Scooter Dealers Hutchinson KS
South Hutchinson, KS
Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki
South Hutchinson, KS
Shawnee Mission, KS
Scooters & Trikes
Although they both appeared a half century ago, two old products are new concepts again. Both are aimed at the extremes of the powersports industry the extremes in this case relate to the age of the prospective riders rather than the X Games. One market takes aim at the very young, the other, dare I say, is intended for older riders.
So what are these extreme products? Scooters and trikes! Huh? Bear with me.
Take a look at scooters first. That market has already shown explosive growth. The youth market is where brand loyalty is born. To that end, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha have been nurturing the scooter market aggressively, while the Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese OEMs have been coming on strong (did you catch last month's MPN ?). Until recently most have had small engines, though we are now seeing scooters in the 500cc range from companies like KYMCO. Meanwhile their ads saturate the trade magazines as they attempt to entice dealers to carry their brand.
Why the renewed interest in the scooter market? Several reasons: First, the price of gasoline is never going to be as low as it was just a few short years ago. Scooters are, if nothing else, very fuel efficient. Next, today's scooter buyer covers several generations of riders, with the latest being the Echo Generation. This segment cares little about products with a "made in the USA" badge and even less about the macho posturing of big bike riders they are looking for cheap transportation.
Scooters have always had some level of acceptance in college towns. That acceptance has continued to spread as traffic gets ever heavier. Parking a car or big bike can also be quite a challenge in major cities. Parking a scooter is much less so.
There is a bit of a cross-over with large displacement scooters and motorcycles. In fact, with Suzuki's new Burgman pushing 650ccs, it's getting harder to tell them apart in some instances. One advantage luxo scooters seem to have is storage capacity. Because of the difference in design, scooters can have huge storage bins under the seat. Many boast the ability to hold two full-face helmets.
Obviously there's an advantage relating to price, too. Only time will tell if the value of a used scooter will rival the value of a used motorcycle, but in the short term it is affordable transportation. Lastly, parents seem less reluctant to have their young, impressionable offspring riding a scooter than a motorcycle.
Now let's look at the other new market niche: Trikes. These three-wheeled vehicles have been with us for more than a half century. Remember the Servicar? Harley-Davidson made a 45-inch V-Twin trike used for delivery and police vehicles for decades.
A few years ago, Polaris struck an agreement with Lehman Trikes to produce a Victory-based trike. Lehman has been producing quality trikes for Harley's big twins and Sportsters as well as Honda Gold Wings and several Suzuki models. The Canadian company recently ann...