Getting ‘Sleeping License Holders’ Back on the Road

Jul 27, 2017 View Comments by

There’s one area of the motorcycling world that doesn’t get a lot of attention: “sleeping license holders,” the nearly eight million Americans who have a motorcycle designation on their license but don’t own a motorcycle. Motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Indian are looking to get them back out on the road.

In a recent story in USA Today/the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rich Barrett writes, “Who are the ‘sleepers’? Many were active motorcyclists who had things happen in their life that caused them to quit riding: marriage, kids, financial pressures, a job that demands most of their time or simply a change in interests, to name a few reasons.”

Many participate in rider training, like an MSF course, but aren’t compelled to buy a bike right away. Others take the course but are intimidated once they move from the class to highways and busy roadways swarming with drivers.

“Fueling the desire to become a motorcycle owner, or maybe rekindling it in a sleeper, is an integral part of the marketing strategy for Harley-Davidson and rival Indian Motorcycle,” writes Barrett. For those who take an MSF course to get their license, Harley wants to reach them within six months of completing the class—”the sweet spot.”

Here are a few ways we think will help get more butts in the seat:
  • Ride more, and be open to others asking about motorcycling
  • Brush up on your skills at an MSF rider training course and encourage new and seasoned riders to do the same
  • Set a good example by wearing protective gear and riding sensibly
  • Go ride with your kids!
  • When newly licensed, start slow and small
  • Stay off highways and away from cities when starting to ride, instead seek out lonely country roads
  • Subscribe to RoadRUNNER to find out where those lonely country roads are!

Those are some suggestions from the editors at RoadRUNNER. What would you do?



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