I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Motorcycle Facts,Trivia and History page has a lot of good info. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Is the End of Motorcycles Near?


For several years now I have seen more headlines and read more articles lamenting the end of motorcycling (as they see it).  Different authors and pundits point to a plethora of stats and demographic information to bolster their case.  Age of current riders, cost of ownership, declining sales, out of date image of a "biker," safety concerns and tightening regulations are just some of the "worrisome" signs for the motorcycle industry. 

However, as I continue to ride my experiences differ from many headlines on the topic of motorcycling.  My experiences; however, are not scientific in nature or method.  A little research on recent sales numbers shows positive growth in the market, although previous years had some declines.

There is a general push to attract younger riders.  Marketing for most motorcycle manufacturers is geared towards the 20-somethings and 30-somethings.  

Motorcycle Sales Chart 2018 

Autoweek stated in a July article, "Following an increasing trend in motorcycle sales and ridership started by the COVID-19 pandemic, motorcycle manufacturers are continuing to see record sales numbers in 2023."  

MotorcycleData.com reported a 1.1% increase in sales in the first 9 months of 2023.  Other publications and websites expressed similar statistics.  So what are we to believe?

I don't know, but I do know I enjoy greatly riding motorcycles, talking about motorcycles, writing about motorcycles, going to motorcycle charity events, watching motorcycle racing and most other motorcycle related things.

I do believe the more motorcyclists we have the healthier the entire industry will be.  A healthy motorcycle industry means more market competition, which means better pricing, better products and more options for consumers.  A larger and healthier motorcycle community also wields more clout in regards to regulations.

How Far Can You Lean a Motorcycle? (Max Lean Angle!) - Bike Restart
Experience the excitement of motorcycle racing

So I was thinking how can we in the motorcycle community help promote this sport, lifestyle, industry, mode of transportation, and community we love?  How can we create a win-win situation for all of us that are involved and connected to motorcycling?  

Motorcycle Humor – Humorous Motorcycle Short Stories

Below are ten ways I thought of to bolster motorcycling.  I am sure there are more and I would love to hear your ideas.

Ways to promote the wonderful world of motorcycles!

1) Ride - ride often, ride to any place, be seen having fun - just ride!

2) Assist and encourage new riders, especially on social media.  I have read too many post where someone's comments are sarcastic, unhelpful, mean or anything less than encouraging.  Why would someone want to be a part of that?  

3) Support local shops, stores and dealership.  This doesn't mean I don't order online at times, but I do make sure to buy some things locally.  I will also give them a chance to match the price.  If we lose local shops it hurts the biker community.

King of the Baggers set for European arrival with new M... | Visordown
600+ lb King of the Baggers on the race track!

4) Follow, watch and talk about the various motorcycle racing series. There is some great racing of all types of motorcycles.  Watch some of all and see what you like.   MotoGP, World Super Bikes, MotoAmerica, Supercross, Motocross, Flat Track just to name a few. (I know some require a subscription in order to watch so it's difficult to watch them all.)  The King of the Baggers  class in MotoAmerica is awesome to watch!  Search YouTube because some are free to watch there.

5) Support the sponsors of a race series - connect on social media, buy products and/or email companies and thank them for supporting motorcycle racing. 

6) Connect with riders and/or series on social media, this will increase a riders" or series' "value" to sponsors.

7) When possible attend a motorcycle event - rally, race, show, bike night...

8) Host a watch party for races.  For the past 8 years a good of friends and I have hosted MotoGP race watching at a local BBQ restaurant and plugged in the computer to the big TV and watched races that took place in Europe, Asia or other countries.   We invited others through social media and all gathered to watch even when it had taken place hours earlier.  It is fun and I met a lot of other riders and/or want to be riders.

Opening round of the 2023 season watch party at Rudy's Country Store

9) Increase knowledge and skill in order to keep yourself safe and to be prepared to give correct and safe information to less experienced riders.  Use layman terms when talking to a new or prospective rider.  Some riders talk down to new riders to show how much he/she knows.  Be encouraging, accepting and accurate, but use terms less experienced riders will understand.

Accepting and helping new riders is good for everyone.

10) Join a motorcycle/rider rights organization - American Motorcycle Association, Motorcycle Riders Foundation, ABATE to name a few.

I really believe when individuals see riders enjoying life, having fun, making meaningful contributions to the community, welcoming ALL riders and getting along regardless of different make and models those individuals will be drawn to motorcycling.  New riders will be good for the community.  

What ways do you see to help the motorcycling community?  How can we grow the sport/activity we love?  Add your thoughts in the comments.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Tennessee Motorcycle Roads!


After almost 61 years I have moved from Texas and now a home owner and resident in Pulaski, Tennessee..  Born to lifetime Texans on a 163 acre Texas farm I never had a serious plan to move out of state.  But love and life has me excited about our move to Tennessee.  With the intertwining history of the two states I found a lot of positive similarities between Texans and Tennesseans; the friendliness, helpfulness, the wave when vehicles pass on rural roads, the independent spirit and the love for freedom.  

The rolling hills, rivers and historic sites are all around Pulaski and Tennessee in general.  Northwest Alabama is just 20 minutes from the house, the Natchez Trace is about 45 minutes away and the foothills of the Smoky Mountains can be reached in 2 hours or so.

2017 BTH tour - riding the Tail of The Dragon.  VFR1200 was a fun bike - wrap by NovoWorks

As I begin planning future motorcycle routes I find myself getting excited about the rolling hills, the running streams and rivers, the Smoky Mountains, the historic sites, the twisty roads and the light traffic.  I also love finding the "out of the way" eateries. I am looking forward to planning, organizing and enjoying another Beat The Heat tour.  I am excited to return to many of the places I have ridden before and visiting many new places.


BTH group enjoyed riding The Rattler

All of the possibilities of great riding prompted me to reminisce about past rides, trips and tours involving riding in Tennessee and/or west North Carolina.  I reviewed previous blog posts about some of those rides and smiled.  Check out reports from previous Tennessee trips and/or rides.  

Leave me a comment with suggestions of roads, sites and/or restaurants I need to riding in the upcoming months.

One of my favorite roads - Wayah Road i.e. CO road 1399

Tail of the Dragon - of course! 

Cumberland Gap and Pinnacle Point

Cherohala Skyway

Wheels Through Time Museum

The Rattler  

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