The women to men motorcycling ratio was 1:10 in 2009 worldwide. In 2018 that had gone up to 1:5 and the ratio is bound to improve even more said Puneet Sood, head of Royal Enfield’s apparel business.
The company recently launched a range of riding gear for women, making it the first motorcycle company in the country to do so and that made is think why now? Well, the answer is quite clear. A lot more women have started riding motorcycles and aren’t just limited to pillion seats and they should never have been. But this Chennai-based manufacturer plans to change this notion in a big way.
Firstly, it’s extremely difficult to source safe and comfortable riding gear for women in India. Even if one manages to, it is quite pricey, making it out of reach for most of them. I know some of my friends who refuse to wear casual gear and bought riding gear which are usually designed keeping male riders in mind. But safety first mantra made them stick to such gear. But now with RE gear, women riders have more choice. In fact, because these protective gear are tailor-made for them, it is likely to be more comfortable as well.
Secondly, it’s quite interesting to see the timing of launching this gear. We are also looking it as a pre-activity for something bigger that will be coming from the brand soon. There have been reports that Royal Enfield is developing a motorcycle for women. This motorcycle could get a smaller engine and is likely to come with cycle parts that will make it more accessible to them. When this happens, Royal Enfield is going to create a history. Because there have been multiple scooters that have been launched for women in India, but motorcycles, that have been completely ignored. This is finally going to change.
It is clear from these developments that Royal Enfield is betting big on female riders. We are quite excited to see how these turn up because if it becomes a success story, more brands are likely to enter this new segment. At the end, everyone wants to make tons of money.