– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Women Motorcyclists: The Ignored Market

By all indications, more and more women want to sit up front and ride motorcycles, not just ride on the back of them. Kawasaki recently announced a major advertising campaign aimed at women.

There is one small problem here, however, and that’s the lack of motorcycles that women can comfortably ride. Even 5 foot 10 inch males have to tip-toe at stoplights on many of today’s sport bikes. If you’re not an experienced rider, this is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous.

Since the average height of women is approximately 5 feet 5 inches, and many women riders are inexperienced or pure beginners, most sport bikes simply will not work for them. Let’s face it, for all practical purposes, the cutting edge sport bikes developed by the major manufacturers are “men only” machines.

Motorcycles that will work comfortably for average sized women are few. Aside from cruisers (with their artificially low seat heights), which tend to be heavy and poor handling when compared to sport bikes, there is very little offered by the major manufacturers to women enthusiasts.

The same is true of dirt bikes. The cutting edge machines, i.e., 125cc and 250cc motocross bikes, have uncomfortably tall seat heights for most men! The average male must tip-toe on these machines, and they are simply too tall for the average female. Most four-stroke trail bikes are too tall for women, also. If women want to ride off road, their choices are generally confined to 80cc motocross bikes (which have an unacceptably narrow power band for a beginner rider) or small displacement four strokes (which are slow and typically incorporate out-of-date suspension).

MD feels very strongly that (1) women riders deserve better and (2) the first manufacturer to provide exciting sport bikes and dirt bikes specifically designed for shorter riders will enjoy a very profitable return on their investment. This manufacturer would also engender loyalty with a growing part of the market which should be involved in motorcycling for years to come.

Watch for an upcoming article in MD discussing the best bikes, new and used, for women riders.