Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gen Y Are Going All Harley!

People subject to stereotyping may think that I’m a typical Harley-Davidson rider since I’m nearly 63 years old even though I didn’t take up motorcycling until two years ago.img-9_html__98441_zoom

Even most H-D enthusiasts are under the out-dated impression that enthusiasts of this American icon are older and getting older.

Not so anymore.  Matt King, the editor of HOG magazine (Harley Owners Group,) writes this month that beginning in 2008, Harley-Davidson took over the top spot in sales of new bikes of all engine sizes to the age group 18-36, or Generation Y.

Harley-Davidson is more popular with Gen Y than it was even to Baby Boomers when they were that age based on total sales.  Signaling the power of the brand, 94% of Gen Y riders who start with previously-owned Harley’s indicate that when they buy a new bike, it will be a Harley-Davidson.  The next most popular brand appeals to 15%.

Now what about that cross-country on the Cross Bones that I keep toying with?  For inspiration, I’ve been reading about Bessie Stringfield, an African-American woman who made eight solo long distance rides in the ‘30s and ‘40s covering every state.  And that’s during a period when roads weren’t as safe, nor was much of the country for an African-American.

She rode, according to a brief by Charles Plueddeman in HOG, for 63 years, owning 27 Harley-Davidsons after she switched from the 1928 Indian Scout she learned to ride on at age 16.  Ms Stringfield died in 1993 at the age of 82.

I think I can do it…now about that Liberty sidecar so Mugs can come along, “pink” doggles and all???  Sweet!

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