Guest Author - Nancy Brotherton
In 2007, I wrote an article about Why Women Ride. At that time, motorcycle manufacturers were just beginning to take note of the fact that women make up a big part of the purchasing power of an average household. Harley Davidson has launched an effort to woo women motorcycle riders to their dealerships by having “Garage Parties” where women riders can come and learn all there is to know about Harleys and riding. Manufacturers, including Harley, are offering designs in motorcycles specifically for smaller riders. The bikes sit lower to the ground and are lighter and easier to handle.
According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, between 1998 and 2003, the
number of female riders has increased approximately 34 percent. This number shows that roughly 4.3 million women motorcyclists out of 23.5 million people that operate a motorcycle or approximately 18 percent of all riders are women. "You’ve come a long way baby" because less than ten years ago women made up only 3 percent of all riders.
The Council has provided the following statistics about women riders:
• 56.7% of women motorcyclists are married.
• 28% of women motorcyclists have a college or postgraduate degree.
• 35% of women motorcyclists hold a technical/professional job.
• 42: Median age of women motorcyclists, up from 38 in 1998.
The stereotypical image of the hardened male road warrior with the tattoos, long hair, muscles, and a bad attitude is definitely changing. A softer, yet edgy female version is developing. Women who have good jobs, marriages, education, and sophistication are venturing into the sport of motorcycling and discovering the lure of the highway.
Point in case, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, an internationally known organization that provides comprehensive rider safety and training education, notes that 33.3 percent or one third of their students who took the riding course last year were female. That is exciting news! Not only are female buying more motorcycles but they are getting trained in the proper riding techniques.
The Motorcycle Industry Council states that manufacturers sold 1.1 million bikes in 2005. Out of those sales, 15% at Kawasaki were to women riders. 12% of Harley Davidson’s $4.6 billion sales were to women riders. That represents
$4.6 X .12 = $552,000,000 of purchasing power. Better late than never for manufacturers to start producing women friendly motorcycles, clothing, and gear.
We are women riders, hear us roaring down the road!!
Until next week, ride safe!