July 6th, 2012
The Motorcycle Industry Council is reporting a record number of women riders in the US. As of 2009, the number of females who ride was about 7.2 million.
Cam Arnold, a vice-president of the Motorcycle Industry Council estimates about 1 in 10 motorcycle owners are women. "I hate riding on the back of a bike," Arnold said. "It's a lot more fun being in control."
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), with about 225,000 members, reports that slightly less than 10 percent of their members are female. The number of new women members has been steadily increasing, however. AMA board member Maggie McNally credits the increase to a higher profile for women in riding, more training available, easier to modify motorcycles, and better equipment.
McNally began her riding career in the early 1980's but met some resistance from her friends. "I said that I wanted to get a motorcycle and one of the guys said, 'You can't, girls don't ride motorcycles,"' she said. "I thought, 'He shouldn't be telling a temperamental redhead what she can and cannot do.' I had my permit within a week."
"People were shocked that I didn't sell my bike when I became a mom," McNally said, "but I knew that once the bike was gone, I might never get back into the sport."
Harley Davidson has been marketing heavily to women riders through special campaigns such as the "No Doubts. No Cages." program. Specially designed riding gear tailored to fit women riders has also been a large part of Harley's marketing strategy for the last few years.
"We've heard from enough women who think they might like to do it but don't know how to get started," said Claudia Garber, director of women's outreach for Harley. "They're worried about things like the bike seems too big and too heavy for me, or maybe I don't know other women who ride."
"I'm only 5-1," McNally said. "I wore boy's work boots for years and found the perfect gloves only three years ago. Things have changed a lot. Manufacturers today have realized that women are a huge part of the market."
Female-only motorcycle clubs are popping up around the nation, such as Women on Wheels.
Women are also more likely to take safety courses than men when learning to ride. 58 percent of women riders take a course compared to only 44 percent of men.
1 comments on "More women riders are taking to the streets"
Even though it seems like more women than men take a course, I have noticed that there are more men in the classes than women. My course had 3 out of about 15 and a friend of mine just took her Riders Edge and she was the only woman out of about 12. I think women are more prone to take the courses because of the lack of experience riding and they are very serious about safety.
I have personally noticed a lot more women while I am riding, than even four years ago. Some of the them are really getting into the sport...traveling across the country...not just taking it out on weekends or using it for better gas mileage.
It is all about having the chance to enjoy yourself...without worrying what others think....because once you are on the road....nothing else matters! (except watching out for your safety of course)