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Best Beginner Motorcycles for Women from Harley-Davidson

April 24, 2024 Comments Comment

According to industry statistics, one in five motorcycle owners in the United States is female, and that number is growing every year. If you are a woman that is ready to start riding and are looking for that perfect first motorcycle, keep in mind that you’re searching for your best bike, a motorcycle that fits your body, your style and the type of riding you want to do.  Learn more in our guide to the best beginner motorcycles for women from Harley-Davidson® so you’re well equipped to choose a bike you can ride with confidence and pride.

Key Points to Consider when Choosing a Beginner Motorcycle for Women 

As a new rider or even as an experienced rider, there are some key features to consider when considering which motorcycle might be your best choice.

  1. Motorcycle Weight: A motorcycle that feels lighter to the rider is often going to be easier for a beginning rider to handle, especially at low speeds, when parking and mounting the bike, and when pushing it around in the garage. And because of this, lighter motorcycles in the lightweight or middleweight engine category or in the sport or cruiser categories are often a great choice for a beginner female rider. 
  2. Center of Gravity: More important than how much the motorcycle weighs is where the weight is located. A bike with a lower center of gravity often won’t feel as heavy because you’ve got more leverage and handling over that weight. All Harley-Davidson bikes are powered by a narrow V-Twin engine that helps centralize the mass of the motorcycle, and Harley takes care to reduce the center of gravity whenever possible.
  3. Seat Height: Being able to place both feet flat on the ground when the motorcycle is stopped is a real confidence-builder for any beginning rider. You’ll feel more stable if you can stand over the motorcycle to reach the ground and if you are able to use both feet to straddle walk the motorcycle to move it forward and backwards. If the motorcycle seat is too high, you may find yourself on tippy toes to reach the ground. Simply straddle the bike in the showroom and see if you reach the ground comfortably. If not, there may be a lower seat option for that bike that can improve the reach. Additionally, you want to make sure that while seated or standing, your body avoids direct contact with the engine or any exhaust components.
  4. Control Location: You’ll also want to determine if the handlebar puts you in a comfortable posture on the bike, and if you can easily reach and manipulate the hand and foot controls. 

With all of this in mind, it's recommended to take a new bike for a demo ride to gauge your overall comfort and fit on the motorcycle. 

Best Beginner Motorcycles for Women from Harley-Davidson 

Ready to take a test ride? Here’s our short list of recommended beginner motorcycles for women from Harley-Davidson:

Sport: For the rider who values nimble performance, current technology and modern style.


Seat Height: 27.1" Weight: 481 lbs.* 

Designed to inspire both new and experienced riders, the lightweight Nightster motorcycle offers nimble handling, a confidence-inspiring ride and the smooth power of a liquid-cooled Revolution® Max 975 engine. The fuel tank is below the seat, which lowers the center of gravity and helps make the bike easier to handle at lower speeds.

Learn more about Nightster


Cruiser: These bikes place a focus on style, from nostalgic to very modern.

Sreet Bob® 114

Seat Height: 25.8" Weight: 655 lbs.* 

The lightweight Street Bob 114 motorcycle is well-equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight® 114 engine for a quick-and-nimble ride with power to spare. Tall handlebars and forward foot controls contribute to a stretched riding position, but the tall bars give great leverage for lighter steering. The very low seat puts most rider’s feet flat on the ground.

Learn more about Street Bob


Low Rider® S

Seat Height: 27" Weight 679 lbs.* 

The upright riding position is compact due to the combination of mid-mounted foot pegs and a handlebar set on 4-inch risers. This bike bundles the big attitude of West Coast style elements like the wind-blocking fairing the strong performance of a Milwaukee-Eight® 117 engine.

Learn more about Low Rider S


Heritage Classic

Seat Height: 26.3" Weight: 728 lbs.* 

Check out this bike if you love show-stopping vintage details and a classic profile inspired by the 1950s, paired with the Milwaukee-Eight 114® engine and modern upgrades. Locking saddlebags, a full-size windshield and wide footboards make this bike a willing partner for weekend getaways.

Learn more about Heritage Classic


Grand American Touring: Ready to take you on a long haul beyond the horizon with comfort, performance and the latest technology.

Road Glide®

Seat Height: 26.6" Weight: 802 lbs.*

A full-size “bagger” designed for long-distance touring in style and comfort. The very low seat height makes it easier to handle the weight of this model, and it comes loaded with Milwaukee-Eight® 117 performance, molded locking saddlebags for your gear, a 12.3-inch color touch screen infotainment display that can sync with your phone, and a sleek aerodynamic fairing. 

Learn more about Road Glide

Request a Motorcycle Test Ride

Schedule a free motorcycle test ride on a Harley-Davidson® bike at your local dealer. Test ride a motorcycle to learn which is the right bike for you.

Keep in Mind You Can Always Customize Your Motorcycle  

When you sit on the bike you should be able to feel a “triangle of comfort” from your hands on the handgrips, to your hips in the saddle, to your feet on pegs, and back up to your hands. If that fit does not seem ideal, a Harley-Davidson dealer can usually help improve your ergonomics with some motorcycle accessories. Learn more at Harley-Davidson® Guide to Motorcycle Ergonomics. Some recommended customization products include:

  1. A Harley-Davidson® Reach® seat is designed specifically for riders with a shorter inseam, to move the rider forward and lower on the bike, closer to the handlebar with a shorter reach to the ground. 
  2. The motorcycle handlebar can often be adjusted for a better fit, but a Reach handlebar for many Harley-Davidson models is designed specifically for riders under 5 feet 5 inches tall and moves the hand grips and controls lower and closer to the rider.
  3. Shorter riders may have difficulty reaching forward foot controls on some models. This fit can often be improved with a mid-mount foot control kit that will place the foot pegs and controls more directly under the rider.
  4. Changing your bike’s windshield height can improve rider comfort and forward visibility, and Harley-Davidson offers a variety of motorcycle windshields that may be taller or lower than the stock windshield. 

It’s important to note that these adjustments are geared toward shorter female motorcycle riders. For taller women, we recommend consulting with your local dealer for the best parts and accessories for taller, female riders. 

For more expert advice on selecting a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Harley-Davidson parts and accessories, visit an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer or schedule a test ride

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