Know Your Numbers!
Riding Free from DC – from Inside the Beltway
May was Motorcycle Awareness Month but every month should be a month for motorcycle advocacy! Whether you were in D.C. for Bikers Inside the Beltway or working on issues back home, it’s a great time to advocate for bikers’ rights.
One of the most important numbers any biker rights advocate should know is the number of motorcyclists in their states. When chatting with either state or federally elected officials, you should have the number of motorcyclists in your state on the tip of your tongue and drop it into any conversation about biker rights. Why? Because when you say the word motorcyclist that elected official translates it into voters!
There are different ways to calculate how many bikers are in your state and each state does it differently. Some states release motorcycle endorsement numbers, while others release motorcycle registration statistics. In fact, some states including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Texas, and Utah provide county by county data on the number of bikers throughout the state.
Spend some time looking around your state’s department of transportation or motor vehicle website and see what you can find. Regardless of how we are counted, we need to know our numbers, and share those numbers.
If you can’t find the number of bikers through your state’s websites, the federal government has a list of all registered motorcycles by state. To see how many motorcycles the federal government claims are in your state click here for their revised 2021 statistics.
The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers recently reported that registrations of new motorcycles in the five largest European markets increased by 10.3% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2020. The five largest European countries are made up of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Those five have a combined population of 325 million people, which is similar to the 330 million people in the United States.
It comes as no surprise that 2020 was a terrible year for motorcycle sales in Europe. With much stricter lockdowns in place many European dealerships were closed most of 2020. Even now, Europe remains behind the United States in reopening its economy. So, while the growth of motorcycle registrations in 2021 is encouraging, only time will tell how long it takes the European motorcycle industry to fully rebound to pre pandemic numbers.