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How Popular is Motorcycling in Your State?

I wanted to see if there was a way to rate the popularity of motorcycling in each of the 50 US States.  What I learned was that there simply is no single statistic that measures this.   However, I did find that there are three key statistics that paint a pretty good picture of the popularity of motorcycling in each of our 50 states!

The first statistic looks at one of the most obvious measurements of motorcycle popularity and that is simply - how many  motorcycles are there in each state (see - Registered Motorcycles Per State below).  The results were interesting with California dominating this statistic, while Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania rounding out the top 4 all with over 400,000 registered motorcycles. 

After thinking about this, it became apparent that this statistic was lacking because smaller states had no way of "competing" with larger states.  For example, California has more registered motorcycles than Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming have people!  So even if every man, women, and child in those states owned a motorcycle, the Registered Motorcycles Per State statistic would still falsely conclude that motorcycling was more popular in California!  So, this led me to factor in the population of each state thus coming up with a motorcycles-per-capita (see - Motorcycles Per Person below) statistic.  The results were very interesting.   California plummeted from #1 and to #43 and Texas went from the second highest spot down to the second lowest (from #2 down to #48).  What really surprised me were some of the states that jumped up to the top - South Dakota, New Hampshire and Iowa (1, 2, and 3).  So, by factoring states' populations, this statistic painted a very different and interesting picture ... but still not a complete one. 

One factor that is unaccounted for in both of these statistics is the reality that motorcycle riders aren't confined to motorcycle riding just in their state.  Many, in fact most, often travel outside their state to find good roads.  How do I know this?  For years, I provided an email service where I would send out an email any time a new route was added to a given state - I called these emails "New Road Alerts."  Riders could sign up to receive "New Road Alerts" for their home state or any other state they chose.  I was amazed that nearly every rider chose to receive "New Road Alerts" for states they did not live in.  In fact, many times the states they chose were not adjacent or, in many cases, not even near their home state.  And, I clearly saw that some states are so popular for motorcycle riding they are in a sense "centers of gravity," pulling in riders from all around the country.  Because of this experience, I know that the first two statistics described above do not paint the whole picture.  You need to also consider riders coming in from other states.  So to measure a state's power to draw in riders from other states, I looked at how many great motorcycle roads each state has.  And so the third statistic you see below is a listing of how many "Top 100 Motorcycle Roads" each state has, thereby giving you an idea of that states ability to pull in motorcycle riders from other states and therefore a reflection of motorcycling popularity in that state (see - States with the Most "Top 100 Motorcycle Roads" below) .

Hope you enjoy the infographic below!

Bill Belei
Founder & Webmaster,

Motorcycling Popularity in US States Infographic

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