I'm not so sure motorcycling has become any more popular than it was say.... 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago....
Now, before ya break out the flame throwers!!! let me qualify that statement!
My definition of a motorcyclist is someone who RIDES! not poses. There is no doubt what so ever that motorcycle ownership has increased tremendously in the past 20 years. Owning a motorcycle has become a status thing and an indication of that is how many doctors, lawyers, dentists, ad nauseum, that grow a beard and trailer their bikes down to Daytona every winter.
But I seriously doubt that the number of what I consider riders has increased that much.
Now break out the flame throwers..... The guys with sport bikes.. (I'm putting on my asbestos vest!) who only take their bikes out on weekends, or just really nice days, don't fit my definition of a rider. Ya, ya, yer highly skilled at going fast straight line and in the twisties, there is no doubt about that. But how many of ya's still ride when there is snow and ice on the roads? Or keep on keepin' on through a deluge not seen since
Biblical times? How many of ya's would take the bike regardless of how far ya gotta go and no matter what kind of weather you will encounter? Especially if ya have a nice cage with windshield wipers and a heater just sitting there?
Ok, I'm being an elitist purist. So flame my old ass!