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  1. #1
    Registered User REDC650GT's Avatar
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    Anyone notice an increase in Women riding BMWs?

    This might be the Frog in the pot of cold water but I haven't noticed an increase in women riding BMW's. No increase at our club level and I don't notice interest at the dealerships.

    https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/201...owners-female/

    Women-Motorcycle-Ownership-Graph.png

  2. #2
    Definitely noticed this, the growth curve started trending up about 15 years ago. I bet there is more room for growth yet.

    There are a *lot* of women (and they feel very welcome) in the GS Giants.

    Thanks to volunteers Jeannae Washington, Tracy Novacich, Nicole Beachboard, Linnea Alvord, Deb Schiell, Lori Payne, Colleen Sepulveda, Karen Mans, Valerie McCurry, Lori Anderson, Karen Cox, Jessie Ratterman .... I cannot remember all the names and I know I am forgetting many, but women have been enthusiastic participants and volunteers at every event.

    Ian





    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  3. #3
    This is an interesting note to follow.

    I have noticed more women locally on various bikes of all sorts, but interestingly enough, not on beemers.

    The primary reason i have seen this according to the ladies I have spoken with is the height issue.

    Their primary complaint continues to be high bikes they cant ride for their shorter stature.

    That has been the single most consistent point made.
    Harley's Low bikes help and size as well. overall weight.
    but those who do ride even some of the large baggers like the ability to have their feet on the floor.

    Otherwise the up tick in ridership seems to be something slowly gaining speed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by REDC650GT View Post
    This might be the Frog in the pot of cold water but I haven't noticed an increase in women riding BMW's. No increase at our club level and I don't notice interest at the dealerships.
    I certainly notice more long hair (ponytails mostly) flapping behind helmets. Do not know if they are women, though certainly could be.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  5. #5
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I certainly notice more long hair (ponytails mostly) flapping behind helmets. Do not know if they are women, though certainly could be.
    Is that why you were tailgating me so closely ?????

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  6. #6
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Our BMW club has about 70 members; I can remember seven women riders. Seems low to me. 90% or more of my riding is with Annie. She still gets second looks and friendly comments when people realize it is a woman riding.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  7. #7
    Rich Pelton Rich's Avatar
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    I would suspect most of those women are riding Harley Davidson's. That would certainly be my local observation. But good on them. They're riding.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=REDC650GT;1149266]This might be the Frog in the pot of cold water but I haven't noticed an increase in women riding BMW's.
    Nor have I........what I have observed is that most women who are experienced, well informed, have had proper riding instruction, etc., tend to ride BMW's. There is always an increase at the start of the yearly riding season where you will tend to see more women riding (mostly cruisers or trikes), and it usually doesn't last long. Just another reason why "we" are different from the sheep herd. Most women who start riding BMW's are very serious about riding.However, some get "talked" into riding a BMW because their husband or boyfriend "wants" them to, and that may or may not last (usually doesn't), but I personally have not seen an increase. Several years ago our local BMW Club had quite a few women riders, but as they have aged, a lot of them have stopped riding completely, and now there are only one or two of us.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Cool

    Anecdotal at best, but for 2018, most MSF BRC classes were about 50% female (we teach 400-500 students per season here at Road America).

    We also ran several "Ladies Only" weekends of BRC's, and they quickly filled to the max of 12 students per class.

    However, the vast majority of these women either already sported their H-D gear, or were considering Hondas, so BMW not making the popularity cut for makes and models.

  10. #10
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=shortythorne;1149364]
    Quote Originally Posted by REDC650GT View Post
    This might be the Frog in the pot of cold water but I haven't noticed an increase in women riding BMW's.
    Nor have I........what I have observed is that most women who are experienced, well informed, have had proper riding instruction, etc., tend to ride BMW's. There is always an increase at the start of the yearly riding season where you will tend to see more women riding (mostly cruisers or trikes), and it usually doesn't last long. Just another reason why "we" are different from the sheep herd. Most women who start riding BMW's are very serious about riding.However, some get "talked" into riding a BMW because their husband or boyfriend "wants" them to, and that may or may not last (usually doesn't), but I personally have not seen an increase. Several years ago our local BMW Club had quite a few women riders, but as they have aged, a lot of them have stopped riding completely, and now there are only one or two of us.
    Gail, When you hit middle age you may quit as well.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=akbeemer;1149372]
    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post

    Gail, When you hit middle age you may quit as well.
    Just going to pull on the Depends & keep going!
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  12. #12
    I will make a few (I haven't counted them yet) comments:

    1. When I was the President of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of American (now called the MOA) and writing a monthly column in the BMW Owners News (now called the ON) in the year 2000 almost exactly 10% of the primary members were women. I do not have current membership data (Ted, can you get this info or have Bob provide this info for 2018), but I suspect it is still right at 10%.

    2. I personally have met a dozen or two brave women who tried riding their own bikes, and who for a variety of reasons gave it up. Some because it just was not going to be their thing. Many more because their husbands, boyfriends, significant others, or partners, or whatever they were called were macho and just had to keep running off ahead at high speed, and then griped when the terrified novice could not keep up. If this resembles you or anybody you know - a pox upon your or their house.

    3. BMW has a seat height issue in the United States. I don't know the average inseam for females in Germany (now that would be a worthy research project. Can I get a grant?) but in the US seat heights are an issue. It is true that being able to flat-foot a motorcycle is not necessary for an experienced rider, but it is a significantly desired attribute for new riders. And nice for us gezzers too.

    4. BMW has an entry price issue in the US. Other brands out-cheap BMW. Young, entry level, and female riders need an incentive to spend more for a BMW than a Honda, or Kawasaki. New riders do not see the value.

    5. Harley Davidson has 1940's engineering and 2020 public relations. They co-opted the MSF with their watered down Riders Edge basic course and couple hours looking at bikes and fringe. But they got away with it. And they have low seats. Any women looking to learn to ride is drawn to HD unless steered elsewhere.

    6. The major "womens" motorcycle clubs in the US - Motor Maids, Chicks in the Wind, Lost Girls, Sisters Eternal - are all HD American V Twin dominated clubs.

    7. Finally, HD outsells BMW 20 to one. If BMW captured 5% of HD sales it would double BMW sales. It won't happen.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I will make a few (I haven't counted them yet) comments:

    1. When I was the President of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of American (now called the MOA) and writing a monthly column in the BMW Owners News (now called the ON) in the year 2000 almost exactly 10% of the primary members were women. I do not have current membership data (Ted, can you get this info or have Bob provide this info for 2018), but I suspect it is still right at 10%.

    2. I personally have met a dozen or two brave women who tried riding their own bikes, and who for a variety of reasons gave it up. Some because it just was not going to be their thing. Many more because their husbands, boyfriends, significant others, or partners, or whatever they were called were macho and just had to keep running off ahead at high speed, and then griped when the terrified novice could not keep up. If this resembles you or anybody you know - a pox upon your or their house.

    3. BMW has a seat height issue in the United States. I don't know the average inseam for females in Germany (now that would be a worthy research project. Can I get a grant?) but in the US seat heights are an issue. It is true that being able to flat-foot a motorcycle is not necessary for an experienced rider, but it is a significantly desired attribute for new riders. And nice for us gezzers too.

    4. BMW has an entry price issue in the US. Other brands out-cheap BMW. Young, entry level, and female riders need an incentive to spend more for a BMW than a Honda, or Kawasaki. New riders do not see the value.

    5. Harley Davidson has 1940's engineering and 2020 public relations. They co-opted the MSF with their watered down Riders Edge basic course and couple hours looking at bikes and fringe. But they got away with it. And they have low seats. Any women looking to learn to ride is drawn to HD unless steered elsewhere.

    6. The major "womens" motorcycle clubs in the US - Motor Maids, Chicks in the Wind, Lost Girls, Sisters Eternal - are all HD American V Twin dominated clubs.

    7. Finally, HD outsells BMW 20 to one. If BMW captured 5% of HD sales it would double BMW sales. It won't happen.



    This was an interesting insight. Thanks Paul.
    It's hard to believe that BMW Motorrad is working diligently to drive dealer expansion in the USA but won't also make the necessary adjustments to the product (make it an available option) to drive product adoption simultaneously.
    Surely they know. Does that make things worse: they know but won't do it? "Build and they'll come".
    Or are they ignorant of the issues? That would mean they have the wrong people in charge.
    BMW Motorrad worldwide and US sales numbers have been growing for 8 years straight.
    They prob. figure they will get there while improving the product along the way.
    I am okay with an engineering driven approach. It will attract people for the "right" reasons as opposed to just marketing.

    The marketplace should offer shorter inseam conversion solutions for BMW Motorcycles. I haven't looked but perhaps it already does. And if not, perhaps, use that grant money to start up a company doing just that.

    The men and women prospective buyers I spoke with do not cross shop BMW with the Japanese makes.
    I don't know why but it seems that it has to do with how one progresses with the selection process once the idea of buying a motorcycle takes a hold of them. They will however look at and consider the British, Italian or Austrian makes instead.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    Just like for cars. It's a business decision to be present in a segment of the market based on engineering, quality standards costs and strategic execution reasoning with pricing. Could Honda (they dominate racing) build a BMW motorcycle product line and sell them much cheaper?
    Would cheaper mean it would attract many more new riders and amongst those, would pricing be a decisive factor to help increase the female gender proportion?


    As for the proportion of women riding motorcycles and carrying a MOA membership, that's only a very small subset of the general rider's population.
    Here are some interesting numbers from the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows.
    Their surveys determined 22% of the riders are female and gender combined, 47% of new riders are under 35 years of age.
    How many of those women ride a BMW? I don't know and we should suggest to IMS that drill down farther to look at makes (and they may already have the numbers without publishing them, I'll email them right now).

    We could perhaps look at how the idea of riding and owning a motorcycle occurs to people.
    Probably by virtue of knowing someone who rides. Maybe even seeing someone all geared and being attracted to that!
    Personally, I came to it through cycling. I love being on 2 wheels but with a motorcycle I can achieve touring distances and motorsports sensations (even going downhill at 50 mph on clinchers) in the same given amount of time that I couldn't achieve on a race bike.

    I'll be passing by you in a few weeks if you are located near the Big Bend. See my thread here.
    Last edited by MotoPost; 01-19-2019 at 05:10 PM.
    IG: S1000Rpost

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=shortythorne;1149364]
    Quote Originally Posted by REDC650GT View Post
    This might be the Frog in the pot of cold water but I haven't noticed an increase in women riding BMW's.
    Nor have I........what I have observed is that most women who are experienced, well informed, have had proper riding instruction, etc., tend to ride BMW's.
    I also ride a Harley and I know a few women that ride. I wouldn't say they are un-experienced, un-informed, or needing instruction.

    Many if these female HD riders will out ride the majority of the BMW riders. They will ride coast to coast, and vacation regularly on two wheels. I know a gal that would put 20,000 miles a year on a 883 Sportster, heck you wouldn't catch me doing that!

    I really don't think the brand of motorcycle has much to do with the percentage of women riders. My bet is you could get and accurate poll you would find a similar percentage ride BMW as do Harleys. Maybe the slight nod to Harley, but I bet the ratio is not far off. As Mr. Glaves mentioned you will not see as many female BMW riders as Harley because there is just simply a ton more more Harleys.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=PoorUB;1149412][QUOTE=shortythorne;1149364]

    I also ride a Harley and I know a few women that ride. I wouldn't say they are un-experienced, un-informed, or needing instruction.

    Many if these female HD riders will out ride the majority of the BMW riders. They will ride coast to coast, and vacation regularly on two wheels. I know a gal that would put 20,000 miles a year on a 883 Sportster, heck you wouldn't catch me doing that!

    I stand corrected .
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

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