day, unused land was abundant. Now everything is developed. Unless a kid's parent owns land they're going to have to trailer the bike somewhere to ride it. To me going round and round a track isn't as much fun as exploring. The dirt bike guys I know travel quite a distance to find good riding. Apparently, a lot still exists in Kentucky.
I would take issue with your statement about Harley. Go out to Buckminn's any summer weekend and there is a parking lot full of people learning to ride those little Asian twins of theirs. I'd be surprised if they were the only dealership offering that training.
I still see a lot of country kids riding dirt bikes and ATVs. But what's a city kid to do? Hell, their parent's won't even allow them to stand at the end of the driveway to wait for the school bus alone. You really think they'd set them out to run free on a bike?
Look on the bright side. At least the standard of living of other countries are improving. Their people seem to buy bikes. Perhaps those sales will keep the mfgs in business to at least keep those of us still riding in the US supplied with good product. For a lousy market, the number of fantastic bikes coming out this year is mind boggling.
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