In March, 2020, most U.S. states went into lockdown in response to climbing COVID-19 cases. From automobiles to hospitality and travel, countless industries experienced major slowdowns during this period—motorcycles were no exception. However, a lot has changed in the past four months, and while it feels like a millennia ago, some sectors are coping with the new normal.
Riding season in full swing, less cars on the roadways, and motorcycle sales are making a strong comeback this summer. Manufacturers like BMW are quickly returning to pre-pandemic figures and track days and motorcycle classes are booking up fast. While the data clearly represents the motorcycle community’s ardent return to the saddle, we have to ask: why? Why are so many motorcyclists willing to invest in new bikes amid a global pandemic?
There are two prevalent schools of thought in this post-COVID world: conserve and splurge. For me, these two opposing approaches aren’t absolutes. I tend to oscillate between the poles during this uncertain time. At the beginning of the outbreaks, I went into conservation mode. No, that doesn’t mean I hoarded toilet paper, but it does mean that I was very cautious with my spending.
As time went on, I began to loosen the reins on my wallet. I bought more protective riding gear. I invested in my toolbox and started maintaining my own bike. Yes, the virus continued to spread, but as a motorcyclist, I could carry on with my hobby in a socially responsible way. By the time June rolled around, I was at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and buying a new bike.
As the recent sales numbers illustrated, a lot of people were in the same place as me last month. Unlike the automotive industry that continues to struggle during the pandemic, you can make a case for motorcycles being safer in this new world. With less traffic, those on the fence are giving motorcycling another look, and with social distancing mandates benefitting existing riders, we’re not waiting to buy our dream bikes (I know I didn’t).
From personal hygiene to life priorities, this pandemic is teaching us a lot of valuable lessons. For me—and many others—we sure took one lesson away. Life’s short, buy the bike.