The question of whether motorcycles are created for transportation, recreation or sport has been going on for some time now. Motorcycle power house companies like the Japanese big four including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki have taken a close look at this question. The answer is not simple due to the fact the majority of a motorcycle community’s purpose of owning a motorcycle changes so drastically based off their location. Nonetheless this question must be answered why do people own a motorcycle is it for sport, recreation or transportation?
In developing nations motorcycles are used more for transportation due to the affordability compared to cars. They are great on gas cheaper to insure in most cases and simpler to work on compared to four wheeled vehicles. It is not uncommon to see someone strap any aluminum trailer storage box on their rear fender and use it to carry all kinds of luggage. If the majority of motorcycle riders in developing nations own these vehicles as an affordable means of transportation why do people in developed nations own them?
Win on Sunday sell on Monday, this is an old saying in the motorcycle industry meaning if a bike wins a race the sales to the public market will increase. There are many people who believe this is not true saying winning races does not increase sales. The people who do believe in this are motorcycle manufactures. Factory sponsored teams cost motorcycle manufactures countless in time and dollars. With AMA flat track racing that has factory Japanese American and European factory teams or the Grand Prix motorcycle racing that show cases some of the most powerful two wheeled machines in the world which all have factory teams. Catch slogans from KTM saying ‘ready to race’ has always been a selling point for motorcycles. For the majority of riders finding ourselves competing with some of the best racers on a flat track, MX jumps or at the Isle of Man is very unlikely.
This is okay we are happy to just hit to road trying our best to stay safe not get speeding ticks and have a good time with friends. Options are still necessary for motorcycle manufactures to survive. There is still a market of people who want something that resembles these professional factory racing motorcycles. Indian Motorcycle Company recently came out with the FTR 1200 this bike is a street legal vision of the pro flat tract FTR 750. Honda has also dipped its nose into this market coming out with the CRF 450L this is an on and off road dual sport that takes after the CRF 450r. These bikes are so influential due to the fact American motorcycle companies are known for their conservatism creating mostly cruisers in recent years. For Honda being the only current Japanese motorcycle pushing out 450cc dual sports. Before this the European manufactures were the most well-known for doing so.
Motorcycles can be used for recreation, sport and transportation. It all depends on the needs of the individual. This is a great thing for all of us because it gives us options. Motorcycle companies do their best to dominate pockets of the market or the market as a hole. This allows us to experience the latest and greatest at a more affordable cost.