Tristin Burdick | February 5, 2024
This past winter, things felt a bit off, especially for those living up north. Imagine jogging in a T-shirt in Minnesota during December – Yes, people did that. It sounds crazy but given the unusually warm weather we had; it was the new norm. Even Minneapolis hit a record high of 54 degrees on Christmas Day – that’s something you don’t see often.
Down south, it was a different story. Winter felt more like a rainy season. According to climate.gov, drought conditions were getting better across the southeast, the Gulf Coast, and Texas, thanks to a lot of rain. Even Florida got more rain than usual for this time of the year.
It seems like everyone around the country had a different kind of holiday season because of the weather. With 2023 winter being so out of the ordinary, we decided to do a survey among powersports enthusiasts to get a better idea of how everyone's holidays went.
Family Was a Big Focus Over the Holidays
Unsurprisingly, spending time with family was a big component that all riders shared over the holidays. Whether it’s hosting a large get-together or going over to a family member’s house, family was at the center.
Riding a powersports vehicle didn’t take a back seat during the holidays either. 41% of riders indicated that they were actively riding their powersports vehicles. You would suspect snowmobiles would top the list. But, in fact motorcycles were the most ridden vehicle from our sample. Yes, motorcycles, traditionally not a winter vehicle, were ridden more often than snowmobiles during this period.
The frequency of riding varied, with 27% riding just once, 44% riding 2-3 times, and 29% riding more than three times during the holiday period – indicating a range of engagement levels and seizing the opportunity to ride in a warmer winter.
The holidays are a time for being with family and friends, sharing stories, and exchanging gifts. The approximate average amount spent, on all holiday expenditures, from powersports enthusiasts, was $1035. This is higher than the total average amount spent in the US during the same period, at $875. This aligns with our expectations. Based on our research, powersports consumers skew older in age and income, accumulate a higher net worth on average, and are more likely to own property.
Purchasing gifts for themselves or others was the biggest spending category for most (discussed in the next section). Followed by food and beverages, which was the second most popular spending category – given the fact that many people are spending time with their family and hosting people over for the holidays. Travel expenses were third, since people need to travel to the places where family gathering are taking place.
A sizable 43% of powersports consumers had indicated that they purchased powersports-related gifts for themselves or for others, intertwining their passion for powersports and gift giving.
Specifically, spending on powersports-related gifts fell into one of three main categories: accessories (54%), apparel (48%), and maintenance supplies (47%). These selected categories represent a practical approach to gifting, where the gifts functionally enhance the riding experience and a continued commitment to the sport. Most of these purchases fell within the $100-$500 price range.
Interestingly, only 21% of respondents reported receiving powersports-related gifts from others, pointing to a potential gap between what enthusiasts are giving and receiving. This might suggest that while they are keen to share their passion through gifting, their broader circle of family and friends might not always mirror this interest in their gift choices.
The final layer of insights from our research unveils the personal and memorable moments experienced by enthusiasts. These stories offer a glimpse into the joys and unique experiences they’ve had over the holidays.
One respondent recounted the thrill of "motorcycle rides while everyone else was shopping," illustrating that they enjoy being out on the open road while everyone else was stumbling over each other to purchase last minute gifts.
Another heartwarming story involved a touch of humor and love: a girlfriend buying her partner a broom "to clean up the garage after working on my motorcycle." This anecdote not only showcases the supportive and understanding nature of relationships within the powersports community but also the integration of their hobby into everyday life and relationships.
A different respondent shared a more traditional holiday moment, "watching the Seahawks and Eagles game with my son." This emphasized the importance of family time and shared interests, showing that beyond their love for powersports, these enthusiasts cherish simple, quality moments with loved ones.
A common theme throughout these stories is the blending of powersports with family, laughter, and making memories. Whether it’s through shared rides, gifts that acknowledge and support their passion, or simply enjoying a game together, these experiences reflect the diverse and rich ways in which powersports enthusiasts celebrate the holidays.