The most common question motorcycle riders ask is what motorcycles are women choosing to ride these days. Last year, we published our first ever list of the most popular bikes among female riders, and to no surprise, that story has been our most read and shared story to date. That top 10 list of motorcycles women ride was compiled from responses we received from reader surveys we had conducted over the 10 years wed been in existence.
Now, a year after that list was published we’re posting an update — motorcycles most popular among women for 2015 heading into 2016. This top 10 list is compiled from results of a survey we conducted of our readers in May 2015 where more than 1500 women responded to the question, “What motorcycle do you ride?”
As the leading resource for on-road women motorcycle riders for the last 11 years, we at Women Riders Now are confident this list closely resembles the most popular motorcycles ridden by female motorcyclists today.
If you wonder why the motorcycle you ride is not on the list, it is because it was not one of the top 10 motorcycles listed by respondents. Nearly every street motorcycle out there was listed in the results of our survey, but again, this list compiles the top 10 most popular motorcycles only. Feel free to share the make and model motorcycle you ride in the comments below with a photo. Wed love to know why you chose it. Now, heres our list.
1. Harley-Davidson Sportster 883
Its no surprise this iconic motorcycle from Harley-Davidson is the most popular motorcycle ridden by women. The Sportster is the longest continuously produced motorcycle in Harley-Davidsons lineup, unveiled in 1957, and before the Street motorcycle platform was introduced in model year 2015, the Sportster 883 was the Motor Companys entry level / budget priced motorcycle. And since Harley-Davidson leads sales of bikes to women riders, its no wonder more women ride the Sportster 883 than any other make or model out there currently.
I was excited to see a touring motorcycle in the top five because it shows that women are not just riding the small and light motorcycles. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide, despite it being a large touring motorcycle, is the second most popular motorcycle ridden by women, according to our survey, because the Street Glide remains one of the most popular motorcycles sold in the U.S. overall.
As more women discover motorcycling and become proficient in their riding skills, they naturally gravitate to larger and more comfortable motorcycles. The majority of riders in the U.S. own touring and cruiser style motorcycles, so its no surprise the Street Glide would be near the top of our most popular list as more women take to the open road to tour long distances on a motorcycle.
Not far behind the Sportster 883 is Harley-Davidsons other Sportster, the more powerful 1200. The Sportster 1200 Custom is the most popular of the four 1200s currently available according to our survey, with the new-in-2014 Sportster SuperLow 1200T also mentioned. T is for touring because the bike comes outfitted with saddlebags and a windshield. I suspect this 1200 to gain in popularity as more women seek an easy-to-ride touring motorcycle to spread their wings over the open road. The other two Sportster 1200 models are the Forty-Eight and the Seventy-Two, and neither made our top 10 list.
The motorcycles that make up the Honda Shadow line have long been favored by women because of the bikes’ low center of gravity, ease of handling, and reliability — that reliability that’s synonymous with Honda motorcycles. So, seeing the Shadow 750 mentioned as the first non-Harley-Davidson in our top 10 list of motorcycles women are riding today is no surprise.
Currently there are four models in the Shadow line: RS, Phantom, Aero, and Spirit. While they differ in style, they each have a 750cc engine powering it. The Spirit — the Shadow with the lowest seat height — was mentioned by our readers as the most popular; then the Aero, then the Phantom.
5. Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe and Harley-Davidson Road King
With more than 1500 responses I was surprised we actually had a tie in our survey of motorcycles women are riding now, but two motorcycles share equal billing in fifth place in popularity among our readers: The Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe and the Harley-Davidson Road King.
The Softail Deluxe has been a top choice for women who love Harleys ever since this Big Twin with the extremely low seat height was introduced in 2005; it was number four in our list last year. The Road King is what surprised us initially, making the top five and tying with the Deluxe here, but when you consider that motorcycle touring is hugely popular with both women and men and that more new touring motorcycles were registered last year than any other category of motorcycles, it’s not that much of a surprise that Harley’s second most popular touring motorcycle, the stalwart Road King, would be near the top of our list.
This entry-level middleweight is part of Yamaha’s cruiser line, Star Motorcycles, and continues to be most popular Yamaha ridden by women. While the motorcycle may have a smaller engine size, its looks suggest otherwise. Many women are drawn to the V Star 650’s “big bike” looks, and confident beginners choose it because they can not only practice their newfound skills, but the bike’s decent power and size allow them to keep riding it beyond their beginner years. This is another motorcycle that’s changed very little since it was introduced more than a decade ago. Yamaha had a winner right from the get go. Why mess with a good thing?
The Softail is another one of those motorcycles that continues to attract a steady number of women over the years because it does a lot of things right. Riders who feel the large touring motorcycles are just too big to handle love that the Heritage Softail Classic is already set up for touring, but comes in that manageable Harley-Davidson Big Twin Softail package. Other than the engine size and component upgrades, the Softail Classic remains virtually the same since I reviewed it in 2011.
8. Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider and Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
Yes, we have another tie between two cruisers from Harley-Davidson that have seen steady interest from women over the years. And for all those lady riders wondering which one they should choose, the Dyna Low Rider and Fat Boy receive equal billing as the eighth most popular motorcycle our women readers are riding now.
Harley-Davidson stopped making the Dyna Low Rider for three years and only reintroduced it in 2014 after making some upgrades. It’s always been a leading bike among women long before surveys were asking women what they ride. The fact that it made our top 10 list after only being back on the market as a new model for two years is a testament to its draw among women.
I’ve always found the Fat Boy to be well, just that, fat and bulky, but the numbers don’t lie and many women choose this very low, manageable cruiser to be their motorcycle for life.
Ask any woman what motorcycle she started on and most will tell you it was a Honda Rebel. This 250cc motorcycle is by far the most popular beginner bike among women, and the fact that it made our top 10 list tells us that a) there are a lot of beginners reading Women Riders Now (great! hooray!), but b) and more importantly, there are many women continuing to take up motorcycling in record numbers.
And the tenth most popular motorcycle ridden by our women readers now is a motorcycle that’s quickly gaining ground among female motorcyclists despite it being a relatively new model, the Softail Slim. Introduced in 2012 (and reviewed by us then), the Slim narrowly beat out the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and the Yamaha V Star 950, motorcycles that have been around far longer and are ridden by plenty of women as well. So, fans of those bikes, it’s worth noting they came in 11th and 12th respectively.
• The majority of women riders choose a cruiser style motorcycle, and in fact, our survey results show 60 percent of respondents ride a cruiser, and these models in our top 10 bear that out. The second most popular category of motorcycles women ride is street / standard style at 24 percent, followed by sport touring at 14 percent.
• The motorcycles women choose follow motorcycling trends in general. For example, touring is the largest segment of motorcycles sold currently so we’re seeing more women riding touring motorcycles with two in the top 10, defying the stereotype that women only ride small or middleweight sized motorcycles.
• The growth in women in motorcycling continues full steam ahead as a beginner motorcycle and intermediate motorcycle made our top 10 list suggesting that of the women reading WomenRidersNow.com, a large number of them have only started riding recently or within the last two years. And in fact, this is in line with the results of the question we asked about how long you’ve been riding.
• Finally, the majority of women are riding powerful engine size motorcycles that come a package that’s manageable to their smaller frames, i.e. the Sportsters, the Softails, the Dynas and the Shadows.
144 thoughts on Top 10 Motorcycles Women Ride
This is my favorite bike so far, a 2016 Softail Slim S. I have previously owned a Sportster custom, a Fatboy and a Nightster but this beauty not only out-performs them all, it’s probably the best-balanced bike I’ve ridden. What a joy to ride—it puts a smile on my face every time I’m on it.
I’ve had an absolute blast on my Honda Shadow A.C.E. 750. It’s been a great starter bike for me!
My husband gave me the best Christmas present, I am blown away! This Indian Scout just floats when you ride it.
That’s a nice-looking ride, Kim. Congratulations! What a sweet and thoughtful husband you have.
Good grief, did Harley Davidson pay for this article? How is it the top 10 motorcycles for women are almost all Harleys and all cruisers? I currently own a Triumph Street Triple, and have owned a couple of Kawasaki Ninjas. My friend Lauren owns a KTM 390 Duke and a BMW RnineT. All great bikes for women; I would expect to see more variety in your list if your survey was done correctly. This is me on Franschhoek Pass and Lauren in Cape Town outside the House of Machines.
Hi Leslie. I think you misread the title of this article. It’s about the motorcycles that are popular with women, not necessarily what we would consider the best motorcycles for women, although some of them would be on that list.Your bikes are great rides. Ride on!
Indian Scout is my pick to ride.
A little surprised to see a Bonnie didn’t make the list!
I started out riding on a 1995 Kawasaki Vulcan 750.I now ride a 2011 Triumph Speedmaster (shown here) with extensive engine work done by Carpenter Racing.
I started with a Suzuki Intruder Volusia VL 800 then bought a Suzuki M50 1100. I switch between the two depending on the trip. You know, just as a change up.
I learned to ride on a Honda Rebel and I hated it. Would never buy one to ride long-term. It’s awkward in weight distribution and the mirrors totally suck. Can’t see a thing out of them.
I ride an Indian Chief Vintage 1800cc and most of my female friends ride the same. So I don’t know about the Harleys, maybe the research needs to be updated.
Firat bike: Ducati Monster 620Second: 1978 Honda CMT Cafe Racer custom buildThird: Suzuki Ryca CS-1 Cafe ConversionFourth: Kawasaki Vulcan SFifth: BMW F650 GS If I could, I’d have two versions (spectrum of cc and weight) of every riding style in my garage. OK, maybe 3.Still wish I had started on dirt bikes, though!
What this tells me is that we have a long way to go. When I first started riding in 1996, I wanted a Harley so badly because of the image and popularity. As I rode my Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200, I found it couldn’t handle the type of riding I was trying to do.In 2003 I got a Suzuki SV650 and I’ve never had a cruiser type bike since then. I love the challenge sportbikes and sport touring bikes offer. Cruisers bore me. I would love to see more women challenge themselves and learn the technical riding of sporty bikes and do some track days. This picture is me on my Honda VFR 800 during a track day.
My first bike was a Suzuki Savage 650, my second was a Yamaha V-Star 650, and the third and current bike is a charm for sure. Her name is Elizabeth and she is a 2004 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider. I picked her out and when she was ready I brought her home. We have gone through a lot together and we are soon to be finding us a sidecar to bring the diggidies when we go exploring. I am forever grateful that I learned to ride. It has been the thrill of my lifetime.
My first bike was a 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 800. I now ride and love my 2012 Victory Kingpin!
I’m so surprised they’re all cruisers. What about sportbikes and adventure-touring bikes? I am on my 20th motorcycle since 1980. I currently ride a 2017 Ninja 650. This is nice Saturday on the Tail of the Dragon.
I guess I’m not normal. I recently purchased an Indian Roadmaster. I’ve always liked distance and, yes, I have been riding for many years. In my opinion the bikes in your list are smaller and either purchased by newer riders or by women who don’t believe they can handle a larger bike.Indian is coming on strong and I think all women should take a look at its lineup. The Scout is equivalent to a Sportster, the Chief is a great bagger. Indian has reduced reach handlebars, seats for shorter riders, kickstands that women can reach, and other options for the shorter rider.I have ridden many of the bikes listed but once you outgrow the smaller bikes is when we as women need to find the larger bike that we really want and will love!If you are ready to move up please be sure to shop all brands, not just Harley.
I couldn’t even ride when I bought my 2012 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750C2 in 2015. I’m 5 feet 3 inches and it fits me perfectly. I’ve since put more than 21,000 miles on it and riding season isn’t over yet this year! Absolutely love the amazing gas mileage it gets (60-70 mpg), low maintenance costs and the power it has. I have no trouble keeping up with the much bigger bikes of the friends I ride with.
I wouldn’t ride anything but my 2008 Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special. When I bought my bike I did not want a classic girl bike. And most of the women who work at the Harley shop where I bought mine own a V-Rod tricked or blinged out!
I am shocked the Kawasaki Vulcan S didn’t make the cut. It’s faster and more nimble than any mentioned here and is a comfortable ride.
This article is misnamed. It should the “The 10 most popular motorcycles for new women riders” or “The 10 most popular cruiser motorcycles for women.”What about the Yamaha FJR, or the BMW F800. There are more motorcycles out there than cruisers or Harleys.
Great article. I, too, am a new rider (in my second season). I absolutely love riding. My first bike was a 1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 500, which was low profile and perfect for me at the time.I am now the proud owner of this 2017 Indian Scout Sixty, of which I just can’t get enough of. The Scout Sixty is lightweight, low profile, and extremely easy to manage. The ABS system is icing on the cake.
I guess “following industry trends” the female supermoto riders make up a tiny segment of the riding population just as male supermoto riders do. I don’t like riding freeway and want to have fun riding all other types of roads, be they tight, twisty, and/or bumpy.
Have fun carving your own path, Marilyn! Anything with two (or three) wheels is a worthy machine in our opinion.
Do women not ride sportbikes or standard/classic bikes? The Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Thruxton, or Street Cup are great bikes and popular with women. The BMW RnineT is a great bike. 7 out of 10 bikes are Harleys? What about the Ducati Monster? Kawasaki Ninjas are awesome bikes, especially the 250 or 650. Women come in all sizes, skill levels, and ages. They don’t all want a cruiser.
Of course women ride motorcycles that are not listed here. As the article clearly states several times, “This top 10 list is compiled from results of a survey we conducted of our readers in May 2015 where more than 1500 women responded to the question, “What motorcycle do you ride?” The bikes you list are great motorcycles, but are ridden by far fewer women riders than those listed in this article.
I started on A Honda Shadow 750 learning to ride in 2014. In 2016 I traded it for a Harley-Davidson Softail Slim and I love my ride!
I love my Street Glide! I started on a Sportster and when I went to my Street Glide I found it was obviously bigger but much easier to ride once I got past being intimidated by the size, and the the ride is 100 times better.
My favorite bike is the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Low. Great bike for in town and long rides. I’ve ridden all over my state and absolutely love my bike—a 2016 Fat Bboy Low. I kind of miss my Sportster 1200T Low because it was so zippy quick. In comparison though, Fat Boy all the way. I’m really liking the new Fat Bob coming out too. Gotta test drive that for sure!
I’m a Harley girl all the way. I rode a Sportster Iron 883 for five years then moved up to a Dyna Street Bob for several years, then 18 months ago to a ’16 Softail Deluxe that I love with the ABS brakes, siren security system, and cruise control. I got 2016s custom color, Cosmic Blue. It’s very glittery with lime green flecks and I’ve blinged it with H-Ds Diamond Ice Collection which has been discontinued sadly. My license plate is REHABN because of it being the best mental and physical therapy that I have. I love my bike!
I acquired a pristine 2011 Honda Shadow Phantom three months ago and love it! It’s low key blacked-out look and relaxed throaty purr is perfect for my understated style. At 5 feet 2 inches I’m comfy with my feet on the ground and know the Shadow engine is low maintenance bullet-proof. Here it is coming home on the trailer and hanging with the hubby’s Victory Hammer on the river ferry.
I started out with a Yamaha V Star 650, quickly outgrew it and moved to a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster SuperLow. The mid-controls made it very uncomfortable to ride, but I enjoyed it after installing forward controls for 6 years. I took a step up to a Softail Slim this year—love it and the longer profile. I’m only 5 feet 4 inches so this low seat makes it perfect. Harley just needs to reconfigure the kickstand!
I think the bike manufacturers need to take heed and produce more lower seats for shorter riders, not just females. I ride a Yamaha V Star 1300cc. Yes she is heavy and she has made my heart jump a few times but I wanted a big engine and the only option was a cruiser. The sport-tourer or retro have seats too high and this affected my confidence with that style. I rode a Suzuki Gladius 650 and needed that to be lowered. I love to ride the big cruisers, but there should more choices.
I started out with a used Yamaha 650. Hated the choke and after two months bought a new Yamaha 900. Then I found a beautiful Harley-Davidson Low Rider used and loved it, but I have long legs so I felt cramped riding it. I upgraded to a Harley Softail Deluxe. Loved that bike!I am 5 feet 6 inches. Then I wanted something I could ride longer and had a radio, and better shielding from the wind. All of the bigger Harleys were way too heavy for me so I bought a used Can-Am Spyder RT. Love it! Although I am not a fan of it at 65 mph. It seems to get blown around by the wind on the highway. Other than that it is perfect for me! So comfy, lots of trunk space, radio, plays my iPhone music, tons of shielding from the wind and a much bigger footprint on the road for drivers to see my bright yellow bike!
Bought my first bike with nudge from my husband when a deal of a lifetime presented itself. Three years earlier my 4-legged horse died and I didn’t realize how much I missed being outside and riding. Although horses aren’t realistic with my work schedule this iron horse fills the void. Here I am on my Honda Shadow 750 the first day I took it on the road.
I bought myself a 2012 Harley Sportster Seventy-Two XL200V last year when I started to study for my riding license. I was done in August. The Seventy-Two is low and slim with a peanut tank. It’s very small and I will now replace it for an 3.3 gallon tank. With short apehangers it feels great to ride. I’m very pleased with it—for me it was the right choice.
I just bought myself a divorce present after 30 years of misery. An Indian Chieftain with a trike kit put on. Should get it by spring riding season. I see a lot of women buying and riding the Indian Scout. Like I have always said it’s not what you ride, it’s the ride.
My first bike was a Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom Low. I was terrified of laying it over and hurting it, as I didn’t even know how to ride. I sold it, but I got tired of watching my husband ride off, so I went out and bought a used Kawasaki KLR650 knowing full well I was going to lay it over and maybe “hurt it,” and I did. But I told myself that it was OK, so with a totally different attitude I went out and rode, and that bike taught me in a hurry. It’s heavy and tall. Now I have the bug and bought a 2013 Kawasaki Versys for adventure riding, and in my first summer rode the Beartooth Highway, Yellowstone, Glacier, and the Tetons, and I can’t think of a better way to see them. I’m still growing and learning more—I traded the KLR in for a Kawasaki KLX 250 for the back country. Just go ride. It doesn’t matter if you are short, old, or young. There is a bike out there for you!
I just brought home my first bike, a Victory Octane. With a seat height of 25.9 inches and a weight of just over 500 pounds, I see a lot of women eventually gravitating towards this bike. And with the low price tag you are really getting your money’s worth. It has a 1200cc engine, and is both fun and comfortable to ride. I’m 5 feet 5 inches and 140 pounds.
Just bought my dream bike, H-D 2016 Limited CVO. What a cream puff!
Congratulations Michele! Thanks for sharing that with us. Blessings for many happy miles.
I chose a 2013 Softail Slim. I didn’t want what most women ride (Sportster.) I wanted a tough looking bike with the ability to keep up with the guys. The Slim was a perfect choice for me since I am only 5 feet 4 inches and 115 pounds. I would recommend it to anyone that isn’t very tall. It’s easy to put your feet flat on the ground.
My wife started on a Suzuki GS550. Then a Kawasaki 750.Then a 2003 Harley-Davidson V-Rod. She now has a 2009 Heritage Softail Classic. At 5 feet 2 inches, the Suzuki is the only one we had to lower. So ladies, go to rider education class and we’ll see you on the road.
So great to see the Street Glide as number 2 on this list. My first bike was a Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide, then I got a Heritage Softail, then my beautiful 2012 Street Glide. I’ve never looked back. My husband surprised me with Rinehart pipes and the sound is pure heaven. This bike accommodates my 5 feet 9 inch height easily while keeping pace with the big boys.
I love your list, and agree with most of it. The main thing is to find a bike that fits you and that you feel comfortable on. I started on a Honda Rebel 250, then the next year I got a Honda Shadow VLX 600, another great bike for a starter, which I had for nine years. I went to a Honda Shadow Aero 750, three years ago. I love my Hondas and for my fluffy and short stature, they are a great fit. And they are reasonably priced and reliable motorcycles. I only wish there was an abundance of accessories to fix it up like all my Harley-Davidson friends do with their bikes! Here’s my “Sapphire.”
I ride a Honda VTX 1300R, which I absolutely love! I really enjoy the dark red color and retro design details, and I can’t help but check it out each day as I pass is in the garage, between rides. Lol.
New for 2016, Indian Scout Sixty. Love, love, love. 61 cu in or roughly 1000cc. Low center of gravity, super comfortable, enough power to last me many years to come. Great style and a little more machine than the Harley Sportster 883 without feeling like too big a jump up, for me a good compromise. Moved up from my Suzuki S40 Boulevard 650 (Savage), which I am surprised did not make the list for such a great entry level easy to handle bike.
I absolutely agree with this list. I currently ride my first and only bike, so far, a Heritage Softail Classic. I actually bought it two weeks before I took the HD Riders Edge Course. I loved the fact that for the money you get pretty much everything you need for a nice ride. Since then though I’ve done upgrades to make it my own. I started a new chapter in my life at 50 and now two years later I’m still writing new chapters into that book. I absolutely love it and the new friends I’ve made since then.
From my limited experience, I’d say this list is dead on. I am still surprised at the number of women who start on on the 883 but I guess the weight and the price continues to make a huge impact. My hubby didn’t want me on it as a beginner bike because it was top heavy so I started with a H-D Heritage Softail, which I loved. He had to lower it some as I’m only 5 feet 5 inches, but it was a great learner bike. I got an upgrade just a couple of years ago to the Deluxe, the Screaming Eagle Deluxe to be specific and I’ve been thrilled. I encourage all my women friends to join me in the wind.
Thanks for the valuable feedback Melinda. Wow! What a bike you have!
I love the ride and balance of my 2012 Harley Switchback. With 103 cubic inch motor and 6 speed transmission, riding the interstates is a breeze. Long rides are very comfortable and the weight is not even a factor. In a matter of only a few years I have put over 37,000 miles on it. At 5 feet 2 inches I did a little adjustment on it to make it more comfortable and lower to the ground. Progressive shocks and a reduced reach solo seat, and it was a custom fit. I would never go any smaller on a bike and ride the kind of riding that I do. I started out with a 1200 Sportster and found that it just wasn’t the bike for me.
I started with a Suzuki Marauder GZ250 and sold that to buy the bike I’ve always wanted: Honda Shadow Aero 750. I absolutely love my Honda. This is the first full summer I’ve had it; I bought it late last August, and I’m looking forward to putting a lot of km’s on it!
Love the information.
I was disappointed that the article didn’t bother with a few basic bike facts for each model. Seems somewhat meaningless to read about top 10 with no comparative facts except seat height. (I would have found it more interesting if you’d included weight and brake info for each bike for instance.) I’ll be buying a new bike in the spring and look forward to lots of test rides. Current bike is a 1994 Kawasaki Vulcan 750 and am looking to go to a 950 Vulcan, a Triumph America, Honda Sabre, or possibly a Harley 1200 Sportster. What feels most comfortable and what gives me biggest bang for my buck will be the deciding factors. Great to see more and more women riders!
Thanks for the feedback. We’ll considering adding additional info the next time we do the list, however this was simply that, a list. Not an in-depth review on each bike. It’s meant to tease you to learn more about each bike by searching for a full review either on our site or another.
I currently ride a Softail Deluxe. This is my 5th Harley and second Deluxe. I started out on a 1971 kickstart Sportster, then upgraded 13 years later to a 2000 Dyna. From there I got my first Deluxe in 2005, then rode my husband’s Road King for a summer after the big C got him. I traded in the Road King and first Deluxe for a 2016 Deluxe and had them change the pipes, add full size bags, a windshield and engine guard. I call her my “Road Queen” and I think for a vertically challenged individual, she is the ultimate touring bike. The black one is the new one. My daughter currently owns my old Sportster!
Just started riding last year. Bought myself my bike as a retirement gift. After 42 years of riding behind my husband and looking at the back of his helmet, I decided I wanted to see the road! Took my time finding the right kind of bike for me, (I’m really short with short legs) and then the right bike itself. I love my bike!
For our readers wondering what motorcycle you purchased, from the photo, I’d say that’s a Honda Shadow Aero. We reviewed that motorcycle years ago, in 2006, and it really hasn’t changed much since then because Honda’s motto seems to be, “why mess with a good thing.” This motorcycle has been a consistent best seller among women. One of our readers posted a review of the customization she did to hers here. It’s a great all around motorcycle. Thanks for sharing!
Surely I’m not the only Victory rider out there. Glad to see a few Indians in a sea of Harleys and Hondas.
I am a little shocked to see that there are not any better handling bikes on the list, such as those that do not have the awkward forward controls, for instance BMWs Kawasakis, Hondas (dual sport, sport touring categories). If more women would take a test ride on a bike on which one can stand in the pegs, it would be life changing. Step outside your comfort zone into the comfort zone!
My first bike was a Yamaha Seca back in the 80s then I went on to a Triumph Speed Master. The new bike is a 2015 Indian Scout! Great balanced bike; low seat height.I looked at the Harley Softail Deluxe and the Softail Slim but the Indian won. Waiting for the snow to melt here in RI!
So sad to see no sportbikes on the list but as I’ve experienced, I am with a very small group. Currently I have two bikes, an 04′ Kawasaki ZX10R which I ride mainly on twistie roads (which there is a lot of here in WA), and on the track which is less then a mile from my home. I’ve been riding on the street since 1984 with most of my bikes being of the sportbike type. Back in ’13 I wanted a more distant riding, comfy bike so I got a ’13 Honda Phantom which makes me laugh every time I ride her.
Thanks for sharing Debera. Great photos!
I love my new Softtail Slim. I have a Sportster 48 1200 but I needed a bigger engine and this baby has it all. The right size, everything is prefect
I love my Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. It’s just the right height, power, and I love the look.
I started on a Honda Rebel 250. I used it for my MSF course and rode it for a few years after. I was happy to pass it on to another new rider when I decided to step my game up a notch. I went with a Honda Shadow ACE. I am quite tall, so the seat height on the Shadow is perfect. I love the way it handles, and the weight and power are perfect for me.
I love my bike. Handles amazingly. I ride a 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan 650
I’m sorry but this is a list of functionally-deficient bikes.How many of these bikes have ABS or traction control or even fully-adjustable suspension, all of which are shown to improve handling and control and safety? No thanks, I’d much rather enjoy my sport and sport-touring bikes, which not only go like the dickens (only when I want them to), but can also stop on a dime and give change, as well as go around a corner at a good clip.
Erica,Thanks for your feedback. I know the point you are trying to make but one should be careful assuming things without doing research. Most Harley-Davidson motorcycles have ABS including the Sportsters, where it’s offered as an option.
I am on my second Street Glide. In general I love it.However, Harley really needs to fix the hydraulic clutches they put on the newer bikes.They are hard as hell pull in and I end up in pain up my arm as well as with a tired hand by end of day. I am afraid that one day at an intersection my hand will give out and launch me into an intersection. For the first time in all my riding years I am nervous when I ride.My boyfriend rented a Road Glide for Daytona and had the same issue, but he is stronger than me and it wasn’t as bothersome to him.Have had it looked at/serviced a few times. No luck.Next up, I am putting a spring for a 96 in it… I have a 103. If that doesn’t help, all the hydraulics for the clutch are getting ripped off. And I will go back to cable.Harley knows it’s an issue. They know the Street Glide is very popular. They know it is popular among the demographic they are most reaching out to… Women. It is surprising they do not have a fix for it yet.
The reasons you stated are exactly why a gadget called an Auto-Clutch has become so popular. Read our review of the Rekluse Auto-Clutch that let’s you ride your motorcycle without having to pull in the clutch.
I started this time around (after a 25-year break) with an ’01 V Star Custom 1100. Two years later I upgraded to the Yamaha Stratoliner Midnight (’08)
I started on a Sporty 883 and dropped that bike a few times. I’m a 5-feet 1-inch female and not all that weak, but that bike was certainly top heavy and it couldn’t keep up with all my male riding friends’ 103 engines, so less than a year later, I jumped on the perfect fitting Softail Slim. Loved that bike, but it wasn’t cut out for traveling with luggage and I really wanted the stereo, so a year and a half later, I stepped it up on to a used 2013 Street Glide. Had to have her lowered (slammed actually), but I love this bike all the way around!
Hi Dee,Thanks for sharing pictures of all the motorcycles you’ve owned — and for sharing the thought process of your progression through them.
Not surprised to see the majority being Harleys but do wonder if the results would be the same in Canada. I am only 5 feet 2 inches tall so look for the lower seat when purchasing. I loved my Honda Shadow Spirit 750 but it is top heavy. I now ride Honda VTX 1300 and it fits me well and almost rides itself. Much heavier but rides easier than the 750.
While on deployment I would hang out and watch Sons of Anarchy with thre great friends. We made the decision when we got back to get motorcycles. One in the group had been a life-long rider and got nominated to mentor us in our journey to become riders.Your articles were so important for me; not much out there for women with quality information for all level of riders. I purchased a 2008 Dyna Low in 2011. With a few tweaks the bike fit me perfect, and she was beautiful. I made several cross country rides on that bike.Recently I decided to upgrade to a 2016 Softail Slim S. This bike fit my 5-feet 4-inch 120-pound frame perfectly. This bike is so well balanced and is so smooth. I put more miles on my motorcycle every year than my car. If it’s above freezing then I’m riding! Anyone looking at a Slim should get the dealer to throw in heat shields. If you read the review on your page will find out why the heat was a negative for this scoot. Other than that, I love my new ride!
I disagree with the selection of the 883 and Sportster for woman as they are top heavy and hard to hold upright. Call into a Harley dealer and stand on the side of these bikes opposite the stand and try standing them upright with one hand on the accelerator grip. Then try the same on a Fat Boy Lo. A lower center of gravity is the difference and makes them easier to handle and hold upright.
Noal, We didn’t pick the motorcycles in this list. Our readers did in a survey when we asked them what is the motorcycle you ride. The list is based on results of that survey. So, I guess it’d be hard to disagree with what the majority of women say they are riding.
I’ve had my MC license since 1994 and got my first bike in 2009, a brand new Ninja 250R. It was the perfect starter bike for me, and it took me six years to even consider upgrading, but then in August 2015 I test rode a Moto Guzzi V7 and fell completely in love. I’m in it for the long haul with this Italian beauty.
Kim,Yes, the V7 is indeed a great bike. We wrote a story on it when it first got released in 2013. You can read it here.
I have ridden as passenger on a motorcycle most of my adult life, and never had any desire or want to ride my own. Being a passenger I realized all there is to riding a bike. But, in 2014 I sat on a Can-Am Spyder and said I can do this. I realize that three wheels are not two, but you do still wear the same gear (that is why and how I found this website) and the same street rules apply to you too. Love having the independence of riding my own motorcycle/Roadster.
Last year, I decided to buy another motorcycle. Well, I sat on the HD Sporty 1200L and I took her home. I made modifications to make it fit my needs and style of riding. This bike is just too much fun and I enjoy leaving my boyfriend in the dust.
My first bike (at age 53) was a beautiful Honda Shadow Aero 750, black over dark cherry. I called her WYTCH, because she made me feel like I was flying free! Then comes 2014 and Polaris re-launched the Indian Chief Vintage and I fell in love at first sight. I lived in Alaska at the time and there were no Indian dealers anywhere to be found. My husband (2012 Heritage Softail Classic in vivid black and chrome) and I took a vacation to Arizona and liked it so much (more riding for both of us!) we bought a house! Fast-forward three years and for my 56th birthday, I bought my dream ride: a 2014 Indian Chief Vintage in Indian Red with all the leathers a gal could want. It’s huge compared to my Shadow, but oh what a ride!!
Thanks for sharing. That is so, so beautiful. Love it!
I absolutely love my 2013 Harley Softail Slim! I’ve sat on many looking for the right feel and without a doubt, the FLS Slim was the perfect guy for me! He’s my commuter to work and there’s never ever a dull ride to work and back!! 🙂
In 1984, my husband taught me how to ride on a Kawasaki 305. I loved it! Rode it on the Dragon before it was known as that. Upgraded to a Kawasaki 750 Spectre. We rode that in the Smokies and Blue Ridge.We moved back home to Massachusetts to take care of my father-in-law. Stopped riding for 15-or-so years. Then my husband wanted to buy a buddy’s Harley-Davidson Shovelhead. So he bought me my own, brand new 2009 Sportster 1200 Low. Worried about it (the cc’s) were so much more than my 750 from years ago.No problem at all — just 30 days after buying it. I added a windshield, etc. I felt that I needed to have a bike with a little more heft. Still afraid of the big bikes, I went with a new 2009 Dyna Low Rider. So absolutely comfy. But kept looking at and trying to decide between maybe upgrading to (still looking for the heft) a Deluxe or Heritage.My husband said the best thing was to test ride them, otherwise I would never know. So I did and loved the ride on both — the Heritage a little bit more. But I remember sitting on a Street Glide and saying to myself that I could hold that up, ad if I don’t try, I wont know.Wow! That is what I have now, a 2009 Street Glide that I call Moose. So, I pretty much ran the gamut. Took a while but finally got it just right.Keep tying untill you feel comfy. There is no other feeling like it!
I am 5 feet 1 inche and don’t have many choices because of my size. It not only the height of the bike that is limiting but also the width because of short legs. My Sportster SuperLow has been modified even further with different handlebars for better control, and a custom seat that pushes me closer to the handlebars and lowers me even more. I love my ride!
Kaeli,Thanks for sharing that great photo of you and your SuperLow, and all the modifications you did. The way the bike fits you, one could hardly tell you’re just 5-feet-1. For more information on how to handle big and tall bikes, read our story on the subject here.
I’ve been riding since Mother’s Day 2013 when my amazing husband surprised me with my first bike, a 900 Kawasaki Vulcan. Great learning bike. Less than a year later I bought a 91 FXRD (old school Dyna) and fell in love with Harley (this is still one of my favorite bikes). Next, I invested in a newer, non-carbonated custom 1200 which my husband and I turned into a bobber-style ride. It was a fun experience to customize the bike and I continue to make it my own. I ride whenever possible and eventually want to work motorcycles into my career path. I’m currently 34 and pregnant with my second child and riding is my freedom! I’m can’t wait to get back on my baby! Looking to put a conversion kit on her as I want the peanut tank look but more torque! Have fun and be safe ladies!
Thanks for sharing! Do you mean “carbureted,” not carbonated? I thought it was funny so I left it in instead of correcting it.
Yes, I do. I rode for 12 years before going on a 20-year hiatus. I’ve been riding again for less than a year on my 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom. This is the first bike I’ve owned, though, and I’m in love. Her name is Pearl.
Great article and glad there were touring bikes in there. I rode 25 years on a Harley-Davidson Sportster. I was bikeless for about ten years and just bought a 2011 Harley ElectraGlide Ultra Classic. I had a salesman insist I should look at Softails. He didn’t listen to me and didn’t get the sale. I love the comfy bikes.
I began riding again in 2005, after a near 20 year absence. I started again on a Honda 750 Shadow ACE Deluxe, an amazing machine. I then purchased a beautiful Yamaha 1100 V Star, and then moved up to about as big and heavy as a girl can go to a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe with a Road King trunk, AKA “Sherman.” I love it but it’s a beast meant for the true cruiser type riding. I also now own a bike too few women would feel comfortable on, mostly due to the height, and I love it — BMW R1200GS (shown here in the pictures). Sherman’s pictures are all on my other machine. The GS is an amazingly fun bike to ride, so much more nimble and especially easier at low speeds. It takes a curve just by my thinking about it approaching. It’s quite nice to not fear dropping a highly polished and chromed 850 pound machine when riding through gravel or dirt is necessary to get you to where you are going. I cannot make myself sell either one at the moment, so for now, I am a two bike woman (plus two scooters, 50cc and 170cc’s). They are completely different beasts and each serves its purpose well. You might say that I only climb into the cage when the weather insists it be so! Ride free, ride safe, just ride on sisters, no matter what “saddle” you call home!
This is my third season riding solo and I ride a 2003 Honda VTX 1300. The custom paint job was done by my sister in law.
I have been riding less than a year and picked the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo 103 as my first motorcycle. It is low and balanced and something I felt I could handle but not so small that I couldn’t keep up with my husband’s bigger Ultra Limited. I enjoy it a lot and ride as much as I can. And it is a cool bike with a cool name. I get lots of admiration from the guys.
I really enjoyed this article. Nice to see more women becoming increasingly confident in their riding abilities and stepping up to larger bikes. I purchased this 2014 Street Glide Special last year and love it. This photo was taken at the entrance to the Westworld venue in Scottsdale, AZ during AZ Bike Week in April. I’ve been riding for more than 20 years and its something I enjoy immensely. The best part is enjoying it with my husband.
I didn’t start riding until I was 54. I learned on a Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. I took the MSF course and will recommend it to anyone. After riding my Sporty for many years we went to a dealer to buy oil for an oil change. On the way out my husband spotted a beautiful bike. It is a 2008 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. I walked out that day without it. I woke up the next morning and it was on my mind… this went on for a week. I knew then it was meant to be mine. They let me take it out for a four-hour test drive and I bought it that day. Loving every minute my butt is planted on the seat. By the way, I named her Grace.
To each his own; but, I rode a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster one time around a parking lot and knew it was not the bike for me. I learned to ride on a Dyna Wide Glide, went to a Fatboy, and now have a Road Glide. She’s definitely a keeper.
I’ve been riding now for about 38 years. I started off on a Honda 350, went to a Kawasaki KZ1000, then back to a Honda Shadow, and now I own a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster SuperLow and I love it. Although I plan on getting a larger bike or go for an Indian Motorcycle. I love bikes and definitely love riding and am loving life. I’ll prob ride until I die. So my preference is pretty much that I like all bikes but I do love my Harley. Then of course I got my boy into riding also since he was three years old.
I too thought this survey was an ad for Harleys. Can’t stand the foot pegs way up in the next area code! U started riding in the city on a Honda CBR125 because that’s what my riding school used. I researched a lot when I moved out of the city and ended up with one of Honda’s new CB500s. I got the CB500X, which is their “adventure” style. It’s a very upright seating position, feet comfortably under me, and thick-soled boots helped with the 29-inch inseam on the 31-inch seat height.I can’t flatfoot both sides at once but I researched how shorter riders handle taller bikes. Check YouTube the 5-feet 1-inch gal doing a Rockett kick to get on the 36-inch seat height bike! It’s all possible and a person’s height doesn’t have to hold you to a specific type of bike or any particular brand. If you have the guts to go big off the bat, do so. I always recommend that women with any hesitation in learning start off riding a small cc and small stature bike, ride where you’re comfortable riding and only move on when ready, and do not cave to any pressure received especially from spouses with many years riding. A gal likes riding in the parking lot? Ride there. Ready for side streets? Go ride there. Not ready? Don’t go! Then when they are totally comfortable and have “conquered” that little bike, then move to a larger cc/stature one. We get back what we paid for the little bikes so there is no financial loss in doing so, and when we get to the larger bike in traffic we have the confidence needed. I’ve seen too many hesitant women pushed into a larger bike first and onto highways immediately with maniacs and transport trucks zooming by, snd soon after they quit being interested in riding. Ride your ride.
Great advice on how to handle tall bikes; it’s similar to our recent article, 5 Tips to Handle Big and Tall Motorcycles.For the record, this list is not an ad for Harley. Harley-Davidson played no part in this survey that we conducted or in its results.
I started on a Suzuki TS 125 when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. So much fun buzzing around in the Sahel on that bike! Ten years after coming back home, I took the MSF and bought a 450 Rebel. Loved it! Now I ride a BMW G 650 GS. Love it even more! Rock and ride on!
This is my second Ultra Classic – 2014 CVO – I am wondering how many other female riders are riding full baggers? I know they are out there! Sound off…
I’m stunned, as I know no women that ride Harleys.- BMW F 650 GS- KTM 450 EXC
Did Harley Davidson pay for this article/ad? Please… I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS with ergo fit. Awesome! I took a class on a Harley 500 and it was top heavy. I found their bikes to be too heavy and too expensive. I guess it depends on whether or not you love to ride or love the image. Harley definitely has a following. Too bad they can’t / won’t acknowledge riders of other manufacturers. So sad to see that female riders have such a limited range in products.
After 16 years off motorcycles, I got the itch to ride again when I neared 50. I started on a Honda Rebel 250, then traded up to a Yamaha V Star Classic 650. But my dream was to own a Harley, and in 2015 I finally took the plunge and bought my first, a used 07 Softail Custom FXSTC. As a woman with an unusually long reach and no problem with height, I didn’t find the higher seat and ape hangers to be a problem at all. I love my big boy and doubt I will trade him off.
So nice to see the Street Glide at number two on the list. In the nine years that I’ve been riding, I have owned a Sportster 1200 Low, a Street Glide, a Softail Heritage (surprised this one didn’t make the list), and my current and by far favorite ride is the new in 2015 Harley Ultra Limited Low. It fit my 5 feet 3 inch frame perfectly with no modifications (except I did remove the tour pack and added a custom solo touring seat from Mustang). “Lucille” took me on an amazing 10,000-mile cross-country adventure this past summer with my husband. I look forward to many more miles on her.
The Heritage Softail Classic did make our list at number 7.
I am 5 feet 5 inches and ride a Harley Street Glide. I did start riding on a Sportster, but in a year’s time I was on my Street Glide. I had it lowered an inch and had a seat put on that lowered it another inch. Both of my feet are now able to rest flat on the ground. I test drove it without the lowering and was perfectly fine, but I feel secure with both feet planted firmly on the ground. I love my big bike!
I started with a little 250, then a Yamaha V Star 650, and now I’m riding a 2006 Honda VTX 1300 with a trike kit on it and I love it! Best bike I’ve owned yet. And will probably be my last. I’d ride a Harley Tri-Glide if I could afford one, but my Honda VTX with trike kit is the next best bike. Ride safe! There has been way too many accidents lately with drivers turning left in front of riders!
I am a new rider this summer, and just got my license on a 1983 Honda CM450a that I found on eBay. She’s a great bike for zipping around town (“a” is for automatic transmission) or longer trips, thanks to her touring geometry, saddle bags, and rack! Makes a great beginners bike, but I have a feeling I’ll be enjoying her for many years to come!
I learned on a Suzuki 250 and a Honda Rebel. I started with a 750 Shadow (PeeWee) and moved up to a VTX 1300R (TelHer) after 53+++ miles I moved up last June to a 07 Gold Wing. He (Phoenix) had 6313 miles when I bought him. 6331 mile when we got home. Now he has 34+++ miles and has joined me to stops in the four corners of the country. Yep, ME, CA, WA, and FL. I am only 5-feet-5 in and I flatfoot him with ease. No lowering. My inseam is 30 inches. Much luv.
Thanks for sharing your love of the Gold Wing. It is indeed one of the easiest “bike bikes” to ride and is so low to the ground. Thanks for sharing that you, at 5-feet-5, can flatfoot it. I believe if more women took a spin on one they’d be hooked, like you.
Having owned a HD Softail, HD Street Glide and Yamaha V Star 950, I have now graduated to a HD Tri Glide. The Softail and V Star were the easiest to maneuver, but I liked the bells and whistles of the Street Glide for a long trip. I was constantly fearful with the Street Glide that I would be unable to back it up or maneuver it into a tight space unassisted. Like many two-wheel riders, I thought the trike was not a real motorcycle. Now it doesn’t matter, it is so much fun to drive. I would love more sharing of stories from other trike riders as there are many of us out on the roads! The Tri Glide is definitely my favorite.
Thanks for giving a shout out to trikes. Three-wheelers are indeed awesome vehicles that many, many women choose to ride. Thanks for sharing. Love the color of your trike. Wow!
My new baby: 2015 Heritage Classic. Love the smooth ride. I can easily get both feet on the ground with my knees bent. I started out on an 883 and was a little anxious about getting a heavier bike, but as soon as I did the test ride, I was hooked. So great to find this site and see so many women riders out there. Our HOG chapter has a lot of women riders too and they ride all the Harleys on this list. Many of them are very experienced and average more than 10,000 miles a year! Women riders rock!
These days I ride an HD Sportster 1200, “Gracie,” and enjoy riding her up and down the state of Florida. I’ve ridden several other bikes throughout the years and within the states in addition to Germany. While my height (4 feet 10 inches) is an annoying issue, a smaller bike might be better but not acceptably satisfying for me. I always wanted two items in my retirement: a Corvette and a HD; mission accomplished. I settled on a 1200 because I could not find a nice Dyna Low Rider the second I wanted to upgrade. Thankfully all is good so far. Genevieve you’re doing an awesome job with WRN. Keep it up.
Woman riders have been around for a long time. It’s only the recent years that we have been noted. The motorcycles shown, of course, is a small amount of what we ride. The popular ones puts us on the map! Congratulations to the ladies who make this all happen. Ride on!My current ride, 2015 Road Glide.
I love riding on two wheels! I get so excited to see others riding that I wave at people on scooters! Over the years I’ve had many different motorcycles but I currently ride a Triumph Tiger 800 (Roadie) that I absolutely love, love. It was a little too tall so I had a lowering link installed and life is good! I also have a Honda CRF250L and a Kawasaki Vulcan 900. Yes, I know, it’s an illness. I find that riding in an upright position is the most comfortable for me. I’ve love the look of the Adventure bikes although I only ride streets. I recently got a set of Givi bags for my Tiger and plan to take more trips in 2016. Wishing you all safe rides and always wear protective gear.
I’ve been curious about this. Where was the survey done? I ride a Victory Vegas Low. Most of the girls I know ride Victorys and it didn’t even make the list. Many are buying the Cross Country and the KingPin. I’ve taken a test ride on the Vision 8 Ball. It’s the big boy and because it is low, I absolutely love it. I’ve had a Yamaha V Star 650 and 1100 before this bike.
Nice to hear about you and your friends riding Victorys. Victory makes some amazing motorcycles. We conducted the survey during the month of May 2015 on our website. Readers of the site were asked 20 questions. We do this periodically for marketing purposes. Victory is still, by comparison, a relatively small manufacturer. That coupled with the fact that they do very little marketing to women (if at all), few women know about the benefits of these bikes. I’m glad you’ve found like-minded women who can enjoy all that the motorcycles offer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts—and that great photo—with our readers.
I was happy to see Suzanne Shafer’s picture of her beautiful “glass sparkle black” V-Strom, and Suzanne, I’m with you, girl! Mine is a carbon copy of yours, and it is absolutely the easiest bike I’ve ever ridden. Started riding when I was 18 on a 175 Honda. Now I’m 60 and chose the Wee because it doesn’t blink twice at gravel or ruts in the highway. Though it had to be lowerd twice before I could reach the ground sufficiently, it was worth it, and I love that bike! I actually bought it in Bend, Oregon, when my Suzuki S83 Boulevard broke down (in the same place, for the same reason, that it did two years earlier) with a seized caliper. Traded it in on the 2012 650 ABS V-Strom, and rode it home to Seattle with my dog Bicho in his T-Bag for dogs smiling along beside me. I orginally thought I would like adventure riding and tried one in the Hoh River Valley with AltRider. You can see what the bike looked like after doing that. Decided that’s not for me. Freeway and highway riding are just fine on this bike. YAY for women who ride motorcycles!
I’m 62 and 5 feet 5 inches. I went from a Harley Deluxe to a Street Glide. The Glide is a wonderful bike but was a little too heavy and tall (even after lowering) for me to easily handle when backing up. I now ride a Fat Boy Lo which is a perfect fit. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles a touring bike has but I’ve taken 2,500-mile trips on it and was comfortable.
I took the MSF course with Harley-Davidson. I’ve always wanted a Softail but would rather have money for cute gear, overnight trips, and gas. So, I bought a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard. With 800cc and at 640-plus pounds my Storm is a beautiful beast! I’ve been riding since May, put on more than 1000 miles, and plan on riding all four seasons!
I agree with Gail. I don’t judge people who ride cruisers/Harleys. It’s just that I don’t think I have a lot in common with them. I like twisties and I like dirt.
Had a 2002 Harley V-Rod but my current and best bike I have every owned is my 2015 Indian Scout. It handles great in the twisties and is a fun, fast ride. Just finished a 750-plus-mile ride in eastern AZ and enjoyed every minute!
My ’99 VStar 1100 Custom is bullet-proof. It has a low center of gravity, a low seat height and a shorter frame, great for those of us shorties with not so long arms. With 1100ccs, there’s more than enough power to satisfy. Most women prefer the 650, but I found it to be a bit sluggish. But then again, I raced dragsters in my crazy youth.
Interesting – lots of Harleys. I wonder if that’s because the HD brand has done such extensive and careful marketing to women over the past couple of years? I would love to see other manufacturers (I’m looking at you, Honda) to step up to the plate and offer more female friendly advertising and products. Personally, I love my Honda CBR and commute into Boston every day (when it’s not snowing). I’m 5 feet 5 inches and can easily manage the 30.5-inch seat height. To me, sportbikes are more comfortable to ride than cruisers but you need to sit on and ride several types of bikes before you find your perfect fit. There is no one size fits all type of motorcycle.
Alexis,Yes, Harley is the only manufacturer with dedicated outreach marketing efforts aimed at women. They started their outreach in 2004 when they launched the Garage Party concept at dealerships. Clearly their efforts are paying off.
I started out with a 250 Yamaha Virago and then graduated to an 1100 Yamaha Virago for several years. My biker friends noticed I was over-riding the bike and I found myself in 2004 purchasing my Yamaha Road Star 1700, which I love! Yes, it may look like I prefer Yamaha, but I test rode several makes and models. It’s what works for the individual, male or female, and nothing else.Seeing more women riding their own is awesome. Those who prefer to ride behind their significant other, I give a high-five because they are out there riding.I do have a question. How was the Top 10 selected and what was the criteria that brought the list together? Thanks.
The answer to your question is in the intro of this article.
I too am disappointed that the list was all cruisers. I have a Kawasaki Ninja 500R and a Kawasaki ZRX1200R. Perhaps a survey of women who ride sportbikes or adventurers would be fun. Since I have to wear platform Doc boots to reach the ground, I would be interested in how others are doing. However, I love the articles and information on here! I am particularly excited to read about the Sister’s Centennial Motorcycle Ride!
Christy,Those motorcycles you ride are spectacular bikes! Thanks for sharing about them so those who read this are aware of other readers like yourself who love them.
I have a Harley 750 Street that I got last year that I absolutely love! As an inexperienced rider, it is perfect in size and handling capability plus the 750 engine has plenty of zip to get me out of tight traffic situations. The only thing lacking on it is the iconic Harley roar. Once I have more miles under my belt I may move up to a larger Harley but for now this one is awesome!
I’ve yet to meet a bike I don’t think is beautiful, but I’m disappointed not to find one built for adventure touring among the top 10. I began riding just two years ago, at age 63, and my first bike was a 2001 Honda Shadow VLX. I still love it, but now I’m riding a Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure that I love even more! I usually ride alone so I’ve not yet spent much time in gravel, but my new ride is amazing when carving back-road mountain twisties!Now my Wee and I go camping every chance we get. I’ve not yet met another woman rider on a bike like mine and I think that ought to change. Ladies, if an old broad like me can ride this bike, many of you can too! How about helping me broaden the top 10 list?In case you’re wondering, I’m 5 feet 7 inches with a 32-inch inseam, which isn’t quite long enough to flatfoot at a stop, but a pair of Daytona Ladystar boots solved that problem.
I had a Suzuki Savage 650 to start out on, then I went to a 883 SuperLow, which I put 43,000 miles on that bike until I decided to go to a Dyna Street Bob, which I enjoy riding very much.
I’m a 50-something-year-old shorty. Just 5 feet 4 inches. I started on a Honda 250. Moved on to a Harley Sportster 1200. Then a Fat Boy Lo. It was a great progression for me. Fat Boy Lo is perfect for me.
I’m pretty excited my Softail Slim made the list. I think it’s a great bike for women, especially us vertically challenged individuals. I added removable bags and windshield and I’ve been touring with it. Had a great time in the mountains with it last month.
Wow, I’m starting to think this isn’t the website for me at all. I guess most of the readers here are satisfied with cruising along the highway on a cruiser. While that’s enjoyable, it’s not why I ride a motorcycle.
Gail,At Women Riders Now, our motto is, “It’s not what you ride, it’s THAT you ride.” And our content reflects that. We cover all brands, all makes and all models, and the gear that goes along with all types of riding. We also have an extensive “safe riding tips” section that applies to all riders.Just because the majority of readers ride cruisers, there are plenty of readers who ride other styles of motorcycles. Just take a look around the site. Thank you for your feedback. I do appreciate it.