For decades, the life of a rider has been one that is generally dominated by men.
When the average person thinks of a biker, they typically envision dudes dressed in heavy leather jackets, motorcycle jeans and leathers, long streaming hair, black helmets and big shiny bikes. When they think of a woman rider they might imagine someone in the passenger seat, wearing a baby pink helmet and a pair of flower-patterned jeans. But in reality, the demographic has changed greatly over the last several years, with more and more women riders taking over the scene.
Recent studies have shown that while in 1998 only 8% of motorcycle riders were women, that number jumped to 14% in 2014.
Additionally, research shows that female bikers are typically much younger than their male counterparts, with the median age of women riders at 39-years old versus 48-years old for male riders.
But what is it really like to be a woman in a male-dominated sport? In addition to respect and acceptance from their fellow riders, women want access to better protective gear and the latest industry technology.
Women Like Big Bikes
The biggest misconception that the general public and some male riders have about female bikers is that women are into petite little scooters. The reality? A whopping 34% of women actually ride cruisers, basically known to be the “manliest” kind of motorcycle out there. Some may say that women are simply attracted to the idea of being strong and powerful behind the wheel. While it is sure to have some appeal, women bikers have been proven to be much more safety-conscious than male riders. In fact, 60% of female bikers have completed a motorcycle safety course, compared to 42% of male bikers.
Women Want Better Gear
Once women riders are able to get past the initial stigma that they are only interested in cruising around town on their pink scooters, they must also face the obstacle of trying to find high-grade gear that is specifically made with their needs in mind. Safety and proper protection are both extremely important for female riders and finding the right protective gear can be a difficult task. However, while it may have been nearly impossible to find well-made motorcycle jeans and protective jackets just a few short years ago, the industry has finally taken note that female riders are here to stay. As long as manufacturers get the picture that women are looking for the same level of performance in gear that is made to protect the female rider, we can finally say goodbye to the pink, the flowers and the frills.
Women Riders Deserve Respect
Women riders know that there’s really nothing pretty about riding motorcycles. Riding a bike is empowering and as the underrepresented minorities in the US and across the globe start to speak up for equality, women bikers are here to say that they are strong enough to ride. Women riders don’t have to be limited to the passenger seat if they don’t want to be. Gone are the days where female riders were marketed towards with items that are tiny, pink and shiny. Whether they ride for practical reasons like getting back and forth to work or they ride for the pure pleasure of it, women bikers deserve to be treated with respect from their fellow riders and the industry as a whole.
Looking Forward to the Future of Motorcycle Ownership
While the world of motorcycle riding is still definitely considered a male-dominated sport, the number of women bikers is clearly on the rise. As the type of bikers that are out on the road become more diverse, that means that motorcycles should become more approachable for everyone. With a more diverse demographic of riders interested in new cutting-edge gear for protection and more technically advanced bikes, we can demand better products from manufacturers – which is a win for every motorcycle owner across the board.