Motorcycles have always been popular, with hundreds of thousands sold around the world every year. With the coming auto revolution, many people expect this to change. And, indeed it has, but not in the way most would expect. Since 2015, there has been a 3% rise in the sales of motorbikes, with BMW selling more than 80,000. For the company, this is a record as they have never hit the 80,000 mark in before in the first six months of a year. And, it doesn’t stop with BMW as manufacturers across the planet are reporting the same trend.
It seems that motorbikes are here to stay, even with the introduction of driverless and electric cars. Apart from being a feel good story, the increase in sales is confusing. Experts predicted that a general downturn would occur, so why are motorcycle companies bucking the trend?
To find out more, Automobile Hitech decided to take a look under the hood and investigate. Here are the reasons we feel more and more people are investing in the Sons of Anarchy life.
Appeal Hasn’t Fallen
A motorbike is like a cigarette – people do it because it’s cool. You might not think this is a good excuse to ride a bike, but it is to thousands of men and women. They love the wind running through their hair. They love the feel of the leather on their skin. They love catching their reflection in a building while they are revving the engine. They love everything about owning a bike because of the way it makes them feel. Regarding appeal, motorcycles far outweigh cars and any other vehicle for that matter. Just take a look at the numbers. By the end of 2017, manufacturers are expected to shift a total of 78.5 million cars. SlideShare says that the figure for motorcycles by the end of 2018 will be 132 million units. If this isn’t because of demand, what is the reason?
Well, one reason for the prediction is that motorcycles suit a person’s lifestyle much better. In the west, we see cars as the be all and end all because of wide roads and inclement weather. Let’s face it – no one wants to be on the road when it’s raining. Of course, the west isn’t the center of the world and there are hundreds of other countries with differing views. Contemplate Asia for a moment. If you have never been, the fact that Asia is home to 58% of the world’s bikes will seem far-fetched. In fact, it will seem ludicrous. However, 78% of people in Thailand and 70% of people in Japan own a bike. And, that’s without taking into account the 8 out of ten people in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. What’s with the popularity? These areas are densely populated, and motorbikes are an easy way to get around and avoid traffic. This isn’t going to change as the population around the world increases.
Cars have been, and always will be expensive. On average, a new car can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. You don’t need anyone to tell you that it’s a lot of money, and the prices are rising. With the dawn of new technology, an electric model can set a person back $100,000. Sure, no one needs to buy one now, but they will be unavoidable by 2030. Indeed, car prices exclude certain people, which explains the high number on the roads. To compound the situation, motorbikes are getting cheaper and cheaper every year thanks to smaller engines. Since 2011, bikes with less than 600cc have seen a rise in sales by 11%. To put this into perspective, bigger engines only managed a 7% increase. Harley-Davidson is taking it one step further with a particular promotion. Their offer of nine bikes for under $12,000 comes to an average of less than $10 a day.
And Better For The Planet
Forget about the old two-stroke versions because they are dead and gone. Any motorcycles that are on the world’s roads today adhere to strict regulations. But, so do cars so what’s the difference? For one thing, a motorbike engine is a lot smaller in size. Therefore, the emissions it does give off will be lower than that of a 1.4lt car. And, with the new technology, the CO2 emissions are minimal anyway. Then, there is the element of speed. Bikes are efficient with regards to time on the road because they spend less time in traffic. When you can weave in and out of the roads, there is no reason to sit behind motorists. This means that motorcycles spend less time on the road, and less time polluting the air. There are cars which are better for the planet, but a Tesla doesn’t come cheap. A motorbike is cheap and green at the same time, which is a significant achievement.
More Health Benefits
Mother Earth isn’t the only entity whose well-being will benefit. From a physical perspective, people who ride motorcycles burn 40 calories more than drivers. It might not seem like a lot, but every little helps in the weight loss stakes. However, the big development is in mental health. Whereas the world once didn’t care about the brain, it is in vogue in 2017. Everyone wants to safeguard their mental health, and bikes, seemingly, are the solution. Firstly, riding a motorcycle is a great way to boost adrenaline levels. Thanks to higher adrenaline levels, mood benefits because it heightens the senses. Then, there is the concentration aspect. Through riding a bike, it is possible to disengage from reality. This helps people reduce stress as it provides a release from life.
Increased Knowledge And Awareness
An area where the motorcycle industry was weak was safety. The reason for this was that everyone saw motorbikes as unsafe. So, it was thought personal injury attorneys were always part of the motorbike buying process. The thing is, the number of accidents was never as high as the number of car incidents. Indeed, driving is the least safe form of transport, yet people get behind the wheel on a daily basis. Of the millions of road traffic accidents per year, motorbikes account for 14%. Now, this appears to be a high figure, and it is in many respects. But, it means the majority of incidents involve cars and trucks. People are beginning to understand that owning a bike doesn’t mean certain death. As a result, more individuals are deciding to switch from a car to a motorcycle.
Connection To Vehicle
Driverless and electric cars are going to revolutionize the automobile industry. From reducing road traffic accidents to helping the environment, the benefits are wide-ranging. However, there is one area where they falter: the love of owning a car. Petrol heads don’t want to drive a car that sounds like it has a kitten under the hood instead of a tiger. They don’t want to be a glorified passenger on the way to work. What they do want is a vehicle which excites them and gets the blood coursing through their veins. One reason bike sales are on the up is that the connection between the driver and motorcycle still exists. There are no plans for driverless versions or bikes with a hybrid engine. Because they still roar and require skill to drive, more people are making the switch. And, it makes sense, especially for the people who grew up on cars and need a traditional alternative. Driving might get easier in the future, but it won’t be as fun, and that is a problem for auto-enthusiasts.
Representative Of Society
When you think about today’s society, what springs to mind? For most people, it is impatience. Thanks to the internet and high-quality customer service, we want results as soon as possible. Of course, this mentality doesn’t only stay in one place as it permeates every aspect of life. From TV to food, no one wants to wait around and driving is no different. Unfortunately, the rise in waiting times on the world’s roads is a problem. With more people on the planet, more drivers and cars are clogging up cities and towns. Well, it seems that people are sick and tired of waiting in traffic, which is why a motorbike is one way forward. With their agility and nimbleness, a driver can get from A to B much quicker and avoid waiting times. To the majority of people, this is well worth making the switch because it reduces road rage and commuting time. Remember: you are what you drive.
There are obvious benefits to a motorcycle, such as fuel efficiency and the cost. However, the areas which will take people by surprise are the health benefits and increased awareness. In the past, these things would never have featured in a driver’s mind, but they play a significant part today.