Latest models roll into Stampede Park for annual motorcycle show
The Motorcyle Show is on at the BMO Centre until 5:00 p.m. January 10th.
Published Friday, January 8, 2016 4:25PM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 8, 2016 4:29PM MST
The Motorcycle Show is on at the BMO Centre this weekend and industry experts say they are seeing more women take an interest in riding than ever before and vendors are taking notice of the trend.
This year’s event features the latest gear, apparel and line-up of 2016 motorcycles, ATVs and scooters.
“This is the major manufacturer of new product launch each year and 2016 models, we have two wheels, three wheels, four wheels, because not everyone wants to just ride a motorcycle. There’s side-by-sides, there’s the new trikes,” said Laurie Paetz, Show Manager. “There really are motorcycles from training size right up to avid riders and lots to do for the entire family.”
For years, men were the predominant buyers of motorcycles and even now only 14 percent of riders are women but that’s still almost double what is was 15 years ago.
Women are the fastest growing demographic in the motorcycle industry but many bike companies don’t design or market their offerings to tailor to women.
A Calgary company is working to change that and is building bikes specifically for women riders.
Torch Motorcycles is run by women who say changes to things like seat style and handlebar placement can make them safer and more fun for women to ride.
“Your seat is your main contact point with the bike so that needs to be comfortable, you’re not going to ride very long if you’re not very comfortable on it. We’ve noticed with grip strength that a lot of women's hands are smaller than men and if they can't reach their brake and their clutch they are not going to feel very comfortable riding, if they can’t safely reach to brake in time in an emergency situation that's not safe at all so we are going to adjust things like that on these bikes,” said Elle West from Torch Motorcycles.
“Structurally, the biggest differences are where your main interfaces are with the bike. So you’re primary interface is your seat and so there are great differences around how that seat should be designed so that it fits a female pelvis, but in addition, to where that seat fits in relation to the ground. And the reason that’s important is that, if your feet don’t touch the ground, you can’t control your bike no matter how strong you are, no matter how confident you are, you have to touch the ground so that’s the primary challenge with women fitting bikes that are built for men,” said Becky Wheat, Engineer, Torch Motorcycles.
The show runs through to Sunday, click HERE for tickets and more information.
(With files from Kevin Green & Lane Fraser)