Women Who Ride: Exploring the Powerful Motivations Behind Female Motorcyclists
What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase motorcycle rider? Big, burly dude in a Harley vest? A guy on a sportbike racing along a track? Or maybe a classic ‘James Dean’ type in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette.
Whoever you’re picturing, odds are they have one thing in common; they’re probably a man.
Motorcycling has long been associated with masculinity, with women either on the periphery or ignored entirely. But that notion is changing, and it’s time to rewrite the narrative.
The Rising Tide of Female Riders
The number of women owning and riding motorcycles has been growing steadily over the past few decades. As of 2015, women made up about 14% of all motorcycle riders, up from 10% in 2003, which was up from 8% in 1998. More women than ever are riding motorcycles, and the giants of the industry have taken notice.
There has never been a better time for women to start riding. The benefits of riding a motorcycle can be applied to all riders regardless of gender, but we wanted to highlight some of the benefits that resonate with female riders.
Riding Provides A Sense Of Independence
Few things in life compare to the feeling of freedom you get when you start up a motorcycle. Riding has always been seen as an act of independence, which may be part of the appeal that has caused the rising tide of female riders.
History is changing. These days it’s becoming more common for women to forgo the backseat in favor of taking the handlebars. The sense of freedom and independence derived from riding your own motorcycle can be a great way to combat life’s stress and make life’s challenges seem much less intimidating.
Women Are Creating A Community Of Riders
Conversely, riding a motorcycle can also be a gateway to becoming part of a community of like-minded people. The increase of women owning and riding motorcycles has brought with it the rise of motorcycle groups made up of exclusively women.
According to Women Riders Now, there are over 30 different national and regional motorcycle groups specifically for female riders. Joining one of these groups can be a great way of establishing a support system of female riders who understand and empathize with being a woman in a largely male-centric community.
Manufacturers Are Starting To Cater To The Female Demographic
As the number of female riders continues to trend upward, the motorcycle industry has taken notice. Companies are expanding and diversifying their product lines to accommodate the growing influx of women riders.
There are now more options for women in all areas of the motorcycle industry, from outer apparel to the bikes themselves.
Industry giants like Harley-Davidson and BMW have recently rolled out updated designs of their classic bikes with smaller frames to accommodate the growing demand for bikes suitable for smaller, female riders. Classic bikes with big horsepower are being made with shorter stature in mind by many of the big players in the industry.
Though female motorcycle riders are still the minority, more and more ladies are beginning to carve out their own niche in a largely male-dominated activity. As the number of women riders continues to grow, the industry itself is changing to accommodate this new crop of motorcycle enthusiasts.
So for women who have thought about taking the leap into motorcycle riding, there has never been a better time to get started!
Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below, and let’s continue to empower and inspire more women to join the world of motorcycling!