What Will Be Trending In 2015


It’s that time of year when people like to make predictions for the coming year. Truth is that those forecasts, including mine, often describe what has already started to happen over the past year. Easier to see more in a rear-view mirror than inside a crystal ball. Below the market trends that I see appearing or becoming more visible in 2015. And they are all positive for our beloved custom motorcycle industry.

chppredictionsxs11- Custom Motorcycles. What Is Trending. Taking a factory motorcycle and making it your own or building one from the ground up is a deep human desire of self expression, an impulse that will never die. You ask me all the time, what is the new trend? I read on many faces some disappointment when I answer that currently there is no new unique big trend because – like in fashion – there are several trends living side by side, evolving somewhat year to year, but with no prominent style dominating the others as it was during the 2000-1005 long and over-raked choppers craze. These co-existing trends are largely influenced by demographics and economic factors and of course the media. Demographic considerations gave a new life to both the mild to wild customized Baggers for well-to-do boomers, and socio-economic considerations to the re-invented “Sportster For All,” men and women, now dressed as a Tourer (by Harley-Davidson), as a Cafe Racer or a Bobber (thanks to a plethora of body kits and of aftermarket accessories to achieve the makeovers), and marginally as a Digger for the most professional builders. The new Indian Scout, with its strong heritage, is a going to be a great source of inspiration and a fabulous canvas for customization. Now available at your dealership, expect many of them to receive mild or radical makeovers obliging bike show organizers to create a competition class just for this new model.  A multiyear exposure to TV series like “Sons Of Anarchy” has renewed the interest of many for the FXR and Dyna models, both comfortable and easy to customize platforms with a moderate budget. In 2015 expect more garage and professional builders turning them into mean Club Bikes made to show the street what you are made of, and ride and ride.

chppredictionsxs12- The US Motorcycle Industry. The Stage Is Set For A Positive Year. In a slow and steady recovery since the collapse of the U.S. heavyweight motorcycle market in the thick of the recession between 2008 and 2010, the industry will continue to reorganize its efforts to attract new younger customers, to penetrate emerging markets and to achieve more efficient production capacity. If it’s true that revenue in the US industry has grown an average of 4.4% per year since 2009, all major research firms agree in predicting North America sales to inch up by only about 2% to 3% between 2014 and 2019. But because all manufacturers have to evolve with changing demographics (according to the Social Security Administration, more than 70 million US Baby Boomers will retire before 2030)  and have to satisfy the current trend for cheaper, lighter and economically viable motorcycles, the year 2015 may be very exciting with the introduction of many new small and mid-size models. Not only from American leaders Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory Motorcycles, but also from Triumph and Royal Enfield both brands pursuing a big come back in the US with models for riders nostalgic of the 1960s and young adults wanting something different and very affordable.

chppredictionsxs13- The Custom Motorcycle Movement. Fueled Again By Garage Builders. Remember the decade 1995 to 2005, the unreasonable number of people with no real or little building experience joining the big pros and opening a shop because custom motorcycle building was supposedly – thanks to illusion given by tv series shows – the new El Dorado? It is not, never been and will never be. Most  of these new custom shops have disappeared, while the most passionate and talented have retreated to their private garages. The desire to wrench to make a factory motorcycle your own has never disappeared. Despite and because of the US recession, a wave of new comers has setup shops in their homes to build part- time for themselves and/or for a few friends while still enjoying the financial security of a regular full time job. This new breed of everyday guys working in their garages is producing creations often rivaling those conceived by respected professional builders. Just look at all the customs that I have published during these last 12 months. Many that you have liked come from amateurs or from semi-pro builders still working as individuals, not as corporations in a brick and mortar building open to the public. And most have told me that it is the way they want for now to continue to operate until they feel ready for a full professional venture. Working on their creativity and skills, not managing right away a business with all its contingencies and the business risks involved. They belong to a connected, networked and hyper aware generation and they have realized the boundless possibilities offered by internet to show their work to the world, at this at almost no cost for them. The web has leveled the playing field and because they can now get as much media exposure as the most well known professional builders, they created a big shift in the dynamics of the custom motorcycle scene and the way business is done. Young talents can now be uncovered at the speed of the internet, giving them more opportunities to join the professional custom industry for the good reasons, when fully ready with a solid commercial and financial foundation. A very exciting time for all…

15 Responses to “What Will Be Trending In 2015”

  1. 1 Shifter Jan 9th, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I am convinced that 2015 will be great for all of us.

  2. 2 Ray Jan 9th, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Quite agree with these trends.

  3. 3 P. Hamilton Jan 9th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Can’t wait to see what pro custom builders are going to do with the new Indian Scout.

  4. 4 Zenaldo Jan 9th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    HD and other similar heavy bike companys must continue to bring in the new younger riders or their future is doomed. Theyre running out of older customers daily as we “move on” as it were.

  5. 5 Chris Jan 9th, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    @P. Hamilton, I like the Roland Sands treatment of the Indian.

  6. 6 Scott Jan 9th, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    What will be trending — more disposable income to spend on bikes!! …..and fat front tires on baggers.

  7. 7 grey Beard Jan 9th, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    let’s see……….. after those stupid looking big front wheels. The only thing left is build a bike w/ a 10″ front wheel.

  8. 8 Badams Jan 9th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    The industry is awesome, better than ever? Hopefully those in business can continue to remain relevant, 2015 could be the tell all, refining the motorcycle back to its purest form.

  9. 9 nicker Jan 9th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    The “industry” will be as stable as the Us economy, which will be as stable if the US Dollar remains the World’s reserve currency.

    “… most passionate and talented have retreated to their private garages …”

    Ya, probably most of those who tried a business did scamper back to their garages.
    But were they “the most passionate and talented”……???
    I’m thinken “most of them” never left their private garages……. 🙂


  10. 10 Chuck Jan 9th, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Cyril makes a good analysis of the industry the way it is and the way it evolves.

  11. 11 Jimmy Trenz Jan 9th, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    On several points, a good observation of what’s going on. 2015, the first year of a great motorcycle decade?

  12. 12 Steve Berg Jan 10th, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Great way of say in’ it Cyril!

  13. 13 Asphalt Squadron Jan 10th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    “Scramblers” the new “Bobber”.

  14. 14 1550tc Jan 12th, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    for the non custom baggers, scramblers, on off road adventure bikes along with entry level cool bikes like the scout and 500 750hd’s willl be the rage ………..electrics will create some buzzz

    1.79 or less a gallon can only fuel the us households to do something like spend or borrow 6x what they save on gas

  15. 15 Jan 12th, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks Cyril for being right on the money

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