Top 5 Motorcycle Trends

Jan 5, 2022


Cruiser style motorcycle parked in Sedona, Arizona.

What motorcycle trends are popular today? If we stare into the proverbial crystal ball, here’s what we see happening in the motorcycle industry.

1. Rental Motorcycles in the Sharing Economy

Historically, renting a street bike has been an unnecessarily arduous and expensive process. Riders Share, hopes to simplify the experience with its easy peer-to-peer motorcycle rental service.

Riders Share functions as the middleman between would-be motorcycle renters and motorcycle owners. With thousands of street bikes available for rent, whether you're seeking a bike to ride for the day, or the week; renters can select the type of bike they desire, and the rate that best suits their budget.

For road bike owners, one of the benefits of renting your motorcycle with us is that we  automatically insure your steed during rentals. Personal motorcycle insurance usually excludes damage coverage, let’s say, if you rented your bike to a friend, or someone on Craigslist.

Here are some of the benefits of listing your motorcycle with us:

  • You control the rental rate and price
  • Listing a motorcycle is free and easy
  • Owners have total control over who can rent their vehicle
  • The owner automatically receives insurance through Riders Share’s insurance partner
  • Make extra money when you’re not riding your motorcycle

These are the benefits motorcycle renters receive:

  • Wide selection of motorcycles of all makes, models, and types
  • Lower rental prices—usually less than half of a traditional motorcycle rental company

2. More Women Are Riding Motorcycles 

The Motorcycle Industry Council's annual survey at the tail end of 2018 found that female motorcycle ownership has reached 19 percent. That’s nearly doubled in less than a decade! 

The demographic is refreshingly young, with 26 percent of lady riders between the ages of 24 and 38. 

Women also spend more on their machines, including routine maintenance, fresh motorcycle tires, accessories, and performance upgrades, on average, compared to men. Men spend around $497 on average, whereas women spend $574.

With the help of the Motorcycle Industry Council, motorcycle manufacturers are taking steps to recruit new riders through a number of youth programs. AMA Hall of Famer, Scot Harden’s Plus 1 Rider Initiative asks riders to encourage folks in their social circle to give motorcycling a shot. Harley-Davidson offers its Riding Academy New Rider Course and Learn To Ride programs, too, to help get more folks behind the handlebar.

3. The Year of the Adventure Super Off-Road

Millennials’ preference for purchasing used rather than new motorcycles and the advancing age of boomer motorcyclists has been vexing manufacturers for some time. Faced with turning around a decade-long sales slump in the United States, manufacturers are trying a number of bold moves.

Adventure bikes are popular these days with the heavyweight ADV rigs stealing sales from a number of other categories. In 2019, the overhauled BMW R 1250 GS Adventure will face competition from the more agile and less expensive KTM 790 Adventure and Moto Guzzi’s V85 TT. Yamaha also released an entry in the form of the $9,999 Ténéré 700. Triumph also offers its classically styled Scrambler 1200 XC and XE that perform very much like modern ADV bikes. Royal Enfield has entered the segment at the entry-level with its affordable Himalayan.

4. What Does the Future Hold for Electric Bikes?

Harley-Davidson was reeling from trade tariffs and remarks made by former President Donald Trump to boycott the brand, reportedly causing the manufacturer to suffer the worst drop in sales in eight years. 

With an aging customer base and used Harley prices at a fraction of a new model, the Bar & Shield brand has taken some bold strides to modernize, with a new focus on electric vehicles. 

Harley-Davidson is hoping to tap into a younger, more urban market with the release of the battery-powered LiveWire. It’s sold as being able to go from zero to sixty in 3.5 seconds with a range of 110 miles, but Harley’s loyal V-Twin audience may balk at its more quiet ride and limited range compared to a gasoline-powered bike.

The LiveWire includes a rake of connected tech we’re more used to seeing in high-end cars. You can remotely check the status of your LiveWire using an app and interact with the bike’s infotainment system via its 4.2-inch color touchscreen. However, it’s expensive ($29,799) - making it nearly as expensive as an entry-level Tesla Model 3 automobile. 

So LiveWire was spinned off as a standalone company and the price lowered to avoid tarnishin Harley's reputation as an expensive bike. With many other brands entering the market, we hope we'll soon see an electric motorcycle that actually gets the job done.

Other Manufacturers Joining the E-Bike Foray

Harley-Davidson is far from the only manufacturer working on all-electric bikes. Yamaha has the leaning Motoroid in the works, Zero Motorcycles range of e-bikes is seeing a boost in horsepower and range, and there’s even been an electric bike created entirely from 3D-printed parts.

5. Indian Motorcycle Continuing to Grow Its Model Lineup

With Harley-Davidson struggling on one side, another iconic name appears to be a phoenix from the flames. Indian Motorcycle sales grew in the last quarter of 2018 even as other large displacement motorcycle sales dropped 10 percent. Things are about to heat up even more with Indian offering a fresh model lineup.

What’s New at Indian Motorcycle

Many Indians now include a rear-cylinder deactivation to reduce engine heat at idle. Three way-adjustable ride-by-wire engine power modes allow you to tweak engine performance based on preference. The Roadmaster has new lower fairings that improve airflow. The Scout and Scout Bobber each gain a USB port near the speedo. Indian also made its FTR street tracker more road-friendly with a more conventional set of 17-inch wheels. Indian also redesigned its heavyweight Chief platform.

There you have it. With new ways to rent motorcycles, a more diverse riding demographic, and cool new motorcycle designs that include both retro and futuristic options, there’s never been a better time to get out and experience the thrill of two wheels.