More women are riding high on the hog than ever—literally. A survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council found that the ladies make up 14% of US motorcycle owners, and the ones who ride are younger, more educated, and more into motorcycle safety than their male counterparts, the Los Angeles Times reports. That's a significant jump from the 8% reported in 1998, per MotoUSA. Females' reasons for revving up? For "fun and recreation," a "sense of freedom," and because they "enjoy outdoors/nature" were what respondents revealed in the survey, taken online by 48,000 households. "What we're seeing is motorcycling is for anyone, male or female," Renee Tuzee, MIC's director of marketing, tells the Times. The millennial generation boasts the highest percentage of women bike owners with nearly 18%, while Generation X females make up 17% of all bike owners in that segment, and baby boomer females 9% of that segment.
The median age for a female rider is 39 (for men it's 48), though Tuzee, herself a rider, tells the paper that she and other women riders often gravitate toward the bike and relish their "freedom" when their kids leave home. As for the types of bikes women prefer: 34% tend toward cruisers, 33% prefer scooters, and just 10% would pick a sport bike, MotoUSA notes. And compared to the 42% of male riders who take motorcycle safety courses, 60% of women do. "It's encouraging that we're seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport," the chair of PowerLily, a network for professional women into powersports, tells MotoUSA. "Motorcycling is … being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments." (Male or female, don’t text while you're cruising, or you could meet this fate.)