Data from the Motorcycle Industry Council has shown that between 2003 and 2008, the number of women who own and drive motorcycles has increased by 52 percent, and many of those women are putting in the time and effort to learn how to ride the bike by taking a course.
According to the Westside Motorcycle Academy (WMA) – which offers a course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation – more than half of their riders are female. In fact, the school is also owned by two women, Amanda Cunningham and Erika Willhite.
Cunningham has been coaching for a decade and when she first started, she was among the only female riding instructors for a certified course. Today, classes are typically made up of equal numbers of men and women. She said that women are more likely to take a course designed specifically for safety.
That said, the majority of states recommend that every driver take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved class.
The reason is that it means that motorcycle drivers who have passed the courses won’t have to take the written and/or driving test from the DMV, and they will have reduced insurance premiums.
Classes can make an important difference to knowledge, skill, and ability in a short period of time. According to 21 year-old Erin Roski, who took the WMA class as a novice, she had a good time and found the experience to be very valuable, saying that “I had a lot of fun, and I learned techniques that will save my skin when I’m riding on the street.”