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Thread: Why Isn't This More Important?

  1. #1

    Why Isn't This More Important?

    At breakfast this morning I was discussing the future of the classic motorcycle sport and we both had to wonder why more people are not doing anything to encourage new, younger riders to get involved.

    Think about it, if the average age of classic bike owners increases a year every year, eventually we will all be too old to ride or even kick these bikes over. Then what? They turn into worthless rusty piles of junk. And that would be a shame.

    So, let's all think about what we can do to encourage newer riders to appreciate older bikes.
    Buzz Kanter
    American Iron Magazine Harley forum
    American Iron Magazine Digital Delivery

    "It is always fascinating to watch the development of rationalizations for an argument"


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  3. #3
    I wasn't interested in old bikes when I was a kid. It is still only part of my interest in bikes. We grew up in a throw away society. Now that things are running out, maybe there will be some kind of return to an interest in recycled old stuff. Maybe we ought to not worry about it and enjoy the club the way it is.
    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Greensboro, NC-USA
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    543
    I am doing my best to encourage my 19 year old son to become a 4th generation Indian rider. When in the shop, he seems to gravitate towards my wife's Buell though. He does love the old bikes and enjoys looking at the family photo's. I think the pressures of academia currently are in the forefront of his worries currently, which in itself is not a bad thing. Right now, he makes $8.75 per hour in the cafeteria at school, and he is lucky to afford gasoline for his car and insurance. I plan to leave him my bikes if he is so inclined when I die. I think the reason the age group of the owners is increasing Buzz, is that as we age we have more disposable income the older we get. I have always messed with em, but the price of stuff is increasing everyday. I would have been hard pressed to justify some of the expense when my kids were at home. Just my .02.
    I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure - Clarence Darrow

    "All that a fella has to do, is ride into that Union Camp, raise his right hand and swear as such that you'll be loyal to the United States, and he can take up his horse again, and go home." Yeah, Right...

    1947 Indian Chief
    2012 Indian Chief

  5. #5

    Talking

    There will always be those who are enthusiastic about the old bikes and those who are not......young or old. Absoutely right that you can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink. But you can show them how if they don't know. What I mean by that is that I think one of the turn offs to the antique bike scene and a huge hurdle for those who are interested in getting into it, is the difficulty getting the knowledge and the guidance necessary to care for these old bikes and keep them running. Whats expensive is knowing nothing and paying someone who does to do everything for you.

    You can read books and study the manual, but you have to have guidance from someone who knows these bikes - folks like all of you in here - teachers -- to really get through this stuff and learn it. You can't pick up an accounting textbook and learn accounting just by reading it....you need a teacher. If we somehow make it easier (through forums like this etc) I think you get more people interested. I got into old bikes because my dad had them, we rode them together, and he left them behind when he died. I did get to a point when I said the hell with it, and bought a '97 dyna so I didnt have to deal with all the issues related to the old bikes. It got too frustrating not knowing what I was doing and I couldn't get the practical knowledge just buy reading the book. I was a little younger then and honestly, too intimidated to ask the "dumb" questions. I have gotten back into it in the last several years and now much prefer riding the old pans to my '97 dyna. If you ask me why, a big part of the answer is that I have accumulated enough knowledge, that I can do a lot of the maintenance and upkeep myself now. That is very rewarding and it gives you confidence when you hit the road.

    That said, there is still a lot I don't know. Like how to take apart the rear brake on my '58.

  6. #6
    Taking stuff apart is easy, it's getting it back together correctly that can be a challenge. I remember when I was a kid, I'd sit on my dads dirt bikes, shifting thru the gears, pretending to race an imaginary rider, I knew how to ride before I ever left the garage, The old man worried that I had no fear. Respect for the machine was something experience taught me, and the value of safety equipment became obvious. But my boys could care less for motorcycles, even with a garage full they have shown no interest, I guess modern dav computers an video games have replaced thrill of flying thru the air on two wheels with splattering mummies into red droplets with a shotgun....Mike
    64 Duo-Glide

  7. #7
    my girlfriends 13 year old is a great kid but would rather play video games on a nice day then get in the garage. i'm gonna be moving my panhds over to her place in the spring so maybe if he thiks there "cool" enough he mite take an interest. i jus got him a subscription to rod and custom hoping he mite dig the old cars. you gotta be dressed like a pwer ranger for kids to want to ride a scoot usualy.

  8. #8
    rockstar Guest

    Here's an idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz_Kanter View Post
    At breakfast this morning I was discussing the future of the classic motorcycle sport and we both had to wonder why more people are not doing anything to encourage new, younger riders to get involved.

    Think about it, if the average age of classic bike owners increases a year every year, eventually we will all be too old to ride or even kick these bikes over. Then what? They turn into worthless rusty piles of junk. And that would be a shame.

    So, let's all think about what we can do to encourage newer riders to appreciate older bikes.
    Try taking all your antiques to the park and have a "Kiddies Day". Start 'em off young....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
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    15,170
    I grew up on a farm, rebuilt my first engine at age 17. It was a 216 Chev 6-banger Babbit-Beater that was in a the '50 Sedan Delivery I had. (Ohhh, to have THAT one agian!)
    From then on, I always had grease under my fingernails. I have one son, he's 23 now, and I don't know how in the world I raised a son that was never interested in old cars, trucks, motorcycles, or mechanicking on anything. I never forced anything on him, I let him decide on his own what his interests were, but I exposed him to (almost) everything in my world.
    Oh yeah, he thinks Harleys are cool, but he just never got into it. Not yet, anyway. I was 22 before I got my first Harley.
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  10. #10
    This month I turn 32. I got my first Harley in 2005. in 2006 I bought my father in laws 1979 FXS for my wife. I suppose thats what really got me going on the older stuff. I don't know how to get others interested, but it sure is an expensive hobby. It seems that people will pay money for the affordable stuff, and when you can spend a few grand on an evo that runs forever, or double the price and work your ass off to keep one on the road...well it seems simple. (if you are new to all this)

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