More Two-Wheel Female Riders Than Ever – So Market to Them!

The Motorcycle Industry Council's latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998. Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more of them are women than we've ever recorded. In fact, the number of female owners better than doubled from 2003 to 2014. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least one time in 2014, a quarter of these riders were women."

And even better news for motorcycle dealers is that women want to buy more! The new AudienceSCAN survey revealed 21.4% of the Americans planning to buy motorcycles or scooters or mopeds this year are women.

Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners, and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners, are women. Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.

Its encouraging that we're seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for anyone and that's being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments.”

Two-wheel dealers can target ladies — and young ladies — through SEM. The new AudienceSCAN study found 78% of Motorcycle Shoppers took action based on sponsored search results (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing).

The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sport bikes at 10 percent. In the survey, of some 48,000 American households, women were also asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.” When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important decision-making factors.

The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious. While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 percent of men had any formal training. In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.

Scooter sellers can promote safety features and safety courses through TV. The new AudienceSCAN survey showed 23% of Scooter Shoppers think the best source for automotive news or car care advice is television.

Other key survey results:

  • The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males
  • More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop
  • New bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders
  • 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married
  • 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.