Does the motorcycle industry need an image makeover?

The Motorcycle Industry Association offers a UK perspective on what is needed to secure this segment a place in the future mobility ecosystem. By Megan Lampinen

Motorcycles are much more than a mode of transportation; in many cases they are a way of life. Biker culture reflects a social community with common values and priorities.

Special report: Electric motorcycles

While motorcycles have been a big part of the mobility ecosystem in many emerging economies across Asia and southern Europe, in the UK the focus has been predominantly on large-capacity models used for leisure. Ask a group of people to describe the stereotypical biker in the UK and it’s more than likely they will all come up with a similar picture. While the tough white male noisily roaring down the highway clearly doesn’t apply to many users, it’s an image that has gained solid grounding over the decades.

But is it an image that can ensure motorcycles a place in the future mobility ecosystem? The pressure is on to clean up all forms of transport and emissions regulations are tightening. In the UK, for instance, the government is considering phasing out the sale of new fossil-fuelled motorbikes and mopeds by 2035, or even earlier for some vehicles. Electric motorcycles may prove a hard sell amid the established fan base.

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