Progressive’s boat/motorcycle/RV experts weigh in on the coming year
What do boat, motorcycle and RV insurance experts do when they’re not thinking about insurance? In the case of Progressive’s team, many enjoy the same outdoor activities as the customers they serve: on the water, on the road or at the campsite.
They’re also extremely tied in to boat, motorcycle and RV industry trends. And, with the season winding down (in Ohio, at least), they’re already looking forward to 2015.
I asked several team members a quick question: “What new boat-motorcycle-RV product, technology, accessory, or other trend are you most interested in seeing in 2015?”
Not surprisingly, I got a variety of responses. Here’s what they had to say, in their own words.
Melissa Geric, RV Underwriter/Appraiser
I’m excited to see the new side-entry toy-haulers! The toy-hauling portion can now slide out when needed. This gives RVers versatility of when or how they want to haul their toys. Some models have a kids’ suite in place of the hauling area for kids to have their own high-tech getaway. This makes this type of trailer even more versatile and appealing to families.
Rick Stern, Boat Product Manager
Yamaha is introducing motorcycle-like controls for their WaveRunners®, with the throttle operated by the right hand and the brake operated by the left. This will give riders the ability to accelerate, brake, or reverse intuitively. Both levers can be operated at the same time to stabilize the WaveRunner during a turn, for example, and the control unit managing all of this is programmed to understand driver input and intentions. Sounds pretty cool to me.
Andrea Kovacic, RV Product Analyst
I love the new trend of outdoor kitchens on RVs. How can you not love the fact that you can spend more time outdoors? These new units have grills, refrigerators, sinks, cabinets, awnings, and most now have TVs. You don’t have to go up and down the steps—in and out—for all your necessities (plates, forks, napkins, beverages, etc.), or to keep the flies and dirt/mud out of the trailer. This truly is tailgating at its finest!
Jim Burgett, Motorcycle Senior Underwriter/Appraiser
We have seen an increase in the amount of available dual-purpose motorcycle models over the recent years. The bulk of these models are produced by European or Japanese manufacturers. I am wondering if any of the American companies will follow suit and enter this market.
Scott Hall, Motorcycle Product Manager
I’m most interested in seeing to what extent consumers embrace the “alternative vehicles” that are becoming more prevalent. Most are yet to be released, but the vehicles from these major manufacturers could have a significant impact on the industry. Some examples of these vehicles include the Polaris® SlingshotTM (released in July), Harley’s LivewireTM electric motorcycle, Yamaha’s PES1 and PED1 electric motorcycles, and the soon to be manufactured Elio® car/motorcycle hybrid.
Cole Patrick, Boat Underwriter
Evinrude® recently released its new G2® series of outboard motors. In addition to increased power, reduced weight and better fuel economy, a boater will be able to fully customize the color scheme of the outboard exterior. Assuming the benefits and customization options of the G2 catch on, we could see a major shake-up of traditionally exclusive outboard motor and boat brand pairings.
Todd Matthews, Senior Events Specialist
We’ve seen several new major product rollouts for 2015. Polaris® has introduced the SlingshotTM and Can Am® rolled out the newest Spyder®, the F3®. Each of these vehicles showcase the stability of the reverse trike—a three-wheel design with two in front and one in the back. It’s a real paradigm shift in the motorcycle industry. It truly takes the hardest element out of learning to ride—balance.
I’m also, very excited to see and ride the new Indian® ScoutTM. Indian, the first American motorcycle, finally has an entry-level motorcycle that everyone can afford. After riding it at Bikes, Blues & BBQ, I’m convinced it’s a winner!
What do you think?
While the late fall and winter are downtime for many enthusiasts, it’s also the perfect time to think ahead to the coming season. So, I’ll pose the question to you: “What new boat-motorcycle-RV product, technology, accessory, or other trend are you most interested in seeing in 2015?”
Please post your thoughts below.