New Motorcycle Study - More Female Riders Than Ever

Women who like to ride motorcycles. It’s a topic discussed at bike nights around the world as much as it is in the corporate board rooms of motorcycle manufacturers around that same globe.

There have been many efforts made to encourage women to consider the past time of riding and it looks like they may be paying off.

Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.

“Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more of them are women than we've ever recorded. In fact, the number of female owners better than doubled from 2003 to 2014. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least one time in 2014, a quarter of these riders were women.”

If considering the lifestyle of riding and it future, the study’s findings paint an even better picture.

Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners, and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners, are women. Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.

“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for anyone and that's being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments.”

The Owner Survey also revealed cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders with scooters ranking a close second at 33 percent, followed by sport bikes at 10 percent.

In the survey, of some 48,000 American households, women were also asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.”

When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important decision-making factors. Add to this, women riders appear to ride newer motorcycles with 57 percent preferring them over used bikes.

Women riders tend to be smart and according to the numbers, narrowly single. While 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree, only 49% are married, making the single female bikers the larger number, but not by much.

And there is no hurry to ride down the aisle as time is on the side of female riders. The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males.

The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious. While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 percent of men had any formal training. In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.

Its a topic Clutch and Chrome never tires of with stories such as 'Women who ride motorcycles, are they better than those who don't' as well as 'Celebrity women riders: Who does, could and should'. The subject matter is even better to write about when hearing the results and conclusions found in this new ownership study.

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