|Royal Enfields remind us what motorcycles were like when we were young.|
"I seem to recall there was a thread regarding the number of relatively new Royal Enfields for sale with less than 2,000 miles. What I would like to read about or know about is why it seems there are so many for sale like that. What changes a buyer's mind after they buy it to the extent they no longer want it?"
I might be the wrong person to ask: I've had my Bullet for 12 years and 40,000 miles. But let's think about it.
First, I don't know for sure that a greater percentage of newish used Royal Enfields are available with low mileage than any other brand.
"How many total miles have you ridden your street motorcycle(s) in the past 12 months?" That's one question the Oregon Department of Transportation asked 835 motorcycle riders in a 2012 survey.
The mean number of miles Oregon motorcyclists claimed to ride: 3,708 miles a year. Thirty-four percent claimed to ride 1,000 miles or less a year.
That's going to create a lot of "relatively new" low mileage motorcycles of all brands.
I won't deny that Royal Enfields may be special. For instance, note this CraigsList ad in Charlotte, N.C. for a 2008 Bullet with 5,000 miles. The seller wrote:
"Purchased for my father at a local auction so that he could relive his childhood — he got over it fairly quickly."
Maybe that's it!
Royal Enfield in the U.S. is definitely a retro product, with powerful classic appeal. I think it's apparent that guys my age (63) who want to be reminded of motorcycles from the 1950s are slowing down. We don't ride as much as we used to; low mileage results.
And the aging population will affect every brand. In a 2010 study, J.D. Power and Associates reported that:
"The population of motorcycle buyers is aging, with the average rider age increasing from 40 to 49 years since 2001 — an indication that many owners may soon exit the market. Additionally, the percentage of first-time buyers has declined for a second consecutive year, making it more critical now than ever for manufacturers to focus on attracting new customers."
Royal Enfield is doing that. Its new models are improved in performance and ease of maintenance (same classic looks) and come in an ever wider array of models. Classic looks can appeal to young as well as older riders. And new excitement is coming, too, with the Continental GT cafe racer.