More and more women are taking to two wheels According to Women Riders Now, over the last 10 years there has been a 50% increase and there’s no sign of that slowing down anytime soon!
The motorbike industry was typically known as male dominated however there have been big changes over the last few years. Manufacturers have taken notice of the shift and are now targeting this ever-growing market.
Women motorcycle riders do still face some challenges in the world of bikes. Jenny from We Buy Any Bike has listed the top two challenges new women riders most commonly mention:
One of the biggest challenges women riders face, is seat height. Women are on average shorter than men, which plays a part when finding the right bike!
When first starting out riding, most people prefer being able to put both feet flat on the floor. Riding a bike takes balance and skill, both of which come with experience so it’s usual to see new bikers researching seat heights. The Motorcycle Industry Council recently ran an Owner Survey which showed that the top bike choice for female riders were cruisers at over 34%. Cruisers are very cool and notoriously have extremely low seat heights, which are helpful for ladies.
Manufacturers have been adapting their bikes after seeing the market of women growing. They now are building some bikes with a lower seat height to start with, and also making them easier to modify at home. This opens up huge range of bikes that were at one time, not as accessible to ladies.
Although seat height can be a challenging for new women riders, it’s not to say women can’t ride tall bikes.. We know a lot of women that can quite happily ride really high dirt bikes, so we believe it comes down to experience rather than gender.
Women aren’t stereotypically known for their upper body strength, this isn’t a problem with the right bike and skill.
Bikes with a high centre of gravity tend to be harder work for women, they are fine when riding along but manoeuvring and manhandling can be difficult. This is of course generalising, there will be women out there that don’t have a problem with heavy, tall bikes.
If you’re a fairly new women motorcycle rider and you wouldn’t class yourselves as particularly strong, you might want to get a bike with a low centre of gravity. Low bikes mean you can lean right over and use the weight to your advantage when manoeuvring it.
So heavy bikes aren’t ruled out for women, as with everything.. practice makes perfect so it’s all about experience!
When you’re still learning it’s important to make yourself feel as comfortable as possible, so getting a bike that’s not too heavy or tall is a good idea. After a while, when you feel your skill has improved you could always test yourself on a bigger bike and see how it goes. Women riders are constantly overcoming hurdles, so it’s about facing these top two challenges when you feel you’re ready.
The challenges new women motorcycle riders face clearly aren’t enough to put them off, as Women Riders Now confirmed! Another really interesting survey was commissioned by Harley-Davidson in 2013, to find out if women who ride motorbikes are happier than women who don’t, here’s what they found:
- 33% of women bikers report less stress after riding
- More than ½ of women who ride consider their motorbike as a source of happiness
- 74% of women believe their lives have improved since starting riding
So if you’re thinking of taking to the saddle, wait no longer ladies!