Women Motorcycle Riders Growing

The Motorcycle Industry Council released the results of a new national survey Thursday about women motorcycle owners.

The 2018 survey says that among all age groups, 19 percent of motorcycle owners are women – nearly doubling since 2009. This equates to one in every five motorcycle owners being female, up from one in every 10 back in 2009.

This numbers are also greater for the younger generation of female riders:

  • 22 percent among Generation X (those born from 1965 – 1984 according to Harvard)
  • 26 percent among Generation Y (those born from 1985 – 2004 according to Harvard)
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Ultimate Motorcycling’s Kelly Callan

“As the number of Boomer and mature motorcyclists shrink and are replaced by newer riders, we could soon be looking at a solid 25 percent of motorcycle owners being female,” said Andria Yu, MIC director of communications.

“We’ve seen with our own eyes many more women riders — on the roads, on the trails, on the track, with families, at motorcycling events, forming clubs and just being part of everyday group rides. Many people in the industry have worked some 30 years to achieve this, and now the data confirms it: More and more women are getting out there and enjoying motorcycles.”

The MIC polled 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey. For decades, the MIC says its surveys have served as the census of motorcycling, and have tracked a steady growth in the percentage of women who own bikes.

“Major efforts to increase the number of women riders go back to the late 1980s when top manufacturers and distributors came together and formed Discover Today’s Motorcycling, the industry outreach program built to introduce new riders to two-wheeling,” said Cam Arnold, a longtime industry executive who is organizing a Women in Powersports networking event this evening in New York City.

“The first DTM project in the 1980s spotlighted the historic 1916 Van Buren sisters ride across the country and garnered much media attention. Throughout the 1990s and on till today, the big brands have dedicated increasing amounts of attention to the women’s market, and we’ve simply seen more and more positive imagery on TV, in movies and in many mainstream settings where women on motorcycles are just having fun.”

Women Motorcycle Ownership Reaches 19%: 1 in 5 Owners are FemaleThe MIC says the 2018 owner survey also found that women motorcycle owners spend, on average, $574 a year on tires, routine repairs, maintenance, replacement parts, and accessories and modifying equipment, compared with $497 by men.

“We’ve seen particularly strong growth in the aftermarket sector for women,” said Cinnamon Kernes, newly appointed Vice President and General Manager of MIC Events and the American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide, the largest powersports trade and consumer show in North America.

“Over the past decade, more women are designing riding gear and other products specifically for female riders, working in major companies or creating their own brands. Having gear designed for women by women was a huge step and has certainly helped encourage female ridership.”

The Women in Powersports gathering will be at the Manhattan showroom and factory of Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber, a company owned and operated by women producing motorcycle gear and apparel for women.

Motorcycling has grown in popularity and acceptance in American culture in recent decades, which is reflected in the survey. It found that 66 percent of women motorcycle owners say their family and friends would have a positive attitude toward motorcycles and scooters.

Additional data on women riders, and all riders, from the MIC’s 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey, will be spotlighted and discussed at tonight’s Women in Powersports event and at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.