Global Riding Gear Market - Analysis of Growth, Trends Progress and Challenges (2018 - 2023)
The riding gear market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 8.47% over the forecast period (2018 – 2023). In the present scenario, consumers in emerging markets can buy 300-400 cc bikes at relatively affordable prices. The entry of the iconic bike brand such as Harley Davidson, Ducati and Aprilia in these markets has increasingly helped the developed the market to grow.
Increased Awareness and Adoption of Safety Measures
In 2013, motorcycle accidents almost accounted for almost 20% of road fatalities in Australia and had been on a steady incline since. The number of skin burns from people falling off their bikes has also doubled between 2012 and 2014. Lack of awareness and lack of better riding gear alternatives has been a point of concern for most countries. There has been a recent instance, of Marc Marquez, the World Champion of MotoGP racer, who had recently walked away from a 209.9mph crash without a scratch. He has been a rider, who doesn't get on a bike without full head-to-toe gear.
Motorcycle accidents have always been the direct result of riders not wearing the proper motorcycle protective clothing, which makes the driver susceptible to physical bruises and injuries. Injuries like skin abrasions and lacerations, fractured ankles are all the result of improper motorcycle clothing, commonly associated with two-wheeler driving. In countries like India, where it becomes unpredictable to judge sudden situations which has led to the growing need riding gears. At some places, there are also instances of no traffic signs, roads that are inappropriately marked, leading to hazardous situations for riders while riding fast bikes (especially among the youth). High-end bikes and cars are capable of cruising at an average of around 135-145 km/h, which provides little time or scope to react to any situation arising in front of the rider. However, this doesn’t restrict the use of high-speed bikes or cars, especially if one is adhering to the safety & rules. With an increased choice available for the riders, high-speed bikes are available in plenty even at entry-level models, which drives the need for using more riding gear as a safety measure. Iconic brands like Triumph, Ducati and Yamaha, as well as entry-level high-speed bikes from brands like KTM & Benelli, have provided a lot of options.
Increased improvement in product features like helmets integrated with Bluetooth capability, which enables an individual to answer phone calls, listen to music, and even get driving directions, have also helped in the increased demand of these gears. Moreover, it is by law in most of the countries like that of Canada, parts of the United States, United Kingdom and India to mandatorily use helmets while riding a bike. Additionally, riding gears such as shoes, and gloves and helmets are mandatory while driving high end cars. These gears helps to provide protection to the driver in case of an accident Other than helmets, riding gloves have also evolved, where riding gloves now come equipped with knuckle protectors and reinforced material around the palms that offer optimum protection, unlike the half cut leather gloves that lend little stability to the rider. There is also an increased demand for thermal riding gloves, especially from in cold countries (or cold states), which are very useful at keeping your fingers warm. There are also gloves that come equipped with a windproof, waterproof membrane and insulation for extreme weather conditions. The advent of these riding gears has also helped augment the adoption of these riding gears to a significant extent in the two-wheeler segment.
Cost and Inconvenience Issues
People India who have and use riding gear – jackets, pants and shoes with inbuilt armor and helmets are a small minority. For most of the two-wheeler riders in India, the inconveniences of wearing riding gear and the cost of owning a premium gear (other than helmets) overweigh their protective benefits. Riding boots and riding jackets, for instance, are quite expensive. Riding jackets alone costs more than INR 5000. Riding apparel in tropical climates like that of India and other countries in Asia-Pacific, with factors like heat, humidity, dust and pollution playing a dominant factor, become increasingly difficult and uncomfortable on a regular basis. A riding boot provides with significant traction and protects the small bones in the feet in the case of a crash, but costs higher than that of any conventional sports boots. Hence, these kinds of professional riding boots are replaceable by using army boots with steel toes. They are also equally reliable in protecting the feet in the freezing temperatures as well as serve the purpose of providing ankle and shin protection. It is expected that out of a USD 5,000 budget for a bike, more than USD 1,500 would be spent on acquiring the right set of riding gears.
Also, parking areas also do not have secure storage spaces for riding gear, making the riders insecure about this costly equipment. In the case of helmets, for instance, there is a perceived notion among most consumers that they cause baldness with prolonged usage. In other words, riding gear does not offer essential benefits for the users who, besides safety, seek the need to feel fresh and look presentable over the length of the day. However, significant opportunity lies in designing and manufacturing riding gear for strong mass adoption by understanding the mindset, buying behaviour and lifestyle. The apparel industry, for instance, needs to focus on offering regular day-to-day attire such as shirts, scarves, jackets or jeans in India that are not only used as a fashionable item but are also used and designed for safety purposes. These offerings can utilize the strengths of the textile industry (say for India) and optimize the usage of new materials to achieve the required economies of scale.
Key Developments in the Market:
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