A lot has changed since Daimler Reitwagen made its first appearance in public in 1885. From that time, when internal combustion engines were seen as breakthrough and know-how about that technology was limited, till today, when the global motorcycle market has the presence of a large number of players across it, the world has seen a very high degree of transformation in this sector. For nearly eight or nine decades in the 20th century, the adoption of motorcycles was, to a good degree, confined to a particular section of societies. The number of motorcycles sold during that time was also low partially because of presence of a limited number of players in the market. But onset of the 21st century brought with it some growth in this market. Many companies, who saw high growth potential in the motorcycle business, entered the market, each offering some unique designs as part of their offerings.
The market has witnessed a significant transformation since then and this process of evolution still continues. From aesthetics to performance, every aspect of motorcycle manufacturing has undergone a change over these years. Since presence of a good number of players gave people a good number of options to choose from, motorcycle manufacturers continued to pump investments into research and development in order to offer vehicles better than their rivals. Since inclination towards looks continues to increase, motorcycle manufacturers have been making regular modifications in motorcycle designs, whereas, high focus of people on fuel efficiency has led motorcycle manufacturers to improve the fuel economy of their vehicles. Amongst all that has changed so far, shock absorbers have also undergone a significantly high degree of change. The degree of shock absorption they offer now is way more than what they used to offer a couple of decades earlier. The ruggedness of motorcycle shock absorbers has also improved a lot over these years as huge investments into research and development have continued to fuel the discovery of advanced materials which can enhance the strength of these absorbers. In conjunction to this, continuous improvements in shock absorber designs and manufacturing technologies have also aided in improving their performance.
The market growth for motorcycle shock absorbers is closely tied to the performance of global motorcycle market. Since the market is very competitive, market players are being pushed to keep their pricing competitive in order to prevent losing their customers to their rivals and thus, losing market share. Since the market is flooded with a wide range of motorcycles which fit into budget of people of almost every income group, the sales of motorcycles has been good so far. The figure given below shows the sales of Honda motorcycles from 2012 to 2019:
Honda Motorcycles Global Sales, in 1000 Units
Source: Honda Corporate Update
Although the overall motorcycle market witnessed some contraction recently, the sales of motorcycles are still expected to remain good over the next five years. The sales of motorcycles are also being fuelled by increasing middle class population in many parts of the world. Economic growth across many countries is positively impacting the standard of living of people. Economic growth tends to improve the household income of some people by increasing the number of working members in a family, by offering more employment opportunities, and by improving wages. As this continues, many people find themselves lifted up to middle class. The figure given below shows the increase in global middle class population:
Global Middle Class Population, % of Total Population
Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Growing middle class population continues to drive with it the sales of vehicles. While this might not necessarily improve the sales of cars among this section of society, sales of two-wheelers, both geared and non-geared, tends to improve. Increasing sales of motorcycles gives impetus to the production of motorcycles, thus increasing the demand for shock absorbers among other components. This is increasing the demand for motorcycle shock absorbers, thus propelling the market growth. Although recent shrinkage in motorcycle sales in some parts of the world can be seen as a sign of trouble for motorcycle shock absorber manufacturers, this is not as ugly as it is being perceived. There are already a very large number of motorcycles on road. Since many parts of the vehicles tend to wear out due to continuous use, these require regular maintenance or replacement. Engine oils, filters, brake and clutch wires, and shock absorbers are just some of the components which tend to lose their quality with increasing number of miles run by motorcycles. Furthermore, poor road infrastructure in many developing and underdeveloped economies tends to reduce the overall lifespan of motorcycle shock absorbers. As many people tend to ride motorcycles recklessly in such countries, this combined with poor quality of roads, adversely impacts the lifespan of shock absorbers. As this continues, number of people taking their vehicles for shock absorber replacement is increasing. Increasing penetration of internet and smartphones across the globe, coupled with presence of a good number of vendors offering doorstep servicing and repair of vehicles, is also increasing the number of people opting to get their vehicles serviced and repaired. This, besides fuelling the demand for other motorcycle components, is driving the demand for shock absorbers, thus propelling the market growth.
Geographically, the report, titled Global Motorcycle Shock Absorbers Market, by Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, offers in-depth analysis of the market across North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. To give a clearer view, the report analyses market across countries which account for a significant share in this market.
About the Author:
Dhiraj Kumar Sharma is a Market Research Analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. He combines his outright understanding of technologies with years of experience working in the industry to deliver actionable information to clients who span across industries and geographies. Dhiraj often works closely with clients in order to better understand their requirements and is known for the quality of market insights he delivers to them.