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Thread: Anyone notice an increase in Women riding BMWs?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisDarrow View Post
    Haven't been much with a woman rider in a while. Ex-wife rode off with her 80 ST into the sunset. That's another set of stories!
    BMW is missing their target in the USA, perhaps; but in Latin America there is an explosion of WOMEN RIDERS! Every where one looks....THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE!.....

    The 310's are there and NOT DEAD OR DYING!
    So, who is the van driver giving the thumbs-up to? The woman rider who is not paying attention, or the photographer, or someone else?
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  2. #17
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    Don't know what you are trying to ask or what it has to do with the price of burritos in Juarez but never even saw the fella in the van doing the thumbs up business. Perhaps he saw the future and had an idea of how the picture would be used and your valuable to the subject question. WOW!!! Thanks for that...

    What I was really trying to point out that women in Latin America are way ahead of the curve in jumping on board with 2 wheels and their families attached. Wish there was some kind of way to gather safety statistics pointing out what has been happening over, let's say the last 10 years with women, accident rates, injuries, at fault, and deaths all broken down by sexes. ....God bless.....Dennis

  3. #18
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisDarrow View Post
    Don't know what you are trying to ask or what it has to do with the price of burritos in Juarez but never even saw the fella in the van doing the thumbs up business. Perhaps he saw the future and had an idea of how the picture would be used and your valuable to the subject question. WOW!!! Thanks for that...

    What I was really trying to point out that women in Latin America are way ahead of the curve in jumping on board with 2 wheels and their families attached. Wish there was some kind of way to gather safety statistics pointing out what has been happening over, let's say the last 10 years with women, accident rates, injuries, at fault, and deaths all broken down by sexes. ....God bless.....Dennis
    I think that the main reason for the growth in Latin America, and many other parts of the world, is that they have no other practicle options for transportation. Theirs is a necessity where ours is overwhelmingly an avocation. It happens here as well, but to a much smaller degree. I would hope that the only thing that would drive a person to putting a toddler on a scooter is desperation
    Kevin Huddy
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  4. #19
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Our club has had more women pilots at times, have lost a few due to relocating, health, or passing too young . Some I have talked to just do not do group rides or the club thing, but see them on the road.

    What I did notice at the Rally in Iowa was a large presence of female riders. Talked to a few who were on first solo cross country trips and enjoying the rally experience. Of course, most were on BMW's, but some were not. The ones who were not have had fitment issues ( not just a female issue) and ride what they can,or are planning on moving to a German machine in the future.

    I have the pleasure of riding with one pretty regularly, however I view her as a rider as I try to keep up.

    And speaking of women pilots...Happy Birthday to Voni G
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  5. #20
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Thanks!!

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  6. #21
    Most of the serious female motorcycle riders I know are childless or at least empty-nesters.

    Perhaps that is a factor?
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  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    Most of the serious female motorcycle riders I know are childless or at least empty-nesters.

    Perhaps that is a factor?
    Perhaps. But as a counterpoint, Voni learned to ride when our kids were 6 and 8 so the four of us could take two bikes and go on motorcycle camping vacations as a family. She has continued to ride long after the kids were grown and gone.
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  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Perhaps. But as a counterpoint, Voni learned to ride when our kids were 6 and 8 so the four of us could take two bikes and go on motorcycle camping vacations as a family. She has continued to ride long after the kids were grown and gone.
    But most of us already know Voni is an anomaly, especially when it comes to riding!
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  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    But most of us already know Voni is an anomaly, especially when it comes to riding!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  10. #25
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    The absolute most women I've seen riding two wheels was Vietnam in late 60's. Also men. The Latin and Asian markets have been well ahead of US for"ever". Different countries, infrastructure, economics and therefore mindset. Certainly most units were scooter/small cc motorcycles, to which native average statute necessitated (your seat height variable being applied).
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  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    The absolute most women I've seen riding two wheels was Vietnam in late 60's. Also men. The Latin and Asian markets have been well ahead of US for"ever". Different countries, infrastructure, economics and therefore mindset. Certainly most units were scooter/small cc motorcycles, to which native average statute necessitated (your seat height variable being applied).
    In many 2nd world and 3rd world countries scooters and motorcycles are mostly a primary means of transportation - for women as well as for men. While here in the US there is a small proportion of riders who use a motorcycle as primary transportation such is not the norm. We sometimes read of the heroics of somebody in Wisconsin or Canada who rides year-round, that is so unusual as to merit wonderment.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  12. #27
    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.
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  13. #28

    Anyone notice...etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    Most of the serious female motorcycle riders I know are childless or at least empty-nesters.

    Perhaps that is a factor?
    ayour statement is a reminder of a less positive attitude toward women. Kind of sounds like, " ... keep 'um pregnant in summer an bare foot in winter. "

  14. #29
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebombs View Post
    ayour statement is a reminder of a less positive attitude toward women. Kind of sounds like, " ... keep 'um pregnant in summer an bare foot in winter. "
    That is what you took from that?!
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  15. #30
    How many guys on this forum have posted that they rode a motorcycle but then one or more kids happened so they stopped riding for 20 or so years. I somehow doubt any of these fine fellows were pregnant although some were probably barefoot.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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