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Motorcycle Industry Council prioritizes ridership growth

At their April Strategic Meeting, the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors re-elected Paul Vitrano as board chair, Chuck Boderman as vice chair and Jim Woodruff as secretary/treasurer. The board also committed to doubling down on efforts to attract new riders during its two-day strategic planning meeting this month.
“Everyone agreed: Our priority is to introduce more people to motorcycling while continuing to serve current riders,” said Vitrano, vice president, global government relations at Polaris Industries Inc. and Indian Motorcycle. “It’s no secret, we want to see the motorcycle industry grow and we know that increasing ridership is key.”
Boderman, vice president, Powersports Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., said the board is excited with results from the new RiDE initiative, the direct-to-consumer program that debuted in January, designed to attract new, young customers and their families to motorcycles and ATVs. 
“With the new RiDE program, we are reaching thousands of kids and giving many their very first ride,” Boderman said. “We plan to increase our efforts to promote RiDE and develop the next generation of riders. You should see the kids and their parents – their huge smiling faces say it all, and it helps them realize that this is truly something fun and doable for the entire family.”  
Funded by the MIC and produced by Feld Entertainment®, RiDE will be staged a total of 12 times this year at seven Monster Jam truck events nationwide. 
“The MIC also launched, a new website that offers interactive quizzes so visitors can find out what powersports vehicle is right for them and what adventures await them on motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides,” Boderman said. “Those who register for RiDE will receive emails inviting them to visit to learn more about getting into powersports.” 
The meeting also affirmed a board priority to promote the industry through outreach programs such as, which has trained and engaged thousands of mainstream media journalists, influencers and celebrities in motorcycling. The board also remains committed to protecting the industry and consumers by working with lawmakers at state and federal levels on traffic safety, emissions and vehicle standards as well as off-road access. 
“ helps us reach millions of Americans through influencers and journalists with strong mainstream audiences, helping our members get their products in front of people who may not have thought about riding before,” Vitrano said. “To further broaden its outreach, will be adding a staff member who will focus on social media engagement with younger generations.”
Meanwhile, the MIC’s government relations staff is working hard to expand and preserve trail and off-road access on public lands, fundamental to the powersports industry. The MIC has taken a larger role in organizations such as the newly formed Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, with several staff involved in high-level committees within the organization. The ORR has been working closely with Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke on public land access and has offered ideas on public-private partnerships to help with maintenance backlogs at our nation’s parks. 
“Beyond preserving, protecting and promoting the industry, the MIC also recognizes that market data is extremely valuable to members,” said Woodruff, chief operating officer of National Powersport Auctions. “This is why the MIC is increasing the volume and frequency of its research and statistics gathering. The information and insights garnered on sales, demographics, rider profiles, registrations and more provide valuable data that help members decide how they want to approach the market.”
The Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors are:
Paul Vitrano, MIC Chair — Vice President, Global Government Relations, Polaris Industries Inc. and Indian Motorcycle
Chuck Boderman, MIC Vice Chair — Vice President, Powersports Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Jim Woodruff, MIC Secretary/Treasurer — Chief Operating Officer, National Powersport Auctions
Eric Anderson, MIC Director — Founder, President, VROOM Network
Mike Doughty, MIC Director — General Manager, Motorcycle Sales and Marketing, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
Kerry Graeber, MIC Director — Vice President MC/ATV Sales & Marketing, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.
John Hinz, MIC Director — President, KTM North America, Inc.
Bill Jenkins, MIC Director — Senior Vice President, Sales and Operations, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
Andrew Leisner, MIC Director — Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Bonnier Motorcycle Media
Michael Peyton, MIC Director — Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA
Paul Puma, MIC Director — President, Puma & Associates 

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One Comment

  1. Nice to see my motorcycle industry ideas and concepts being implemented at the highest levels !

    Earlier in the year, Tim Buche (MIC/MSF) called me about the declining motorcycle industry sales, asking what I think, looking for “big picture” solutions. My being in our industry for over 50 years, I laid out the situation.

    Over an hour conversation ensued, where I described the importance and need for a critical grass roots RIDE initiative and all the elements needed and why.

    I detailed and supplied the ” RIDE initiative program concept and even the “RIDE” name as well as “adventures start here”, and “My First RIDE” (in many cases word for word), in that phone discussion that I now am happy to see in print and the many press releases.

    Tim Buche, brought it directly to the MIC board, which quickly acted upon it with all the manufacturers.

    It is all about planting the “seed” and getting new riders, people from “outside our sport”, involved, right now, to keep this industry alive and growing well into the future.

    It’s all about the big picture,
    Focusing on the customers experience, the riders “adventure”, and getting that back into our industry.

    The demand for products will come from the riders, both old and new, seeking new exciting adventures and riding opportunities both individually and as a social opportunity, so we also have to include ensuring the availability of having the OHV lands, waters, and places to “adventure” both on, and to, as well.

    (In the mid 1980’s, I also supplied the concepts and layout for the MSF Dirt Bike Schools (CRE and ITR Trail Schools) for the very same reasons.

    New riders now, become repeat customers for a multitude of products and services in the future.

    We (our industry) are in competition with every other activity out in the world today, not just power sports.

    We need to focus…on being “facilitators of fun”….
    dedicated to the supplying, enhancing or facilitating our customers, next adventure and experiences, no matter if it’s on 2, 3 or 4 wheels or watercraft or beyond.

    Apple “gets it”…
    Amazon “get’s it”
    and they have grown to be the biggest companies in the world, doing just that.

    Let customers from all walks of life, know you have the products and services that can take them to exciting adventures…… anywhere their minds can dream of.

    Sanatra famously said something to the effect of….

    “If you think its hard dealing with customers….
    Try doing business… without them!”

    My thanks to Tim Buche, and the MIC Board, for making this RIDE initiative program, happen so quickly.

    I hope it was soon enough, to save our industry.

    Get ready to ride,

    Stephen May
    Options & Solutions Inc.

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