BMW New Rider Strategy


March 6, 2013, 05:53 PM
Just thought I'd throw this out for discussion, I was sitting at my auto service place and picked up a copy of RIDER April 2013 which is a motorcycle magazine. There is a detailed interview w/ Hans Blesse who is the new VP for BMW Motorcycles for North America on p.13. He goes into detail about the challenges of introducing new riders to the sport. He compares it to learning to fly, learning to skydive, and SCUBA dive which all have fairly standard introductory "package deals" to share the excitement of these potentially dangerous but awesomely fun activities. It is critical to their business model as a purveyor of high end bikes to get older riders who can afford them to start riding. His suggestion was basically "invite your neighbor to get on back and take them for a ride." For me it reinforced the importance of our own personal initiative to bring on new shooters. I may even have to take a few "antis" that I know to the range when the snow finally thaws.

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March 6, 2013, 07:37 PM
Good idea, but your title threw me for a loop. My motorcycle forum is just below THR on my homepage.

March 6, 2013, 07:46 PM
Getting new people introduced to firearms (whether it be hunting, target shooting, plinking, competition shooting, self defense, home defense, etc.) is essential. We could go from 100 million firearm owners in the US to twice that! And luckily with firearms you don't need to be as wealthy as someone buying a BMW. :)

March 6, 2013, 08:06 PM
Hmmm, my 85 yo neighbor just brought home a new Boxter, and he used to have an Indian motorcycle, so perhaps he'd go for a 2 wheel bimmer. :cool:

As to who can afford $20k bikes, Harley seems to attract all ages and incomes. Has BMW conceded the younger riders to the competition? Perhaps some Oldsmobile consultants could add to the discussion.

FWIW, I'm just a few years from retirement and to be sure I get there in one piece, I just sold my V-Strom. With regard to "the excitement of these potentially dangerous but awesomely fun activities", I feel that the risk/reward ratio has shifted.

But to your point, new shooters must be developed. If old shooters are not replaced with new shooters, the ultimate outcome would be bleak. Does anyone have trend data as to how it's going?

While I prefer an outdoor range, the times I've taken new shooters to an indoor, they have often offered to pay the tab. At the outdoor range, I just get 'em to pick up brass! ;)

March 6, 2013, 08:13 PM
[MOD TALK: Folks, this is about the proposal regarding new SHOOTERS. Motorcyclists love to talk about their bikes, often at far greater length than guns it seems, but that will get the thread closed. If you want to have a discussion about getting new shooters involved, leave "Bike Chat" out of it. Thanks.]

March 6, 2013, 09:20 PM
My point is even though I am not a motorcyclist this random article gives food for thought about how we can get more people involved in shooting. If done correctly the shooting sports are safe and fun. It is a little daunting to expect the average person to pick it up on their own. Also, part of their marketing strategy is to look at the demographics of potential new participants. Translating this to shooting, those adults who did some shooting as kids, and those who were never exposed to it but would do so given a little help and encouragement. At least in the Northeast we are quite literally fighting against an enormous tide of "anti" sentiment.

March 7, 2013, 08:52 PM
zorro - great idea. I have found that both casually discussing the sport aspect and lacing in a little fear (e.g., what are you doing while waiting for the cops to show up?) in causal conversational tones have helped me bring a few relatives and neighbors into the fold (plus admittedly a little guilt-hazing: my kids do it, why can't you?). The motorcycle metaphor is well-suited: many people want to feel dangerous without being an actual outlaw and it's the same Dirty Harry, Josey Wales and Rambo all in a safe, managed environment without actually killing anyone!

March 7, 2013, 09:22 PM
One caution with the motorcycle analogy is that getting new riders on BMW bikes, is akin to putting new shooters on large caliber guns. :what:

For new handgunners, I typically work thru the following:
.22 Buckmark
.380 Bersa Thunder
.38spl in a Speed Six and compare to same round in a j-frame
9mm M&P

We also load every other position in the 6-shooter and work on eliminating flinch.

If they want to try shotgun, I run off some 1/2-oz powder puff loads for 12ga and go up from there.

Of course, we start with THE 4 RULES, manual of arms, determine dominant eye, sight picture, stance, grip, trigger control.

One new shooter bought 3 new guns the week of his first outing and over a few months grew a rather nice collection. FWIW, he already had a BMW cycle.

March 7, 2013, 09:36 PM
We're taking a doc I work with and his wife on Saturday...they're first time shooters, and seem pretty excited :D

March 8, 2013, 08:32 AM
I took my 16 year old daughter hunting for the first time this last season. She's hooked. I plan to let her shoot the AR and AK soon. I may volunteer to help with the local 4H shooting program too if I can work it out with my schedule. I work a swing shift so volunteering can be difficult.

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