Motorcycle Marketing for Cagers

September 29, 2009

If you're confused, a "cager" is someone who drives a car. Yes, there is some debate about the precise definition, but I'll leave that to others.

One month ago, I began an experiment that made my mother cringe: I started commuting to work by motorcycle. Now, before you rev up to add some kind of snarky comment about a mid-life crisis, let me state a few things:

  • I'm a commuter, not a recreational rider. My bike is foreign-made, small, and would make me a target of a whippin' at any biker hangout.
  • I get almost 70 mpg, and my commute is all of about three miles. I don't even remember the last time I visited a gas station.
  • All of South Texas should thank me for bringing back the long-absent rain. I bought a bike, and the skies dumped buckets for almost three weeks straight.

Insecurities aside, I've enjoyed my two-wheeled transportation and the financial benefits of being a one-car family. Additionally, just a few weeks back in the saddle have reminded me of how bikers are the target of agressive, niche marketing. Let me illustrate this with a shot of my own gear:

As you can see, it's not as easy as buying a bike and hitting the road; all those items were add-ons—and not frivolous ones, for that matter. Moreover, most were marketed in a manner that would appeal to me, the commuter. Leather chaps, blaring tailpipes, and tattoos weren't part of the equation (lucky for my wife).

A quick look at a couple of gear retailers tells you there are thousands of products available for every type of biker, and the messaging and targeting are relatively mature. There's always room for improvement, but the industry knows what it's doing—as do most bikers, who are relatively keen about their riding needs.

My question for you is this: Can you say the same? Are you getting the right message to your markets? Are you simply telling them about what you want to sell, or are you educating them about the alignment of your offerings and their needs?