Getting Started: Essential Tips for Women Riders

Perhaps your heart wants to ride off into the wind, but your brain is a bit worried about where to start.

Many women dream about life on two wheels but have no idea where to get started. Below we’ve put together a few essential tips to help women riders get started in motorcycling.

The AMA Supports Women Motorcyclists

Start with some training, even if you’re still on the fence about riding. If the open road calls to you, try a basic rider course. Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) courses are available in many states around the country, while other states may have their own riding courses.

For beginners, the MSF offers several options, including:

  • Introductory Motorcycle Experience – For the moto-curious.
  • DirtBike School – Learn to ride dirt bikes.
  • Basic Rider Course – Learn core motorcycling skills and earn a license (in some states).

Why get trained? Statistics show that new riders who take formal motorcycle training are involved in fewer accidents than those who don’t. Better to learn from a pro instead of a family member or friend who may not fully understand the best and safest riding skills.

Training also gives you a chance to ask questions, make new friends, and increase your confidence on two wheels.

Finding Classes in Your Area:

  • Visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website and search for a nearby location.
  • Visit a local powersports dealership and ask about local training.

Part of being a responsible rider is making sure you have the right protective women’s riding gear. Here are the basic pieces of women’s riding gear you need:

  • Motorcycle Helmet – If you value your brain — and we’re sure you do! — a quality helmet is a key piece of gear. Look for a DOT-approved helmet, and always purchase a new one so you know exactly what you’re getting. Prices for a quality DOT-approved helmet range from $100 to $600, depending on the style and features of the helmet.


  • Riding Boots – Motorcycle-specific riding boots protect your ankle and foot, and high-fashion boots just won’t do the trick. The good news is that you can find motorcycle boots in many stylish options that come with protective features you need on two wheels. Quality riding boots generally cost $80 and up. When you do purchase your boots, make sure you keep your riding style in mind. Generally, you’ll want a different type of boots if you’re riding off-road as opposed to doing mainly road riding.


  • Riding Jacket – Some type of jacket protection is recommended when you riding motorcycles, and today you have many different choices. From basic leather moto jackets to armored textile jackets, you’ll find many styles and options available. A basic leather jacket without armor may be found for $100 or less in some cases. For an all-purpose, high-quality textile jacket, you’ll be investing $200 or more.


  • Riding Gloves – Don’t skimp when protecting your hands. Quality protective gloves protect your hands from flying road or off-road debris and offer protection if you drop or crash your motorcycle. Think about it…when you fall you’re going to immediately hold out your hands to protect yourself. A quality pair of leather gloves starts around $50, which is a small investment to keep your hands safe…but don’t skimp here. If you want something really protective and comfortable, look to deerskin gloves.


  • Riding Pants – Make sure you protect your legs with the right riding pants. Regular jeans aren’t gonna cut it, though some companies make riding-specific jeans with protection where you need it. If you want even more protection you’ll want leather or textile examples, which often include strategically placed armor for abrasion and impact protection.

Beyond knowing the basic pieces of gear you need, it’s important to think about fit and, let’s be honest, a bit about style. Luckily, in the past few years women’s motorcycle gear has come a long way, with more fashionable choices and options that are far more inclusive in size. Whether you’re short, tall, slim or curvy, there are gear options for you, and you won’t have to settle for men’s gear that someone dyed pink!

Not sure how to choose your gear? Get our guide on Selecting Women’s Riding Gear. 

There are also a variety of women-owned companies that offer high-quality, stylish protective motorcycle gear for women, including:

Once you fall in love with riding, it’s easy to feel impatient about your skill level. After all, you just want to get out there and enjoy the freedom of two wheels. And if you have friends who ride you might be tempted to try to ride above your skill level, or you could be tempted to choose a bike that’s currently too much to handle.

So one of the best things to remember is this: Ride your own ride!

The goal is being smooth and steady on a bike, and in control…not riding beyond your skill level to keep up with others. Ride at speeds and levels that make you for comfortable and choose a bike (read more about that in our How to Choose the Right Bike guide) that works for your body and your current skills. This one piece of advice just might save your life!

Find a moto mentor that has a lot more experience than you do. It doesn’t have to be a woman, though a female mentor may be able to help you through some women-specific challenges that come with riding. A good mentor can give you advice, so you avoid some of the most common beginner mistakes. It’s also great to have a skilled rider to go out with when you’re new to two wheels.

If you’re looking for a mentor and/or a motorcycling community, check out the AMA’s list of local clubs.

AMA-Sanctioned Events

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