How to Inspire the Next Generation of Bikers
Posted on October 12, 2022 at 10:29 AM by The Biker Lawyers
You may have seen our recent open letter to readers of Thunder Roads.
The letter was a dive into how to save the “Biker Way of Life.” If you haven’t read it, we recommend checking it out. In it, we briefly talked about how it’s critical to actively take steps to bring in a younger crowd if we want the motorcyclist culture that we all know and love to carry on for generations to come. In this article, we’ll dig a bit deeper.
We have to be honest with ourselves and each other.
We can start by asking ourselves: Why are we here? What do we want out of this experience? What do we need from each other? And what are our hopes for the future?
We cannot expect to attract new members if we are not on the same page about what it means to be a biker, what our values are, and how they are relevant today.
If we want to attract new members and keep them, we have to re-evaluate what it means to be a biker.
Open our minds before we open our mouths.
Once we understand our own intentions and motivations, we need to try harder to understand those of the younger generations.
We need to put aside any assumptions we have and really try to get in the heads of those we hope to bring into our way of life.
To reach the younger generation, we need to start at home.
First and foremost, we need to get them off their phones and into the saddle! But how do we do that?
Start at home.
Don’t just go out and buy your kid a bike, take them to events so they can meet other bikers. Start teaching them about what it means to be part of this community. Show them how awesome riding is, and how much fun it can be! You’ll build more than just a personal connection with the biker community, you’ll build memories.
We can all agree that the more young people know about motorcycles, their culture, and their history, the more likely they are to get behind a set of handlebars themselves.
We have to foster a desire to learn more about what the Biker life is all about. We have to grab their attention.
We need to reach out to them and make them feel welcome.
I’m not talking about just any kind of outreach—I’m talking about real, genuine connection and involvement. The kind that starts with asking questions and listening, instead of trying to force our own agenda on someone else’s life or lifestyle choices.
It’s time to get social.
Second, we need to use social media—and not just for posting pictures of our own bikes and memes. We can use it to spread the word about motorcycle safety issues, bike night events, and other things that bikers can get involved with.
Sure, posting to social media seems easy enough, but what if you have nothing to post?
Then you support biker organizations by sharing and promoting their outreach efforts on social media. See a benefit ride a friend is involved in? Share it with your audience and tell your kids about it.
Expand the community through awareness.
If we want to involve youth by teaching them, we need to involve them. Here are a few ideas on how:
Host a bike ride with local high school students who are interested in learning more about motorcycles and riding safety.
Offer a class on basic motorcycle maintenance for teens who want to learn how their bikes work from the inside out and how to maintain them properly so they can be safe on the road (and save money!).
Create a mentorship program that matches young adults with older bikers who can teach them about riding and life skills through personal experience; this will help bridge gaps in age groups while also fostering relationships between new friends who share common interests.
Host motorcycle safety classes for young adults who want to learn how to ride safely and responsibly.
Partner with community colleges or even public libraries to offer a course on riding techniques that helps students practice skills like shifting gears, braking, and turning in different situations; this will help them feel more confident when it comes time for their first solo rides.
Some call it “Mototherapy,” while others call it a Brotherhood. Most of us agree that we ride to feel free. We love the life and we love the camaraderie that only the Biker Community provides.
The biker way of life may be dying, but it doesn’t have to. It starts with change, and it starts now. The biker community is one of the most diverse groups in the world. We have people from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and beliefs. What we do share is a common love for freedom and the ability to live life on our own terms.
Riding motorcycles can be an incredibly empowering experience, but it also comes with responsibility. It’s up to each of us to carry on the rich tradition of riding.