The Rise and Fall of Sportbikes, Peter Jones | Bike Life | Cycle World

Passion is great but only if you can afford to do it.

via The Rise and Fall of Sportbikes, Peter Jones Bike Life | Cycle World

9 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of Sportbikes, Peter Jones | Bike Life | Cycle World

  1. Joe Rocheleau says:

    Fewer and fewer of today’s riders seem to be interested in motorcycle racing. All I see on the road are Big Bikes going in straight lines. And going no where , The biggest change I see is the age of the riders. They appear to be over 40yrs old. With a family and a good job. In the late 1950’s , when I started riding , almost every one was under 30yrs old and single. And every guy had an Old Car , that he had to fix when it broke down. That lead to making it go faster , adding custom items like Moon hub caps , Hollywood mufflers , etc. Street drag was in it’s hey day , from light to light. Motorcycle were one of the fastest things on the streets. And a little work made them faster. They also could out run the cops easily.
    But when a guy worked on his car or motorcycle it became HIS. Now days i am not sure if 80 to 90 % of the people under 30 yrs old could even find the cars Spare Tire , not to mention , change a flat tire. I guess they call Progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. johnnykillmore says:

      The average age of motorcycle owners actually ticked down for several years because of so many combat vets coming home, but it is ticking up again. To buy a new bike you usually need to be older and therefore more likely be married also. The cost of entry is so high these days, once you buy a motorcycle, good luck affording modifications. On top of that, the aftermarkets are so good that you can just bolt on your mods. I really don’t blame people younger than me for having less interest. Those who do find the interest, it seems to be with older bikes that you can still work on. With all the mid-sized bikes these as of late, maybe there will be a healthy used market in 10yrs for all the kids who are 10yrs old now? They aren’t easy to work on per se, but they will hopefully look like fun without all the hassle. Otherwise, why would a 20yr old want to put down the video game controller?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joe Rocheleau says:

        I often hear the phrase from the guy that are my age , 79 , give or take a few years. How lucky we were to have been born and grown up during the 50’s and 60’s. To be able to ride motorcycles during a time when things were taken SO serious. I rode with a club in Detroit where the cops would try to bust us for speeding or what ever. As soon as they would turn their siren and light , every body would turn down the nearest side street , or kick down 2 gears and speed away. Then meet back at the club house. All the cops knew who we were and where our club house was. But they never came there looking for us. On Saturday many of us would meet a the HD dealer in down town Detroit. we would hold drag races on the freeway out front of the HD dealer’s shop. Their were always Detroit cops hanging out their. when a race was about to be run , every one , including the cops would go to the fence and watch the race. Then go back into the shop. When the 2 guys got back to the shop , every one gather around an talk about it , including the cops. No tickets or arrests.
        Hi Johnny , i just got in writing mood.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. renowels says:

    I think racing naked bikes in a national series is a bad idea. Better to promote the one bike to rule them all side of the playground. This approach also enhanced development of third party accessory market. Luggage and bling.
    Think adventure bikes.


    1. johnnykillmore says:

      I disagree. Motorsport is competitive, and motorcycle racing is OEM driven. People want to see the bikes they ride in battle. Superbikes are supposed to lift the performance from A to B, but if A is already stratospheric, it’s meaningless. Superbike and Superstock already run similar laptimes. While a one-bike series can work (XR1200’s, Thruxton Cup), OEM involvement is important to bring contingency and innovation. The aftermarket will build parts for a one-bike or milti-brand series. This is what they did all through the 80’s and 90’s; it’s where Yoshimura and Graves and Erion came from. Erion built up a Honda Hawk. It was a bike that actually needed upgrades… upgrades people would buy for their street bike.

      If only a racer wants to buy your parts, you have a very limited market.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. renowels says:

        From my perspective not many care about motorcycle racing in the US. Judged by that flat track race more people there were interested in the bar offerings than the track action. And there none of those bikes were much like what the few that rode there, rode there.


      2. johnnykillmore says:

        Well, the stands are def more full back east, Midwest, etc. In fact, hooligan racing is a huge crowd draw. Partly I bet it’s for the chaos, but I think seeing oddball assortments if bikes has a lot to do with it. Fact is, fans care less about lap times and more about entertainmment. Just look at NASCAR vs Indy.


      3. renowels says:

        I agree the several similar classes make racing to the casual fan confusing. Then there is the cost of the replica. When I was fantasising about the next bike I looked at Ducati, MV and Aprilia. Yes I know. But the Japanese bikes had nothing but performance to offer. Their souls were empty cardboard cutouts to me. I would still stop dead in my
        Tracks at the site of a 916SSP. A 998 would be tempting even now in my dotage. That is a thought even now with my impending lack of commuter need. Thruxtons use those stupid 18″ wheels.

        Liked by 1 person

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