2018 Sound RIDER! Reader Demographic Study

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2018 Sound RIDER! Demographic/Psychographic Study

It took a little longer than usual to pull together all the numbers on our every-other-year study of who’s reading Sound RIDER! Why? Turns out we had twice as many riders subscribe to the online magazine in the last two years as we did in any other two-year period. We had twice as much work to do but a wonderful sampling to pull from. And some interesting numbers came to the surface.

Where they live

In the mid-2000s we made a conscious effort to expand our readership beyond the Puget Sound throughout the Pacific Northwest. This year, due to our efforts, as well as population expansions in outlying areas, we saw that happen as never before. Oregon readership outside the Portland/Vancouver area increased five-fold as cities like Bend, Redmond and others continue to swell. Idaho had a 4x growth in subscribership and British Columbia saw a 7x growth explosion. These are also examples of the targeted marketing we’ve done to reach out to more riders.

How they find us

Without an International Motorcycle Show rolling through town each year, we knew we had to step up our efforts to reach out to riders who didn’t know about us. Subscribership of riders finding us across various social media outlets increased from 13% to 20%. Our efforts to morph the magazine into a mobile-friendly platform have been rewarded with an increase of subscribers who find us doing internet searches from 38% two years ago to 47% today. Other ways riders find out about us is by the outreach we do through motorcycle training programs, print advertising and general word-of-mouth.

What they ride by brand

While the ownership by brand of Japanese OEMs remained steady, there were some interesting signs elsewhere. KTM ownership by new subscribers rose 50%, while BMW ownership dropped 25% - even though the German OEM has been steadily increasing its outlets in the marketplace. Harley-Davidson ownership rose 20%. Honda remained the king with one in three of our readers owning at least one. Triumph had a mild increase, and Indian is showing it’s on track for future sales increases.

What they ride by style

Since the beginning, we’ve been watching the Dual Sport/Adventure Market rise in popularity. For the first time in 19 years, we’re watching it level off. One in three of our readers owns such a bike, but there was no increase from the 2016 study. Cruiser ownership declined 30% since the last study. So where are the sales occurring? In the naked/street bike market, a segment that was slow the last few decades, but saw an increase from 19% to 25% over the previous two-year period. The uprising of a vibrant Euro scrambler market, top grade naked bikes from the Japanese OEMs and a swell in the vintage café racer segment are all having an impact on where the market is going. Sales of Harley-Davidson’s non-cruiser lines such as the Sportster, Street and Touring models seem to be anchoring the line. Looks like the scooter bloom has withered with a 50% drop in new owners. No doubt, that will change the next time the price of gas goes over $4 a gallon.

What they earn

Whether it’s tech, health care, construction or retirement, Sound RIDER! readers are in good shape financially. 65% of our new subscribers earn $60k or more a year, while the top 27% take home a gross of $100k or more.

Are they buying?

At this juncture, we often hear about how the industry is slowing. But our current subscriber base is still buying. 67% of our new readers will purchase more gear in the coming year, while one in four plan to buy a new bike.

Thanks to all our new readers who participated in the survey. It really helps us to better understand what content to provide you in future issues.

We’ve updated our media kit with all the latest facts and stats. If you’re a motorsports-related business and would like a copy, simply send an email to sreditor@soundrider.com and be sure to include the link for the motorsports business you represent.

Tom Mehren/Publisher
Sound RIDER!

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