It’s not a secret that the traditional motorcycle industry was too focused on selling bigger, faster and more expensive machines. A lack of general interest in riding was created these past years. I am referring here to a report from former Indian Motorcycle executive Robert Pandya who published the report Give a Shift. A roundtable discussion based on a written survey and a two-hour discussion with 25 influencers (the complete rapport can be found here).
This is a short brief of the panel’s conclusions:
- Sales are falling in most places
- Babyboomers (°1947-1964), the most loyal motorcycle consumers, are becoming older
- The industry ignored and underestimated female ridership
- The old dealership model must change to a new retail experience
- What about autonomous vehicles versus individual motorcyclists?
Who can bring us future motorcyclists?
Today I visited “De Vroemfabriek” in Edegem, Belgium. De Vroemfabriek is an indoor offroad center with electric motorbikes suitable for children from 4 years. In a safe, fun and uncompetitive way, this offroad parc brings young riders (under supervision) in contact with electric motorcycles in different sizes for every age.
I spoke with Sebastian & Alain, owners of De Vroemfabriek:
“For these kids it’s their first acquaintance with a motorcycle – they don’t think traditional or electric. They think “motorbike” … and it’s their motorbike for 2 rounds or more and every lap is an adventure. In our center, on the indoor and outdoor track, we learn these children how to sit properly on a motorbike, how to look and to ride … and to look out for each other. This is completely back to basics and these kids are the clients of today … and for the future.”
“We admit, we are dealing here with a public, who wants a pleasant afternoon but there are a lot of parents who ask a lot of questions about the possibilities of offroad riding for youngsters.”
This could be interesting for specific brands to have more exposure in these offroad centers. I can imagine that there must be creative possibilities to work together. I already shouted out for electric centers some months ago … I am certain that these parcs could offer a new retail solution in cooperation with local dealer(s). And I can imagine that you can build a road track as well in an old industrial factory …
European offroad centers
These offroad centers are popping up, not only in Belgium but we also visited one in The Netherlands – Electrocross.nl – and they are opening a second offroad park in Amsterdam on 22/04/2018. A few days ago, we wrote about the initiative from Rusty Griffiths with Motorfamily Electric Racing (South Gloucestershire – UK). We have mentioned earlier on this website Hyper Trax Indoor Electric Bike Arena (East Kilbride – Scotland) with a safe track for kids (you can find all the links here below) and recently we got a message from Elec-Trick Blitz who offers 1 to 1 coaching and group coaching on their electric Kuberg motorcycles.
These initiatives must be encouraged!
De Vroemfabriek: from 4 years
Motorfamily Electric Racing: from 4 years
Hypertrax: from 5 years
Elec-Trick Blitz: from 5 years
Electrocross: from 6 years