Women are charging forward! The Motorcycle Industry Councils (MIC) annual survey indicates that, in 2018, 19 percent of motorcycles were owned by women. Almost double in 9 years! Digging deeper by age, women owners represent an even larger share of the market:
- 39-53 years old = 22 percent
- 24-38 years old = 26 percent
Women Riders Hold the Keys
Women and girls of all ages and backgrounds have discovered motorcycling and the exhilaration and sense of community it brings. While this may not be news for those of us who are paying attention, the release of this data is catching the attention of industry leaders and aftermarket manufacturers who have been ignoring the fastest-growing segment of the industry. Looking ahead, we should see more gear, bikes, and services marketed to women. But it’s our job as a community to keep the OEMs and manufacturers on their toes, making our voices heard.
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Commitment to Women in Leadership Positions
It’s also our job to continue filling high-level industry jobs where we can make real decisions and changes from the top. WRN has been committed to women riders for more than a decade, and its founder, Genevieve Schmitt, is just one of many women in motorcycling who has continuously pushed to make women’s presence known to manufacturers. 2019 will mark 20 years for me in motorcycle media, and I continue to be re-energized by the excitement I see from newcomers in the sport.
Women Motorcyclists Outspend Men
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.
Talk to your dealers and suppliers wherever you buy products and motorcycles. Tell them what you want, what you appreciate, and make sure they know why you are choosing to spend your money with them. Support those who support women in motorcycling. (One way to know who supports women motorcyclists is to see who is advertising on WRN—shameless plug, but true.)
More on the MCI Survey
The MIC polled 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey. For decades, the MIC surveys have served as the census of motorcycling, and have tracked a steady growth in the percentage of women who own bikes.
Nearly one in five motorcycle owners is now female, compared with one in 10 less than a decade ago, and the data suggests that women could soon make up one quarter of owners, which would be a major shift in motorcycling demographics, according to the latest national survey by MCI.
Among all age groups, women now make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners. But the 2018 survey showed even greater female ownership within younger generations. Among Gen X motorcycle owners, 22 percent were women; among Gen Y, 26 percent were women.
“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.”