V. Ryan 2009


Originally, motorbikes were designed for one function only. To get a person from point A to B. Once this basic function was established, the motorbike continued to evolve, over many decades. Manufacturers such as Triumph, Harley Davidson and later Honda and Suzuki, established themselves as prominent motorbike designers and manufacturers. Potential customers regard the motorbike not only as a mode of transport, but as a lifestyle statement
Look carefully at the two bikes below and read the descriptions of the motorbikes and their potential customers. They are labelled A and B. Place the letter representing each description under the motorbike you feel it fits best.
DESCRIPTION A: This motorbike is very expensive and powerful. It has a brand name recognised all over the world. It represents style, class, tradition, power, strength and the USA. The type of customer hoping to buy this type of motorbike will have money to spare, a deep interest in motorbikes and only settle for a bike that gives himself/herself a status symbol. It will be used for occasional short journeys or tours during holiday time. The owner will probably join a owners club. The typical owner is middle aged, middle class, relatively wealthy and the bike will represent a dream.
DESCRIPTION B: This is a commuter bike. It will be used to get to and from work. It could be the first motorbike owned by a new motorcyclist. Or, it could be owned by an older person, using a motorbike to commute to and from work. This type of motorbike is often owned by people learning to ride and hoping to take their test. It is built for efficiency, good fuel consumption and reliability. It is not particularly powerful but is cheap to buy. It is well engineered and environmentally friendly.
Which motorbike would attract the most public attention? Explain your answer.
Which motorbike is the most environmentally friendly? Explain your answer.
Which motorbike is the most likely to maintain its value? Explain your answer.
Motorbikes of all types are regarded as dangerous, compared to other modes of transport. Creating an image of motorcycling as being safe is important, in order to attract new customers. This can be achieved in different ways.
SAFETY: The potential customer could be influenced by offering a free helmet. Helmets can be expensive and yet are an essential accessory. They are also a legal requirement in many countries. Offering a free helmet is a little like offering a discount on the cost of the motorbike.
Offering safety equipment, such as motorcycle boots and luminous protective clothing, may also be an attractive offer to customers.
Free safety training could also be an attractive offer to a potential customer. Usually a motorbike test is comprised as a road test and an examination. Free safety training on the road would enhance the customers chance of passing the road test. Furthermore, it makes the customer aware of the manufacturers commitment to the safety of its customers.
Emphasising the reliability of of the motorbike and how this contributes to road safety, will always interest potential customers.

ECONOMIC: Motorcyclist are usually interested in the cost of running the bike. A manufacturer should stress, in its advertising, how cost effective the bike is as a mode of transport. This could be achieved by comparing the cost of fuel for the bike and the cost of fuel for a typical car, for the period of a year. Maintenance and servicing cost could also be compared. Normally, a commuter motorbike will be able to reach many more miles per gallon (MPG) than a typical car.
Potential customers are also interested in purchasing a motorbike that is modern looking and stylish. Often customers are encouraged to purchase a motorbike if they know that it makes environmental sense. Making a journey on a motorbike is less polluting than making the same journey in a typical car.
STYLE: A potential customer will always be interested in style and good design. A stylish  motorbike design is more likely to attract a customer, than a plain, basic design. The use of modern, lightweight materials, a subtle or striking colour scheme and the application of a manufacturers badge / crest or logo, helps create the right impression on potential customers. The big motorbike manufacturers have created their own brand names, over time. This also adds to the mystic of the motorbike.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: The environment is constantly in the news. Most people are interested in ensuring, that what they buy has as small an impact as possible, on the environment. Commuter motorbikes normally complete many more miles to the gallon than a typical car, producing less CO2 and other pollutants. A commuter motorbike helps reduce the average commuters carbon footprint, this helps protect the environment.