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How Women Can Stay Safe on Motorcycles

Many people still think of motorcycling as a primarily male sport, but this is a mistake. The truth is, motorcycles are gaining popularity with women, particularly in states like Florida where the weather is often perfect for open-air travel. Women do have to consider some factors men don’t, such as particular safety rules or gear specifically built for their gender. That being said, a woman who educates herself can learn to cycle with men like a pro.

Choose the Right Bike

Women Riders Now carries several great recommendations for ladies’ bikes. For example, a petite woman (5’4” or less) may feel intimidated at the size of most bikes. She probably needs a smaller bike at the low end of middleweight, such as a Honda Shadow Spirit. A taller woman or one with an intermediate experience level can start with one of these bikes and work her way up to a 600cc or better, which is “considered aggressive entry-level.” Women who have plenty of experience with the three M’s – miles, muscle, and mental confidence – can start out on larger and higher bikes of about 800cc. Women best suited to these bikes have ridden motorcycles before or have significant experience on similar vehicles such as dirt bikes. These may be the women who rode with their parents when they were little or have many riders in their families.

Suit Up Smart

Women’s riding gear should be fashionable and functional. In other words, forget about all those girls you’ve seen riding on the backs of bikes in bathing suits and shorts. You’ll need a comfortable motorcycle jacket and a DOT-approved helmet that doesn’t slide or rock up and down when you move your head. Women with long hair should practice tying or tucking hair into helmets and make sure hair doesn’t get in the way of the helmet itself or their vision. If you’re using an open-face visor, make sure you have sun- and wind-resistant sunglasses. This is crucial if you live in a consistently sunny area like Florida.