Motorcycles are a unique mode of transport that appeal to a wide range of people. Whether it’s the freedom of cruising the highway at high speeds, the camaraderie of group rides on weekends or the breathtaking vistas to be found off-pavement, motorcycles engage all your senses and create an exhilarating sense of liberation that is difficult to replicate in a car or truck.
There is a great deal of variety within the motorcycle market, with bikes designed for commuting, cruising, sport (including racing) and off-road riding. Motorcycle design varies from very basic to highly complex, and within these categories there is even more variation to suit specific purposes.
In addition, the motorcycling world is more diverse than ever before. Around 20 percent of all bike owners are women, a statistic that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. Many major manufacturers are making big investments in attracting female riders, and more women are joining the hobby and the sport.
Another interesting trend is the rise of small-displacement, full-sized motorcycles that are both appealing to new riders and a growing number of experienced riders who want to downsize. These 200-400cc machines, including the Kawasaki Ninja 400, KTM Duke 200 and BMW G310GS, all of which can be ridden with a lower-tier license, barely existed in the bigger-is-always-better American market just a few years ago. These smaller bikes are also fuel injected, and offer a more upright seating position. This is an excellent choice for a first motorcycle for a new rider or for experienced riders who are looking to downsize and save on both purchase cost and operating costs.