Taking to the road with the wind in your hair, is taking on a whole new meaning--especially if you’re a women who is interested in riding a motorcycle. Take a look around the streets of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County on a warm spring night. Chances are you’ll see more women riding motorcycles than ever before.
It’s not a phenomenon relegated to Western Pennsylvania. Statistics from the Motorcycle Industry Council, a national trade association that tracks the demographics of motorcycle riders, confirm what your eyes see.
Nearly 25 percent of riders nationwide are female. Of the 27 million people who ride nationwide, nearly seven million are women.
And it’s a trend that’s on the upswing.
The estimated number of female riders increased 35 percent between 2003 and 2012. And from 2009 to 2012, the number of motorcycles owned by women increased by 20 percent.
And if you’re thinking that these women are riding some down-scaled version of a bike, think again. More than 40 percent of women owners own a cruiser style motorcycle.
So why are women taking to the road on two wheels in such great numbers? The answer can be found in one word: happiness.
A new study shows that women who ride their own motorcycles are noticeably happier – in life, in relationships, and even in the bedroom – than women who don’t ride.
The study, conducted by global insights firm Kelton and commissioned by Harley-Davidson, interviewed 1,013 adult female riders and 1,016 adult female non-riders. The findings make it clear that riding a motorcycle greatly improves a woman’s feelings of overall self-worth. Key insights surrounding women who ride motorcycles in comparison to those who don’t include the following:
1.) More than twice as many always feel happy (37 percent of riders vs. 16 percent of non-riders).
2.) Nearly four times as many always feel sexy (27 percent of riders vs. 7 percent of non-riders).
3.) Nearly twice as many always feel confident (35 percent of riders vs. 18 percent of non-riders).
4.) According to the study, more than half (53 percent) of women who ride cite their motorcycle as a key source of happiness and nearly three in four (74 percent) believe their lives have improved since they started riding.
“Riding a motorcycle is the ultimate form of freedom and self-expression, so it makes sense that women riders are happier in life and, in general, feel more fulfilled,” said Claudia Garber, director of Women’s Outreach for Harley-Davidson. “That’s why learning to ride a motorcycle is the perfect gift you can give yourself and the best resolution to make for a truly life-changing new year.”
Beyond positively impacting a woman’s sense of self, the study also shows riding can improve relationships. When it comes to romance, women who ride leave non-riders in their dust, being more content with:
1.) Communication with their significant other (60 percent of riders vs. 38 percent of non-riders).
2.) Physical intimacy (51 percent of riders vs. 35 percent of non-riders).
3.) Stress can cause tension between significant others, but since more than a third (34 percent) of women riders report that they now feel less stressed after starting to ride, it’s not surprising that 50 percent of them are extremely satisfied with the state of their current relationships.
You can jump start your journey to live a more fulfilled life in 2014 and beyond by learning to ride a motorcycle. If you’d like to learn how to ride, visit www.h-d.com/women. This site offers a number of tools that can start you along your two-wheel journey, including: overviews of motorcycles and news about events called Harley-Davidson Garage Party events, which are designed to give women hands-on demos and tips in a comfortable environment.
The site also features information about Harley-Davidson’s Rider’s Edge New Rider Course, which is offered at select dealerships around the country. The course features 25 hours of expert guidance in the classroom, as well as the practice range, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to ride with confidence.
If you’d like to get out and enjoy the great American open road with the wind in your hair this year, you can also stop by your local Pittsburgh area Harley-Davidson dealer. They can offer even more advice and insight on how to get started on your journey.