Nearly One In Five Motorcycle Owners Is Female

Shifting demographics reveal that 19 percent of motorcycle owners are women

women motorcycle stats
Motorcycle Ownership Among Women Hits 19%Courtesy of

Do you feel like you're seeing more women riding motorcycles these days? Well, you're not imagining things—a national survey just released by the Motorcycle Industry Council confirms that nearly one in five motorcycle owners is now female, a big jump compared to the makeup 10 years ago, when one in 10 owners was a woman. What's more, the data suggests that women could soon make up one quarter of owners, a number that would mark a major shift in a powersports segment long dominated by males, according to that same survey.

In some cases, they’re already there. Among all age groups, women now make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners, but if you break it down by generation, the younger Gen Y group showed a whopping 26 percent of owners are women. For Gen X motorcycle owners, it’s 22 percent.

Which makes sense in the greater context of motorcycling demographics; we’ve all watched the traditional core group of male Boomer motorcycle riders continuing to shrink over the years. Andria Yu, MIC director of communications, says, “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…the data confirms it: More and more women are getting out there and enjoying motorcycles.”

The MIC polled 2,472 adults nationwide for the 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey. For decades, the MIC surveys have essentially served as a census of the motorcycling world, and the periodic surveys have shown steady growth in the percentage of women who own bikes over the years.

“Major efforts to increase the number of women riders go back to the late 1980s when top manufacturers and distributors came together and formed Discover Today’s Motorcycling, the industry outreach program built to introduce new riders to two-wheeling,” said Cam Arnold, a longtime industry executive. “Throughout the 1990s and on till today, the big brands have dedicated increasing amounts of attention to the women’s market, and we’ve simply seen more and more positive imagery on TV, in movies, and in many mainstream settings where women on motorcycles are just having fun.”

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.

“We’ve seen particularly strong growth in the aftermarket sector for women,” said Cinnamon Kernes, vice president and general manager of MIC Events and the American International Motorcycle Expo, the largest powersports trade and consumer show in North America. “Over the past decade, more women are designing riding gear and other products specifically for female riders. Having gear designed for women by women has certainly helped encourage female ridership.”

Additional data on women riders, and all riders, from the MIC’s 2018 Motorcycle/ATV Owner Survey will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.