Top 5 Touring Motorcycles Women are Riding Now

Our list of the most popular heavyweight bikes among female riders today

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
One of the most common questions we get asked is what motorcycles are women riding. We answered that last October when we published our list of the top 10 motorcycles women are riding now, with results generated from our latest reader survey.
Now we expand on that list and reveal the top five touring motorcycles women are riding now, according to that same survey where more than 1500 women responded to the question, "What motorcycle do you ride?"


top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now graphic

How We Came Up With The List
Lots of motorcycles are designated for touring, but for our purpose here because the results dictated it,touring motorcycleis defined as a motorcycle that is classified by its manufacturer as a heavyweight, and comes from the factory with a windshield and saddlebags already installed.

As the leading resource for on-road women motorcycle riders since 2006, we at Women Riders Now are confident this list reflects the most popular motorcycles ridden by females today, popular being the operative word here. We know there are other ideal touring designated motorcycles, but again our list reflects the bikes mentioned most often as the touring motorcycle women are riding now, a list that closely follows the popularity of touring bikes among the general motorcycling population. We even added an honorable mention that we were excited to see, and that motorcycle may surprise you.
The trend in riders choosing a “bagger” or “dresser” is not slowing down as more riders than ever before have the time, resources, and desire to explore the world on two-wheels. Over the years, we’ve seen more women among the general population of female riders choose a heavyweight cruiser as their motorcycle for long distance adventures.
If your touring motorcycle is not on the list, and certainly there are wonderful sport touring motorcycles that are ideal for long distance riding, please share it with us in the comments and include a photo. Remember, this list represents the most popular touring bikes among women today.

1. Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Harley-Davidson’s super successful FLHX Street Glide, celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2016, is the number one selling touring motorcycle in the U.S. so it’s no surprise that among women riders this bike would be the most popular pick. The Street Glide is also the second most popular motorcycle among women overall, according to our Top 10 Motorcycles Women Ride list.

The Street Glide boasts the lowest seat height of any stock “bagger” at 26.1 inches making it easy for a wide range of riders to sit in the saddle flat-footed. And being able to plant both feet on the ground comfortably is the number one factor for women when determining what bike to buy, according to our survey. Because the bike doesn’t come with a rear top case, it has a very low center of gravity that puts it above the others in our list for easy handling and maneuverability.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now street glide
Linda Begin from Ottawa, Ontario, on her 2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide has been riding for eight years and stands 5 feet 3 inches with a 30-inch inseam. Her bike is basically stock except for the fairing lowers on the engine guards she added for more wind protection and additional storage. "The Street Glide was my dream bike that I got for my 50th birthday," says Linda. "It is the ultimate touring motorcycle. I put on my backrest and strap on luggage and go for days and days. Around every corner is a new adventure and I cant wait to see where she will take me this year!”

The Street Glide, as all the Harleys in this list, is part of the Motor Company’s touring family of motorcycles, so riders can expect the more powerful engine making it even more appealing to riders who not only desire a bike that’s easy to maneuver and comfy for long days in the saddle, but who appreciate lots of throttle power to command the highway. Since 2012, the Street Glide’s powerplant is the Twin Cam 103 engine (1690cc).

Rounding out the list of enticing features is the cruise control, music options, and a big 6-gallon fuel tank allowing for longer off-the-beaten path adventures where gas stations are few and far between.
2. Harley-Davidson Road King
Before the Street Glide made its debut, the FLHR Road King was Harley-Davidson’s easy-to-ride touring motorcycle so naturally it lands in the number two spot on our list. (It’s also the fifth most popular motorcycle overall among women riders.)
The Road King is built on Harley’s touring chassis (or frame) so like its bigger cousins, the Electra Glide Ultra Classic and the Ultra Limited, the Road King offers that smooth, cushy ride, but its absence of a front fairing and rear tour pack keep the center of gravity low with no top-heaviness that comes with some bikes that have a rear top case.


top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now road king
Meg McDonough from Seattle, Wash., is 5 feet 10 inches with a 35-inch inseam. Shes ridden her 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King more than 100,000 miles since buying it new in 2003. Customized with 16-inch apehanger handlebars, a Lindby engine guard with incorporated highway pegs, detachable rider backrest (not shown), and a Klock Werks Flare windshield make the Road King more comfortable for Megs long distance rides. Photo by Karen Derby.

Aesthetically, the roots of the Road King go back to Harley’s early touring motorcycles, but the Road King name and signature minimalist look—for a bagger—made its debut in 1994, and has essentially looked the same all these years.

And that simple, understated style is what makes the Road King appealing. Some riders don’t want a full fairing with music, a navigational system, and cruise control, but they do want the comfort that a bike built on a touring frame offers. So the Road King boasts a low seat at 26.7 inches, a big windshield, decent-sized saddlebags, a wide light bar, and a large fuel tank—about all a touring rider needs to go long distances comfortably while keeping it simple.
3. Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic

We are excited to see Harley-Davidson’s largest touring motorcycle, the FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic, fall into the number three spot. This shows that more women are appreciating the creature comforts of a larger motorcycle including extra storage, tunes while they ride, navigational and Bluetooth systems on the new models, and protection from the wind from the legs up to the face.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now electra glide ultra classic
WRN assistant editor, Tricia Szulewski, can attest that the Electra Glide Ultra Classic is an incredible touring motorcycle with every creature comfort a rider could ask for. Fortunately, the low center of gravity makes handling relatively easy—though many women remove the rear tour pack when theyre not riding long distances to make the big bike easier to maneuver for rides around town.

Seat height is not much higher than the previous two bikes on our list at 27.3 inches, but all the extra weight of this motorcycle calls for a rider to be strong and confident to feel completely in control in all situations.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now ultra limited
We caught Shelley Drake from Seattle, Wash., test riding the 2016 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited, the "luxury" version of the Electra Glide Ultra Classic, courtesy of Eastside Harley-Davidson in Bellevue, Wash. Her own bike is a Road King, but her 5-foot-9 frame and 36-inch inseam can easily handle the Ultra Limited. If she were to buy the big bagger, she'd make a few modifications. "I don't ride two-up, so I'd change to a solo seat and of course move the tour pack. I loved the Ultra Limited though." Photo by Karen Derby.

Knowing seat height is a big issue on big bikes for a lot of riders, in 2015 Harley-Davidson introduced a lower version of both models, the Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low, and the Ultra Limited Low, measuring almost two inches closer to the ground at 25.6 inches, nearly as low as the Street Glide. Woman or man, most riders can appreciate the extra control of having both feet on the ground.

4. Honda Gold Wing

If Harley-Davidson didn’t dominate U.S. market share for heavyweight cruisers, the Honda Gold Wing might be a little higher on our list of touring motorcycles. Still, the powerful 1800cc Gold Wing did make our top five because it’s perhaps the easiest of the biggest motorcycles to ride with superb balance and optimal center of gravity that it's often been called the “Cadillac” of motorcycles.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now honda gold wing
A rider since 2003, Johanne Lavergne of Kemptville, Ontario, just saddled up with her pearly white '06 Gold Wing last year because her spouse had to sell her bike due to health issues. Johanne, who stands 5 feet 5 inches with a 31-inch inseam, now rides her spouse on the back. “We needed a comfortable touring bike, and comfortable passenger seat. The Gold Wing offers deluxe comfort, and is loaded with features. We love it!"

A test ride comparing the two showed me that the Gold Wing’s suspension and smooth ride is superior to the Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and the women who call this beauty their own know this little secret. Bystanders gaze in awe as some of the smallest women handle a Gold Wing, but the rider knows if she can get past the bulk and hone into the weight distribution and the bike’s wonderful handling characteristics, she soon becomes one with it.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now honda gold wing woman rider
Johanne Lavergne tells us no ergonomic modifications have been done to her Gold Wing. "The bike is ‘bottom balanced’ because of the location of the engine, so it is easy to handle, even by a small shorter woman," she says. "It's a big bike, but well engineered for all heights and sizes. And it virtually drives itself; you just have to guide it and let it do the work.”

Honda doesn’t publish the laden seat height, which is the measurement we always use when indicating the seat height of a motorcycle when a rider is seated on it. The Gold Wing’s unladen seat height is 29.1 inches, but you could shave off about an inch once your seat hits the saddle.

The Gold Wing earns its Cadillac status because it was the first to offer heated seats and a navigational system putting it years ahead of the competition in creature comforts. Women who spend a lot of time in the saddle and want to be comfortable in almost all weather conditions choose the Honda Gold Wing.
5. Harley-Davidson Road Glide

The motorcycle with the “different” front end rounds out our list of the top five touring motorcycles women are riding today. The Harley-Davidson FLTRX Road Glide has a fairing that is mounted on the frame as opposed to the handlebars, like its Harley "cousins," so when a rider turns, the handlebars move but the fairing does not.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now harley davidson road glide
Debra Neumann of Seattle, Washington, traded in her Road King for this 2012 Road Glide saying she was ready for a bike with a fairing. "The Road Glide is one of the best handling tour bikes, in my opinion," she says. "It has a bigger front touring tire than the Street Glide, and it handles extremely well around the corners. I love having music and cruise control on the long rides." Photo by Karen Derby.

“People ask me if it bothers me having the fairing fixed to the frame,” says Debra Neumann, shown in the photo above. “I reply by saying, ‘Who looks at your handlebars when you ride?’ The fairing blocks the wind and the bike cuts through some pretty decent gusts with ease.”

The Road Glide shares the same seat height as the Street Glide, 26.1 inches, so a wide range of riders can plant both feet on the ground giving lots of women access to this bike’s fun factor.
Large saddlebags, a full range of goodies on the dash including cruise control (which is standard on Harley's full fairing bikes), low profile windshield, 6-gallon fuel tank, and that Twin Cam 103 motor give a touring rider just enough comfort, power, and gadgets to keep her sharp without dampening the adventure with a super heavy bike.

Honorable Mention: BMW R 1200 GS

We added an honorable mention to our list of top five touring motorcycles because while this model is considered a touring bike (and a heavyweight by BMW standards) it has the ability to go off road, which in motorcycling classifications makes it an "adventure touring motorcycle," and there is a growing contingent of women, according to our survey, who get excited at the prospect of doing just that.

The BMW R 1200 GS is considered the icon of all adventure travel bikes, and with more women riding than ever before, it's natural they'd gravitate to the motorcycle that, for 32 years, has been defining this touring segment.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now bmw
Stephanie Rowe, a rider from England, is part of a BMW promotional tour of the world where riders travel on BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles to show the versatility of the bike.
She's ridden 5,000 miles so far.

Among adventure touring motorcycles, the BMW R 1200 GS is considered the Cadillac of models because it led the charge early on offering comfort and safety features like ABS, heated grips, and different riding modes that make the bike adaptable to changing riding conditions.

Like our other touring motorcycles, a rider must be experienced and confident to handle such a large motorcycle. Because it's designed to go off road, the seat height is much higher to allow for ground clearance. Standard seat height is 33.5 inches, but BMW offers adjustments to as low as 31.5 inches.

The women that ride our honorable mention bike love the model so much that there's even a group called BMW GS Girls with an active Facebook page for members to share. The GS Girls goes beyond the R 1200 GS to include women who ride any of BMW's GS adventure touring models, motorcycles that were also mentioned in our survey.

top 5 touring motorcycles women are riding now bmw
The BMW Off-Road Academy provides specialized training for motorcyclists who want to ride their BMW on gravel trails. Occasionally, women-only classes are held, like this one at the BMW MOA rally in Billings, Mont., last year. Classes like this encourage more women to learn to master their motorcycle "off the beaten path" opening up a whole new world of adventure to them.

That finishes our list of the most popular touring motorcycles ridden by women today. Now please share yours with us and tell us why you like it in the comments below, and include a photo.

Related Articles

50 thoughts on Top 5 Touring Motorcycles Women are Riding Now

  1. I haven’t been on this page in a couple of years, and sure did miss it! I had lost my Softail a couple years back and recently, like a crazy person, came back to motorcycles with a new touring bike—a Harley-Davidson Road King Special! Yes, I’m small, and this is a lot of bike for me, but it was love at first sight. It’s a Road King with a little more “oomph” in the engine, all blacked style, and a bit lower than than the standard Road King.I’ve noticed a lot of non-Harley riders upset their bike wasn’t listed here, and please know that doesn’t mean your bike isn’t amazing, because it is—that’s why it’s yours! Harley has been around for a long time, markets well to women and has a lot of bikes that are nice and low and great for smaller riders, hence the popularity. And guess what? A lot of us H-D riders love ALL bikes! I know I do. I also know many bikes are better made than H-D, but that doesn’t mean H-D is badly made (they’re not).Yes, Harleys fit me best. I love ’em. I like the look, feel, and sound But I really enjoy all bikes. I wave at all riders and am genuinely excited to see women ride any bike that makes them happy. I just got my big ol’ beast a few weeks ago and just adore riding it. It’s easy to ride, cushy over the bumps, and the bags! Oh, how did I live without these? I still have some trouble parking and backing up unless it is perfectly flat, so I really try to plan ahead with parking. I did get a lowered seat which has helped, but this bike is heavy. I may lower it even though I loathe the idea of messing with my suspension. I’m 5 feet 5 inches with a 31″ inseam and I weigh about 100 pounds. (Yeah, I’m a shrimp.)I love being part of the touring bike club. And boy, oh boy, do I love seeing other ladies on them. Who cares what anyone else rides though—ride the bike for you. Whether that’s a 250 Honda Rebel, a Suzuki GSX-R, Harley CVO Ultra, a BMW adventure bike, or anything and everything in-between. Looking forward to waving at you awesome ladies on the road.

  2. My husband just got his touring motorcycle and to be honest, I would love to have one of my own but I don’t know what kind of bike is a good fit for me. I’m only 5 feet 2 inches and 110 pounds. I don’t want to be crushed by a big bike but I like how they feel as I ride on my husband’s BMW K1600 Grand America. Any advice would help.

    1. Hi Jennifer,We at WRN are of the opinion that size should not be what stops you from enjoying any motorcycle you want. Riding motorcycles is about mastering skills, and if you’ve mastered the skills of handling a smaller motorcycle, such as starting on a hill, backing up, making slow speed maneuvers, stopping, starting, etc, you should be ok to move up to a larger, heavier bike. If you find that you often have “near drops” on your motorcycle, maybe you aren’t quite ready to move up to a larger bike. Instead, keep practicing and take some advanced rider courses to help sharpen those skills.As a woman of a smaller stature, you need to be even more diligent about having good skills. And just because you are small, it doesn’t mean you aren’t strong!If you are confident in your skills, I would suggest heading to some dealerships to sit on the tourers. You can use this article as a guide to get started. Take note of which are easy and difficult to lift off the sidestand. So long as your skills are sharp, this will be the only “lifting” you’ll need to do with your motorcycle.Good luck!

  3. I have a 2016 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited CVO (Custom Vehicle Operation) with 21,000 miles already. My riding preference is cross country/long distance riding. I’ve done several 900 mile days with no issues. I am 5 feet 11 inches and this motorcycle fits me perfectly—it rides like a Cadillac—plus it has every imaginable option on it!

  4. I ride a Yamaha 950 Star Cruiser 2010 with more than 35,000 miles.Every time I think about getting rid of this bike I think about how much I love it and how I’ve never had one single problem compared to friends who ride other bikes. The Silver Streak has been to Niagara Falls, Hilton Head, Charleston, Savannah, The Tail of the Dragon, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and around the Great Lakes. It’s done 670 miles in one day and not one bit of trouble and takes every curve like a dream.

  5. I ride a Softail Slim, which my husband has transformed into a bagger type bike. I’ve ridden this bike all over the southern eastern states and couldn’t ask for a more comfortable ride.

  6. You almost nailed it with the Gold Wing, but the best bike for me is the Honda F6B. I have more than 48,000 miles on it now and absolutely love the balance and power. I’m 5 feet 4 inches and painted this bike myself.

  7. I’ve ridden across the country four times on my Victory Vision (2008 then 2011 models) with wonderful experiences and in complete comfort. The soundness and handling of the bikes were fabulous, whether on paved or gravelly roads. No lowering required.

  8. I ride a beautiful pearl white 2016 Indian Chief Classic. I’m 5 feet 2 inches and have had the bike lowered. She rides great, is well-balanced and gets lots of attention. I just started riding in April, 2015 (56 years old) and my first bike was a 2015 Indian Scout. I loved the Scout but my husband and I want to do more long-distance traveling and a bigger touring/bagger was the best choice for me.

  9. I’m 5 feet 3 inches and my first cruiser was a 2012 Yamaha V Star 1300. I traded that one in for a 2014 Yamaha V Star Deluxe until I totaled it in February and I’m currently riding a 2016 Victory X1 Stealth Magnum Limited edition and I love it. I rode it to Texas and Tennessee recently.

  10. I chose the 2008 Gold Wing GL1800 in 2011 because I’m interested in long distance riding and like the comfort and handling of the Gold Wing. The skill set is the same for all bikes no matter how big or small. Don’t be intimidated by the size. I have had the handlebars moved in an inch and have trimmed down the windshield. I like to be able to see over it when it’s raining. The balance on this bike is incredible and slow speed tight turns are a snap. I get lots of attention from male Harley riders on it too. I just tell them their jealousy is unbecoming.

  11. I am height challenged at 4 feet 6 inches tall. I rode a Yamaha Virago 1100 for 10 years and loved every mile. My hubby bought me a Can-Am Spyder in 2014 and I love it. No more worries about tipping over at every stop for me. It is an awesome bike and we traveled more than 3,000 mile trips every summer long distance. For those who are worried about yeo wheels this is an excellent option.

  12. I ride a 2016 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler trike. I wanted to get back into riding after many years (had a ’78 FLH back in the day); but various joint issues caught up to me, so I traded it in on this beauty. I’ve never been been drawn to all the bells ‘n’ whistles of the Tri Glide Ultra; this stripped-down trike suits my style. It’s a blast to ride! So much fun! I’m setting it up for touring, and looking forward to many adventures!

  13. I like what Ellen and Leanne Barton had to say. I have owned a Harley Softail Deluxe, but now I ride a 2014 Cross Country 8-Ball. I had to lower mine an inch-and-a-half and put on different handlebars, Helibars. These bars have made all the difference in the world, since I am only 5 feet 2 inches tall. The Victory is 20 pounds heavier in weight than the Harley Softail, but I would never have noticed it since the Victorys are so well balanced. These bikes were totally designed with safety of the rider in mind. I have dropped my Harley twice before both times landing on my left leg with one of them making a nasty bruise. If the Victory tips over the bike will not fall on the rider and pin the leg under the bike, provided that you keep your feet on the floor boards and the back tire will stay in contact with the pavement stopping the bike sooner.I was considering going with the Victory Gunner for a smaller bike, but I decided on the Cross Country which was adaptable to ride with my 95-pound Akita, since starting her out on the Harley. I couldn’t bear not to see her be able to ride, because she does enjoy it thoroughly.My recommendation is the Victory line up finding the bike that suits your needs and riding skills and abilities.

    1. Thanks to you and the other readers for sharing your thoughts on your Victory motorcycles. I think Victory makes amazing bikes — I’ve ridden several of their models over the years. Because the brand is relatively new, not many women think to choose a Victory that’s why none of their bikes have made our top 10 most popular list.Additionally, Victory does no marketing to women, which is sad because their biggest competitor, Harley-Davidson, does a lot of marketing to women, and therefore is the leader in market share among women. If Victory believed in the power and influence of the female rider and getting the message out about how “easy” it is to ride their motorcycles, they’d put some dollars into marketing specific messages to the female buyer. Perhaps if more of you who own a Victory speak up and share what you love about the brand and the bikes, more women will hear about it and Victory might start to “notice” the female market.

  14. I ride a trike. I know it sounds boring but with my bones hurting so much it works and I get to carry the kids safely.

  15. I’m loving my new-to-me Honda Gold Wing. I started riding less than two years ago on an old Nighthawk 750, and quickly moved up to an ST1300, which I still love. My inclination is toward cross country riding, so I decided to face my nervousness about handling such a heavy and powerful bike and get the Gold Wing. I have been amazed at how well-balanced and easy it is to ride, even at super slow speeds in traffic and for a new rider like me. Not to mention that it pretty much drives itself on the highway with cruise control that’s smooth and easy like on a car. Plus I know I’ll appreciate the comforts of the Gold Wing when I set out on a month-long coast-to-coast motorcycle trip next year! Thanks for the article about the bigger touring bikes. Hopefully the descriptions of the various bikes and options will help more women realize they don’t necessarily need to limit themselves to smaller motorcycles regardless of their physical size.

  16. Great article, nice to see the bikes ladies ride. I have a KTM 1190 which I love. I must try a Harley, they are not so available in the UK and are very expensive.

  17. I enjoyed the article. My first touring bike was a Street Glide and I put more than 28,000 miles on her in less than two years. Last year I traded her in for a 2015 Ultra Limited Low and already have 16,000 miles on her. I am 5 feet 1 inch and love riding her. I took her to Maggie Valley, North Carolina and rode the “dragon.” What a ride!

  18. Great article! I currently ride a HD Softail, and have added some extras to my bike to make it perform the way I need it too, especially with the traffic flow and 75 to 80 mph limits in this state. However, I am also beginning to look at something more for cross-country and distance touring, of which the European bikes are most known for. BMW seems to be a favorite for those I know who do long distance riding and I will have a chance to check one out in Italy later this summer! Keep the women’s rider news coming and thanks!

    1. Hi Danette,Great color on your Heritage Softail Classic. I’d like our readers to know that in our overall top 10 list, your bike is the first Softail that is designed for touring that women choose most often. So, for those who find the big baggers just too big, the Heritage Softail Classic is an ideal long haul touring motorcycle. And yes, BMW makes excellent touring motorcycles.

  19. I always like seeing which touring bikes people like, especially women riders. I admire anyone that can ride an Ultra or Gold Wing because while I can stand those bikes up, they are definitely intimidating to me. I could probably write a good article about touring on sportbikes, because that is what I have and use for touring right now!My Yamaha FZ6R is more of a touring sportbike—pretty comfy for the most part and I can throw some saddlebags and luggage on it. I just got a Suzuki GSXR 750—the “fun” bike—and my longest ride on it was an all-day ride across the Bay Bridge here in Maryland. It’s not a bad bike to ride for a distance because Suzuki definitely made the Gixxer well ergonomically. Even my husband, who has had two back surgeries, can ride the Gixxer for a while before getting tired. The Gixxer would not be my first choice of my two bikes for a long overnight ride but it could be done if I wanted to.Good article! And I really loved the article about the lady who did a long ride on a Ducati Monster. That’s my kind of riding!

  20. Love to see what other women are riding. I started riding again last summer after not riding for 13 years (since my kids were born). Rode a Honda Shadow 750 last summer. Just recently got a Yamaha Road Star and a 2006 Honda Interceptor 800. A motorcycle for every mood. I love them both. They both ride great!

  21. I would like to suggest women consider the Honda Gold Wing F6B as well. I consider it the hot-rod version of the Gold Wing, with less mass up high (no passenger throne or top trunk). It also doesn’t have reverse, so you do need to park strategically. I’m an experienced rider but 5 feet 1 inch and have had to make no mods to make it fit. Love love love it!

  22. I’m also surprised that the Harley Davidson Dyna Switchback wasn’t mentioned. That’s the bike that I use for touring. I’ve added a fairing and even though I’m only 5 feet 2 inches and really can’t see over the windshield, it’s a great addition!

    1. The Switchback is a popular bike to travel on for women, however, since it is one of Harley’s Dyna models, it doesn’t have the touring model credentials to make this particular list.

  23. Nice to see the Gold Wing finally made the list. One important feature not mentioned that this awesome bike has is reverse. I don’t use it very often, but when needed it’s a blessing to have! My baby has 184,000+ trouble-free miles on her and still runs like new. It’s a 1997SE bought in July of 2000 with just more than 3,000 miles, stock seat and all! I’ve been licensed for 50 years and spent the last 30 on Wings! Ride on sisters … whatever your choice!

  24. Maybe I’m missing something, but why the animosity from metric (non-Harley) riders towards HD? I’ve ridden Honda and Suzuki and now a Harley and would never think of bashing someone else’s ride. We all ride what we want/like, right? I’m just happy whenever I see another woman rider. I really don’t care what she’s riding. It just the fact that she’s riding! I appreciate the way you responded to this issue Genevieve [in response to Ellen’s comment dated May 3, 2016].

    1. Thank you Karen. You look awesome on that Electra Glide! Love the color! You’ve stated our motto perfectly: It’s not what you ride, it’s THAT you ride.Happy travels,

  25. Loved the fact that Tricia mentioned BMW. We have been touring with our BMWs since 2006 and we have explored the Middle East, Europe, and large parts of America on our own bikes and also on rented BMWs. My hubby has also toured Australia and Africa. I currently have a BMW 700GS and BMW R nineT and my hubby has the 1200C (discontinued early 2000s) and 1200 GS Adventure. We love our bikes, the comfort on long hauls and the fact that we can go off-road as well.

    1. Don’t forget aside from Tricia mentioning the BMW, our honorable mention, number six in our list ,is a BMW! Thanks for sharing your awesome travels with us.

  26. I love reading this awesome magazine. It has lots of interesting and relevant articles to women riders of today. Here is a picture of myself on a 2012 Victory Cross Country. I have clocked up more than 17,000 kilometres in the last eight months. It is an awesome comfortable machine for long distance riding. Keep up the good work with the magazine.

    1. Thank you Leanne for sharing that great photo of you and your Victory. It helps for our readers to see other touring bikes that women are riding besides the most popular ones listed here, popular by sheer numbers. Bottom line is there’s a woman riding every single touring motorcycle out there. We just can cover them all so we’ve listed the ones, by the numbers, women choose the most. Victory is making big inroads in the touring segment so who knows, maybe in a few years the top bikes in our list will change and include a Victory.

  27. Thanks for the article. I ride a 2007 Kawasaki Nomad. Love this bike. I was tickled to see some one else calls their bike Fat Bottom Girl.

  28. Was this article funded by HD? With the random Honda thrown in for good measure of course. I’m riding a 2011 Victory Cross Roads but may upgrade to an Indian this summer. Either way, I’m not buying into the HD mystique or culture.

    1. Ellen,Perhaps you missed the first page of this article explaining where this list comes from. I encourage you to read it. No this list was not funded by Harley-Davidson. The Victory baggers are great bikes, but again, they don’t have the 110 years of history behind them that have made Harley-Davidson number one in market share among all riders. You’ve stated clearly why you don’t like Harley and have “spoken” with your money by buying another brand. Wonderful, and I’m so glad that you shared it with us as I’ve encouraged readers to do so at the end of this article.Let’s celebrate that women are riding, not complain about Harley in the process just because you don’t ride one. Great photo by the way.

  29. Seems like a Harley article to me. All these bikes are heavy, hard to maneuver and move at slow speeds, and have too many repair issues. I have toured (four weeks plus) on my BMW F 650 GS Twin. Light weight, super easy to maneuver, really nice luggage, and very reliable. Maybe your next article should be about “light weight tours.” By the way, I’m only 5 feet 2 inches with 27-inch inseam and ride the BMW just fine because. It is so well balanced.

    1. As stated in the honorable mention, the GS bikes make great tourers. Thank you for sharing yours. For the rest of my response to your comment, kindly refer to my response to Ellen’s comment dated May 3, 2016.

  30. I was excited to read this, but almost all the bikes are cruisers. That is not the style bike I like due to suspension issues, and my area of riding has pretty rough pavement. Can you please do another list in the future with more variety of motorcycles and scooters.

  31. As a motorcycle magazine test rider, I’ve been fortunate enough to ride every one of the motorcycles on this list, and they are all great choices. But my personal favorite touring bike is a relatively new model from BMW that also fits more into the adventure-touring category — the BMW S 1000 XR. It’s sporty, responsive, comfortable, and mine came with cruise control and heated grips. The bike that’s right for you is the one you never want to get off of. People often ask me, “What bike would you buy if you could have anything?” Well, here it is.

  32. What about the Indians? Yes, fairly new since Polaris took over, but they are very up to date in technology, unlike HD, better priced and the most comfortable motorcycle I’ve ever owned. I have a 2015 Chief Vintage. My son just bought a Scout, his first motorcycle.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the Indians. Yes, great bikes but still so new that not enough women are riding them to claim them as their own to make our list of most popular.

  33. This is my 2006, 1900cc, 113ci Yamaha Roadliner that I made into a bagger. She weighs in at 853 pounds and feels like a feather due to an 8-piece aluminum frame and 50.50 weight distribution at the tires. We have ridden all over the place and I love this bike to pieces. She has fondly been named “Fat Bottomed Girl” due to her Corbin bags making her rear quite wide. I have been riding since 2000 and also have a Harley, but this is my two-wheeled Mercedes and the go-to bike for the long hauls.

  34. Interesting article, though I am disappointed that Kawasaki’s Vulcan didn’t make the list. I’m not big Harley fan. I’ve only been riding since 2012, (wish I’d started sooner, but long story) and I’m currently on a turquoise 2007 900 Vulcan Classic, but I’m thinking of trading up to the larger touring model, 1600 or 1700cc soon. I find the Vulcans to be extremely comfortable, (especially with my Saddleman single seat). I’m 5 feet 9 inches with a 34-inch inseam, so it fits me perfectly. On a side note, nice to see some local girls mentioned in your article too. Yay Ottawa and Kemptville! There are a lot of us riding up here!

    1. Cheryl, Just because the Vulcan 900 didn’t make the list doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing touring bike. It just didn’t fit our criteria. Thank you for sharing how it works for you.And yes, we were excited to showcase women riders in Canada on two of the models since there is such a passionate group of women riders in that country, and many read WRN.

Scroll to Top