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Advice for Women Getting Into Motorcycle Riding.

Updated on September 7, 2013

Women and Their Motorcycles.

Back in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's you didn't find very many women on motorcycles, There just wasn't a lot of woman out there tooling around on a bike whether it was off road or on the street. As the years went by you found more and more women riding motorcycles which was a good change which opened the door for those that followed. For some it started out riding around on a little trail bike out in a field or maybe out riding in the California desert. Some found that being a passenger just wasn't as fun as they thought. The love of riding and being out in the open led many women to make the change. The enjoyment of owning their own motorcycle was a dream they wanted to turn into a reality. There is nothing like sitting on a hill and overlooking the California desert with spring flowers blooming while you sit atop of your KTM dirt bike. There is nothing like traveling down an open road with beautiful vista's all around you and the wind blowing on your face. Today women riders are lucky that there is very little negative stigma attached to women owning their own motorcycles. I had some old man back in the 70's tell me that if God had wanted women to ride, women would have been born with handlebars in our hands. I will not write what I thought and I was polite in pointing out to him that I did not see any handlebars attached to his hands. One of my male friends said "ah he's just sore because you climbed that hill on you dirt bike and he only made about 3/4 of the way before crashing". I used to get great joy of pulling off my helmet after riding and seeing the look on other rider’s faces when they finally realized it was a girl riding that motorcycle. That was ages ago and yes things have changed. It is nice not to hear stupid remarks like nice young ladies don't do thing like that? Like what??

My Advice for the New Enthusiast.

Most of the advice and tips here are for street riders but is also valuable to the off-road rider as well. First, you need to do a riders course if you do not know how to ride. Even if you have been riding, it still is a good idea and worth the investment. Some insurance companies will give a discount in doing the riders course and may be worth a call to yur insurance agent to find out. Also the class may make it easier to get your motorcycle license in that you may just have to take the written. Another reason for the riders course is that they supply the bike. This makes it easier for you if you decide that motorcycle riding is not for you. To check out a riders course visit Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Buying A Motorcycle

Now for buying the bike! Do not bite off more than you can chew. This means don't go out and buy yourself a bike that will intimidate you. Buying a full dress Harley Davidson may not be a safe bet or buying 916 Ducati may get you seriously hurt. Make sure the bike you try, you can plant your feet on the ground. This is very important for when you are stopped at a light or need to maneuver your motorcycle. Investing in good motorcycle boots will also give you traction and some leg length. A boot with good tread on the bottom gives you traction for when you are moving the bike or parking it. Nothing worse than pushing your bike back while parking and having your feet slip out from under you. Next thing you know the bike has been dumped on the ground. Then you will need someone to help you pick the darn thing up. Street bikes can easily weight 400 pounds or more. A motorcycle's weight may intimidate you at first but with time you will not notice.

My next tip would be not to go out and buy a brand new bike. Here is my thinking on this. You just bought a brand new Honda 250 Rebel; after a year or less you may think this small bike just doesn't cut it. It maybe that a 250 is perfect for you but you may not know that when buying your first bike. Having to sell a bike you paid cash for is easier to sell than the one you are making payments on. Bikes depreciate when driven off the lot and you may end up owing more than what it is worth if selling it after a short period of time. Use your common sense and best judgment. A safe rider is a happy rider.


Motorcycle Safety

For some riders letting the wind whip through their hair is part of the motorcycle experience. My feelings on not wearing a helmet stems from 40 years of riding with 13 years of racing. Wear a helmet and preferably a full face helmet. My next statement may seem harsh but I think if you do not wear one you are being selfish. If you have absolutely no obligations then fine, don't wear one. If you have a family that relies on you, loves you, then you have an obligation to wear protective gear which includes a helmet. If you ride long enough and often enough I guarantee you will go down. I can tell you from experience that it hurts. The ground is not forgiving in this matter. Try to wear as much as possible. I know when it is hot wearing long pants; eye wear, gloves, boots and helmet can be hot. There are motorcycle jackets that are light weight with zippers you can open up for circulation. Helmets also have vents you can open up for ventilation. Please do not run down the road with flip flops, shorts, and a tank top. I cringe when I see someone running down the road going 70 mph with hardly a thing on. Remember to always be alert when riding, many motorist do not see motorcyclist and may pull out in front of you or do a lane change where you happen to be riding.

Riding down the road on a beautiful day is greatly enjoyed on a motorcycle. For many this is a relaxing and enjoyable time to spend with friends and family. This is why millions of Americans enjoy owning a motorcycle. Woman riding groups are out there if you feel uncomfortable riding with the guys. Do what is comfortable for you.

*Note: Some states do require that you wear a helmet.

Happy riding and keep the rubber side down.


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