More women are hitting the streets on two wheels. There are nearly 7 million of them that, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, make up more than a quarter of all riders. They also represent 10 percent of all motorcycle owners. To encourage more women to ride, Nationwide Insurance and the Museum of The Motorcycle Hall of Fame have designated July as Women's Motorcycle Month.
says Eldona Luis Fernandez, founder of PinkBikerChic.com, a site that encourages female riders to beat any reservations and enjoy the road.
Find the right one.
Sit on the bike count to find the right bike for you. Trade shows are great places to check out models in person. You can also get good advice from other bikes through online forums.
“Once you've decided on a brand, see if you can rent a bike, or go to a dealer event where they bring the whole car to a test fleet for a test ride,” says Luis Fernandez. “I also recommend that you consider buying a used bike of the model you like best. You may find that as your skills grow, your desire for a different bike will change. I started with the smallest model available, and quickly outgrew it.”
Take a class.
Training from a certified professional is still a must. Fortunately, there are an abundance of educational resources, such as those listed through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Motorcycle riding involves an abundance of nuances that do not apply to cars, which is why classes are needed. Taking lessons from “just another rider” can be a recipe for disaster.
“Someone tried to teach me to ride before I had formal instructions and the results were disastrous,” says Luis Fernandez. “The class taught me the right way to go from sitting in a chair to riding a bike,” she says. “It was easier than I made it. Professional training equals professional results.”
Head protection – and everything else.
Helmets should always be worn by riders, as they reduce the risk of death by 39 percent, according to published research. Other equipment should include ankle boots, gloves, leather, and heavy-duty jeans.
Join the club.
There are many groups that specifically serve the needs of riders. This is where you find women who share the passion that drives your riding experience. WomenRidersNow.com lists several groups.
“Motorcycle riding is a way of life,” says Lewis-Fernandez. “Once you learn to ride, you'll wonder why it took you so long to start.”
Find out about national coverage for motorcycles and other sports vehicles, and talk to your dealer about the right policy for you.
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