Motorcycle May

From the Editor

While many of you may know that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, what you might not realize or know is that May is also Women Riders Month. Since its inception several years back, Harley has been using the month of May to help promote, educate, and encourage more females to throw a leg over their own motorcycles and grab ahold of a set of handlebars. Similar to its recent campaigns to enlighten and spark interest in motorcycle riding amongst Latinos, African Americans, and the younger generation, the Motor Company has been focused on increasing the number of women riders with specific events, literature, and promotions.

Simply starting off by perusing the Women Riders section of the Harley-Davidson website, prospective riders can find a wealth of information such as learning to ride through the Rider’s Edge course, finding the right bike, road stories, mentoring programs, and upcoming events. The categories are filled with photos and videos as well as personal accounts from rookie and veteran female riders.

For those women who like to be in the action rather than reading about it, Harley’s Garage Party events have become very popular and a great way for women to get up close and personal with a motorcycle. Held after hours at dealerships across the country (all through out the year), the Garage Parties are women-only events where those interested in riding or just learning more about motorcycles can get hands on experience. The events cover everything from learning the basics of a motorcycle (components, terminology, how it works, etc), how to properly pick up a motorcycle if it’s laying on its side, to choosing the right riding gear, and how to pick the right bike.

Aside from Harley-Davidson’s website, there are plenty of other resources on and off the internet that are specifically geared towards women riders. Websites like womenridersnow.com, founded and edited by Genevieve Schmitt, offer a host of information such as news, road tests, gear reviews, personal profiles, and feature stories. Garage-girls.com has in-depth tech info, bike makeover contests, as well as blog posts. Forum sites such as twowheelfemales.com provide a sounding board for women to post questions, get tips and advice, or just post about and comment on personal stories and experiences. Of course there are women-only national, regional, and local clubs/organizations like Motor Maids Inc. and Women on Wheels, where females can gather together for rides, organize events, or just hang out and talk motorcycles. And events like the AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference offers a weekend filled with inspirational speakers, group rides, demo rides, as well as parts and product showcases.

The most recent statistics from the Motorcycle Industry Council show that the number of female riders has been on the rise, and according to Harley-Davidson, 12 percent of its new bike sales are to women. This is great news for motorcycling and great news for our community. The more people we can get on two wheels the stronger we can become. So no matter if you’re male or female, a new rider or long time road dog, soak up the beautiful riding weather of late spring/early summer and get out there and enjoy Motorcycle May.

Until next time,

Eric