More and more women are riding motorcycles, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s (MIC) latest motorcycle ownership survey. The data from the survey shows that out of the 9.2 million motorcycle owners in the United States of America, 14% of them are women. Booyah!
This figure is a stark contrast to the 8% ownership rate for women that was found in 1998, though it shows that the motorcycle industry still has a great deal of ground to cover when it comes to appealing to both sexes equally.
Encouraging though is the fact that 30 million people in the USA swung a leg over a motorcycle, with over a quarter of those people being female (some presumably as passengers), which shows that the sport and industry is at least reaching out beyond the gender lines.
The survey also showed that female ridership is even stronger in the younger demographics, with 17% female ownership in Generation X and 17.6% female ownership in the Millennial Generation. Contrast that to the Baby Boomer generation, where only 9% of women are owning a motorcycle.
“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport,” said Sarah Schilke, National Marketing Manager of BMW Motorrad USA and Chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Motorcycling is for anyone and that’s being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments.”
So what bikes are women choosing to ride? Cruisers account for 34% of female riders, while scooters rank a close second with 33% ownership. Meanwhile, sport bikes have only 10% of female motorcycle ownership rate.
When asked why they ride, the top three reasons women gave were “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and lastly “enjoy outdoors/nature.”
However when it comes to making a purchase decision, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important decision-making factors, the prior likely a result byproduct for high scooter ownership rate.
Lastly, the study revealed that women are more safety-conscious than men, with 60% taking a motorcycle safety course, compared to 42% of men.