Updated: Mar 7, 2020
Why the motorcycle industry should pay attention to women riders.
Hello and welcome to our first post. I’m starting off with this first topic on a hunch that female motorcycle riders are on the rise. I decided to start here because as a female rider, I couldn't help but notice women are often overlooked in the motorcycling industry. I’d like to explore this and ask why?
For example, gear brands often do what we describe as “shrink it and pink it”. I have nothing against pink, but why oh must women's gear be tiny men’s gear? They don’t fit women properly, and why does it have to be princess-pink? And why can’t we have the cool gear that guys have with the nice pockets and adult colors? And why are there only 1 or 2 women’s styles all dusty in the back corner of the store? Guys get so many nice options to choose from. Women have to settle for looking ridiculous in order to have safe gear to wear.
When I asked manufacturers these very questions, I've heard replies such as, “Women just don’t buy motorcycles, and when they do, they give up after a year because their husbands made them learn to ride.” (someone actually told me this) Even if some of this is the slightest bit true, what about the pillion riders? What about scooter riders? Don’t they deserve to be protected? I often see motorcyclists fully protected in leather while their passengers barely have a teeny helmet and in some cases, a dress flapping in the breeze with bare legs. (Which I have have been guilty of back in the day… when all I rode with was a halter top, mini skirt, and sunglasses…. those were the days!)
I think my hunch is right, but I'll need to dive in with some statistics for a moment. Since these statistics were last gathered in 2014, I’m sure the numbers have grown even further.
The Latest gather from US surveys show:
Statistics were last gathered in 2014, but I'll update when possible.
14% of motorcycle owners are women
Update 2018: 19% of motorcycle owners are women
The total number of women rider in the US went from 600,000 to 1.2 million
17% of Gen X and Millennials are women riders, while 9% are Boomers
Update 2018: 26% of Millennial and 22% of Gen X motorcycle owners are women
The average age of female riders is 39 compared to 48 for males
60% of women riders have taken a safety course compared to 42% of men
49% of female motorcyclists do their own maintenance
57% of female riders bought new as opposed to used
At any rate, I want to bring attention to the avid female motorcyclists out there. For those manufacturers with the pink gear, we would buy your apparel, if they weren’t so ugly. However, in defense of a few, I have noticed an up-tick in proper and decent women’s motorcycle gear starting to trickle into the market. Perhaps we will discuss to see who’s who in the near future. I look forward to following this, as well as stories of women riders rising around the world.