Question: Do a Lot of Women Ride Motorcycles?
This question was one of the searches that landed someone here on the blog. Sometimes the search terms are ridiculous, sometimes they’re interesting and sometimes they are even a question worth exploring.
Hmm, I would say more now than ever but I have nothing to back it up. Let’s consult the internet at large, shall we?
Women Riders Now says that in 2012:
Nearly 25 percent of all motorcyclists are female (that’s one out of every four riders).
Anecdotally, I don’t see that 1 out of 4 riders in my area is a woman but maybe I’m that fourth rider. Locally, I probably don’t see one out of every 10 other riders is a woman. This could be a regional thing with places like the west coast having a larger representation of women on motorcycles.
What about you – do you see anything close to 1 in 4?
33 Replies to “Question: Do a Lot of Women Ride Motorcycles?”
Seeing this post made my morning. 🙂
I don’t see one in four, but I see a lot more women than you do. Part of that is probably due to my location (Warrenton is along one of the major routes from the east to Shenandoah National Park). It always tickles me when I see other women riders. It really makes me happy me when I see more than one woman in a group. I’ve even seen a couple groups of four women riding together.
There are definitely more women out there, but I’m not sure it’s as high as 25 percent.
I see HD riders being more women than ADV riders. Not sure about the 1/4 for but way more women on cruisers I see lately.
Just as Leslie said, when I ride my street bike, there are other women to ride with but when I ride my dual sport bike, I’m the lone women among a group of men.
Yes, I see more ladies riding cruisers than anything else too.
When I do a dualsport event I don’t usually see more than a handful of us girls amidst the sausage party.
Maryland, I see a lot of women riders, never thought about the percentage. Most of our customers and friends are couples that both ride so when we go out in groups it’s usually an equal 50/50. Always fun to do an all girls ride, keep an eye out we usually schedule that in early May.
I know of one other lady rider in my immediate neighborhood but (jersey) city wide I’ve seen a few more. I wouldn’t say its 1 in 4 though.
*hey ToadMama- I’ve got the same jacket! 🙂
I’m north of Seattle and there are tons of bikes, especially in the summer. I don’t see anything close to one in four. Maybe closer to one in ten? There’s a mix of bikes, but I was say generally more cruisers for the ladies (and some very serious ones at that, not just stereotypical Sportsters). I think the perception here is that women ride cruisers. I had a guy stop and ask me a question when I was on my Ninja and he said holy crap you’re a girl. Apparently not what he was expecting when he pulled up next to me.
Over this past summer I saw quite a few pairs of bikes where it appeared the man was teaching the women to ride. It made me feel good to see women taking those early steps on the road.
There’s a women’s riding group out here I keep meaning to catch up with, but my schedule has been too crazy to commit. There seem to be lots of different bikes in that group, from liter supersports to adventure touring to Harleys. So without a doubt the ladies are out there, but I don’t think in 1:4 numbers.
By the way, love your blog. I’m originally from NJ/NY and it’s great to see pictures from back east.
I don’t see 1 in 4, but I do see a lot and am glad for it. There has been a large increase in the number of female riders in the past 20 years. Many of them, you included, are an inspiration to all people. Break those stereotypes!
Awww, thanks, Ant 🙂 Glad to see you.
Does that 1 in 4 count for women as passengers? I see a lot of women riding pillion but still definitely not 1 in 4 counting that.
Yet, my local moto store employs at least that ratio.
I see TONS of women as pillions.
Their stats say:
* Operators is defined by those women who can ride a motorcycle regardless of if they own one.
* Owners is defined by those women who bought a motorcycle and registered it in their name.
There is no where near 1 in 4 over here in Aus – not in the Victorian rural area I live in anyway. As an example, we went for a ride up into the hills the other day and stopped for a coffee at a regular riders ‘haunt’. It was a great day weather-wise and there would have been more than 80 riders there. The few women I saw were riding pillion. It may be a different story in say, Melbourne city, but I really wouldn’t say it’s 1 in 4. You only have to look at the lack of women’s bike gear over here to get a feel for how many women are riders.
I ride a dual sport and I’ve only met 2 other women who ride the same type of bike – but maybe I need to get out more 😉 Cheers.
Speaking from experience, I think most of the female dual sport riders are on the taller side. I’m 5’9″ with long legs riding an unmodified F650GS and it fits me perfectly. Most women who are 5’7″ or shorter would have a difficult time touching the ground fully. In my opinion, that’s why most women ride cruisers.
You are right, but some, Like Fuzzy and Kate Johnston are vertically challenged and kick butt on regular bikes!
Are you kidding? I’m a GIANT, Ant! At least i feel like i am. 😀
I’m very thankful to be dual sport girl who is only 5’03”! I ride a 1200GS which is factory-lowered and allows me to tiptoe at a stop. It is never a problem on the road (60,000 miles so far) and I have engine guards for the off-road adventures!
Here in the Bay Area of coastal California, I do not see 25% of riders being female on the road, however, I have been teaching the basic rider course for ten+ years here and I have had 50% of the class represented by women! I can definitely see the numbers growing from my vantage point.
I’m surprised by this. I figured in your area you would see a high percentage of lady riders. Clearly they’re learning to ride and getting endorsed. Where are they…?
Certainly don’t see a quarter of motorcycle riders being women on this side of the pond. If we were just talking scooters, yeah, probably. My better half is training for her full bike licence now. Her instructor did say he was training more women these days though.
I took a riding instruction class in the mid 90s. It was 50/50 split men & women. You just jogged my memory of that.
I don’t have a feel for percentages but I know a lot of women riders here in the Seattle area.
And when I went up to the Vancouver bike show and works a Dual Sport BC table, the percentage may have been higher…
sounds like you’re pretty lucky then, Don 🙂
I live in central Florida and love my StreetGlide. I’m barely 5’4″ and my “height” is certainly not in leg length (thanks, Dad), but it’s really only a problem if I’m trying to back the bike up a grade. I have made mods to my shoes, seat, and handlebars to be most comfortable. Though I will admit, I look longingly at sport or adventure bikes and think how much fun they could be. I see a number of women riders in the area, but I don’t think I would say that number would be 1 in 4; I might put it closer to 1 in 6, with the majority of those riding cruiser style bikes. However, I have noticed that the younger ladies tend to be riding some pretty spiffy sport bikes that make me look twice! No matter what they are riding, I still catch myself saying, “Hey! That was a girl!” And yes, I’m one of those crazies that will give you a quick wave as our paths cross.
I always spot the other lady riders too 🙂
I think i’m kind of in a sweet spot height/inseam-wise where I can kinda ride anything. I’m sure it must be terribly frustrating to feel limited in your choices.
And I’m a waver. For better or for worse. Though, after all these years I don’t know why but i still feel a slap when someone spurns my wave 😀
I’m certainly not seeing 25% here in the Wild West. I think that John might be onto something: If those stats are true, it could be the scooterists. (Or is it scooterers? Scooterererererererer–the sound of a scooter with a weak battery.)
I surely wish that more women would take up this great activity, whether on a cruiser, a sport bike, something for the dirt, or a different ride for every day of the week. Nothing drops my jaw more than when I see a woman competently and confidently captaining her machine through the curves. It’s just, well, effing AWESOME. Such confidence and seeming fearlessness is, inspiring, beautiful, and (at the risk of being accused of objectifying) sexy.
Unless Women Riders Now had its language all wrong and it’s actually “nearly 25 percent of each motorcyclist is female”… In which case I would invite motorbiking to put me more in touch with my feminine side. 🙂
annnnd… you would probably run in to some issues with getting gear that fits properly. 😆
I wish more women would too. Every women who throws a leg over on a bike advances the marketplace for us all. Plus? It’s just freakin’ fun.
Fully 50% of my regular riding group is female. That’s right, half!
Pretty darn good group to ride with too.
Oh. I guess I should mention that Toadmama is my wife and she’s pretty much the only one I ride with 🙂
Does your wife know you’re here?! I feel like the universe is going to implode or something! 😆
Good to see you, Mike. You’re a lucky guy. I wish I could ride with your wife all the time. She’s fun!
Smiling widely here in VA.
Hi Fuzzy, been catching up on your posts, but HAD to comment on this one. I live in the south, North Georgia, and I would say the numbers of women riders are increasing, but would definitely not say 1 in 4 yet. I ride a 1200GS because I am fortunate to have enough inseam, but agree that dual sport bikes are height-challenging for a lot of women. I see a ton of women on their cruisers, but mostly in the summer months. Women here tend to disappear from the riding scene when it gets cold., Not sure why, since there is heated gear? 😀 It is actually our favorite time of year to ride; me and my riding buddy/husband. Anyway, I took my basic MSF course in 1999 and I was one of two women in a class full of men. It is good to see more women getting into motorcycles and I look forward to the day that 1 in 4 is common! Cheers, Lynne
here in rio de janeiro i would say the stats would be something like 1:15, maybe less. but the trend i’m observing is that girls are into the scooters thing. not sure whether this is a marketing strategy, but it’s the reality. very rare are the occasions (zero to none?) i see a girl riding a crotch rocket. other than scooters i see them riding these small displacement bikes like honda cg 150, fazer 150…
In Iowa, I see a good amount of women riding cruisers – it’s probably close to 1 in 6. I’ve only ever seen 3 other women on a sport bike (I ride a Ninja).