Time was, owning a motorcycle was a guy thing. That’s how society saw it, anyway.
Even less than a decade ago, well into the 21st century, only ten percent of bike owners were women.
But that’s changing.
And this isn’t a fluke. It’s been a consistent trend.
The first bump, up to 12%, showed up in 2012. Two years later it climbed to 14%.
It likely won’t stop at 19%, either. The MIC’s data hints that fully 25% of the market could soon be women — a tectonic shift in rider demographics.
“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.
“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.”
– Andria Yu, MIC Director of Communications
Even more encouraging for the industry, the new owners are on the young side. Of the entire population of Gen X owners (ages 39-53,) 22% were women.
Of all the Gen Y or Millennial owners (ages 24-38) women make up 26%.
And they spend, too. MIC found that while the average male owner will put $497 a year into his ride, a woman commits $574 a year to tires, accessories, maintenance and replacement parts.
Good customers. The industry noticed and is responding.
“We’ve seen particularly strong growth in the aftermarket sector for women. 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.”
– Cinnamon Kernes, Vice President and General Manager, MIC Events
The survey also took the temperature of social attitudes towards riding and owning. Of the female owners polled, 66% said that family and friends have a “positive attitude” towards motorcycles and scooters.
Can these numbers be trusted? As much as any survey can be. MIC has been doing these kinds of surveys for decades and their results have served as the de facto census of motorcycling.
For this year’s poll, 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey.
In a domestic motorcycle industry that’s hungry for good news, this change in rider demographics must come as welcome news. It represents what they want — growth and new riders.