Trikes And Trailers
Well, we’ve all returned from Sturgis and it’s back to office life once again. Sturgis is always a great getaway because there is so much to do. Great riding, numerous musical acts, great bike shows, lots of parts and accessories to peruse, and awesome people-watching. One of my favorite things to do while in Sturgis is to find a spot on Main Street or Lazelle Street and just kick back for a few hours shooting pictures and observing. I usually find that I could spend all day in one spot just watching people walk or ride by and interact with one another; but I have to restrain myself because there is plenty of work to do while in Sturgis as well.
This past year I spent about two hours hanging out at Middle Street and Lazelle Street, across from the Broken Spoke Saloon downtown location, just relaxing and taking in the event. As I sat there watching the vibrant scenery pass in front of me I noticed something, there seemed to be a lot of trikes and trailers passing back and forth. Sometimes it was a trike, sometimes its was a bagger pulling a trailer, and other times it was a trike pulling a trailer. Once I keyed in on these two objects, it seemed like everywhere I looked I saw either a trike, a trailer, or both.
We all know that the popularity of baggers has really exploded over the past few years, which caused us to create Baggers magazine. More recently we have seen an influx of trikes come into the market and onto the streets that inspired the creation of our newest sister publication American Trike, which was started this past year as a newsstand-only magazine. Now I am not saying that we are going to start a motorcycle trailer magazine, but I do like this new trend that seems to be developing.
Motorcycle trailers come in all shapes and forms. I’ve seen everything from a simple homemade flatbed unit made out of small utility trailer and a flat sheet of plywood, to more extravagant and much more expensive popup tent trailers. No matter what the size, shape, overall appearance, or price of a trailer may be, I see trailers as a positive indicator for our industry.
To me the rise of motorcycle trailers means a couple things. First and foremost it means that people are looking to spend more time in the seat of their motorcycle and wish to carry more clothing, camping, and personal items with them to make a long road trip that much more enjoyable. Maybe before owning a trailer Joe and Josephine Motorcyclist would only spend four or five days on their bike with it loaded to the max with camping gear and an overstuffed travel bag. However, after purchasing a trailer they now find they can spend two or maybe three weeks comfortably on the road. More time on the road essentially means more billable maintenance hours for shops and/or more money being spent at shops on consumables like tires, oils, and filters. The other positive thing I see is, with more trailers on the road, more people who don’t have a trailer will probably want one. And just like the parts and accessories market for baggers exploded as more and more people made the switch, I think the same could happen for the trailer industry. If the popularity of trailers continues to rise it could inspire more trailer manufactures to enter the industry as well as possibly increase the number of companies making parts and accessories to trick trailers out and make them handle/perform better. While it might not add up to a ton of money for shops, dealerships, or manufacturers, at least there’s the potential for more money to flow into our industry and possibly create a few more jobs.
Now I know there are a ton of people out there who have spent weeks if not months on their bikes with nothing more than a travel bag, tent, sleeping bag, a few days worth of clothes, and a handful of bungee cords. And these guys probably think motorcycle trailers are ridiculous and a waste of money. While I have never owned, ridden with, or felt the need for a trailer, I view them in the same light as trikes. At this point in my life, I personally don’t feel the need or desire to own one. But if owning a trike or trailer or both, will prevent people from hanging up the keys and keep them in the saddle, while spurring some life into this industry’s economy, then it’s all good.
Until next time,