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
motorcyclespercapita (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, MotorcycleRoads.com
webmaster@motorcycleroads.com
