Editor’s note: Powersports Business senior editor Dave McMahon and associate editor Liz Hochstedler asked dealership personnel across the U.S. to provide us with their local side-by-side buyer demographic.
Some general topics that continued to arise were an age-range of 35-55 mostly male buyers. Females are emerging as riders and are becoming part of the buying process. Most sales are utility, although sport is close behind.
Dealers interested in providing feedback on other topics pertinent to the industry can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the feedback of the dealers below, readers are able to gain insight into local dealership trends.
“Our average side-by-side customer would be between the age of 40-60. Sixty percent use them strictly for recreation, 20 percent for a combination of recreation and work, and the remaining 20 percent are strictly work machines. Gender equals 99 percent male.”
- Tom Jones, Mac’s Cycle, Clarkston, Wash.
“We are a Yamaha dealer and sell the Rhinos. We actually see sales of them to young and old alike. The younger customers we have sold to sport ride, push stock cars and utility. The older want the comfort over their ATVs and being able to carry a passenger. So our demographics have been 18-85 in age.”
- Steve Kaste, Steve’s Sport Center, Great Falls, Mont.
“Our ‘typical’ customers fall into two general categories, and we have about a 50-50 split. A. Farmers and ranchers with an average age of 40-65 years old. Getting on and off of a UTV 100 times a day is easier than on an ATV. Plus the availability to drive on dirt roads from one acreage to the other saves wear and tear on the pickups. B. A combination of 40-70 years old who live in a community that allows them in town, on the streets. Sometimes they have to add blinkers, horn, windshield, etc., and typically some sort of registration sticker. They also always have between 30-100 acres outside the city and just use them recreationally on their property and in town.”
- Craig Deghand, Salinas Powersports, Salinas, Kan.
“Ninety percent of our side-by-side consumers are in the 40-55 range. All have been males, with input from the significant others. They have primarily been used for ‘around the property’ usage.”
- Mike Catlin, Appleton Powersports, Appleton, Wis.
“Farmers and property owners.”
- Ray Clemens Jr., Ray C’s Cycle & Sport, Lapeer, Mich.
“The average age of our side-by-side buyer is 40-60. Spread across the usage range equally between farming and trail riding.”
- Dani J. Westra, Bee Line Sports Center, Inc., St. Joseph, Minn.
“Our traditional Ranger customer by far is the farmer; the cow calf guys that use them for fencing, then the hunters and ice fishermen.”
- Mark Porter, Porter’s Toys for Big Boys, Brookings, S.D.
“Our typical side-by-side buyer is 35-55 years old, an equal split of male/female. They work on large property, taking family to the lake or other parts of the property, some agricultural use or barn work.”
- Carl Kaffeman, New Milford Cycles, New Milford, Conn.
“Lately our typical side-by-side customer is a male, 30-45 years old, who is looking to hit the trails and just have some fun. The Can-Am Commander and the new Kawasaki Teryx 4-seater have been selling very well.”
- Scott Lyons, Reynolds Motorsports, Gorham, Maine
“Our customers vary in age from early 20s-mid 50s; it’s quite a span in ages. Most use is for recreational use only.”
- Brad Cozzens, Marietta Polaris, Marietta, Ohio
“We … are seeing a lot of Marcellus shale drilling companies and construction companies buying UTVs. When I asked our sales staff who the typical buyer is, they tell me that it depends greatly upon which UTV they buy. Sport buyers tend to be younger and male. Utility buyers are typically older male and female. Construction buyers are male and older.”
- George Gatto, Gatto Cycle Shop, Tarentum, Pa.
“We have buyers from both the play and work segments. Farmers love the side-by-sides, and the younger customers are avid desert riders.”
- Jeremy Benintende, Beaumont Powersports, Beaumont, Calif.
“Males age 25-40 looking to have fun in the desert.”
- Jeremy Benintende, Coyne Powersports, Indio, Calif.
“I am not sure that we have a typical buyer for side–by-sides anymore. Our side-by-side business is primarily second and third homeowners, because we are in a resort community. They are using the vehicles for a combination of hunting, recreation and light utility use around their ranchette. That’s about 70 percent of our side-by-side business: age 50-plus male, $200,000-plus annual income. About 20 percent is ranch or farm specific, ages 45-65 male, $75,000-plus income. And about 10 percent is for sport/recreation use, age 40-plus male, $60,000-$80,000 income.”
- Jason Stanhope, Steamboat Powersports, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
“Over 50, cruising into retirement.”
- John Fronk, Spike Polaris, Tremonton, Utah
“I would say our side-by-side customers are age 30-60 and are multi-acre home owners and farmers. About 90 percent of our Polaris Ranger sales are utility models. RZRs made up only 10 percent of our previous year sales.”
- Herbert Langford, Amory Marine Sales Inc., Amory, Miss.
“We have about 35 percent that are ages from 35-60 that use theirs for farm/light duty yard work/weekend farmers. About 20 percent are used by families, ages ranging from 25-50 that are upgrading from an ATV so that everyone can ride and enjoy. About 20 percent of them just bought one because their neighbor has one, ages usually 50-70. About 25 percent of them buy for hunting and weekend camping and outdoor usages — the more serious contenders — they’re ages 35-55. Fifty percent are male purchases, 20 percent women, 30 percent is both husband/wife or partner — both wanted it for use.”
- Greg Taylor, Brushy Mountain Motorsports, Wilkesboro, N.C.
“We’re a little bit unique as far as Kawasaki Mule dealers because we are one of the handful in the county that have a government contract, so most of our Mule sales go to the federal and state government. I probably sell 100 Mules a year to the government. As far as my retailer buyer … people that have land, farms or ranches, or just people that have a lot of acreage, or down at the lake they want transportation; they have 10 or 20 acres down by the lake, and they want a Mule to get around.”
- Doug Monson, House of Kawasaki, Oklahoma City, Okla.
“Most of my customers are 35 and above, male, but most of the time with wives giving approval of the purchase. My UTV buyers are much older than my ATV buyers, a lot are farmers and ranchers looking more for utility than sport.”
- Butch Miller, Honda Polaris of North Texas, Sherman, Texas
“Our average customer is wide range. RZR sport side-by-side customers are 25-55; utility side-by-side are ages 30-70. We have four times as many ladies riding side-by-sides as compared to ATVs or cycles.”
- Rod Barrett, Lemon & Barrett’s, Mineral Wells, W.V.