We’re firm believers that motorcycles are for everyone, young and old, male or female. But the truth is that the motorcycle industry still has a long way to go to make riding accessible to anyone who wants to experience the joy of being a biker.
Did you know that nearly 1 in every 5 motorcycle owners is female? It might not seem like a huge percentage, but that means that there are approximately 2,450,000 female motorcycle riders in the United States. That’s no small number. With an ever-growing population of women motorcycle riders, it’s important that we find ways to support our female biking community, address their concerns, and adapt motorcycle technologies and equipment to suit their needs.
Challenges Faced by Female Motorcycle Riders
When we get new female customers here at HeliBars, we often hear that they’ve run into a lot of the same problems. Whether you’re new to riding or you’ve been on a bike for years, you may have experienced some of these common challenges for female bikers.
Access for Beginners
Everybody learns differently, and one of the biggest barriers to getting into motorcycling often comes during the initial entry into the sport. The motorcycle community is always welcoming of new members, but there are few resources that speak specifically to the needs of female beginners. In fact, 97% of readers for motorcycle magazines are male, and that’s because the content is directed towards them. For ladies looking for advice and suggestions, these publications still leave them with questions.
- What’s the best motorcycle for women?
- Where can I learn to ride?
- What gear do I need?
Luckily there are more and more women motorcycle groups each year, and dedicated media outlets like Women Riders Now and The Litas provide a beginner-friendly community with access to riders courses exclusively built for female motorcycle riders. You can also read stories from other female bikers across the country.
Lack of Comfort for Female Bikers
The truth is that large scale motorcycle manufacturers and motorcycle accessory brands don’t make products that are targeted towards women. So, it’s no surprise that they struggle to find a bike that’s suited for their size and body shapes.
Women motorcycle riders actually spend more money on motorcycle modifications, accessories and repairs on average than men, all in search of the fit and comfort stock bikes can’t provide them.
So many female riders struggle with recurring pain in their shoulder blades, wrists, neck, and numbness in their arms after just a short ride. We can only imagine how many more women would get into the sport if they were able to consistently achieve comfort on their motorcycles. One size does not fit all. Somehow, the motorcycle industry has slipped between the cracks in terms of meeting modern standards for sizing and fit. You wouldn’t buy a car if it didn’t have an adjustable seat, right?
Loss of Control Over Your Motorcycle
Of course, comfort and control go hand in hand. If your bike doesn’t fit you right, you probably also don’t have full control over it. Control is incredibly important not only for your safety, but also for your enjoyment while riding.
Nothing is worse than feeling nervous when making a stop or performing low speed turns on your motorcycle. If you find yourself lifting your butt off the seat or twisting your upper body when turning, you’re probably experiencing a lack of control. This is especially true for cruisers, one of the most popular bike styles among women motorcycle riders.
One of our customers described to us how she used to get off her bike at neighborhood intersections and have her husband make the turns for her. No one wants their ride interrupted due to a lack of control. Everyone, female bikers included, should feel confident on their vehicle.
How to Improve Your Riding Experience as a Female Biker
One of the easiest ways to improve your control is by creating the right reach. Your riding position has one of the biggest effects on your control and comfort. Many female bikers benefit from modifications to their handlebars or seat, giving them a more relaxed riding position and better control.
“Too many motorcycle riders put up with rough road ergonomics for far too long. Replacing motorcycle handlebars can completely revolutionize your ride. Our model specific motorcycle handlebar risers are engineered not just for total comfort but for total control.”
If you haven’t yet pulled the trigger on purchasing your own bike, now is the time to pause and consider your individual needs. Most motorcycles are designed with the average male rider in mind—5’9” and weighing in at about 200 pounds. If you don’t fit this description your bike may need modifications or accessories to help you feel comfortable in the saddle. Explore the different motorcycle brands and models that we’ve designed handlebars for, and don’t despair if you don’t see the bike model you’re considering!
We want to empower female motorcycle riders, and anyone else interested in joining the sport and community, to achieve full confidence on the road. If you’re interested in sharing your love of motorcycles with others, check out some of the national and regional female motorcycle clubs. It can be reaffirming to share your struggles (and triumphs) with others who have a similar riding experience.
The best tips and tricks come from your peers within the industry. That said, we always want to hear about the challenges you’ve bumped into and put our brains together on how we might be able to help. If you’re a female biker with a story to tell, send us a message!