Best Motorcycle for Women

January 3, 2024
By Michael Padway
Best Motorcycle for Women MLF

The motorcycle industry, those folks who make and sell motorcycles and motorcycle gear, has a keen interest in knowing about the people who buy and use the products they sell. Back in 2009, a survey done on behalf of the motorcycle industry found that only about 10% of motorcycle owners were women. Fast forward a decade, and the percentage of women owning motorcycles doubled to almost 20%. It’s even higher among Gen X and Gen Y women at 22% and 26% respectively.

statistics about women motorcycle owners

Motorcycles, just like the people who own and ride them, come in all shapes and sizes, although none are made specifically for women. Basic elements of safe riding are the ability to comfortably reach the controls and being able to put both feet flat on the ground, so finding a motorcycle that fits. 
The goal here is to introduce you to motorcycles that because of their size, weight or other characteristics make them a good fit for women. Every rider, male and female, has their own preference in size, weight and style of motorcycle, which is important to keep in mind as you read through the recommendations of best motorcycles for women. All of the makes and models featured are equally as suitable for a man or a woman, so use it as a guide to help you find the best motorcycle to match your personal preferences and needs.

How to choose the best motorcycle for a woman

As you begin the search for a new or replacement motorcycle, be prepared to encounter a seemingly limitless assortment of styles and models from which to choose. Finding the best motorcycle for a woman really means finding one that fits you and is suitable for the type of riding that you do. 

You may find a used dirt bike that is the perfect height and weight for you, but it probably is not the best choice when the majority of your riding takes place on paved roads. Here, then, are a few tips for finding the best motorcycle for a woman rider:

Consider the type of riding you do

A large touring bike may be the perfect choice if you plan to take long trips, but it may not be the best one to use for daily commuting to work when you need the maneuverability of a smaller, more lightweight sport bike. If you plan to do most of your riding on trails and unpaved roads, then a dirt bike may be the one for you. Once you know where you  plan to do most of your riding and the style of motorcycle you need, it’s time to find one that fits.

Feet on the ground

Sitting on a motorcycle gives you the chance to discover whether you can manage its weight and overall size. You should be able to place both feet flat on the ground while seated. If you find yourself up on your toes or stretching to grab the controls with your hands, then the bike is too big for you. Replacing the seat or adjusting the suspension may lower the bike enough for you to reach the ground, but it will not make it easier to reach the controls.

Weight of the motorcycle

Whether you ride a heavy touring bike weighing in at more than 800 pounds or a 350 pound sport model, the weight factor becomes most noticeable when you come to a stop and need to keep the bike in an upright position. It is at that moment when you wish that you took weight into consideration when choosing a motorcycle. Keep in mind that the weight the dealer tells you in the showroom may be the dry weight, which does not take into account the gasoline, engine oil and other fluids. A dealer should be able to give you both the dry and wet weight of a motorcycle.

Swap out the seat

If you find a motorcycle that you absolutely love, but you’re on your toes trying to keep it upright, look at the seat. Switching to different, such as one that is scooped out and contoured, could make up for a height disadvantage.

If you find a motorcycle that is perfect for you except for the price, consider a used motorcycle. There are plenty of motorcycles sitting in garages because their owners wanted to try riding and decided it was not for them. You may get the bike you want at an affordable price in the used motorcycle market.

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The best motorcycle for women

One size does not fit all when shopping for a motorcycle, and it’s particularly true for women. When a woman walks into a dealer’s showroom, she should not be automatically shown lightweight motorcycles with shorter and lower frames because she may do just fine riding a heavier bike with a standard frame and seat height. 

The best motorcycle for women is the one that best fits the rider, so we’ve separated our picks into categories for women who may be new to motorcycles, bikes for short women, and the best motorcycle for women in general.

Best starter motorcycle for a woman

Less weight and smaller engines make it easier for a beginner to handle and control these motorcycle picks that are ideal starter bikes:

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Introduced in 2021, this is an ideal starter touring motorcycle for a woman or for any rider just starting out. Its 349 cc, 17.4 hp engine gives you enough power without getting in trouble when you work the throttle. It has an ABS braking system and LED lighting to make it one of the best starter motorcycles for a woman.

Triumph Bonneville and Triumph Street Twin

Although it’s included in our recommendations as a starter motorcycle for women, a caveat is that the smallest engine you can get on this cruiser model is 863 cc with engines available up to 1200 cc. Each model comes equipped with ABS braking and can be accessorized to suit your personal preferences to make it your own.

A red, silver, and black 2021 Triumph Bonneville T120

Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD

A perennial favorite of women riders, this classic cruiser features a six-speed transmission and a 649 cc engine, but the highlight of the Vulcan 500 is the inclusion of the Kawasaki Ergo-Fit system allowing a rider to adjust handlebars footpegs, seat, and other parts of the chassis to personalize the fit of the bike for superior comfort and control. The Vulcan 900 comes with a powerful 903 cc engine for riders who feel confident handling the extra power. It also has a low center of gravity to accommodate shorter riders.

Yamaha YZF-R3

This sportbike gives a beginner a 321 cc twin-cylinder engine that is equally at home on the street or on the track. An aerodynamic fairing, split headlamps and other design features add to the sporty look of this popular bike.

Honda Grom

A 125 cc engine and a weight of only 225 pounds make this the perfect starter motorcycle for a woman who is new to riding and wants to learn on a bike that is easy to handle.

Honda Grom beginner motorcycle
Honda Grom

Honda Grom

A 125 cc engine and a weight of only 225 pounds make this the perfect starter motorcycle for a woman who is new to riding and wants to learn on a bike that is easy to handle.

Honda Grom beginner motorcycle
Honda Grom

Best motorcycle for short women

If you are short, the height of the seat should be a major consideration when shopping for a motorcycle. As a general rule, cruisers have some of the lowest seat heights while sport and dirt bikes typically have the highest. When seated on a stationary motorcycle, the soles of your feet should rest comfortably on the ground without having to lean the bike. Here are a our picks for motorcycles for short women:

Honda CBR 300R

This sportbike comes with a 300 cc engine and a 30.7 inch seat height that may not be as low as you’ll find on cruisers, but it is lower than your typical sport bike. Offsetting the seat height is a narrower and less bulky design that makes it easier for a short woman to place her feet on the ground.

Honda Rebel 300

A lightweight cruiser weighing in at only 364 pounds with a 27.2 inch seat makes this the perfect starter bike for shorter women. The Rebel is available with engines ranging from 250 cc to 500 cc.

Ducati Scrambler Icon and Scrambler 1100 Pro

A seat height of only 30.6 inches is low for a sport bike, so women with shorter legs may find it the ideal bike for them. Its wet weight of only 417 pounds makes it easy to handle and safe to ride. The Scrambler 1100 Pro has a seat height of 31.1 inches, but don’t let that turn you away because it can be lowered to 30.3 inches.

Yamaha MT-07

Its 31.7 inch seat height puts it at the lower range for sport bikes, but you need to try it out to decide if it fits you. A 689 cc engine offers plenty of power without being overpowering.

Motorcycle Parts for All Makes and Models

Everything from basic to high-end. Motorcycle parts that will fit your bike and budget.

Best motorcycle for women overall

The following motorcycles offer something for everyone while staying true to our theme of being the best motorcycle for women riders whether riding around town or long distance:

BMW G 310 R

An easy to maneuver and sporty motorcycle with a 313 cc engine, 30.9 inch seat height, and weighing only 361 pounds makes this a motorcycle any woman would enjoy riding. Its sporty look and ABS brakes and other safety features make it worth a look.

Kawasaki Ninja 250, 300, and 400

Although their seats are slightly higher at 30.9 than what you would find on a cruiser, shorter women will find it quite accommodating. Kawasaki has a way of designing a bike to put the controls within easy reach of a woman rider.

Yamaha V Star 250

A lightweight cruiser built for a woman who is new to motorcycle riding. Weighing in at only 326 pounds with a 27-seat height, it is the ideal starter motorcycle for women.

Yamaha V Star 250 Raven beginner bike

Honda Shadow Spirit

The perfect bike for a woman who has been riding long enough to be ready to move up to a more powerful starter cruiser. It comes with a 750 cc engine, weighs 550 pounds, and has a seat height of 29.4 inches.

Harley-Davidson Street 500

Sporting a 499 cc engine, low seat height, and upright seating position, the Street 500 remains a good starter bike for women. The Street 500 model is no longer in production, but you can find used ones for sale.

Harley-Davidson Street 500
Harley-Davidson Street 500


If you are a woman in the market for a new or used motorcycle, there are many models available to accommodate your height and riding ability. When looking at motorcycles, try them on before buying by sitting on them to make certain that you feel comfortable and in full control before committing to buying one.

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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