US motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has unveiled two new bikes that are designed specifically for women, the Street 500 and Street 750.
Harley’s designers have worked hard to make the two models appealing, but also more comfortable for female riders. The changes include smaller handle grips, lower seats and various foot peg positions. The new bikes are also stripped of the familiar large fuel tank and shiny chrome and have been given black bodywork and very sleek look.
The two models are the first new bikes to be released by Harley in 13 years and the company is optimistic that they will prove popular in this growing segment of the market.
Harley’s decision to design a bike for female buyers was driven by the 30% spike in motorcycle sales to women over the past ten years in the United States alone. Around 10% of the bikes produced by Harley-Davidson are currently bought by women, the company claims.
Harley-Davidson hosts Women Riders Month every May and also organises garage events to teach women the basic things they need to know about bikes. In addition to that, Harley organises riding courses for inexperienced bikers and these courses attract about 10,000 women every year.
Another sign that biking is gaining momentum among women is International Female Ride Day, which was first held in Canada in 2006 but is now also celebrated in the US and the UK, as well as in India, Brazil and Russia, the Independent said.
Harley-Davidson’s efforts to target female riders will help the company compete with rivals Suzuki and Kawasaki, experts believe.