10 Best Motorcycles for Women

... and shorter riders too!

0
Ben Cope's picture
Submitted by Ben Cope on Wed, 09/01/2013 - 10:26

One in 10 motorcyclists is female, but the range of motorcycles out there doesn’t tend to cater for the average female rider that well. We’re talking seat height. Most men don’t worry about how tall a motorcycle’s seat is, but our female readers say it’s often the first thing they want to find out when they see a motorcycle they like.

Our top 10 encompasses new and used models but we haven’t just gone on seat height alone; we’ve tried to add variety by catering for different types of motorcycles, budgets, engine capacities and manufacturers. All the time, we’ve kept an eye on the bike’s weight too. Less weight is obviously more manageable, no matter what your size and stature.

So what is a typical seat height?

Let’s take three common motorcycles to give us an idea of seat height. Honda’s CBF125 has a seat height of 792mm, Suzuki’s SV650S stands at 800mm and Kawasaki’s ZX-6R has a seat height of 830mm. Generally speaking, cruisers have lower seat heights but their seats are often wide and these types of motorcycles can be heavy. Adventure-style motorcycles often have taller suspension to soak up bad surfaces but you don’t have to rule them all out.

How is seat height measured?

A motorcycle’s seat height is measured with the bike standing upright (not on its side stand) from the lowest point of the saddle to the ground. Manufacturers quote their seat heights in the specification panel of each model. We could only find one manufacturer (Buell, now bust) who quote their seat height based on the height of the seat with an ‘average weight’ rider onboard. So watch out for that.

Width matters

The outright height of a motorcycle’s seat is important, but the seat’s width matters too. Some motorcycles with a low seat height have a wide seat which spreads out your legs, making it harder to get your feet flat on the ground.

Is one-foot down enough?

When it comes to finding a motorcycle, you may try a few where you can’t get both feet firmly on the ground but you can get one foot flat. Is that enough? Well that depends on your strength and confidence. Most riders would be fine if they were told they could only put one foot down but confidence is the key. It’s okay to ride a motorcycle where you can only get one foot on the ground and doing so will open up a few more options for you to choose from, but it’s important to feel comfortable with the motorcycle you’re buying. So ask yourself: Is one foot enough?

Motorcycle lowering tips

You don’t always have to fit a lowering kit, which has the adverse effect of altering the bike’s handling characteristics and potentially making your bike worth less on the used market. You can fit a lower seat, which a lot of manufacturers sell as a factory option but companies like Corbin, Wunderlich and Touratech also sell lower aftermarket seats. You could alter the seat yourself, cutting the foam to reduce the seat’s height and width. You could also look at footwear that gives you extra height. Boots like Daytona’s Lady-Star are a good option as they feature a chunky sole. You could also talk to your local cobbler about adding a thicker sole to your existing boots. A lowering kit, while effective, should be seen as a last-ditch option.

Click ‘next’ to see our list of 10 best motorcycles for women.

Crash Media Group
Visordown is part of the CMG Full Throttle Network© : welcoming over 3 million consumers each month