It’s the hot topic at just about any motorcycle industry gathering: new bike sales are down overall, the traditional demographic is aging out…how do we attract new riders to the sport? The answer (or answers) is complex, but one thing most of us can agree on is that we need to reach outside the existing powersports market, introducing motorcycles to a generation better known for staring at screens than playing in the dirt.
It appears that Honda is making a go of it with a just-announced collaboration with Forever 21, a fashion retailer popular with young people. With 815 stores in 57 countries, Forever 21 is known for selling the latest fashions at prices that won’t break the bank. Its new F21xHonda collection capitalizes on the current throwback trend, as well as what Forever 21 calls, “the popularity of racing and the strong ties between fashion and motorsport.”
There’s truth to this: American Flat Track racing is enjoying a resurgence and Supercross races fill stadiums in ways the MotoAmerica road racing series wishes it could. The hooliganism of sliding sideways through the dirt or kicking out a tail whip as you fly over a jump is appealing. It’s fun.
Playing to these ties, as well as the continually shifting nostalgia that always seems to correspond to 30 or so years ago (we’re up to the ’80s and ’90s now…and imagine, someday soon kids will be reminiscing about the quaint iPhones we used to carry), the F21xHonda collection will feature old school Honda iconography and colors.
None of this is terribly new…but here’s where it gets cool. Via an Instagram contest (of course), the two companies are giving away a new CRF250L. Participants post a photo of themselves wearing a piece of the F21xHonda collection, using the appropriate tags (@honda_powersports_us and @forever 21, and the #F21xHonda and #F21Contest hashtags), between now and February 12.
Even better, Forever 21 will pay the taxes and registration fee for the bike.
Regardless of what you think of the fashions themselves, I think we can all agree that drawing young people into motorcycling is a good thing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got my eye on that rad jacket….