If you’re a woman looking for their first motorcycle, the choices can be difficult. Men and women aren’t built the same, so women are going to have different requirements when it comes time to choose a motorcycle.
Since motorcycles are designed with male anatomy and physiology in mind due to the gender of riders being predominantly male, there are certain things women have to look at in terms of how the motorcycle is designed.
Before you even look for a bike, you should know your inseam measurements and arm length. Once you have those measurements and are trying out bikes, you should be able to place both feet on the ground without straining.
You should also be able to comfortably turn the handlebars in both directions without overreaching. The controls should be right at yoru fingers and toes without straining as well.
You will want a bike that allows you to easily reach the levers with your palm still on the handle. Additionally, you will want a lighter-weight bike. If you tip it over, you’ll want to be able to pick it back up without a struggle.
Lastly, women should know how they’re going to ride their motorcycles. Each bike is going to have a specific purpose. Are you going to ride it daily? Are you more of a long-distance rider? Will you be taking day trips? Not all motorcycles are suited for beginner riders, so you should keep that in mind when looking for a motorcycle.
To take some of the frustration out of looking for the right bike for you, we’ve done some digging and compiled a list of the best motorcycles for women based on height, bike weight, reliability, and performance. Our findings are based on thorough research, reviews, and more.
Best Motorcycles For Women
|Harley Low Rider||1,868||679 lbs||26.5 in||+- $17,000|
|Kawasaki Ninja 400||399||370 lbs||30.9 in||+- $5,000|
|Yamaha V Star 250||250||326 lbs||27 in||+- 4,599|
|Suzuki SV650||645||437 lbs||30.9 in||+-$7,500|
|Triumph Street Twin||900||476 lbs||30.1||+- $10,000|
There are more women motorcyclists on the road than there ever have been and manufacturers have certainly reacted.
Today, there are plenty of options for women when it comes to finding the perfect ride.
1. Harley Davidson Low Rider S – Best Overall
The Harley Davidson Low Rider S is our pick for the best overall motorcycle for women because it’s ideal for small riders, is relatively lightweight, and is equipped with a powerful engine.
The Harley Davidson Low Rider S is a favorite among women riders. It’s geared toward shorter women, but the bars, pegs, and seat are fully adjustable so you can change what you need to based on your height. The seat height is 26.5 inches and there are wide handlebars making the riding position comfortable.
This particular motorcycle is powered by a 1,868 cc engine. It has 19-inch front wheel dual rotors that give the bike a sporty look.
The 2022 model has Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine. as opposed to the 107 which is the standard low rider shotgun exhaust. The bike has a hardtail look thanks to the shock and swing arm that lines up with the frame.
We like this bike for women because it weighs just 679 lbs when fully assembled. It has a 5-gallon fuel capacity and a 5 qt oil capacity with the filter.
It gets a whopping 47 miles per gallon, which is much needed with today’s gas prices. Overall, it’s a fantastic bike for women who are new to riding and its starting cost is around $17,000.
What We Like
- Great performance
- Great gas mileage
- Ideal for shorter women
- Affordable for a Harley
- Ideal handling
What We Don’t Like
- The average rear braking setup
2. Kawasaki Ninja 400 – Best Street Bike
Kawasaki has been one of the best companies for smaller motorcycles aimed at beginner riders. The Ninja 400 is an improvement from the Ninja 300 and is our pick for the best sports bike or “crotch rocket”. It has a 399cc twin-cylinder, four-stroke engine that offers smooth and easy-to-use power.
Kawasaki has given this motorcycle an Assist and Slipper Clutch. What this means is that the assist uses rotational forces of the clutch hub and pressure plate to force the clutch together while accelerating so that fewer clutch springs can be used for a lighter feel at the lever.
If there’s sudden deceleration, the slipper function allows clutch slippage to help prevent the engine from locking up and stalling.
The Ninja 400 weighs in at just 370 pounds, so if you’re small, you won’t have much of an issue keeping the bike upright or picking it up if it falls. Since it’s so lightweight and has great aerodynamics, it’s a solid posturing fit for women.
It gets roughly 50-60 miles per gallon, but it can be stretched out to 70 miles per gallon if you’re fuel-conscious. The best part is that this bike is wicked cheap coming in at just over $5,000 for non-ABS and $5,500 for ABS.
What We Like
- Stylish look
- Impressive performance
- Great handling
- Powerful engine
- Assist and slipper clutch
What We Don’t Like
- Pricier than other sports bikes
- Mediocre comfort
3. Yahama V Star 250 – Best Small Cruiser
If you’re looking for a cheap cruising bike, the Yamaha V Star 250 is what you’re going to want.
It has dual exhaust, an air-cooled 250cc 60-degree V-twin engine with a 66mm stroke, and a 26mm Mikuni downdraft carburetor for optimal fuel/air mixing. It has a modern look and a comfortable riding position for even the shortest women.
This lightweight cruiser comes in at just 326 pounds. The teardrop gas tank holds 2.5 gallons of fuel. The bike gets an estimated 78 miles per gallon and almost 200 miles between fill-ups.
Additionally, it has strong brakes that provide highly controllable stopping power. It has a 282mm single front disc brake and rear drum brake to assist with this.
Women will appreciate the forward-set foot pegs. They enhance the rider’s comfort and add legroom for women who may be on the taller side.
The dual exhausts and chrome accents give the bike a sharp look, proving Yamaha has unmatched attention to detail. The extensive chrome details accent the engine and side cover to give it a “big bike” look with a low price tag of $4,599.
What We Like
- Comfortable ride
- Great for tall and short women
- High miles per gallon
- Ideal braking
- Classy look
- Powerful motor
What We Don’t Like
- Inadequate suspension
4. Suzuki SV650 ABS – Best For Taller Women
The Suzuki SV650 ABS is a bike with a little pep in its step. It has a solid chassis and an engine that is friendly. It offers fantastic ergonomics and a comfortable, sporty riding position.
The slim fuel tank/seat junction allows for easy flat foot-to-ground placement. With a weight of just 437 pounds, it’s not too heavy, making it manageable for small-bodied women.
The 645cc V-twin engine is powerful and reliable. It’s liquid-cooled and has a peak torque reading of 42.9 pound-feet at 8,170rpm.
It offers a smooth throttle response and low-end power that helps entry-level riders. The fuel economy is decent as well. You can expect to get 60 miles per gallon out of this bike on any given day.
As far as handling goes, this bike combines stability and agility. Side-to-side corner transitions are fantastic and steering will feel natural.
Even though the suspension has minimal adjustability, the spring and damping tares are well-chosen, keeping the chassis under control at rapid speeds. For all of this, you can expect to pay $7,500 and up.
What We Like
- Peppy engine
- Solid chassis
- Good fuel economy
- Ideal for small women
What We Don’t Like
- Outdated design
- Stiff front brake response
5. Triumph Street Twin – Best For Short Women
The Triumph Street Twin is a great motorcycle for short women. It has a laid-back riding stance with a 900cc powerful engine, parallel-twin motor, and 80Nm of torque.
It has a seat height of just 30.1 inches for a controlled, engaged, and comfortable ride. It’s a great bike for long-distance touring but performs equally as well in all scenarios. It gets roughly 68.9 miles per gallon.
This entry-level motorcycle has improved handling and braking with upgraded 41mm KYB cartridge forks.
Additionally, the new Brembo caliper delivers impressive braking performance backed by conventional ABS. In addition to a new caliper, the bike also has new 12-spoke heels, brushed stainless steel piped, anodized headlight, and mudguard mounts.
Overall, the Triumph has a smooth ride with more peak power and mid-range power and torque.
It also has better brakes and tires for optimal handling, upgraded riding models, and higher-spec ABS and LED lighting with a daytime running headlight for improved safety. You can expect to pay around $10,000 for this beauty.
What We Like
- Timeless Bonneville design
- Optimal MPG
- High-quality brakes and suspension
- Smooth ride
- Great for smaller women
- LED lighting
What We Don’t Like
- Suspension lacks adjustability
- No cruise control
Starter Motorcycle For Women
For a new rider, the motorcycle selections you find can seem overwhelming and you may not be sure of where to start. Fortunately, certain motorcycles have proven over and over again that they’re the best choices for new women riders.
We suggest starting out on a smaller motorcycle that you will feel confident on. The engine displacement should be less than 500cc, with a few exceptions. Historically, motorcycles with small displacements have had the highest success rate for learning and practicing before trading up to a larger motorcycle.
What Is The Best First Motorcycle For Women?
We suggest the Honda Rebel 250 as the best first motorcycle for women. This motorcycle has an engine displacement of just 234cc with a seat height of 26.6 inches.
It’s the perfect entry-level bike that continues to attract new riders since being introduced in 1985.
It has a twin four-stroke engine and a 5-speed transmission. These bikes generally retain their value and you may find women selling other women this particular bike.
What Is The Easiest Motorcycle For A Woman To Ride?
The easiest motorcycle for a woman to ride is the Harley Davidson Roadster, also known as the Sportster. This is the easiest for women because it’s an entry-level Harley that offers complete comfort and a short 26.7” seat-to-ground distance for even the shortest women.
It weighs 568 pounds, but since the weight is carried low, the center of gravity is good, making it easy to handle for beginners.
We like the Harley Davidson Roadster for many reasons. The first is its sporty riding posture thanks to the 19in/18in wheels, forks, and flat ace bars on a twin-seat. It’s the sportiest Harley out there with new foot peg locations for improved comfort and ground clearance.
This motorcycle is practical and relatively small. There’s not much in the way in terms of equipment, ability to carry luggage, or long-distance ability. It can get through traffic with ease and is one of the better urban commuters.
As far as performance goes, the air-cooled, two-valve, 1200cc V-twin engine puts out just 60bhp, but with a reasonable amount of torque. It’s not a super-fast bike, but it’s enough to be engaging. The twin-disc arrangement upfront allows for better braking, reassuring you that you can take corners with vigor.
The suspension on this bike in the front and rear offer a decent quality ride. When you combine this with a raised rear and lowered front, you have yourself a sporty handler.
It’s not a high-tech, modern superbike, but it’s still fun to ride for beginners. Additionally, it’s pretty reliable.
The new suspension, brakes, wheels, and more make it a high-quality product backed by a 24-month warranty. You only have to service it once every 5,000 miles as well. For this amazing beginner’s bike, you can expect the price tag to start at $15,499.
|Honda Rebel 250||234||306 lbs||26.6 in||+-$4,699|
|Harley Roadster||1200||568 lbs||36.7 in||+- $15,499|
Light Motorbikes for Ladies
Lightweight motorbikes for ladies are easier to handle and manage. Motorcycles can be extremely heavy and terrible to control at low speeds or in traffic. They’re particularly frustrating for those who are small and less physically strong.
This is why it’s not completely uncommon for women or short riders to prefer lighter bikes with lower seat heights.
You may also find that lightweight motorbikes have low bhp ratings. Some may feel more powerful than they really are, giving you a feeling of being on a larger bike without all the weight.
One particular bike that always seems to come out on top is the Honda CB125R. It’s lightweight, manageable, and a 125cc single-cylinder roadster.
It’s pretty basic and has been called a “cheat bike”. It’s what many new motorcycle riders choose to begin with. It weighs just 277 lbs. It certainly doesn’t lack comfort or style either. It has 13 bhp of power with a medium seat height.
Another bike we like is the BMW G310GS. It’s an adventure bike that’s lightweight and sporty. It weighs 372 lbs and is a great bike to grow both road and trail skills.
It has decent power and a low weight making tackling traffic and trails easy to do with confidence. It’s well-equipped and offers a decent bang for your buck. It has a 313 cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder 4-stroke engine with 34 hp and a seat height of 32.9 inches.
Lastly, we want to recommend the CCM Spitfire Bobber. It’s a lightweight cruiser coming in at just 297 lbs. It offers relaxed ergonomics and footpegs further forward and lower down for optimal comfort.
The plugged-in steering and minimal bulk make it easy for beginners to learn. Its 600cc single-cylinder engine is powerful and blats to the 800 rpm limit. It has 60bhp due to the lightness of the bike, but it can feel like more than that.
|Honda CB125R||125||277 lbs||32.1 in||+- $4,500|
|BMW G310GS||313||372 lbs||32.9 in||+- $5,795|
|CCM Spitfire Bobber||600||297 lbs||29.9 in||+- $13,930|
Best Motorcycle For Short Women
If you’re a short woman and you’re on the hunt for a bike, you’re going to want to pay attention.
You may think you need to buy platform shoes to ride a motorcycle due to your height, but you don’t have to. There are a couple of ways you can enhance your riding without needing special shoes.
First, rather than trying to put both feet on the ground, use just your left foot and lean the bike in that direction. Also, avoid lowering your bike’s suspension.
This will actually compromise the handling of your bike. Lastly, opt for a reach seat. This is a great way to modify your seat height without messing with your suspension. If you want to avoid all of this, you could opt for purchasing a bike that’s specifically for shorter individuals.
The Suzuki Boulevard S40 is a great bike for 4’11 women. The seat height is just 27.6 inches and has a ground clearance of 5.3 inches. It weighs 381 pounds, which is much lighter than comparable bikes.
It’s a low-maintenance motorcycle that can get up to freeway speeds comfortably. It is similar to the Suzuki VL250 and has always been a go-to bike for short riders.
Since it’s so lightweight and low set, it’s very accommodating to new riders who may want a bike that looks big, but really isn’t. This bike features a teardrop 10-liter fuel tank and flat handlebar design to complement its sporty style.
It has a 652cc 4-stroke air-cooled single-cylinder engine with an electric starter and 5-speed transmission. It’s belt-driven, so you don’t have to do chain maintenance on this bike. It’s not all too expensive either, coming in at just about $5,500.
The Kawasaki Vulcan S is a good bike for a 5’ girl. It has a seat height of 27.8 inches, which is a great height for a 5’ girl. It has adjustable foot pegs and levers to make the ride more comfortable.
You’ll find that this motorcycle has a 649cc 4-stroke two-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with 6 speeds. It weighs 498 pounds, making it a little heavier than other smaller bikes, but still has stable handling. However, since the seat and center of gravity are so low, you won’t have any issues with handling.
The Vulcan S has a long wheelbase as well, measuring 62 inches. This gives you stable handling as well.
If you’re a new rider that wants a stylish motorcycle, or even if you’re an experienced rider looking for a daily commuter, you’ll surely enjoy the Vulcan S. This is pricier than the Suzuki with a price tag of $7,099.
|Suzuki Boulevard||652||381 lbs||27.6 in||+- $5.500|
|Kawasaki Vulcan S||649||498 lbs||27.8 in||+- $7,099|
Big Bikes for Women
If you’re an experienced female rider and you want a larger bike, consider the Harley-Davidson Street Glide. This is a touring bike with a classic look. It has a lowered stance and a sportier passenger and rider’s seat. The bike is equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight 107 1,745cc V-twin engine with a maximum torque of 138 Nm at 3,500 rpm.
This is not recommended for beginners, only for those who have experience since it can be a bit complex. It has a seat height of 36 inches with a fuel capacity of 6 gallons. It weighs a whopping 796 pounds, which is one of the heaviest available.
Another large bike to consider is the Kawasaki Vulcan 900. It has a 903 cc V-twin engine with 50 hp and torque of 78 Nm at 3,700 rpm. It’s a comfortable motorcycle to ride with floorboards that aren’t too wide. Shifting through gears is easy and natural both up and down. It doesn’t have ABS, but braking requires a firm action to get the full effect.
We found out that its suspension is fantastic and offers a smooth ride across various surfaces. It’s an ideal cruiser with plenty of torque, easy maneuverability, and a low center of gravity. The bike weighs 618 lbs but is a great option for a woman looking for a heavier, beefier bike.
|Harley Street Glide||1,745||796 lbs||36 in||+-$21,999|
|Kawasaki Vulcan 900||903||618 lbs||26.8 in||+- $8,199|
As you can see, there are tons of options out there for women looking for motorcycles. There are bikes specifically for short women, tall women, and women looking for larger bikes.
Remember to take the measures we mentioned above before purchasing a bike. Make sure it feels good, your feet can touch all the way to the ground, and you can easily lift it in the event that it falls over. It’s our hope that our words have helped you find a bike that may work best for your preferences.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.