Tourism and leisure motorcycle riding
Motorcycles are rarely mentioned in tourism literature; but this is hardly surprising given the limited literature on motorbiking in general. Research into motorcycling tends to focus on aspects of safety (Elliott et al. 2003; Chesham et al. 1993). There is some academic literature that examines the environmental aspects of motorcycles (Leong et al. 2002; ACEM 2000) and several ethnographic studies (Schouten and McAlexander 1995), but they mainly focus on very specific biker sub-groups such as Harley Davidson riders or Hell’s Angels and are not very representative of the general motorcyclist population. Recent research by Broughton (2005, 2007, 2008) has sought to cast some light on this very under-researched group. Among other things, Broughton’s research has highlighted the recreational nature of motorcycle riding and the affluent nature of the majority of riders. This chapter explores motorcycle riding for leisure and the potential of this market for tourism, highlighting the need for further investigation of this group in terms of leisure and tourism. It begins by exploring the context of motorcycle riding before presenting a profile of riders and their potential as a tourist market segment.