How Baby Boomers are Driving the Motorcycle Trend

Senior couple happily driving along shaded road on motorcycle.

The rebel motorcyclists of the 1960s and 70s have grown up and their love of motorcycles has spread to more mainstream Americans. The average age of a Harley Davidson owner is now over 45 and dozens of active adult communities across the country have active Motorcycle clubs.

Baby boomers from many walks of life are discovering the fun and freedom of riding the open roads. Motorcycle riders today are generally older and richer than they were in the past. Baby Boomers are a popular demographic, as they frequently have both the money to afford a motorcycle and the time to enjoy riding one.

Shifting Demographics

Though motorcycle riders are still predominantly male, women are getting into the hobby as well. Typical cruisers, such as the Harley Davidson’s Road King Classic are popular among baby boomers but are not the only option. Active adults choose bikes that run the gamut from speedy sport bikes to mammoth touring models. Harley Davidson remains popular among active adults, but European manufacturers such as Ducati and Triumph have increased their efforts to capture more of the American market.

Motorcycle Rallies

Motorcycles have become a big business, not just in the sale of bikes and their accessories, but as a pastime that generates revenue for many industries.  Cities across the country host popular motorcycle rallies that they hope will bring affluent out-of-town riders to stimulate their economy. Riders flock to motorcycle rallies such as the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which has been held every August since 1938, except for the years during World War II.

55+ Communities and Motorcycles

At active adult communities, motorcycle enthusiasts gather to form their own motorcycle clubs. Here they can discuss their joy of riding, learn about motorcycle maintenance and safety, and hit the open roads together. Some of the active adult communities that offer motorcycle clubs include:

Safety

Motorcycles have always brought some level of controversy and many people worry that aging riders will pose an increased safety risk. In 2007, a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) found that motorcycle fatalities among those over 45 had quadrupled from 2001 to 2005.

However, bikers under the age of 45 were three times as likely to be involved in a crash or be cited for hazardous actions while driving. This suggests that while older motorcyclists are less reckless, they are more likely to be seriously injured or killed if they are involved in an accident.

By joining a motorcycle club, active adults can explore available safety options together. They can bring in an instructor to give both beginning and refresher motorcycle training courses, learn about defensive riding techniques, and discuss advances in protective riding gear.

At active adult communities, motorcyclists can learn ways to increase their safety, minimize the risks of accidents and share their love of riding with other residents. Whether single or married, male or female, Baby Boomers are one of the largest demographics that have discovered the joy of the open road.

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