OOH Baby- Women Are Rolling into Harley Dealerships
Dealers See More Women Buying Motorcycles; Legendary Company Introduces Dedicated Women and Motorcycling Section on Website
MILWAUKEE, Jan. 18 -- Women are no longer taking a back seat to men on their Harleys. A national trend is taking hold as more females are purchasing their own motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company has seen U.S. sales of its motorcycles to women grow from two percent of their total in 1985 to 10 percent, or 23,000 bikes, in 2003. That figure mirrors a national trend. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, women accounted for nearly 10 percent of all motorcycle owners nationwide in 2003, up from 8.2 percent the previous year.
Paul James, communications manager for Harley-Davidson, Inc. credits women's desire to experience the thrill of handling a motorcycle first-hand and a growth in disposable income for fueling the increase in female ridership.
"The presence of freedom, empowerment and exhilaration are universally appealing," says James. "More and more women are recognizing that fact, which is one reason why this is a growing trend in motorcycling."
Product innovations like the new low-seat Sportster are making motorcycles easier to handle, which make them more attractive to women, James says.
Many dealers are expanding their line of women's apparel and adding female staffers to sell bikes to accommodate the growth.
In response to the trend, Harley-Davidson has introduced a new section on its website, http://www.harley-davidson.com/, called Women and Motorcycling. The section includes information on learning how to ride, as well as a history of women and motorcycling.
"Women might be surprised to learn that a mother and daughter crossed the country twice on a Harley with a sidecar in 1915 or that a women's riding club called the Motor Maids was founded in the 1930s by a Wellesley College grad," says James.
For more information on how women can get involved in riding, log on to Harley's website at http://www.harley-davidson.com/.
Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavy-weight street, custom and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel and general merchandise.