The Freedom of Two Wheels: Luxury Motorcycles for Ladies

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Women are riding motorcycles more than ever. Women riders currently equal 20 percent of all riders nationally, is nearly double the female riders of ten years ago. Millennials make up 26 percent of women riders! In Gen X, 22 percent are female.

What do women want in a bike? Most women like their creature comforts and are willing to spend more for them, citing such items as a comfortable seat, a low-to-the-ground cycle and lighter bikes than those more suitable to a taller, heftier man. Women riders value aesthetics, cost-efficiency, reliability and comfort.

As the women’s share of the motorcycle market is increasing, manufacturers are paying more attention to the aesthetics of motorcycle design. Metallic colors, sleek design and modern technology

make motorcycles more attractive than ever to the woman rider.
If you are a new rider, a good choice is a smaller bike until you learn how to ride. Bikes with a 250cc- to 500cc-sized engine are lightweight and easy to handle. Used bikes are suggested for novices until they learn to handle a motorcycle; there’s a high likelihood of dropping the bike once or twice during the learning process. Cost efficiency is important to riders; initial price, gas mileage and upkeep are considerations when selecting your bike. Be sure to factor in the cost of good protective gear, too.

For most, choosing among the scooter, the dirt bike, the city bike, the cruiser and the touring bike is a simple choice, but there are some crucial differences to be aware of.

Scooters are considered a type of motorcycle. They have upright seating and are ideal for city traffic. Dirt bikes are used off road in all kinds of terrain. They are not street legal, and therefore, not the bike for city life. The city bike, on the other hand, is designed for short commutes and getting around in heavy traffic. They can be used for long-distance travel but probably won’t be as comfortable as a touring bike. Cruisers are easily customizable and perfect for leisure road trips. They have a relaxed leg position and sit lower to the ground than standard motorcycles. Touring bikes are big and heavy! They have more fairing and windshields that offer a high degree of weather and wind protection, larger luggage compartments and tech features such as heated seats and built-in audio systems.

Once the decision is made about which motorcycle is ideal for your needs, it’s time to go shopping. The major brands all have bikes appropriate for the female rider; usually it’s a matter of the rider’s choice. Here are a few!

One of the best bikes for the novice rider is the Kawasaki Ninja 250. The bike is affordable, lightweight and easily adapted for the smaller rider. The bike is easy to maintain and find parts for. A pair of good bikes for the beginning rider is the Triumph Bonneville and Triumph Street Twin. They are similar, comfortable, timeless British classics yet are powerful enough to satisfy the woman who wants a robust bike.

For the shorter woman, seat heights between 25.5” and 31.7” are ideal. The Indian Scout Bobber has one of the lowest seat heights, but the rider should always sit on the motorcycle for a good period of time to see if it’s comfortable. Another popular model for shorter women is the Honda Rebel 500. The bike is well made, fun and one of the most affordable bikes available.

In the medium-size range, 750cc to 1100cc, motorcycles have so many more features that the less-experienced rider is no longer limited by the engine size. These bikes have technological upgrades that make them safer and more enjoyable to ride. The Suzuki V-STROM 800DE and the Suzuki V-STROM 850DE are adventure bikes with enough power to satisfy most riders looking for power and modern technology. Features include higher clearance, wide handlebars, two-inch front wheel, and other features to customize the ride to your specifications.

The Indian Pursuit Limited is the epitome of a luxury motorcycle. The Pursuit comes with a 1768cc liquid-cooled engine and a six-speed V-twin with 122 horsepower. It’s a heavy machine with lots of storage space including a topcase and chassis-mounted fairing to deflect wind and airborne objects for safer touring. The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is a sleek, modern touring motorcycle. The iconic batwing fairing, integrated LED lighting, plush seats and powerful engine make it an excellent choice.

Is riding for you? You never know until you try it! You might like to check out one of the women-only riding clubs such as Motor Maids, Inc., Leather & Lace MC or Tenacious Dames to see if a riding club is for you. If not, you can always enjoy the freedom of the open road—alone!

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