Harley-Davidson sales are suffering because ‘Millennials don’t like motorcycles’

US Market analyst downgrades Harley-Davidson after research predicts ‘negative growth’ in bike sales over the next five years.

Whilst motorcycle sales at Harley have fallen by a relatively small 1.6 percent so far in 2017 when compared to the same time in 2016, American analysts Alliance Bernstein have downgraded their rating of the company from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform’.

And they’re blaming the ‘millennial generation’ as a key factor in the downturn of the company’s fortunes,

“Our data suggests the younger Gen Y population is adopting motorcycling at a far lower rate than prior generations.

Gen Y’s are ageing into the important ‘pre-family’ cohort of riders and Boomers are increasingly handing over their keys to the smaller Gen X population.”

Simply put, the children of the 2000’s and beyond have grown up primarily during times of recession and these 18-35 year olds have learnt to not spend their money on things that aren’t deemed ‘essential’.

So whereas the previous Generation X’ers and the Baby Boomers used to ‘live to ride’ and took up two-wheels as a ‘lifestyle’ choice, the desire to continue in their elder’s footsteps has been negated by the struggles that they’ve seen their families have to cope with in these financially difficult times.

In a report on the analyst’s prediction, CNBC say that ‘since Alliance Bernstein’s initiation 10 months ago, new bike sales have persistently missed due to demographic shifts. Declines in pre-family (ages 25-35) and post-family (ages 45-70) cohorts show millennials, the largest age group outside of boomers, have little interest in riding motorcycles.’


It’s no secret that sales of motorcycles across Europe and the US have been sliding and in regions outside of India or Southeast Asia that decline does appear to be significant enough to cause concern across all of the major manufacturers.

But could this really be down to the lack of interest from millennials? With the age of riders across Europe and the US rising and with a dearth of younger riders coming through the test and license centres in these same regions, there might just be something in that theory, and it’s not just limited to heritage brands such as Harley.

Source: CNBC



  1. Avatar

    அருண் இராசு

    July 16, 2017 at 19:12

    Signalling and preparing the mindset to end the combustion engine era.

  2. Avatar

    Frank Hart

    July 16, 2017 at 20:09

    Millennials, in fact, do not like bikes. This is accurate.

  3. Avatar

    Ronald Mason

    July 16, 2017 at 20:10

    A would have said it’s cos ppl waking up to how rubbish there bikes are jeez they still use a rubber band to make them go

  4. Avatar

    George Winter

    July 16, 2017 at 21:29

    I have several millennial nephews and godsons and they all love bikes.
    They talk to me all the time about BMWs, KTMs, Aprilias, Ducatis, Triumphs, Hondas, Yamahas, etc.
    They just don’t relate with loud, shiny, underperforming, overpriced hunks of junk.

  5. Avatar

    Ronald Mason

    July 16, 2017 at 21:56

    Rubbish Frank Hart a no loads kids who into bikes a see them at race meets all! The time

  6. Avatar

    Rhodri Adams

    July 16, 2017 at 22:34

    yeah it’s got to be because they “don’t like bikes” nothing to do with the fact that they are over priced and total garbage nice one

  7. Avatar

    Chris Goodman

    July 16, 2017 at 23:47

    Jay Jose

  8. Avatar

    Roy Clonch Jr.

    July 17, 2017 at 01:51

    Who wants to ride a hd anyways

  9. Avatar

    Timothy Corbeil

    July 17, 2017 at 05:46

    harlys suck.

  10. Avatar


    July 17, 2017 at 07:49

    This is what lack of innovation and overpricing across the board does to a market.

  11. Avatar

    Rick Shaffer

    July 17, 2017 at 10:48

    Probably because they each have a quarter million in student debt.

  12. Avatar

    Lone Kelsey

    July 17, 2017 at 10:51

    René Quottrup read the comments

  13. Avatar

    Alexander Rodi

    July 17, 2017 at 13:56

    I love bikes, I just want to get what I pay for. It isnt my fault they cant change with the times.

  14. Avatar


    July 17, 2017 at 14:26

    Fair point.

  15. Avatar

    Jason Channell

    July 17, 2017 at 19:30

    No, we just don’t like Harleys.

  16. Avatar

    Go Coffee Energy

    July 17, 2017 at 19:57

    Ya! Can’t live life…and live on social media!

  17. Avatar


    July 18, 2017 at 04:49

    No, it is the mass of population in huge gridlocked urban/suburban sprawl, it is no fun to ride anym…

  18. Avatar


    July 18, 2017 at 09:15


  19. Avatar


    July 18, 2017 at 09:15

    Possibly :)

  20. Avatar

    bill thomas

    July 18, 2017 at 20:51

    I love motorcycles and the guys I hang with do too, but not one rides a Harley or would ride one. Not me for sure.

  21. Avatar

    Coinneach Shanks

    July 19, 2017 at 09:34

    Perhaps they are afraid.

  22. Avatar

    Jay Benj

    July 20, 2017 at 06:55

    Not in my neighbourhood, but I am in Canada

  23. Avatar

    Jon Jones

    July 23, 2017 at 17:19

    I’m OK with this.

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