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I would venture a guess that most of the 1999-2009 spike was all the middle aged guys who bought Harley's because it was the thing to have. I have friends who bought one, kept it several years, and sold it, never to ride a motorcycle again. Similar to how the golf industry in US had a huge spike from late 80's to late 90's - it was the thing to do - join a country club and learn to play golf. I wonder what the non-Harley sales graph would look like from 1990-2016.



Nope, it had to do with the gas shortage.:smile2:
 

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Interesting. If what you say is true, then it was really a bubble (the article author also suggests that).
In the EU with a population of around 513 million, 2018 closed above 1 million units(not including mopeds/scooters), I don't know the exact number.
If the USA number is around half a mil, well it's not bad is it?
No, the sky is not falling, but only because it already has. At least in the US. In 2008. Sales are little more than half of what they were but the real issue is the trend of the post 08 years - no significant growth. Motorcycling in Europe is a way of life - probably due to gas being $8/gallon (half of which is taxes) - but, in the US nobody "needs" to ride a motorcycle, much less an MV or Harley. It's a luxury and is the first thing to go south when the economy takes a shit. As I noted above, Harley sales have been off significantly for the last 5 yrs with Triumph being the only major manufacturer having any kind of gain in the US market. And if you think electric bikes are going to save the industry, think again. Didn't Chevy just get rid of the Volt?

I think part of the issue is that few of the manufacturers have entry level bikes with an entry level price. This is indicative of them all forgetting their roots. Even Ducati and MV had small 100-200cc ish bikes back in the day and this got them on the map and made the brand. No new rider is going to waltz in to a dealership and plop down $20k for an MV. If he can find a dealership in the first place, that is.
 

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No, the sky is not falling, but only because it already has. At least in the US. In 2008. Sales are little more than half of what they were but the real issue is the trend of the post 08 years - no significant growth. Motorcycling in Europe is a way of life - probably due to gas being $8/gallon (half of which is taxes) - but, in the US nobody "needs" to ride a motorcycle, much less an MV or Harley. It's a luxury and is the first thing to go south when the economy takes a shit. As I noted above, Harley sales have been off significantly for the last 5 yrs with Triumph being the only major manufacturer having any kind of gain in the US market. And if you think electric bikes are going to save the industry, think again. Didn't Chevy just get rid of the Volt?

I think part of the issue is that few of the manufacturers have entry level bikes with an entry level price. This is indicative of them all forgetting their roots. Even Ducati and MV had small 100-200cc ish bikes back in the day and this got them on the map and made the brand. No new rider is going to waltz in to a dealership and plop down $20k for an MV. If he can find a dealership in the first place, that is.

Rob the people who ride motorcycles in Europe is because they love them. For practical reasons, like saving money on gas(which you are very right, the prices are on another planet compared to the USA) or not getting stuck in jams(we all filter) or parking easiness, people buy scooters/three wheelers(which is unheard in the USA). Number of scooters sold are not included in the numbers I gave.

About electric motorcycles, first of all I despise them and secondly if solely enforced I believe they would be the end of motorcycling but that is another conversation.


I agree with you that prices keep young people/new riders away from motorcycles. There are other reasons of course like cultural swifts e.t.c
but I think affordability/desirability is a major obstacle. Over-regulation and policing of everything is another strong reason....but again a big subject.


By the way, what the fuck is Harley doing with their upcoming electric model??????????
Why?????
Get me out of this planet.....:banghead::banghead::banghead: :banghead::banghead:
 

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I agree with you that prices keep young people/new riders away from motorcycles. There are other reasons of course like cultural swifts e.t.c
but I think affordability/desirability is a major obstacle. Over-regulation and policing of everything is another strong reason....but again a big subject.
In europe we got stupid motorcycle license rules that "prevented" dead of young and new motorcycle riders

At age 18 you can get license A1 which equalls 25kw max power. Which you need to have a minimum of 2 years experience with before you can advance to license A2 which is 35kw max power.
Also again 2 years minimum to advance license A which is unrestricted power.

Or wait till you're 24 of age and you can instantly get license A.

The big BIG issue with these rules, everytime you advance to a higher license you need to re-do your driving test.
Which means atleast 2-7 hours of "training" at your riding school. And the additional 350,- price of examcosts.
So each and every advance costs at minimum 500,-
ALSO need to buy a new drivers license which tells you'd advance in class.

Thats a major turn off for new riders.

*BONUS SCAM*
Since July 2018, suddenly you can get drivers license A at age 18. BUT code A is applied which means you can ride a three wheeled vehicle for 2 years and suddenly its okay to step on a hayabusa.
To recap: you drive two years on a tricycle, and then you can hop onto a balancing vehicle.
AKA: MAKES 0 F'ING SENSE.
Welcome to Europe.

From my understanding, in USA you can buy any bike you want and do a couple of motorcycle control moves and if you succeed you have a license?
Also stupid to be honest.
(Correct me if im wrong about this)
 

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From my understanding, in USA you can buy any bike you want and do a couple of motorcycle control moves and if you succeed you have a license?
Also stupid to be honest.
(Correct me if im wrong about this)
No, You are quite correct.

At 16yo I had a 1977 Honda 750ss which was one of the most powerful bikes you could get back then.
 

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From my understanding, in USA you can buy any bike you want and do a couple of motorcycle control moves and if you succeed you have a license?
Also stupid to be honest.
(Correct me if im wrong about this)

I don't know how the licensing system goes, I'm not from the USA.

I am not against compulsory training but it has to be honest and of a high level. To foster freedom and not suppress it.

In most European countries it is more or less farcical. And in some cases you could call it a scam, yes.
 

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Looks like tomorrow is their last day. If anyone is going could they check to see if they have any MV banners or posters they could ship to me? I sent them a email but never got a reply.
 

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@Nesca
Yes, I agree and is what I meant when I said "motorcycling is a way of life" in Europe. It is not that way in the US.

The licensing requirements in the US are as follows: A pulse and positive blood pressure. And now, you can get one even if you're from out of town.

While I feel that the licensing levels in Europe have more to do with enabling the government to tax something over and over in the form of fees, I do agree that merely having blood pressure should not be the main factor in qualifying you to ride off on a 160hp sport bike. I will say that the good thing about the stepped training fees is that those who aren't serious about riding simply don't. I believe it costs $2000 in Germany to get a license to drive, and this includes some relatively serious training. So, once again, if you're not serious about driving, you don't. And the Autobahn, during the period when it had unlimited speed limits, had the lowest fatality rate in the world because only those who are serious were on it.

Motorcycling is dead in the US because people these days would rather play on their cell phones and feign getting their hands dirty or taking a physical risk.
 

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@Rob Caso.
I feel like I got scammed at my riding school.
My very first lesson was in extremely heavy rain. Started lightly and seriously increased from light to heavy to a major poor down. After that first ride he said to me; you're a born motorcycle rider.
In the end it took me over 4 months. Did succeed every exam in first go.

30lessons x50,-per hour =1500,-
1exam vehicle control x150,- =1650,-
1exam road riding x350,- =2000,- A2 license complete.

3lessons x55,-per hour =2175,-
1xexam road riding x350,- =2525,- A license complete.

Its a total scam from our european rules.

After I passed my exams and got my riders license he said, another person got his riders license in 15 lessons.
He was born to ride a motorcycle.
No my driving school knew I paid per lesson and he just flat out took advantage of that. But thats something my [email protected] figured out after I succeeded.

*ALSO*
At first he teached me to ride on the left side of the ridinglane in the path where the cars left wheels ride.(cleaner roades)
I start my BS lesson for A license, I do what he learned me to do and suddenly he says im wrong and need to ride in the center where all oils of cars drip.
Like wtf....?? At that moment I knew 100% he's after the money and throwing people off.

Had this awful Honda CB650F as lesson bike which clutch isnt adjustable, my hands to small to feather the clutch. Or letting out clutch last 0,5cm. So it jerks at the end.
Throttle sensitivity 10x as sensitive as an MV Agusta. And that says alot!
I said to him, buy some levers and give me and other people the change to adjust it to match their finger lenght. This is unrideable and plain dangerous is some situations.
It somehow was my fault. That f'ing @sshole xD


But im going off topic it seems. So ill stop and leave it at this.
Just wanted to point out, I'd rather get my license in USA and with common sense ride careful first couple years. Learn and adapt.
This is flatout BS, and will decrease new riders over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Yes, I know Mike, a fine person and mechanic... I will call him. Guzzi definitely stays in my garage, I love the gorgeous blue V7 III special...thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #32
All, thanks for interesting commentary. I am just back from 10 days in Colorado, my mother passed 12/31 and since then my life has been utterly disrupted. Frankly, I am exhausted with much more to do. I likely will drive down to Italian Superbikes today on their last day to at least shake Brian's hand. He did email me to say Rory, their premier mechanic --moved to Los Angeles, their other tech has decided to be a stay at home dad. Brian still will keep the MV diagnostic tools.

For now, I will keep my Brutale and seek an independent mechanic, and hope for MV to reopen in Houston. The Guzzi, I think, can be maintained by Mike Haven, MPH, former Guzzi dealer here in Houston.

I am decidedly not a mechanic at almost 65, and with many other demands on my life. Add in horrid summer heat/humidity, not-air-conditioned garage, and bifocals, well nope. I just want to ride. Have not fired a bike since before Christmas due to all the travel and just crap weather here on the Gulf Coast.

It has crossed my mind to trade the Brutale, with only 1200 miles, for a Ducati Monster 1200 S at the nearby mega dealer. Ducati seems to check all my boxes as far as weight, power, technology and seat height. I would take a bath though financially. But, I just inherited $$$ from my mother. But, I do love the MV, it is an amazing machine.
 

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Holy crap - I didn't know it was that expensive in Europe. When I was in high school a million years ago, they did put you through "driver training" - it was a joke in that it was way too easy, but at least it was something. Then you get a permit for like 90 days - ride/drive only during day and under supervision. Then you take the test for the license. None of it was that expensive as I remember but I seem to remember that I had to take a separate test for the bike. My real training came later in the form of a good (older) friend who had a BMW R75 (I had a new Honda 450) and who led me around day after day. He insisted that we ride in all conditions - cold, rain, whatever and beat on me if I did even the littlest thing wrong. He was a US Marine and was crazy in a good way. After about a month or two of this, he signed me off as being "ready and soon to die"!

Seems to me that, in a perfect world, there has to be a "happy medium" between cost and training. The US should have better training and you should have a different license if you want to ride something with a ton of HP - or at least force you to be trained on handling a bike like that. Nevertheless, somehow even after doing all the stupid things I have done on bikes, I have survived and still have all my fingers and toes.
 

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I started riding motorcycles around 14 years old mainly because of my father passion so I guess these days the passing from generation to another is starting to fade. On the other hand I start to see a lot of girls Riding even if it's small CC motorbikes.
Yes, giving more than 20.000 for a bike is now a luxury and taxed the same. For instance the annual tax on my bike is 3 times more than what I pay in my car not to mention insurance.
I believe it's not an US problem the lack of selling 1000 CC bike. Local dealers are struggling and if it wasn't the second hand market and scooters most of them would certainly close. Like mentioned perhaps lower CC bikes can be an option but again you don't see and certainly you don't want Ferrari making "affordable" cars.
On another note sorry to hear about your mother it certainly is a sad moments to end a year.
 

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All, thanks for interesting commentary. I am just back from 10 days in Colorado, my mother passed 12/31 and since then my life has been utterly disrupted. Frankly, I am exhausted with much more to do. I likely will drive down to Italian Superbikes today on their last day to at least shake Brian's hand. He did email me to say Rory, their premier mechanic --moved to Los Angeles, their other tech has decided to be a stay at home dad. Brian still will keep the MV diagnostic tools.

For now, I will keep my Brutale and seek an independent mechanic, and hope for MV to reopen in Houston. The Guzzi, I think, can be maintained by Mike Haven, MPH, former Guzzi dealer here in Houston.

I am decidedly not a mechanic at almost 65, and with many other demands on my life. Add in horrid summer heat/humidity, not-air-conditioned garage, and bifocals, well nope. I just want to ride. Have not fired a bike since before Christmas due to all the travel and just crap weather here on the Gulf Coast.

It has crossed my mind to trade the Brutale, with only 1200 miles, for a Ducati Monster 1200 S at the nearby mega dealer. Ducati seems to check all my boxes as far as weight, power, technology and seat height. I would take a bath though financially. But, I just inherited $$$ from my mother. But, I do love the MV, it is an amazing machine.
I was thinking about trading in the Brutale, but that might happen in a year or two because I'm looking at either a Mutlistrada 950S, F850 GS, or the V85TT so the wife and I can do trips together. If it doesn't end up being too hard to maintain or repair, I may end up getting a third bike.

The nice thing about the V7 is the ease of maintenance and it's pretty reliable, it's the bike that I think I'll keep the longest.

I contacted Moto Austin and they do not service MV's anymore. They told me to contact Monkey Moto out in Dallas.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Htx,

Totally agree on the small block Guzzi, this is my second one, and they are fantastically rugged. I will use Mike Haven of MPH for service as needed.

The MV, well I just don't know. What hacks me is paying a premium price, for an exotic bike, with 3 year warranty: and dealer goes under with zero warning. I traded my Triumph 675 Triple for the MV because Mancuso SW similarly dumped Triumph with no warning. So, I am going to give it some time. Come summer I may: a) sell the MV at a bargain price, b) try and trade MV for a similar sport bike, or c) ride it down to Hillcroft and Westheimer, leave it running with key in it and walk away. Someone may get a hell of a bike for a real low price. I am too old for this crap. And I have too many other things on my plate. I wonder if we could get all the Houston, TX MV owners together and slam MV - USA and Italy for a response on parts/mechanic and hopefully another dealer? Ideas?
 

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Here graph of US boat sales from 2000 to 2016:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/184637/retail-value-of-new-and-used-sterndrive-boat-sales-between-2000-and-2009/

Look familiar?

As was said above, motorcycles are a luxury in the US. Boats too. The similarity between the graphs can be explained by the availability of money. From 2000 to 2007 everybody was leveraging the bloated housing prices and refinancing. Then spending the windfall on stuff. Cars took a big hit after 2008 as well, but recovered. No surprise there. Cars are a necessity in most of the USA.

The interesting thing with the motorcycle chart is that the long-term trend continued after the 2000-2007 surge. So, dismal motorcycle sales is only true if today's sales are compared to the 2000-2007 anomaly.
 

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@lucydad
First off, sorry for your loss.
You might want to reach out to MonkeyMoto in Argyle Tx (up by Denton). They might be able to help on MV service.
 
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