These girls can

Motorcycle Monthly - - Road Test - Words by: Carli Ann Smith Pic­tures by: Gary D Chap­man

They’re two of the hottest sec­tors in mo­tor­cy­cling right now, the naked road­ster and the emerg­ing cruiser. Both have their in­di­vid­ual mer­its and both can be aimed at the same, or sim­i­lar, mar­kets.

New riders, riders who don’t want a tonne of power or riders who want to en­joy the ride in­stead of wor­ry­ing about speed­ing tick­ets are all in the sights of these bikes.

And it’s fair to say that these mo­tor­cy­cles are, largely, also be­ing aimed squarely at fe­male riders. So we got a group of five ladies to­gether to see what they made of two very dif­fer­ent types of mo­tor­cy­cles from Kawasaki – the Z300 and the Vul­can S. Launched ear­lier this year, the Vul­can S was de­vel­oped with a fo­cus on rider er­gonomics, style and in­creas­ing rider con­fi­dence. It’s pow­ered by a re­tuned ver­sion of the Ver­sys 650 and ER6 649cc liq­uid-cooled, four-stroke en­gine. It’s priced at £6049, pro­duces 61bhp @ 7500rpm – an A2 li­cence com­pli­ant ver­sion is avail­able – and fea­tures ABS as stan­dard. The seat height is low at 705mm and it weighs 228kg wet. Whether you’ve got long legs or shorter legs – you can con­fig­ure the Vul­can S to fit you.

The brake and clutch levers have five dif­fer­ent set­tings and the foot­pegs can

Be­tween April 2014 and March 15, more than 2800 women passed their mod­ule one test and over 2700 passed their mod­ule two. This isn’t a new phe­nom­e­non though – there have been lots of mo­tor­cy­cles made specif­i­cally for ladies in­clud­ing bikes in the early part of the last cen­tury which had a dropped frame for a lower ride-height. be ad­justed into three dif­fer­ent po­si­tions – keep them as stan­dard or move them for­wards or back­wards by 25mm.

The ‘ERGOFIT’ set up means that there are also ad­di­tional ac­ces­sories to fur­ther per­son­alise it: re­duced reach, mid-reach – which is the stan­dard ma­chine as bought in a deal­er­ship – and ex­tended reach to suit short, medium and tall riders re­spec­tively. Those need­ing re­duced or ex­tended reach have the op­tion to change the han­dle­bars and the seat from the ac­ces­sory range, which change the di­men­sions of the bike.

Emma (left) and Tess head out on the Kawasakis.

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