Bikes Girls Can Ride – Updated

August 9, 2010

One of the most common questions asked by girls who are new to biking is “What bike will I be able to ride?”  Well, after seeing it asked a few times on girls biking forums, I asked the girls which bikes they were riding now and what they had owned in the past, what adjustments if any had been made and if they wore boots which added to their height.

I collated the information I recieved and here is a list of bikes that girls are riding right now.

This list is not intended as a definitive guide as to what bike to buy for your height, but shows the kinds of bikes girls are riding about on.

I know that there are other considerations such as leg length, what boots you wear, etc., which also affect which bikes you can ride but I will cover them in other posts.

Under 5’

Honda CB400T –
Honda CBR400RR –
Honda CBR600F (4′ 11″ Owner) – Professionally lowered by DRS of Hull, Boots altered to add height
Kawasaki ZXR400 – Suspension lowered
Kawasaki ER6 (4′ 10″ Owner) – Hagon Shock fitted which lowers bike by 2.5 inches, plus wears Daytona Ladystars
Suzuki GSF400 Bandit –
Yamaha R6 2004 –

5’
Ducati Hypermotard – Suspension lowered, ride height adjuster on lowest setting
Honda CBR600F –
Honda CBR600RR –
Kawasaki GPZ500 –
Kawasaki Ninja 250 (08) – Some foam sculpted out of the seat and on ball of left foot/tip toe of right foot
Suzuki GSX 600F – No adjustment but couldn’t flat foot
Suzuki GSX-R600 K8 – lowered
Suzuki GSX-R600 K6 – – no adjusment but on balls of feet/tiptoes
Suzuki GSXR1000 K6 – Suspension lowered, forks dropped slightly
Suzuki SV650S –
Yamaha R6 (2002)- No adjustment but couldn’t flat foot

5’1”
Kawasaki Ninja – Suspension lowered and on tip toes

5’2
BMW F650GS – No adjustment but on balls of the feet
Honda CBF125 (09) – No adjustment and on tip toes
Honda CBR125 (08) – No adjustment but comfortably on balls of both feet
Honda CBR400RRN – No adjustment
Honda CBR 600 F – Hyperpro lowering kit, front forks dropped.
Honda Shadow 750
Kawasaki 750 Zephyr
Kawasaki ZXR400 – No adjustment
Kawasaki ZZR600
Suzuki 400 Bandit
Suzuki GSX-R600 K6
Suzuki SV650S
Suzuki SV650 – Lowered but feet still not flat on the floor
Yamaha Virago 535 – No adjustment and both feet flat on floor

5’3”
BMW R1200 ST
Ducati 749s – No adjustment
Ducati Monster 695 – No adjustment and on balls of feet
Honda CBR400RR – No adjustment
Honda CBR600 RR (07) – Hyperpro lowering kit and wearing Daytona Ladystar boots and on balls of both feet
Honda CBR900 (95) – Seat carved a bit to lower it, standard shock setting and now pretty much flat footed
Honda CBR 929 RRY Fireblade – No adjustment, but only one flat foot
Kawasaki ER5 – Lowered suspension, carved out seat
Kawasaki ER6-N (2009)
Suzuki GS500F
Suzuki SV650 – No adjustment but on balls of feet
Suzuki SV650S – Suspension and forks lowered, but still on balls of feet
Yamaha FZS600
Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat – lowered
Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat – No adjustment, on balls of both feet or flat foot on one side
Yamaha R6 – Lowered

5’4”
BMW F650GS
BMW F650GS (08) – Lower seat and Daytona Ladystar boots and owner virtually flat foot on both sides
Ducati Hypermotard 1100S (08) – Lowering link and forks lowered, seat sculpted and wears Daytona Ladystars.  On balls of both feet.
Ducati S2R 800 (05) – Seat lowered and on balls of both feet
Honda CBR125 (09) – No adjustment but on balls of the feet
Honda RVF 400 – No adjustment
Honda CBR 600 – No adjustment
Honda CBR600fx – Bike lowered, can almost flat foot.
Honda CBR600fx – No adjustment but on balls of feet
Honda Transalp – Seat lowered
Kawasaki ER5 – No adjustment but on balls of the feet
Kawasaki ER6f – No adjustment, almost flat foot
Suzuki Bandit 400 – No adjustment
Suzuki Bandit 600 – Suspension lowered
Suzuki GSR600 – No adjustment but on tip toes
Suzuki GSR600 – No Adjustment
Suzuki VZ800 Marauder – No adjustment
Suzuki XF650 Freewind – Bike lowered
Truimph Speed Triple – No adjustment but on balls of the feet
Yamaha Diversion 600

5’5”
Cagiva 1000
Ducati Monster 620sie – No adjustment and both feet flat on floor
Honda CBR1000 (2008) – no adjustment, one flat foot or both toes on floor
Honda VFR400 NC30 – No adjustment
Kawasaki GPZ500s – No adjustment and feet flat on floor
Kawasaki Z1000 – No adjustment, but on balls of both feet
Kawasaki ZX6R (G1) – Seat lowered
Moto Guzzi Breva 750
Suzuki Bandit 400V – No adjustment
Suzuki GS500 – No adjustment
Suzuki SV650 – No adjustment
Triumph Street Triple
Yamaha Fazer 600 – No Adjustment

5’6”
Honda CB600F Hornet
Honda CB1000R – No adjustment
Honda Hornet 900 – No adjustment and both feet flat on floor
Honda VFR700, 07
Kawasaki ER6 – No adjustment
Kawasaki ZX6R – No adjustment and both feet flat on floor
Suzuki GS500F – No adjustment and feet flat on floor
Suzuki SV650 – No adjustment and both feet flat on floor
Yamaha Fazer 600 – No adjustment but cant flat foot

5’7″
CCMR30 – bought already lowered, same as VFR400
Honda Hornet 900 – balls of both feet, or one foot flat the other ‘balancing’
Honda VFR400 – had space between self and bike!
Honda VFR800 – balls of both feet, or one foot flat the other ‘balancing’
KTM Duke – balls of both feet, or one foot flat the other ‘balancing’
Suzuki Bandit 1250GT – one foot flat, the other almost flat
Triumph Sprint ST – balls of both feet, or one foot flat the other ‘balancing’
Triumph Tiger – tip toes or one foot flat the other flailing!
Yamaha FZ1 – one foot flat, the other almost flat

5’8 and over
Ducati Monster 620
Ducati 916 Monster
Honda CBR 600F
Honda CBR954 Streetfighter
Honda XRV750 Africa Twin
Kawasaki GPZ 500s – No adjustment
Kawasaki Z500
Suzuki GSXR750 Special
Suzuki SV650
Triumph Street Triple

Also take a look at these posts for more information which may help you in your choice of motorcycle

Girls and Modern Sports Bikes,

Choosing Your First ‘Big’ Bike

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots – Help For The Vertically Challenged Motorcyclist

as well as the following list of posts which cover, by motorcycle brand, the ride height adjustment kits available, so that more options are opened up for you when choosing a motorbike.

Honda

Kawasaki

Yamaha

Suzuki

If you are new to riding take a look at these products which will help you pass your theory, hazard perception tests and motorcycle tests.

For those who have already passed it here are a few recommendations to help you improve your riding.

Lists Updated 25/05/09

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Lowering The Ride Height On A CBR900 Fireblade

March 15, 2010

As previously reported I had my first ride out on my Fireblade but there was one small problem :-0  I was on tiptoes on a flat surface and when pulling up at some traffic lights my foot was flailing around trying to find the ground before me and my new bike fell over in a rather undiginfied heap 😦

This photo illustrates how much of my foot touched the floor with the bike as standard

On my ride home I was wondering how I could lower the ride height, but without physically lowering the whole machine, as I knew that growing longer legs overnight wasn’t really an option 😉  but I still needed to get my bum closer to the floor..

And then I had a brainwave 🙂

In the garage we had a spare seat from another Blade which wasn’t needed anymore, so as soon as I was home I was set up on my dining room table with the sharpest knives from my kitchen and the spare seat.   I was going to reshape the seat and carve some of the height out of it.

I very quickly removed the cover from the seat and soon had the sections of foam I needed to remove marked out

Sections of foam to be removed marked up

I then started carefully carving the foam away in strips

Shaving off the slices

This is the seat with most of the surplus foam shaved off..

Basics almost done

Now it’s time to tidy things up a little.. So with VERY careful knife cuts I trimmed and neatened the foam so that it was as smooth as possible.  This was the end result 🙂

All neatened up

The finished foam

This photo shows the seat as it was on the bike

This photo shows the stock seat height

and this one shows the seat once I had carved some of the foam out..

The new seat height

The next thing to do was to receover the seat so I don’t get a soggy bottom if it rains 😉

I tried fitting the original seat cover but it was designed to go on a flat seat and I couldn’t get it to fit properly round the new curves so a trip to my local haberdashery shop was called for.   70cm of vinyl fabric (£7.00) later and after digging my staple gun out of the shed I was ready to go 🙂

Fitting the vinyl was a bit of a barsteward as it’s quite stiff to begin with but as you start working it, it starts to soften up and give a little.  I also fitted it on the bias so that would also help the fabric stretch into the curves better.  A short time (and quite a bit of swearing) later I was done 🙂 and the newly covered seat was ready to be fitted to my bike 🙂

And this is what it looks like 🙂

My newly reshaped and recovered seat on my bike

The end result… This is how much of my foot I can get on the floor now 🙂

The end result 🙂

Once I was sat on my bike on Sunday it felt soooo much better and I’m sure it will make all the difference to my confidance riding the Blade.  I’m pretty much flat footed on the left side and even though it was a bit of a hassle doing it, it was well worth it to me 🙂

I’m not kidding when I say that pretty much anyone could do this to a bike seat, you just have to be careful and take your time ESPECIALLY when cutting into the foam.  If you don’t want to mess up the seat on your bike you could always buy a second one cheaply from somewhere like ebay and then modify it.  It’s definately going to be cheaper and easier than physically lowering a bike.

If anyone reading this needs any further advice, just drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help 🙂


Female Rider’s Bad CBT Experience

May 18, 2009

L PlatesBeing a female rider I do hear of occasions where girls seem to get a raw deal when trying to learn to ride, but this one I heard about today just about takes the biscuit as far as I’m concerned!

A 25 year old girl wants to learn to ride, has a bike already and is busting to get out on the road on it, so she rings an instructor and tells him she wants to take her CBT.  She says she wants to do it on his bike (hers isn’t taxed or anything yet) and also advises that she is 5 foot tall.  After reassurance that this wont be a problem she books the CBT.

So she turns up a few days ago, undoubtably a bit excited about learning to ride, and goes through the two and a half hours of indoor classes covering theory, safety and bike controls.

All well and good so far, yes?

So it’s time to go out and actually sit on a bike and start putting all the theory into practice.  She gets on the bike, and the instructor takes one look and says “Sorry – You can’t touch the floor flat with both feet.  Forget it kid. Go home!!!” (She’s 25 years old for goodness sake!!)

He then went on to tell her that she will never ride anything other than a cruiser, but can’t so her CBT on one because of the larger turning circle needed by cruisers.  Also she should sell her bike and give up.  In addition, he repeatedly told her that if she rode the bike she owned she would crash it, and probably die!!!

According to this particular instructor “the law” states she has to be able to touch both feet flat on the floor and if she couldn’t she wouldn’t be able to take a test plus would be laughed off the training ground!  He also told her husband the same thing when he rang up later to find out what had happened.

To top it all off, she paid for a FULL CBT lesson and test and now the instructor is refusing the refund any of the money!!!!!!!!!

I simply cannot believe he has behaved in such a way towards a paying customer and as for saying “the law” says you can’t ride a bike unless both feet are on the floor.. It’s a load of b******s!!!

Both myself and several other girls have advised her to report the instructor and to demand a refund.  I hope she does and many such incidents go unreported and unless the DSA is aware they are unable to do anything to prevent such occurances happening again!

ooooo… it’s enough to make my blood boil!!!!!!!

Please feel free to comment…


Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots – Help For The Vertically Challenged Motorcyclist!

January 21, 2009

Are you riding round on a motorbike wishing you could get just a tiny bit more of your foot than your tip toes on the ground when you come to a halt? Aside from buying a short bike in the first place what other options do you have out there to help?

There are several things you can do.

Shave some of the foam out of the seat.

Soften the suspension a bit so that the bike sinks down a little more when your bum is on it.

Physically lowering the bike with a height adjustment kit (see the posts in the Ride Height Adjustment Category).

Unfortunately both of the last two options will affect the handling in one way or another, even if only by a little bit, and you will have to do it to every ‘tall’ motorcycle that you may buy in the future!

What if I was to tell you that there is another option, which does not involve any kind of adjustment to your bike? If anything it adjusts you!! And that is to treat yourself to a pair of Daytona Ladystar Boots.
daytona-ladystar-boots

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots

Now, for those not in the know, these are absolutely brilliant for the vertically challenged amongst us, and yes at 5 foot 3 inches that does include me too! The boot’s sole incorporates a built in 2.5cm lift as well as a 1cm thick sole! So put these babies on and you are immediately 3.5 cm taller! How cool is that? 🙂

Wearing a pair of these may just make all the difference between a costly tip-over and a good save if your bike starts to unexpectedly go over with you on it.  And the best part of it is that they look just like a regular pair of boots and so no one will know you need help to be able to touch the floor more on your bike.

Now I know that there are short guys out there that may struggle with riding some motorbikes due to the seat height, but please don’t feel left out. The larger sizes of the Daytona Ladystar boots are know by the masculine sounding M-Star, so even the vertically challenged guy can wear them without affecting their masculinity 😉

The boots start at a European size 35 and go through to a size 43. They are only available in black, no bright colours (or pink in the case of the guys sizes) on these babies. A comfortable fit is achieved with both zip and Velcro closures on the legs and with Gore-Tex ™ waterproofing your feet will stay dry as well as warm.

The heels and ankles are armored and will provide protections from abrasion and impact. They also have a reflective patch on the heels, which may help the inattentive drivers around you see that you are there. And for when it rains they have a built in shower proof edging at the top of the boot.

Now the only complaint I can honestly see with these boots is the price. At about the £250 mark they aren’t the cheapest pair of motorcycle boots out there on the market BUT if buying a pair means you can ride the bike of your dreams then surely they are worth it.

Plus.. You may well find that the cost of the boots is less than it would be to have your bike adjusted to fit you!

Plus.. As and when you change bikes they go with you!

Ok.. I know I am really extolling their virtues but they are quite simply a brilliant boot and if you are tired of having to replace bent levers as your bike tips over too easily on you, then maybe, just maybe these are the answer you are looking for.

Check your local dealer, or favourite online store, for details about pricing and availability.

You may also want to take a look at these posts which have more information about choosing a bike and the kinds of bike girls are riding.

Bikes Girls Can Ride

Girls And Modern Sports Bikes

Choosing your First ‘Big’ Bike


Girls and Sports Bikes

January 11, 2009
raven-and-cbr400
It’s not that many years ago that the sight of a girl on her own motorbike would have the male riders absolutely stunned to silence. Nowadays motorcycling is no longer the domain of the testosterone-fueled man and it is quite likely that you will see women out on the road on their own bikes, and a growing percentage of the girls are riding sports and supersports bikes.
I’m one of them!! And I love it!!
Now, I must admit that I’ve not seen many men stunned into silence when I’ve pulled up on my bike and taken off my crash helmet but I have seen quite a few chins hitting the floor! And it still makes me giggle even now to see it happen 🙂 and in all honesty it is still quite a common occurrence!

I am no longer the ornament on the pillion seat, and never will be again as I now HATE going on the back of a bike with a passion! I no longer feel safe, as I’m not in control of the bike back there.

Things are getting so much better for us girls now. Ever since the Fireblade was first introduced back in 1992, the motorbike manufacturers have realised that a decent power to weight ratio could result in smaller, slimmer and more powerful machines, which are perfect for us girls.

Now I may be too small height wise to ride a 1992 Fireblade, unfortunately at 5’ 3” my body is too tiny to reach over that huge tank safely, but there is absolutely no reason at all why I cant ride a newer Fireblade, as well as many other newer sports bikes on the market now.

I looked at the weight of the Fireblade over the years and have noticed that weight wise anything after the 2002 Fireblade is pretty much the same weight as my 1992 CBR400 Baby Blade! So guess what I want to own one day!! Now I know it will be a taller bike, but after having ridden a sports bike for a few years and getting used to the weight, having to have both feet flat on the floor, while preferable, will not be so much of a necessity.

Today’s motorbikes steer almost with a glance in the right direction and are incredibly light and powerful and they are getting so much smaller that they are almost perfect for us smaller female riders. Not long ago I saw a guy on Suzuki riding towards the pedestrian crossing I was waiting on and I was convinced it was a GSX-R600. It was only when it went past me that I realised it was actually a 1000cc bike! I was so amazed I had to wander back round to where he had parked up to make sure and yes, it definitely was the litre bike! I could not believe how tiny it was, I would easily fit on it!

The good thing about being a girl and looking at bikes like that is that I imagine that as we are smaller they would be less cramped for us to ride. The guy I saw on that GSX-R1000 looked as if he was dwarfing the bike and had knees and elbows poking out all over the place. I’m sure I would have looked much better on it 🙂

The other advantage for us girls on sports bikes is that generally we are lighter as well 🙂 which means our bikes will go faster than the same bike with a much larger and heavier man on it 🙂 woohoo!!!!!

That’s the part I like.. Yes I may be little, my bike may ‘only’ be a 400cc one but with only 8 stone in weight on it she goes like hot stink with me on her 🙂 and she is so much fun.

I found this list of ‘recommended’ bikes for girls,

  • Aprilia RS125
  • Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade
  • Honda RVF NC35
  • Honda VFR400 NC30
  • Suzuki GSR600
  • Suzuki GSX-R750 K6
  • Triumph 675
  • Yamaha YZF-R6
  • but if you check out this post as well Bikes Girls Can Ride to see the kinds of bikes being ridden by girls right now.  You will soon see we are not really limited with the bikes we are able to ride.

    Choosing Your First ‘Big’ Bike will provide you with some pointers for when you are choosing a bike.

    Plus now you can check out these posts about Ride Height Adjustment Kits for the different makes of motorcycles.

    Honda

    Kawasaki

    Yamaha

    Suzuki

    So come on girls, get off the pillion seat and on to a bike of your own. The choices, bike wise, for us girls are so much better now, and with a little ‘tweaking’ the choices are widened even further in some cases 🙂

    You wont regret it, I promise 🙂