Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles?

Wife, mom, grandmother, motorcyclist, and blogger.

This is a common question many people have, “Can short women ride motorcycles?” There is a popular belief that short people cannot handle a motorcycle because they are not tall enough. It is a stronger prejudice against women than it is against men. The truth is that short women can ride any motorcycle with the proper training, equipment, and experience. Need proof?

Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles?

Yes! They can, and Crystal from Long Island, New York, is here to prove it. She stands 4′ 11″ tall and has a 26″ inseam. Crystal is not only a motorcycle enthusiast, but also a gifted graphic designer.

She is the founder of Lady Motorcyclists Unlimited where she sells graphic apparel. Follow her on Instagram to see beautiful photos of her clothing, which she describes as “Urban Style with Feminine Grace.”

I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to share her story with us. Here’s what she had to say about her experience as a female motorcycle rider, how she got started, and what she rides!

Meet Female Motorcyclist Crystal

Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles? Crystal and Aprilia

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?

Riding motorcycles since 2013; before that it was mopeds and scooters lol

How did you learn to ride? 

My dad, my partner, and my brother in law

What was your first motorcycle? 

2006 Ninja 250

Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles?

How many have you owned?

Five. My first 250 I lowered the suspension. I’m 4’11 with a 26″ inseam. My second 250 I kept stock height. Then I bought a Ninja 300. I love these small cc motorcycles, they are a lot of fun. 

Then I bought my big boy, Aprilia RSV4 (2010). He’s still with me, he’s my heart throb lol. Last I got a KE100 a tiny Enduro on and off road but such fun. 

I sold both 250s before the 300 and last year I sold 300. I only have my Aprilia and KE100 for now. Next I want a cruiser or a scrambler type Cafe racer. Not sure which yet.

Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles?  Meet Crystal

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?

Always been a passion, honestly I loved horses but they needed a lot of room and food so the next best thing was a motorcycle.

I was told because of my height and inseam I would not be able to ride a motorcycle and boy I showed them lmao! I also love all the maintenance and mechanics that go into it. I altered my 250 and rebuilt my 300 twice! 

I had help from my partner and his brother and they taught me so much. I can’t say I am a mechanic but I am able to diagnose and fix my own to a degree. 

I love every aspect of it pretty much. Perhaps one day I’ll hit he track, that looks like so much fun. And travel, I totally want to travel I’m looking into getting a cruiser for the long haul. 

I feel so connected to these machines, I’m in love forever.

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ?

Commuter and pleasure, I do want to try vacation. At one point all I had was a motorcycle so rain and light snow caught me. I have ridden in 35 degree temps and pouring rain. I dressed accordingly with warm suits under my gear and changed at work. Iced roads were a no go, I found a ride lol!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?

Crystal riding

Definitely take courses, read forums and get out there. Wear gear, never ride beyond your ability.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Once you hit the road, assume that nobody sees you so always be ready for the unexpected. 

Check your bike before the ride, even if it’s a few minutes away (tires, brakes etc). 

When you drop or fall it’s ok! Everyone experiences a mishap, jump back on as soon as you can, it can be embarrassing but I promise that everyone has an embarrassing tale.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your motorcycle?

I believe it was about 14 hours. We rode from Long Island through New Jersey, then Pennsylvania and back all day. It was so much fun but definitely quite a workout, my booty and my arms were sore the next day! Hahaha, I want to go much further in the future.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online?

Not recently. I’ve rode to events hosted by motorcycle clubs and had a lot of fun on Moto Amino back in 2017 I believe? Seems so long ago, that was a fun chat platform. 

Since COVID I’ve been MIA from the scene because of personal family matters. I am a mother of 3. Two sons and a daughter. Two of my children have mental disorders that have surfaced, one was a misdiagnosis and is more severe than originally diagnosed. He was diagnosed as Asperger’s but it turns out to be schizophrenia.

Crystal proving short women can ride motorcycles

Do you have a favorite riding story? 

Ah so many to count… oh yes, Tutie and the birds, oh boy that one made my ribs hurt. I was riding behind one of my best friends “Tutie” when 3 or 4 seagulls surrounded her on the highway. There was no stopping, jeez my heart was in my throat I thought they were going to hit, but they didn’t. 

It was odd and random and we laughed all day afterwards over it. Any time I ride with my besties Barbie and Jazzie we have such great times. And of course my guy Mark, he’s my life partner and we have so many good memories riding together.

What do you do when you’re not riding?

I create and spend time with my family. I love them dearly and I work so much I barely see them, but when we are together it feels great!

Can Short Women Ride Motorcycles? Yes!

Thank you Crystal for sharing your story and answering the question, “Can short women ride motorcycles?” Crystal sure has demolished a few popular myths about why women should not ride motorcycles.


Ladies, whether you are looking to start riding solo, a casual motorcyclist, a seasoned rider, or enjoying riding pillion you are all welcome to join in the Helmet or Heels community. I would love to share your story of motorcycling no matter where you are on the journey. It will inspire other women along the way.

Fill out the contact form and let’s connect!

Catch us on Instagram @helmetorheels, Pinterest @helmetorheels or Twitter @helmetorheels – we are just getting started!

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you Crystal for sharing your story! I am also a 4′ 11″ rider and sometimes feel like I am the only one! I think it is amazing you ride an RSV4 since the seat height seems so high (~33 inches according to google!). I’m not quite at that level yet, and would love to hear some tips on how you feel comfortable with the machine and weight. Much love and ride safe!

    1. Kathryn,
      So glad you stopped by! Crystal has quite the experience to share no matter what your height is. Great to be able to share these encouraging stories.
      All the best,

  2. Hi Kathryn
    So happy to see another rider under 5ft! It’s tough, especially on uneven streets and hills, even small inclines. When you come to a stop make sure you can reach on both sides, practice at home in your driveway or garage feeling the weight and how comfortable you are from one foot to the next and practice holdin it up like that. If you come to stop out riding and you can’t reach on one side and its uncomfortable move to where you can, like pull up a bit. I can’t back up well. So I hop off my bike and push it back, no shame lol. Ive been laughed at, people crack jokes but hey it comes with the stuggle lol! I lowered the suspension on my rsv4 with soupys performance adjustable lowering links. So when you’re more comfortable you can raise it up, they’re awesome. Also I had the front end lowered and adjustable kickstand, important because it can fall over when you park it. My favorite alteration is shaving the seat! There are videos on how to do it, replace the foam with special gel for motorcycle seats. It takes away like 2 inches depending how much foam you remove. The aprilia is pretty lightweight but it gets hot! Also, it’s best to be there with the mechanic while altering it so you can feel your comfort zone. I became quite good at holding up with one foot, there are riders out there that only have one foot and I said to myself if they can do that, so can I. Practice and ride as much as you can and soon it will be natural. I really want to try a cruiser next and I’m looking for tips on riding one of those big boys lol! And a scrambler I think that will be a blast!

  3. Great interview! Crystal proves your point. I know several riders of low-height who manage to not only ride but control motorcycles with high seats and centers of gravity. Skill and technique enable us to conquer all obstacles. 🙂

    1. Shybiker,
      Well said! Thank you for adding to the confirmation that low-height people can ride too.
      Ride safe and have a great day,

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