Saturday, 29 January 2011

The coming cool

 For once there's something interesting in Bike magazine this month (but then it is written by Gary Inman of Sideburn fame) - bikes are getting trendy again. As a country boy I see the big city so rarely that changes really shout out, and suddenly the media loveies are on bikes. Not new bikes, and not classics, but stuff that sits in the very cheap middle ground. You could dismiss this as penny pinching in tough times, but then you clock the custom paintwork, Belstaff jacket and Davida helmet and realise these folk have plenty to spend.

Sadly the mainstream industry doesn't notice or care. Like the story of the dog staring at his own reflection, convinced the "other" dog's got a bigger bone, everyone just wants to pinch someone else's market share. Yet here's a chance to grow the market - Ducati's old Monster Dark would be perfect as would Yamaha's SR400 (still sold in Japan, I think). These bikes could be sold for (comparatively) coppers, and pushed into non-biking arenas: the weekend broadsheets, or GQ and such. Or just give them to celebs, a common practice in the car world.

And as for Bike magazine's lack of identity, here's their chance: there must be more to filling pages than advice on how to spot speedtraps abroad ("Ask the locals" - really) and if you could attract these new recruits think of the advertising revenue. But I guess we need another R1vsFirebladevsGSXR test first...

(bottom pics a Honda single - choice of #7 and #666 is as interesting as the Ducati badge)

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