Women have always been a part of the motorcycling community, but female ridership is currently at an all-time high. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, female motorcycle ownership doubled over the past decade and women now account for 19 percent of the motorcycle-riding population. While the data is encouraging, Polaris assembled some of the most influential riders to further drive diversity and representation with the Empowersports Women’s Riding Council.
The commission includes riders and drivers from various disciplines from snowmobiles to side-by-side and dirt bikes. The Litas founder Gevin Fax, racer and Sturgis hall of famer Jody Perewitz, International Female Ride Day founder Vicki Gray, Women’s National Motocross champion Jolene Van Vugt, Black Girls Ride founder Porsche Taylor, Wild Gypsy Tour creator Kelly Yazdi, and dirt bike racer Carrie Barton provide input on the two-wheeled side. RZR racers Michelle Barraza, Kristen Matlock, and brand ambassador Lisa Lockhart represent the side-by-side drivers while Julie-Ann Chapman and Amy David kick things into gear for snowmobiles.
“We are so honored to have these trailblazing women join in this initiative,” said Polaris Chief Customer Engagement and Growth Officer Pam Kermisch, “not only to inspire and empower more adventure-inclined women to enter the space, but also to lead industry improvements for the women already immersed in powersports culture.”
Polaris hopes the Empowersports Women’s Riding Council can help the company achieve its broader goal of 50-percent growth over the next ten years. In the second quarter of 2020 and in midst of a global pandemic, Polaris saw a 75-percent increase in motorcycle and off-road vehicles from new customers to the brand.
To help preserve and increase that momentum, the Empowersports Council will meet regularly with Polaris’ top brass to discuss topics such as diversity, gear consideration, safety. The panel will also help the brand strategize ways to break down barriers and biases in order to appeal to more women and families along with multi-cultural customers and younger riders. Yes, women have been making history in motorcycling as of late, but with the help of prominent female riders, there’s no telling where we can take this sport.