The 5 Best Harley-Davidson’s for Women Riders
The motorcycle industry is growing and women riders are helping to increase the number of people on two wheels. Total motorcycle registration has steadily increased over the years. Part of the driving force behind this increase is the number of women bike owners. According to USA Today, “In 1998, only 8% of motorcycle owners were women. By 2014, the most recent year in which the council has statistics, female ownership had increase to 14%.”
More women are looking at Harley-Davison as the bike of choice. In fact, cruisers are the most popular motorcycle among women and Harley-Davidson is the most popular brand. The profile of a cruiser is a lower and more comfortable seating position.
After reviewing online surveys and various motorcycle magazine top ten lists, I have formed my own list of the Top Five Harley’s for Women.
Top Five Harley’s for Women:
- Harley-Davidson Softtail Deluxe: This ‘big twin’ offers plenty of power along with a smooth ride and low seat height of 24.5 inches. Experienced women riders are very pleased with the handling that comes from this bikes low center of gravity. There is no shortage of power and the suspension is great of long rides. Add on some genuine Harley accessories like Rigid Mount Saddlebags and you are ready for long road trips.
- Harley-Davidson Sportser 883 SuperLow: With women riders being the fastest growing segment of new riders it is no surprise that Harley’s entry-level Sportster 883 SuperLow is the most popular motorcycle ridden by women. The Sportster features a 25.5 inch seat height and comfortable suspension.
- Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom: Coming in a variety of models and a seat height of 26.6 inches, the Sportster 1200 Custom is a top pick for intermediate and advanced riders. At 562 lbs, this bike is only twenty pounds heavier than the Sportster 883 and produces about 20 ft-lb more torque, giving it an impressive power-to-weight ratio.
- Harley-Davidson Street Glide: One of my personal favorites, the Street Glide gives the best value for your money. Producing an impressive 111 ft-lb of engine torque, the Street Glide feels like you are riding on air with its responsive high performing front and rear suspension. Optional ABS Brembo breaks provide perfect breaking in any road condition. If all this wasn’t enough, the Boom! Box 4.3 Infotainment system keeps you connected though Bluetooth capabilities and the 6.5 Boom! Box is available with touch screen navigation and perfectly balanced sound. Seat height on the StreetGlide is 26.1 inches and can be lowered through suspension modifications.
- Harley-Davidson Softail Low Rider: A classic look with a well-balanced stance and low center of gravity make the Low Rider a popular choice. With a seat height of 25.5 inches and enhanced low speed maneuverability, the Low Rider is a great bike for riders of all abilities. The 18” front wheel combined with a 17” rear wheel make handling at low speeds very easy on a top-heavy motorcycle.
What to consider when purchasing a bike:
Seat height seems to be the unanimous number-one concern as women tend to have a shorter inseam than men. Having the correct seat height is extremely important to feeling in control of your motorcycle. Most models do offer aftermarket options for adjusting the seat height of the bike. This could however change the handling of the motorcycle so you should talk with a Parts Consultant at Hot Metal Harley-Davidson before you do any of your own modifications.
What to consider next to seat height is the seat width:
Seats that are too wide will spread the rider’s legs apart and make it more difficult to have your feet flat on the ground. Narrower seats will provide added confidence and control over the bike.
The best place to start is at Hot Metal Harley-Davidson when you can take the time to sit on a wide variety of different models. Finding a motorcycle that feels good when you sit on it for the first time is a great first step in finding the right bike. After finding a motorcycle that fits you well, the question of power and practicality comes into play. What are you going to use the bike for? If long trips and highway miles are in store than look for a bike built to handle touring. If you are looking for a commuter bike, than maybe something more nimble with good low speed handling could be the best fit.
We also offer demo rides if you have a valid motorcycle license. This is probably the best way to get the feel of the motorcycle. Make sure you check-out the Mon Valley HOG Chapter when you do decide to purchase. They offer rides for riders with various skill-levels and have a new program called Ladies of HOG.