Motorcycle Shows Attracting More Gen Y-ers


More young adults attended an International Motorcycle Show during the 2007-08 tour. Attendance was up 17 percent among show-goers ages 18 to 34, with Gen-Y constituting an impressive 30 percent of all attendees, according to Dave Scott, marketing director for the shows.

The 27th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows attracted just over 585,000 attendees during its 13-city run from October through February — relatively flat with attendance posted for the 2006-07 season. Demographic information is based on exit and other surveys, according to Scott.

The core audience remains in the 35-50 age range, making up nearly half of all attendees. Interestingly, 70 percent of show-goers were male (down from last season's 76 percent), with women making up the difference. Other stats:

  • 84 percent of attendees say they already own a powersports vehicle; 58 percent are motorcycle owners.
  • More than half said they plan to buy a motorcycle within the next 12 months.

Attendees completing surveys said they'd like the show to offer seminars on maintenance and even rider training. Many of the respondents noted the absence of certain vehicle brands. Although a tour record of 19 manufacturers (including first-timers Hyosung and KYMCO, and KTM after a five-year absence) participated in 2007-08, lovers of British iron were disappointed as Triumph elected not to participate in the tour for the third straight season. Previously, Triumph had exhibited in the shows for 10 years straight.

"We're going to actively pursue to get Triumph back, as well as some other OEMs that are not currently involved," says Jeff D'Entremont, show and business development director. On his target list for the 2008-09 season are BRP, Club Car, the newly purchased Husqvarna and "emerging market companies."

The International Motorcycle Shows are produced by Advanstar Communications, parent of Dealernews. — Arlo Redwine