How Many Motorcycles Are Registered in the United States?

Have you ever thought about the vast number of motorcycles that are out there? If you’ve ever driven down the road, especially in the warmer months or warmer parts of the country, you’ve likely seen large groups of motorcycles riding together and separately.

That may have led you to wonder just how many motorcycles there actually are in the country. After all, with a ride that seems so common, there must be a whole lot of them out there, right? Well, the motorcycle isn’t quite as popular in the United States as it is in some other countries, but it’s definitely a popular option.

How Many Motorcycles Are Registered in the United States?

From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 8,305,171 on-road motorcycles registered in the United States in 2018. This was slightly down from 2017’s registration number of 8,393,525 but is up over the past 10 years by almost one million registrations.

What this means is that there are a lot of people who love to ride and while that number dropped slightly over a single year period, it’s expected to continue climbing overall. After all, the feeling of freedom that tends to come with a motorcycle is definitely not something that’s expected to go away.

What State Has the Most Registered Motorcycles? 

California had the most registered motorcycles in 2018 with 950,780. This is partially due to the fact that California’s population is so much larger than any other state as well as the mild climate for many parts of the state.

That mild climate makes it easy to ride not only during the warmest months of the year but actually throughout the year, which is something that’s most definitely appealing to riders. It means that the investment that they made of a motorcycle is actually going to be used more because there are all those opportunities to ride. This may vary slightly, however, as those in California tend to see temperatures differently than those who live in colder or more moderate climates.

How Many Motorcycles Are Registered in California?

The current number of motorcycles in California that are registered as 950,780 in 2018. This was slightly down from 2017’s high of 955,400 but has more than doubled since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s numbers from 2002’s which was only 400,615.

These numbers can likely be attributed to the fact that California has a great climate most of the year and people are able to get outside on their motorcycles more frequently. This makes many people more likely to purchase one and definitely more likely to hit the open road as often as they can.

How Many Vehicles Are Registered in Florida?

Florida has the second most number of registered motorcycles per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety numbers at 588,815. This number is down from 2017’s 595,972 number but is also more than double the 2002 number which was 232,947.

Once again, it’s likely that Florida is popular for motorcycles because of the climate. With so many people able to ride so much more frequently, it’s no wonder that more people are choosing to ride here than in states like Colorado or Michigan. It’s easy to ride a motorcycle when the weather is warm and you don’t have to worry about rough conditions like ice and snow on the roads.

What Percent of the US Population Owns a Motorcycle?

It is estimated that 8% of American households own a motorcycle as of 2018. That is an increase from the previous full survey of 2014 of 6.94%. This has led to an increase in sales during those years but not all are new riders, and many are replacements of older bikes.

Still, 8% likely sounds like a very low number of people who are using this form of transportation. That’s likely because it is. After all, a motorcycle is not really a suitable option to be an ‘only’ mode of transportation for a family or even most individuals, especially in colder areas. This means that it’s an ‘extra’ purchase and that can be difficult for some families to get. Not all people are interested in a motorcycle either, and may choose to spend that money on other purchases such as motor homes and RV’s or boats.

What is the Average Age of Motorcycle Riders?

In the United States, the average age of motorcycle riders is 50. This is an increase of five average years over the past eight years. This shows that middle age and senior riders are becoming more common as younger generations are not as able to invest in a motorcycle hobby as previous generations were.

It’s also showing that a number of older generations are actually keeping up with their older hobbies. While some of these older riders did not start riding until more recently, a large portion of them have actually continued riding from the time that they were in their 20’s or 30’s. This shows that they are keeping up more with the things that they enjoy and are definitely spending more time on their hobbies even as they grow older.


When it comes down to it, there are actually a lot of motorcycles on the road. It may not sound like many when you consider only 8% of households in the United States have one, but when you consider the millions of bikes that are out there it definitely sounds like a whole lot more and that’s where you get the real numbers. You would likely also feel like there are a whole lot more if you drove down the road in California or Florida, where they are most prevalent.

But overall, if you chose to buy a motorcycle and start hitting the open road, no matter which state you live in, you definitely would not be alone. You would be in some very good company.


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