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What Women Want

  • What Women Want

    Not only in India but across the world, the number of female motorcycle riders is increasing by the day. Yet, the range of motorcycles available in the market does not cater to the needs of an average female rider that well, although one in 10 motorcyclists is a female!


    When we say ‘female rider needs’, we are talking about motorcycle height, weight of the motorcycle, range of styles, segments and also power. Yet, the very first thing every female rider is concerned about is the vehicle height and that’s exactly what they want to know the moment they see a motorcycle they like. 
    So what is a typical motorcycle height?
    Let’s take three common Indian made motorcycles to give us an idea of seat height. Royal Enfield Std. is 1030mm, Honda’s CB Unicorn has a seat height of 1100mm, while Hero Karizma ZMR stands 1175mm tall.Cruisers have lower seat heights and ladies do find such heights comfortable but their seats are often wide which again may cause hindrance apart from the fact that these types of motorcycles can be heavy. Adventure-style motorcycles often have taller suspensionsand the bike may seem tall yet with a narrow seat, it’s easier for your feet to touch base.
    How is motorcycle height measured?
    The actual way to measure the height of the two-wheeler is to measure from the lowest point of the saddle to the ground, when the motorcycle is standing upright (on none of its parking stands).Manufacturers quote the heights in the specification panel of each model. They may or may not mention the ‘Seat Height’ separately. 
    How does width matter?
    The outright height of a motorcycle’s seat is important, but the seat’s width matters too. Some motorcycles with a low seat height have a wide seat which spreads out your legs, making it harder to get your feet flat on the ground. But it is opposite with bikes such as the Yamaha R15. This Sportster has a height of 1070mm but a narrow seat making it very easy and comfortable for those who prefer a short bike.
    Does one-foot down work?
    Motorcycling has many dimensions. If it is city riding, and only if you are comfortable with balancing the bike with your weightas well as your pillion’s weight on one foot, should you consider buying a motorcycle that tall - not recommended if you aren’t strong nor confident (or overconfident).
    Although, those who wish to travel outside city limits, especially those who love travelling and off-roading must stick to motorcycles that allow them maximum comfort and can get both their feet firmly on the ground.
    Motorcycle lowering tips
    It is always better not to tinker with the wheels and other parts of the motorcycle to lower its overall height. Doing so has adverse effects such as it alters the bike’s handling characteristics andperformance and develops snags and early wear-n-tearapart from potentially making your bike worth less on the used market. 
    These days you find a lot of aftermarket seats with motorcycle dealers and in accessory stores. These are easier to procure and it is recommended that you fit a lower seat although you could also alter the seat yourself by cutting the foam to reduce the seat’s height and width. Earlier, doing so was not preferred as riders would often find such seats hard and complain of discomfort but now, various options of foam and seat-covers make the ride softer and smoother!
    You could also look at footwear that gives you extra height. Boots like Daytona’s Lady-Star are a good option as they feature a chunky sole. You could also talk to your local cobbler about adding a thicker sole to your existing boots. 
    Image Credit:
    Image Credit:
    All other image credits to Sheetal Bidaye

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