This Summer, expect to see plenty of blazing motorcycles in Hollywood blockbusters like THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, LOCKOUT, and other films as Hollywood looks to add action to a number of hot films. And some companies such as Harley Davidson, Ducati, and others stand to profit from their wares being featured in top action films.
The motorcycle manufacturers can sure use this good publicity right now. Thanks to the ravages of the recession along with some more restrictive motorcycle licensing laws in some states, motorcycles have lost more than half of their sales since 2007. Sales fell from around 948,000 in 2007, to 441,000 last year. Although motorcycles often offer far better gas mileage than automobiles, along with far better performance, both the recession as well as government have managed to make motorcycles less appealing to buyers than automobiles, keeping fuel demand high, and only helping to boost gasoline to $4 a gallon levels as some oil companies choose to idle many of their oil wells in order to up profits. Overall oil production is currently less than 1985 for example, because oil companies have decided to idle so many of their oil wells to boost profits, despite a high demand for their oil.
Many consumers are wary of the safety of motorcycles, however the sale of some three-wheeled motorcycles have gained appeal in recent years. Some of the models offer more creature comfort than two wheeled models along with some important safety features. In one state, California, licensing views three-wheeled motorcycles much the same as an automobile, saving the rider the expense of rider education courses and other barriers to acquiring a license that government has thrown up to discourage motorcycle use by the public. Government seems to think that courses where riders ride around endlessly in a circle around some track gives them the experience needed to avoid accidents. Yet, this approach fails to note that most automobile drivers learn to drive on public streets with real world experiences in real traffic, with real world conditions such as having to stop and go, watch for pedestrians, and traffic control devices.
Hollywood may play a big role in revving up motorcycle sales this Summer if the brands want to pull out of their sales funk blues.