July: The Month Dedicated to Women Motorcyclists!
Nationwide Insurance has teamed up with the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum to celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month. A similar campaign was launched by Harley Davidson in the month of May. Both campaigns were launched in America and we thought it would be good to highlight their efforts here to help promote awareness on the roads and the changing stereotypes of motorcyclists happening worldwide.
Recently, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) - a national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles in America - released figures stating female riders increased by 34% between 1998 and 2003 and it would seem this figure has continued to increase. The MIC believes there are almost 4.5 million (and climbing) female riders on the American Roads today. In fact one out of every 10 motorcycle owners in America is a woman. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has stated women make up nearly 30% of students in its Basic Rider Courses programme. It would seem a similar trend is rising in the UK too. As reported in one of previous blogs, there are 525,000 females holding a full motorcycle licence in the UK and this figure is rising.
The MIC also considered that the female riders in America tend to be affluent, mature and well educated, having taken the motorcycle safety course with a better completion rate than men. One-third of women motorcycle riders complete a Motorcycle Safety Course, which is an intensive training that teach both women and men about motorcycles and how to ride safely. Gone are the days of “woman drivers!” and it sounds as though there is no scope for “woman riders!” either.
To help the rising number of woman in the UK considering two wheels, here are some handy tips:
1. Consider your needs
When will you be riding your bike? Everyday to commute or to escape to the country at weekends? Travelling long distances? Travelling in fair weather or all weathers? Bikes come in many shapes and sizes, and you must consider your individual needs when picking a bike
2. Try it on
As above, bikes come in all shapes and sizes as does the human body. It is important to choose a bike that fits your body
3. Know your options
Carry out your own investigations before taking advice from salesmen. The internet is a great tool to use in accessing such information – forums can be a great way of scoping out information and if your confident enough put a question out there yourself!
4. Consider your budget – Short Term and Long Term
When committing to buy a motorcycle, don't forget to estimate all the added expenses associated with riding – insurance, motorcycle safety clothing etc!
Digby Brown's specialist motorcycle team are on Twitter, Follow them @BikeLawScotland
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