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Motorcycle Industry Council Survey Shows Who Modern Motorcyclists Are

Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Image from Suzuki

The MIC Takes a Look at Who’s Really Riding

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) recently did a survey that looked at the demographics of motorcycle riders across the country. It showed interesting data that suggests the typical type of person who rides a motorcycle is undergoing a shift. MIC President and CEO Tim Buche said the demographics of the country are changing and this has an impact on the motorcycling community, too.

For decades, the MIC Owner Survey has told us a lot about who we are, and we’re now learning how things have shifted since our last study was done in 2014. Some of the stats are encouraging, like the increasing number of women owners, while other data, such as the rising median age, show where we have more work to do.

The MIC reported the median age of a motorcyclist sits at 50 years old. The breakdown of male versus female riders has shifted with more women choosing to ride. The survey reported 81 percent of riders are male and 19 percent are female. While more female riders show progress for the industry, the increasing age of riders suggests younger people choose not to ride.

Education and Income Increase

The survey also showed that more college-educated people ride today than ever before. This is in part due to the fact that there are more college-educated people than ever before, but it also hints that another group of people choose to ride a motorcycle. According to the survey, 24 percent of riders have a college education.

Household income also rose. The survey showed the median household income at $62,500. That could be related to the rise in college-educated riders. Though, it’s likely also related to inflation over time. The rise was not significant over the 2014 survey, which placed the median income at $62,200.

The survey noted that the industry is focused on bringing more millennials into the industry. It said that 69 percent of millennials are interested in electric bikes, and with more becoming available more may become riders.

If that’s what it takes to get more people on bikes, then manufacturers need to get some affordable electric motorcycles out to market. If there more affordable electric motorcycles appear, I would think the median age of riders in the U.S. would come down.