Motorcycle Demographics: 59 User Facts & Numbers [2023]

As the popularity of motorcycles continues to grow, it’s important to take a closer look at the demographics of those who ride.

Who are these enthusiasts and what draws them to the open road?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the diverse world of motorcycle riders and uncover some interesting insights into this thriving subculture.

The numbers highlight the growing popularity of motorcycles and the importance of safety features like ABS, while also pointing out areas for improvement, such as proper licensing. Considering how fast even 1200 CC motorcycles are today.

Number of Motorcycles in the U.S.

Year Number of Motorcycles Registered (in millions)
2002 4.3
2003 4.6
2004 4.9
2005 5.2
2006 5.5
2007 5.9
2008 6.0
2009 6.2
2010 6.3
2011 6.5
2012 6.7
2013 7.0
2014 7.3
2015 7.5
2016 7.7
2017 8.0
2018 8.2
2019 8.4
2020 8.5
2021 8.6

Age Demographics of Motorcycle Riders

Here is the age demographic spread across age for motorcycle owners in the U.S.

Age Bracket Percentage of Motorcycle Owners
18-29 years 13%
30-39 years 18%
40-49 years 22%
50-59 years 25%
60+ years 23%
  • In recent years, the median age of motorcycle owners has been increasing. As of 2018, the median age was 50, up from 47 in 2014 and 45 in 2012.
  • A shift towards older motorcycle owners has been observed since the 1980s. The median age of owners increased from 27.1 years in 1985 to 41.0 years in 2003.
  • The age distribution of motorcycle owners in the United States shows a sizable portion of riders falling into the 18-29 age bracket. In 2021, 13 percent of respondents in this age group stated that they owned a motorcycle.

The data reveals a trend of increasing age among motorcycle riders, with the largest segment of owners being middle-aged or older. This may indicate shifting preferences and purchasing power within the demographic landscape of motorcycling.

Motorcycle Rider Gender Demographics

Motorcycle demographics in the U.S have seen shifts in recent years, especially in terms of gender. Accumulating data on rider gender and other characteristics can be essential for understanding the direction of the industry.

A few notable facts concerning the gender demographics of motorcycle riders in the U.S include:

  • Men represent around 80% of motorcycle owners (while women stand at around 20%).
  • Over the years, female motorcycle ownership has risen: Less than a decade ago, women made up under 10% of motorcycle owners.

Observing these numbers, it is evident that the landscape of motorcycle ownership is slowly becoming more diverse in terms of gender representation. The growing presence of female riders in the market could potentially ignite the interest of motorcycle manufacturers to target a broader audience.

Motorcycle Rider Ethnicity Demographics

In the United States, the ethnicity demographics of motorcycle riders vary:

  • Caucasians make up a significant percentage of motorcycle riders, accounting for approximately 88% of the riders.
  • African American riders represent around 7% of the motorcycle riding population.
  • Hispanic riders constitute approximately 4% of motorcycle riders in the country.
  • Asian and Pacific Islanders riders make up only 1% of the motorcycle-riding community.

These numbers demonstrate that the majority of motorcycle riders in the United States identify as Caucasian, while minority ethnic groups account for a relatively small percentage of motorcycle riders. However, it is important to keep in mind that these demographics may shift in the coming years due to the increasing diversity in the United States population.

Average Income Level

  • The average annual household income for motorcycle owners is $85,300.
  • 26% of motorcycle owners have at least a 4-year college degree.
  • An additional 16% have gone on to study post-graduate work.

Many motorcycle owners appear to be relatively well-educated and have a higher-than-average income, suggesting that motorcycle ownership may be associated with a certain level of financial stability.

Other Interesting Facts About Motorcycle Riders

  • About 71% of people who die in motorcycle accidents are male.
  • One-third of all motorcycle accidents occur because of an intoxicated driver.
  • Roughly 35% of motorcycle drivers are driving a bike with more than 1400cc, compared to less than 10% just 20 years ago.
  • In urban areas, 93% of motorcycle riders are male compared to 88% male drivers in rural areas.
  • Thirty-six percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • In 2020, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 3% for heavy trucks).
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcycle fatalities per mile traveled is nearly 29 times higher than for passenger car occupants.
  • Helmets are estimated to be about 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.
  • In 2019, there were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, a decrease of 0.5 percent from the 5,038 motorcyclists killed in 2018.
  • Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash in 2019.
  • The fatality rate for motorcycle riders in 2019 was nearly 4 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.
  • In 2020, motorcyclist deaths increased by 9%.
  • The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is a car turning left in front of a motorcycle.
  • A majority of motorcycle accidents happen on non-interstate roads.
  • The average age of a motorcyclist killed in a crash was 43 years old.
  • In 2019, 48% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing helmets.
  • Motorcycles account for just 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States.
  • Motorcycles are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S.
  • In 2020, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic crashes.
  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than those in a car.
  • Almost half of all motorcycle fatalities involve only the motorcycle (no cars or trucks involved).
  • In 2020, 20% of all motorcyclist fatalities were caused by speeding.
  • The average engine displacement of a motorcycle in the U.S. is 800cc.
  • The most popular motorcycle brands in the U.S. are Harley-Davidson, Honda, and Yamaha.
  • California has the most registered motorcycles of any state in the U.S.
  • Motorcycles are most popular among those aged 50-59 years old.
  • The median income of a motorcycle owner in the U.S. is $62,500.
  • The number of motorcycles sold in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 2006.
  • 33% of motorcyclists in the U.S. are over 50 years old.

These statistics paint a picture of the diverse and ever-changing landscape of motorcycle use and ridership in the United States.


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