Women and motorcycles. Those are words you don’t hear together often. But things are changing. And it’s all for the best. As long as women get to ride motorcycles. I mean, there should never have been a gender associated with motorcycles. But there’s this thing called society. Which is biased at times. And the fact that motorcycles have always been marketed to men.But I am not here to play the blame-game. What I am are here for, is to path a way towards motorcycles for women. And so, I have curated a ‘top picks’ series. With this, I will be picking out three motorcycles from each segment that I think would be best suited for female riders. Of course, women can ride all motorcycles. But we have quite a few uninitiated among us who are worried whether they’ll be able to manage the weight. Or whether their feet will touch the ground. Or what if the motorcycle breaks down in the middle of nowhere. I myself had these questions before I started riding. And I wish I had a guide like this to help me out back then. But, it’s never too late. So, before we get to the top picks, let’s get to the parameters that will form the basis of the selection.
The biggest concern women have, or even new riders for that matter is the weight of the motorcycle. What if the motorcycle falls and you have to pick it back up? Or what if you have to walk the motorcycle to the fuel station? We would be addressing those concerns with a slight prejudice for lighter motorcycles.
Budget is quite the deciding factor, especially when you’re starting out and unsure. Unless you have money by the bucketload, I don’t think you’d want to invest a lot in your first motorcycle. Hence, the focus here would be more on affordable motorcycles from each segment.
It’s important for your feet to rest comfortably on the ground while seated. You don’t want to be tip-toeing around with the weight of the motorcycle and face an imbalance disaster. This is where the seat height comes into the parameter picture.
A motorcycle’s riding triangle decides how comfortable you will be while riding it. Now what’s a riding triangle, you may ask. Well, it’s the imaginary triangle formed by connecting three points- the rider’s seat, handlebar position, and footrest. Every motorcycle in every segment has a different riding triangle and we’d be looking for motorcycles that have a tighter triangle.
When you’re buying a new bike, a key determining factor should be the reliability of the motorcycle and the brand in general. This includes service centres, roadside assistance, after-sales service, spare parts availability, and the overall solidness of the motorcycle to ensure a smooth ride.
Fuel tank size
When you set out on a long ride, the last thing you want to do is to run out of fuel and be stranded in the middle of nowhere. And even if you’re the one to keep a constant eye on the fuel meter, frequent fuel pit-stops are not the most exciting. So the best way to go is by opting for a motorcycle with a larger fuel tank.
Side and the main stand
Putting the bike on the main stand is not all milk and honey. In fact, the first time I tried to put my 200kg bike on main stand, I found myself on the ground with the bike on me. Of course, there’s a technique to it which I am yet to master but it would be easier if find a bike that has the mainstand placed optimally according to the centre of gravity of the motorcycle. And while you think that it would just be more convenient to put the bike on side stand at all times, that’s not velvet either. There are a lot of aspects to consider, like if the bike can be put on side stand when the surface is uneven. Or if the bike leans too much or too little. With all that and more, we’re here to help you out.
It’s a no-brainer why tubeless tyres are better than their counterparts. Firstly, they’re safer because they don’t flatten out suddenly in case of a puncture. Secondly, since the air loss is gradual, you have enough time to find your way to the nearest puncture guy. Also, because of the lack of tube, there’s not a lot of friction, as a result of which the tyres tend to stay cooler. And it also ensures great high speed stability. So yes, if given a choice, go for tubeless tyres always.
And that's all for this week. Next week, we'll get you the first set of picks from the most sought-after segment among first-time buyers. So, stay put to Bikewale.