Motorcycle industry revs up female-focused marketing

Women are driving motorcycle sales, accounting for about $970 million in 2005 purchases, according to a recent Dallas Morning News article.

Women are driving motorcycle sales, accounting for about $970 million in 2005 purchases, according to a recent Dallas Morning News article.

It reports that women make up at least 10% of US motorcyclists and are now receiving plenty of encouragement from manufacturers, who have bolstered their PR efforts.

"We have several initiatives to reach out to women... integrated efforts from PR, marketing, events, Web site, Rider's Edge New Rider course, and dealer training," notes Leslie Prevish, communications manager at Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

The Web site also promotes Garage Parties (pictured below), social events targeting women who don't ride, but are interested. "We piloted this program last year through our dealerships," Prevish adds. "It has been successful in helping dealers encourage women to come and learn more about the sport."

Why does it matter?

Many companies in traditionally male-dominated industries are beginning to understand how women buy and what's going to influence their purchases.

Delia Passi, CEO of Medelia Communications and founder of, says those male-dominated industries are finding that women are becoming more independent in their purchasing decisions.

"There is no taboo anymore with what women can and cannot do. Now they're exploring all their options," Passi says. "[They're] get[ting] on the bandwagon in regard to selling to women because, to them, it's virtually untapped."

Passi says that companies promoting a service, a product, or a launch to women need to "make sure that you create some triggers in the mindset of women so they can associate product values to their needs."

Five facts:
1 According to The Dallas Morning News article, women riders are the fastest-growing segment in the $9.7 billion motorcycle industry, which is facing a slow growth.

2 The Women & Motorcycling section launched in 2004, ( It showcases some of the inspirational Rider Stories, Featured Riders, and History of Women Riders to attract the female audience.

3 Harley-Davidson is a sponsor of Femmoto, an event in Las Vegas for women riders. This is the sixth year that the event is being held.

4 More than 100,000 students have been trained through The Rider's Edge New Riders course, of which 38% are women, notes Leslie Prevish of Harley-Davidson.

5 Delia Passi, also the author of Winning the Toughest Customer: Essential Guide to Selling to Women, shares that 83% of all consumer purchases are made by women, and they also influence 85% of all vehicle sales.


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