I'm a woman who has been riding dirt and street bikes since I was a kid. Sorry guys, I've just never been content with sitting on the back. I enjoy the thrill and feeling of control that comes with piloting my own machine. The wind in my face brings a feeling of freedom like nothing else in my life (in spite of the occasional bug)! I have personally owned 5 different motorcycles, from first to last: Honda TwinStar 200, Honda 450 Rebel, Harley-Davidson 883 Hugger Sportster, Harley-Davidson Low Rider, and Suzuki Boulevard S40 (aka 650 Savage).
I stand 5'5" tall and weigh 115 lbs with my boots and jacket on. And now that I am entering my golden years (ha ha), and becoming more affected by arthritis, I am just not strong enough to push an 700-800 lb monster of a motorcycle around anymore. I am also hanging up my wrenches and looking for a low-maintenance bike. This is why I am really excited by Harley's introduction of the Street. I need to downsize at this point. But I don't want to go back to beginner bikes, a 250 is just not going to do it for me. And there just isn't much out there in a mid-size cruiser style motorcycle. (Please don't reply and tell me about all the wonderful sport-bike and adventure-bikes out there. I know there are some really good machines in those categories, but I have to have a cruiser-style. Partly 'cause that's what I like, partly because of my arthritis, I have to sit upright).
Last year I looked around a lot, both on the internet and at bike dealers. I'm not hung up on Harley's, or any other brand. I want a motorcycle that works for me, and if you don't like the badge on the side, that's your problem. Sat on a lot of bikes, took several test rides, and settled on the Suzuki. And it's a good little bike, in fact I've been pretty impressed with it, but it's just a wee bit too small and light, and the engine power is barely adequate. It's a great beginner bike, and I would highly recommend it as such. But I need something with a little more substance to it.
Anyway, I can't wait to test ride the Harley Street 750. It seems like it is going to be exactly what I need. I was impressed by the dyno test numbers. I just read a really good article on Motorcycle USA called Women's Cruiser Shootout. 2012 Women’s Cruiser Shootout - Motorcycle USA
They looked at a Harley 883 Sportster, the Honda Shadow 750, Kawasaki Vulcan 900, and Triumph Bonneville America. All pretty good choices for a woman's smaller frame and muscles. But all of them are over 500 pounds. All of them are more expensive. And the Triumph is the only one that beats the Street's performance numbers. But they are worth a look if this new Harley is just not for you. The right motorcycle is a very personal, subjective thing. And it doesn't always follow what logic dictates. I thought I would absolutely love the Honda Shadow Spirit, based on it's specs, it's looks, and what others had to say. But I tried sitting on it several times and didn't even take it for a test ride 'cause it just didn't feel right to me somehow.
Hope that doesn't happen here, and the Harley Street 750 ends up working out for me.