New Blood

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
We are all (or should be) in the UK worried about the demographics of motorcycling and the lack of young people joining our pastime. One of the barriers erected by the governments of the EU (UK included) using their ‘nudge’ policy is the EU Driving licence directive. Of particular note is that the UK decided to combine swerving and braking tests (which it must be said the EU never insisted on) and the UK stuck exactly to the 50kph speed the EU recommended which is 31mph.(The Republic of Ireland did not) That exact speed that the EU test imposes that means the test has to be done off road and that means sites are limited and that means a long distance to travel to the test for pupils and that means…. Well you can see where it leads.

Soon (Judges permitting) we wont have to stick to 31mph so the BMF and the Industry say this is a priority lets hope they and us keep up the pressure.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
The main issues confronting any young would be owner of our machines will be lack of interest, and lack of money. With the constantly rising cost of living, young folk will struggle to start a family and buy their own home. This is a real sad state, and the increasing value of our bikes is testimony to that. It will be very interesting to see in 20 to 30 years what becomes of our bikes, there are only so many museums.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
The main issues confronting any young would be owner of our machines will be lack of interest, and lack of money. With the constantly rising cost of living, young folk will struggle to start a family and buy their own home. This is a real sad state, and the increasing value of our bikes is testimony to that. It will be very interesting to see in 20 to 30 years what becomes of our bikes, there are only so many museums.
Yes being parochial you are correct. However stage one is becoming a motorcyclist, stage two is becoming a bike enthusiast, stage three a classic bike enthusiast, and we are the forth stage and it all takes time and disposable income also takes time hopefully both come together. Also motorcycling is a broad church there are many diverting corners of the hobby and stage one needs to have as many as possible joining it ( hence the training scheme post) so a few trickle down to the VOC eventually.
Which is why incidentally I think the classic Stafford shows should be a full Club event and have full support to catch the third stagers.
 

champion

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Gents, as a Vincent rider under the age of 30, this is a subject which I feel very strongly about.

There are young people who want to ride old bikes. The interest is high, especially in young engineers and similarly mechanically minded professions.
It is no coincidence that the vast majority of my friendship group (some of which are still teenagers) love historic motorsport. Some love racing old cars and volunteer to mechanic at Goodwood Revival every year, as they can not afford the entry fee. Many of them love old bikes, buying 1970s 200cc hondas and similar.

I can pages and pages of examples of young people interested in historic motorsport and working on old cars and bikes, however will shortlist a couple. (Especially exotica.) However will simply point you to a team which I still volunteer for occasionally. The retired man who runs the team recruits young students (usually from engineering courses), THE STUDENTS PAY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD HIS CARS FOR HIM. In exchange, they get introductions and practical experience within the otherwise unaffordable world of professional historic vehicle restoration. The majority of the students attend the local technical college, or ex-polytechnic university, every year the team has 25+ new members who pay to sign up.

http://www.oumf.org/

Likewise 10 years ago, the morris minor owners club recognised the lack of young members, so created a scheme whereby any person under the age of 25 who owned a morris minor was not allowed to pay more than £80 a year for insurance. Agreed mileage, agreed value, agreed modifications. There is now a dedicated YMMMOC (Young Members, Morris Minor Owners Club).

http://www.youngmembers.mmoc.org.uk/

I am very fortunate to have a father with a few old bikes, sadly most of them do not run, however have recently lent a 1920s Norton to a friend (21 years old) on the understanding he can ride it for a year, once he has got it running. He now wants an old bike to sprint and I am doing what I can to help support him. Other friends who ride have come to stay with me in sussex and always ask if they can have a go on my Moto Guzzi Le Mans, I usually agree. I am sure if I had a Black Shadow on the road, I would have a constant stream of young people coming over!

I understand that with age, many people who rode their vincents have had to sell them in order to help afford retirement, most of the time the children would be more interested inheriting the money, rather than the motorcycle anyway. You are aware many of these bikes end up in private collections or museums. The more bikes which are locked away, the smaller the exposure for potential new club members.

For young people who are keen, the major barriers to entry are:

Bike Licenses and legal restrictions - These have increased exponentially, since even I passed my test in 2007!
The cost of buying an old bike. - Any old british bike, even bantams cost thousands. Compared to a 600cc honda which you can pick up for hundreds.
The space required to keep it and work on it. Myself and all of my work colleagues are all in our early 20s, we are all are renting rooms in local houses. We all pay around £580 to £700 a month for a non-ensuite room.
The cost of working on an old bike - I purchased two items recently, the first was a small piece of steel tube, a burman gearbox clutch spacer and the second was rear brake cable for a comet. The total cost was almost £100. I just got a piston and had the barrel bored and honed £200. Next I am saving up for a comet gear change lever.
The skills required to undertake a restoration - Unfortunately, every generation is becoming more reliant on electronics and less knowledgeable of practical manufacturing skills.

I have plenty of ideas as to the best ways to involve new young people in the world of old bikes, however the club would need to decide is it something we are going to actively put energy into, or simply allow the club to run its course and to follow in the footsteps of the industry it praises....
 

Vincent Brake

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
indeed very well said, thank you Young mr Champion,
lets hope the clubs dont follow the UK MotorC industies in the 60-70s
i guess were all to eager to money... loving bonhams et consorts
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
"The more bikes which are locked away, the smaller the exposure for potential new club members."

The less the spend on spares the less spares are available.
 

Gene Nehring

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
As the owner of a comet and a basket case twin in my thirties. I was very lucky to immigrate to Vancouver BC. My section mates have been nothing but kind and helpful. I managed to acquire my twin motor through the section.

I have had to work hard to make connections and buy small amounts of stuff at a time. In doing so I have met a lot of interesting people and made friends.

I am an odd duck in the sense that I wanted a Vincent since being in my teens. It seems to me that most people nowadays either inherit or are very well heeled.

Some people who have a genuine interest in the machines cannot afford the cost of entry.

So my thanks to the blokes in all the sections that are encouraging younger guys buy selling items at fair market values. In doing so it allows us younger to keep the interest going and the machines on the road.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Some people who have a genuine interest in the machines cannot afford the cost of entry.
This isn't a simple issue. Actual fair market value is whatever people are willing to pay, not what we remember as "reasonable" prices from our youth when coffee was 10 cents a cup.

If I sell a Black Shadow for $20k so someone young can afford to buy it, that's $80k (or whatever) that my family won't inherit. My family has indulged the money I've spent on my hobby all these years so is it reasonable to, in essence, take that $80k and give it to someone young because he would like to own a Black Shadow, rather than sell the bike to whoever can afford its present fair market value and give the proceeds back to my family?

If someone offered me $100,000 to buy the bike to put on static display in his office, but someone else who would ride it offered $99,900 I'd sell it to the latter. In the greater scheme of things the $100 would make no difference to my family. But, what about $90k? $80k? Everyone has to decide for himself at what point feeling good about selling a bike to someone who will ride it is outweighed by feeling bad by taking from their family what is rightfully theirs.

It's too bad Black Shadows sell for $100k, and it's too bad a large coffee at Starbucks costs $2.45. In both cases deserving people are priced out of the market. But, to keep this in perspective, the majority of people in the world are living hand to mouth, and millions are in much worse shape that even that.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
Luckily Comets and Rapides are still affordable, yes they are expensive, but so are Ferrari's for the simple reason there isn't many of them. If they were cheap then everyone would have one and they wouldn't be special. Like the old guy's who happily complain that they could never afford a Vincent, though they have 10 or more other bikes in their collection, it's all about choices. I guess there will hopefully be some Shadow's still used out on the roads in years to come, but their limited numbers making them sort after, will put them out of reach for all but the most serious of buyers. The repair and restoration of the bikes is quite high, given most bikes were restored back in the 80's to 90's and are really in need of the same treatment again, and this will keep the spares company busy for some time yet. I guess there are things the club can do to help younger riders, perhaps one idea is if younger people paired up with someone like minded and paid half each......It is not uncommon in the housing market now.........Just an idea.
 

Gene Nehring

Well Known and Active Forum User
VOC Member
This isn't a simple issue. Actual fair market value is whatever people are willing to pay, not what we remember as "reasonable" prices from our youth when coffee was 10 cents a cup.

If I sell a Black Shadow for $20k so someone young can afford to buy it, that's $80k (or whatever) that my family won't inherit. My family has indulged the money I've spent on my hobby all these years so is it reasonable to, in essence, take that $80k and give it to someone young because he would like to own a Black Shadow, rather than sell the bike to whoever can afford its present fair market value and give the proceeds back to my family?

If someone offered me $100,000 to buy the bike to put on static display in his office, but someone else who would ride it offered $99,900 I'd sell it to the latter. In the greater scheme of things the $100 would make no difference to my family. But, what about $90k? $80k? Everyone has to decide for himself at what point feeling good about selling a bike to someone who will ride it is outweighed by feeling bad by taking from their family what is rightfully theirs.

It's too bad Black Shadows sell for $100k, and it's too bad a large coffee at Starbucks costs $2.45. In both cases deserving people are priced out of the market. But, to keep this in perspective, the majority of people in the world are living hand to mouth, and millions are in much worse shape that even that.

I could not agree more. Our motorcycles are like any economic market. It's therefore up to the individuals involved to make a determination on price.

There are some fortunate people who can afford to help others out and I have been the lucky recipient of a little of that.

Greg, I could not agree more with your comments.
 
Top