Residents in North Myrtle Beach have noticed a growing trend of more women attending bike rallies. They are not riding on the back of a Harley bike; they’ve moved up to the front and once they’ve done this, they don’t look back.
American women are the fastest-growing part of the motorcycle business, buying more than 100,000 of them a year. Alongside baby-boomer men, who make up a large male rider population, women are continuing to take up riding solo. With larger paychecks and better corporate jobs, more women are choosing riding as their leisure pastime – making up 12.3 percent of owners compared with 6 percent in 1990. Ladies accounted for 23 percent, or 5.7 million, of the 25 million Americans who rode a motorcycle last year.
The typical motorcycle owner was 43 years old, according to the MlC’s latest ATV Owner Survey. That was up from 1998, when the typical owner was 38, and a leap from the typical 24-year-old owner in the 1980s. There are indications that ownership is once again on the upswing among younger riders. Baby boomers still outnumbered Generation Y owners 2 to 1 in 2008.
Why are women choosing motorcycles? Some women, like their male counterparts, like the freedom from routines, parenting, and stressful jobs and opt for plain enjoying the sport, honing their skills, and enjoying the scenery. Some are grandmas, their kids are grown and out of the nest and simply put, “It’s time for me”.
Biker guys dress a little differently from the ladies. Instead of the male-look standard black leather jacket, more female rider clothes are being produced — lots of pink, some with rhinestones, and many made from leather in blues and pinks as well as black. Even the Harley-Davidson skull emblem has undergone a friendly makeover on some clothes to include wings and flowers.
Women motorcycle riders are referred to as biker babe, chopper chick or cycle mama and they all have experiences with “helmet hair”, raingear, heated apparel and proper boots. New riders should be aware that the ladies avoid loose frills or ribbons that could get caught in a moving part of their bike. They also avoid sequins around the neckline which may heat up in the sun – cause unnerving reflections and possible burns or abrasions from the bike’s vibrations, as would any rough material, bead or button. Big, loose shirts can whip up in the wind and possibly cause loss of control. That’s why an experienced biker wears shirts or tops with a tight fit or snug cuffs; thus prevent flapping and irritation. There’s reasons why they wear form-fitting clothes.
Some celebrity biker babes who share the adventure, camaraderie, freedom of the road and the thrill of hitting the throttle, rolling into a curve, and feeling the wind are: Tina Turner, Angelina Jolie, Bree Turner, Cameron Diaz, Cher, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessical Alba, Kate Hudson, Lauren Hutton, Lindsay Wagner, Lisa Hartman Black, Pamela Anderson, Queen Latifah, and Sheryl Crow.
A reflection on the Harley pictured above, the Harley-Davidson Company or HD has been around for just over 100 years. It all began with two friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. William S. Harley stands for the H in HD. Arthur Davidson is one of three D’s. The other two D’s being his brothers, Walter and William Davidson. William Harley and Arthur Davidson began working on the prototype and eventually sought the help of Walter and William. Walter was a skilled mechanic. William was an experienced toolmaker and the group formed the HD Company. During 1903 HD turned out a grand total of 3 motorcycles.
Marie Coppola Revised September 2013