Why are Millennials Not Riding & Should They Be?
What Problem do Millennials Have with Motorcycles?
The word ‘Millennial’ engulfs two generations, Generation Y (those born between 1981 and 91) and Generation Z (91-2001), depending who you ask, but for the sake of our article we are using this age range. It is no secret that these days the word has far more negative connotations.
However, this is a conversation you want to pay attention to, as it talks about millennials for all the right reasons and what issues this generation and future ones are facing when it comes to riding.
Why are Millennials not Interested in Riding?
A large part of this generation came to age during the 2008 crisis, the worst since The Wall Street Crash, so this is a glaring issue. Many Millennials are recent colleges graduates and that degree comes with a substantial amount of student debt. This means basic necessities are prioritized over certain luxuries and makes it difficult form them to justify spending a few grand on a new motorcycle or on professional motorcycle paint for a project bike.
Where They Live:
Modern day cities don’t encourage motorcycle riding. More traffic on the roads means higher risk of being involved in an accident. It is no surprise that many college graduates flock to bigger cities in search of opportunities. While big cities are full of new opportunities for them, they are not always the best location for owning a bike.
Discomfort Associated with Riding and Lack of Knowledge:
It is no secret that bikes present more risks than cars, and that fear can make riding daunting for the inexperienced.
If you didn’t grow up surrounded by bikes or have a family member who rode, chances you didn’t get any education regarding the sport and the machines. So, when a Millennial first sees a bike, they will notice all the security issues: there is no seat belt, you are constantly exposed to the elements, there are no doors or roof to protect you, etc. This doesn’t paint a secure picture. But, as with most issues, education can help deal with the fear of riding.
They Struggle to See the Benefits:
The lack of education mentioned above also makes it difficult for Millennials to see the benefits of riding. Therefore, they also struggle to justify the costs.
But education may not be enough to convert the generation to become riders. For them, as with most of us, experiences, and memories lead to acceptance. Us riders can only promote the benefits of riding because we have experienced them personally. So, without promising the younger generations a pot of gold or some higher enlightenment at the end of their first ride, it will be difficult to get them on board.
That being said, if us that do ride and have experienced the benefits continue to champion riding, we can answer all the questions they might raise and provide solutions to the issues raised previously. And that, might just be the key to change Millennial’s mind about owning a motorcycle.
Why Should Millennials Ride?
Contradictory, I know. The initial costs of buying a motorcycle (and all the gear) can seem like a costly investment. After all, the few hundred or thousand of dollars that a bike costs can be ‘better’ spent, right? But just as cars come with a variety of costs and specs, so do bikes.
If you consider the standard price of a decent second-hand car, you are looking at spending anywhere between $8,000 to $10,000 depending on the condition of the vehicle. But what if I were to tell you that you can buy a bike with supercar acceleration for around $5,000? You have just saved $5,000! And have a machine which is far more exciting, looks way cooler and will definitely turn heads. Plus, you will save money on things like insurance and gas.
Most bikes are capable of doing 40-60mpg. Most hybrids will top out around 50-60mpg too, furthermore a hybrid would set you back $20,000. The conclusion is that bikes are far more cost-effective than Millennials have been led to believe, not to mention how much more enjoyable they are to ride.
The Community and Social Aspects:
The same way you meet people at your gym, dog park or at work, you will meet loads of new people through owning and riding a motorcycle. These new friends and people you meet will also open your eyes to a new culture and way of thinking that you can’t turn back on once you have experienced it. There are as many reasons to ride as you can imagine, and you will meet people who all have their own reason, but they are all friendly, willing to help and look out for fellow riders. For example, if a rider sees another rider stopped on the side of the road, they will automatically stop to check if everything is okay. Do car drivers do that? Don’t think so.
The Sense of Freedom:
Today’s world is full of stress for Millennials. Career paths, relationships, finances and so many more that we don’t want to depress you by mentioning. What if I said a bike offers you an escape from all of these? Surely that is a positive thing and a step in the right direction, right?
Do you want that freedom? Then consider a motorcycle. There is no feeling equal to finding a beautiful open road with just you and your machine between your legs. Riding reminds us that we have control of our life; you may be riding without a destination, but it doesn’t matter on a motorcycle. You learn to enjoy the journey because that is where the excitement is. Its about heading into the unknown and embracing it with open arms and the wind against your chest. It’s a beautiful journey at your own pace where your problems are few and far in between.
So, while your initial thoughts of fear and money concerns are somewhat justified, we hope this article helps clear some of those doubts. For us experienced riders, welcome Millennials with open arms and make sure they won’t want to turn their backs on the lifestyle.