Will He be Good or Bad for All of us on Two Wheels?
With Joe Biden becoming the president-elect after the course of a stressful election, one question springs to mind. What Biden will do for the motorcycle industry once he takes over at the White House?
President Trump has had a bit of a difficult relationship with the motorcycle industry. He has been sometimes on good terms with Harley-Davidson during his presidency and sometimes not. Many of his tariff policies actually made it harder for motorcycle companies and motorcycle parts suppliers. While motorcycles were usually not the focus of his policies and just a part of an overall policy choice, they were still impacted.
With all that in mind, it begs the question, how will having Joe Biden as president impact the motorcycle industry? Biden is known to ride a motorcycle from time to time, according to RideApart. He also stopped at the National Motorcycle Museum during his campaign. While he will surely have bigger fish to fry in the early days of his presidency, with COVID-19 still a major issue and all sorts of unrest across the country, motorcycles will undoubtedly be impacted by his policies.
Biden likes to claim he’s a working-class guy or rather working for the working-class, so it will be interesting to see how that translates into policy surrounding motorcycles. It likely means he will roll back or change some of the tariffs the Trump administration has put in place. This could be a good thing for motorcycle companies.
Harley has seen negative impacts from Trump’s policies, including having $1.4 billion wiped off its market cap in 2019, according to Forbes. Biden will likely come with a global economic viewpoint and this could mean that the tariffs on things like steel and aluminum will be eliminated or reduced. Getting rid of those would reduce the price of motorcycles and parts.
Aside from tariffs, I’d love to see Biden’s administration help protect lands used for off-road riding. Trump signed legislation protecting OHV areas during his presidency, and Biden could do the same, continuing to allow dirt bike riders and adventure riders to explore even more of the U.S.
Additionally, Biden has long championed alternative energies and electric vehicles, so you can expect to see tighter regulations on emissions and even more of a push from motorcycle manufacturers to electric bikes in the coming years.
In all honesty, a Biden presidency will probably mean a mixed bag of results for motorcyclists and motorcycle businesses. It’s unclear at this time where he and his administration will fall on every issue. I’m hoping that the policies and decisions made will help make riding easier, better, and more affordable.