On average, female riders tend to be a little shorter than men, and sometimes this can be an issue. Most motorcycle manufacturers target riders of average height, and often, the motorcycle we want is just too tall. While most bikes can be lowered and adjusted to your height, picking a factory-lowered motorcycle is always a good idea, especially if it’s your first. Lower motorcycles will be easier to handle as you will be able to comfortably put your feet down, which helps riders feel more confident. Additionally, lower-to-the-ground bikes typically carry their weight lower, too, which makes the motorcycle feel more stable and balanced. Some bikes to consider are the Indian Scout, BMW GS310, Suzuki DRZ 400, Triumph Street Twin, Kawasaki Ninja 400, Kawasaki Vulcan S, Harley-Davidson Sportster, Honda Shadow or a Moto Guzzi V7.
Another important feature to think about is the overall weight of your motorcycle. When it comes to women riders, most of us want to feel comfortable and safe on our bikes as well as know that we can pick the motorcycle up in case we tip it over. While the weight of the bike doesn’t matter much while you are riding, lighter motorcycles are much easier to maneuver and move around once you’re off the bike. A motorcycle that weighs 300-400 pounds is more agile and nimble for newer riders to handle than a heavy, 500+ pound machine. If you are leaning towards a lightweight motorcycle, take a look at a Honda Rebel, a Husqvarna 401, a KTM 200 Duke, a Yamaha Tracer, and similar bikes.
Power to Size Ratio
Going for a lower, smaller motorcycle does not have to mean a less powerful bike. As an example, a Ducati Monster has a 31.7-inch seat but is over 797 CC. Additionally, while most smaller bikes will tend to have a smaller engine size and less horsepower, it is possible to get a bigger machine and have it lowered or further modified to fit you. If you are mechanically minded or have a mechanic you trust, see if the motorcycle you have your eyes on can be modified and adjusted to your height and weight. As an example, a BMW 850 GS or a Suzuki V Strom 650 are both powerful motorcycles, but they can be lowered fairly easily with the lowering kits.
The best motorcycles for women riders are those who are reliable! Whether you do your own motorcycle maintenance or not, a durable, trusty bike is always your best option. Dealing with parts that wear out quickly, frequent oil changes, and capricious, highly-strung engines is not something you want to experience, at least not in the beginning when you are just starting out. If this is your first motorcycle, or if you do not have lots of mechanical knowledge and experience, it’s best to opt for a bike that is sturdy, well-built, and will last for years to come with regular maintenance.
Looking for more advice on the perfect ride for your body size and type of riding? Join my Motorcycle Confidence & Exploration #ByWomenForWomen Facebook group and get access to almost 2,000 women motorcycle riders’ suggestions! What bike a new rider should ride is a frequent topic and we have several threads about it in the group.
Did I miss any bikes that are great for female motorcycle riders? Let me know in the comments below.