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The Enduring Appeal of Vintage-Style Motorcycles in a Modern World

The Enduring Appeal of Vintage-Style Motorcycles in a Modern World

Tristin Burdick | April 17, 2023

As fuel prices rise and transportation preferences evolve, a separate trend in the motorcycle industry has held strong: the modern vintage and retro motorcycle. A recent survey of over 500 respondents sheds light on the reasons behind the popularity of these bikes and the potential for the trend to endure in the long term.

The survey revealed that 89.2% of respondents were familiar with the modern vintage/retro motorcycle trend, with 42.8% having owned a bike fitting this category. Nostalgia played a significant role in purchasing decisions, with 46.3% of vintage bike owners citing as it having  "some factor" in their decision-making, while 28.3% citing it as a "major factor."

Popular brands among vintage bike owners include Honda, Triumph, and Harley-Davidson, with over 60% of respondents still owning a vintage motorcycle. The majority of owners reported using their bikes several times a week or month, indicating frequent usage despite the vintage aesthetic.

When asked about the likelihood of buying a modern vintage/retro motorcycle in the near future, 29.1% of respondents were neutral, while 23.1% were somewhat likely, and 6.5% were very likely.

The top reasons for considering a vintage bike purchase included the classic design (89.4%), simplicity (64.5%), and unique/distinct look (48.9%). Conversely, respondents who were unlikely to buy a vintage motorcycle preferred the technology, performance, and styling of modern bikes.

Interestingly, 62.5% of respondents indicated they would not be willing to pay a premium for a modern vintage/retro motorcycle compared to a similar modern bike. When comparing vintage motorcycles to modern ones, respondents rated vintage bikes better in design and style (53%) and fun and overall enjoyment (35%), but worse in long-distance riding (56.8%) and comfortability (30.6%).

The survey results indicate a potential long-term trend, with 47.8% of respondents believing the modern vintage/retro motorcycle trend is here to stay, while 29.4% consider it a passing fad, and 22.9% remain unsure.

Understanding the motivations behind the modern vintage motorcycle trend can provide valuable insights for businesses in the industry, allowing them to cater to consumer preferences and adapt to shifting market dynamics.

about the author

Tristin Burdick

Research Analyst, EPG Specialty Information

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