31 August 2011

Passenger Safety Gadget Ignores Female Rider Friendliness

The motorcycling industry at large cannot be faulted – good intentions exist to ensure women are considered now in motorcycling, at all levels. But as women riders move forward there are still many steps taking us back.
This was apparent when I first caught sight of the new “Passenger Safety Accessory” called the “MotoGrip”. The pictures typically depict the "man" as the motorcycle rider and the woman as the passenger. But this time it was the entire design of the harness which had me twinging! The design (pictured below) if worn by a woman, lies directly across the breast area and appears incredibly unsuitable and uncomfortable for a female. (Could the straps even adjust to fit various chest sizes?)
Funnily enough, there are vast numbers of women riders who have children, teenagers and of course partners who enjoy riding on the back of their motorcycles. The MotoGrip may actually be a product for Mom’s which could provide additional "peace of mind" (MotoGrip Junior) when riding their youngsters around.  Many marketers are still not concerned with women riders. In this particular case, it would be as simple as introducing a female version of the item (which I'm fairly positive they'll implement if this manufacturer reads this blog!) Or demonstrating in their promo material how a woman could wear the item - which likely would be on the outside of a very thick jacket to avoid the anticipated discomfort!
It continues to strike me as unusual, that with women steering our  global economy's; controlling 80% of all household spending, are still often not counted.
Then again, there may be another factor at play… I know any passenger I’ve taken on my motorcycle for a ride, has never had any qualms about- holding on! *wink*
Note: for the record, I’m not convinced any form of passenger assisted grip works or does the job for the passenger.

1 comment:

Michael William Scott said...

Agreed, Vicki......like you, I consider the 'natural' female grips to work best.

All kidding aside, much of this sort of gender-non-neutral advertising and product development is slowly but surely "biting the bullet". Motorcyling HAS had a long, long history of male orientation and it's going to take some time to weed out all the dinosaurs (both people AND products) that have been the mainstays of the industry for a seventy-five years or so.

It's coming, though.....largely thanks to boundary-breakers like you!

Best regards......and best of the season.

Michael Scott