Yes, Millennials Are Riding Harleys

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Harley-Davidson is doing just fine. Don’t believe fake news.

It seems like every day, there’s yet another article about how young people aren’t buying motorcycles, and how large motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson are struggling. This is not going to be one of those articles.

First off, let’s look at the hard facts: Yes, there have been ubiquitous reports that Harley-Davidson motorcycles and merchandise sales are down. And yes, H-D laid off some factory workers not too long ago. And to read any news report online, you’d think that things were looking pretty grim. But it really has everything to do with where you’re getting your news, because a little research goes to show that Harley’s sales are just fine, as evidenced here, and here, and here.


So, Harley is not doing so great, claims questionable headlines? That’s simply not the case. The reality of the situation is that Harley-Davidson is working hard to attract younger buyers, but younger buyers aren’t buying new bikes. Not yet, at least.

According to Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich (right), the used bike business at Harley-Dealerships across America is doing well. It makes sense. Harleys are expensive motorcycles, and to most millennials who are trying to get established in their lives, a brand-new motorcycle is simply not happening.


Harley-Davidson has been getting into the business of building riders, not just motorcycles.


In an interview with The Street, Levatich goes on to explain that Harley-Davidson has been hard at work building bikes that are more accessible in terms of rideability and price, and getting into the business of building riders, not just motorcycles.

It sounds like an abstract concept, but it makes total sense. When you have an iconic brand like Harley-Davidson, and a big part of your brand and its marketing is the lifestyle that surrounds your product, you have to make sure that you are working hard to attract the kind of buyer that you want. Harley-Davidson is getting better and better at this every year.


Millennials will buy new Harleys one day. Until then, keep scrolling past the negativity, and get out and ride.

Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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