Does New York City Really Have More Motorcycles than LA?

Early this year I wrote about how few motorcycles I saw while I was in Los Angeles. I was pretty shocked that in a city that is perfect for riding, no one does. I mean where else but Southern California is the weather nearly always sunny and you can lane split?

I get to visit New York almost as often as I have to go down to LA. When out there a few days ago I found it interesting that it seemed like New York had many more motorcyclists than LA. When out and about in NYC I saw way more people on motorcycles. Strange since this is in a city that isn’t nearly as nice to ride in. Certainly not year round, they have real weather in NYC and it is illegal to lane split.

There were tons of bikes of all sorts, and not just in the very Moto heavy neighborhood of Brooklyn where my friend lives. They were everywhere I went. I know that NYC is much more densely populated than LA, but I saw something like twenty times more motorcycles, way more than the density would suggest.

This sparked my curiosity to see just how close Motorcycles per person California was to New York. This led me to this site:


Just a random street in Brooklyn, motorcycles all over the place.

Sadly both CA and New York are near the bottom of motorcycles per capita. I of course was a little surprised by the states with the highest numbers of motorcycles per capita. Since New York and California are so close in motorcycles per person I really can’t back up my claim that motorcycles are more common in NYC than LA. Just my anecdotal evidence that I saw a lot more there.

Looking at the data it made me really wish I could see a chart of motorcycles per capita by Metropolitan Area. It would give us a clearer picture since NYC draws a lot of people from New Jersey, and I would like to compare my motorcycle rich San Francisco Bay Area to both LA and NYC.

However, after all of this casual research I have to say that LA most likely has more motorcycles, but only by a little. Leading me to conclude that I stand by what I said in March: what is up with LA? If NYC is even close with having actually really crappy weather to ride in and nothing like the great roads and canyons that are relatively easy to get to from LA, Los Angeles needs more motorcycles.





About MotoCynic

I started riding motorcycles in 2006, and there is no going back. I've ridden more than 100,000 miles, most of it on a Ducati Monster, and despite setbacks and murderous BMW's I'm loving every mile.
This entry was posted in Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Does New York City Really Have More Motorcycles than LA?

  1. My dream was to ride in NYC when I lived in NY but I never took the six hour ride. It will have to wait for a while now that I moved back to the Mountains…I must admit, NYC threw me for a loop when I visited, I just could not wrap my brain around the concept of a city that large.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s