The Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors met in April and 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 in May.
“Everyone agreed that 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 of 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 MyFirstRide.org, 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 MyFirstRide.org to learn more about getting into powersports.”
The meeting also affirmed a board priority is to promote the industry through outreach programs such as Motorcycles.org, 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.
“Motorcycles.org 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, Motorcycles.org 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 of global government relations of Polaris Industries Inc. and Indian Motorcycle
• Chuck Boderman, MIC vice chair — vice president powersports division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
• Jim Woodruff, MIC secretary/treasurer — chief operating officer of National Powersport Auctions
• Eric Anderson, MIC director — founder, president of VROOM Network
• Mike Doughty, MIC director — general manager of motorcycle sales and marketing of Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
• Kerry Graeber, MIC director — vice president of MC/ATV sales and marketing of Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.
• John Hinz, MIC director — president of KTM North America, Inc.
• Bill Jenkins, MIC director — senior vice president of sales and operations of Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA
• Andrew Leisner, MIC director — senior vice president and managing director of Bonnier Motorcycle Media
• Michael Peyton, MIC director — vice president of BMW Motorrad USA
• Paul Puma, MIC director — president of Puma & Associates
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, AIMExpo, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, CA with a government relations office in Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914.