Deep into the winter months of the new year, you can usually count on a few regular occurrences to flicker across your screen: the Super Bowl, the midwest IMS shows, and maybe a preseason MotoGP announcement or two. To that list it seems like you can add "motorcycle research releases"—we've had a wave of studies released in the last few weeks alone. There was the MIC study in December about rising female ownership, a more recent one about number of households owning a bike, and the UCLA study that concluded riding relieves stress. On the up side, all those delivered positive, back-slapping, even industry-affirming conclusions. Yesterday, the Motorcycle Industry Council dropped its latest MIC Owner Survey, and the results are a little more nuanced.

The 2018 Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey tells us that increasing percentages of all owners are married and have graduated college, but what’s not so reassuring is that a greater percentage of riders are generally older too. And median household income also showed up as virtually stagnant over six years.

“Demographics are changing for Americans across the country and it’s no different for motorcycle owners,” MIC President and CEO Tim Buche said. “For decades, the MIC Owner Survey has told us a lot about who we are, and we’re now learning how things have shifted since our last study was done in 2014. Some of the stats are encouraging, like the increasing number of women owners, while other data, such as the rising median age, show where we have more work to do.”

Women riders are increasing
MIC studies say a higher percentage of women are riding these daysAmerican Honda Motor Co.

The survey results:

Gender, Age, Marital Status
Male Owners: 81 percent
Female Owners: 19 percent

Median Age
2018: 50
2014: 47
2012: 45

Married
2018: 68 percent
2014: 61 percent
2012: 63 percent

Education, Income and Work Status
College Graduate
2018: 24 percent
2014: 20 percent
2012: 17 percent

Median Household Income
2018: $62,500
2014: $62,200
2012: $64,100

Employed: 71 percent
Retired: 24 percent

The owner survey also uncovered trends among millennial motorcyclists. We're liking the fact that more than half have taken a training course and use their bikes frequently for commuting. Sixty-nine percent say they are interested in electric motorcycles, citing fuel and the environment as top drivers.

“For the past several years, manufacturers have offered more great entry-level motorcycles at affordable prices,” Buche said, “while at the same time focusing on increasing the industry’s outreach to millennials.”

Given the negligible growth in household income, that strategy seems sound, but it may not go far enough.