Did Women Really Ride Side Saddle on Motorcycles?

Woman riding side saddle on a motorcycle

Did women ever really ride motorcycles like this? I'm old enough to remember, based on the 1967 vintage ads shown here but I don't ever recall seeing women cruising down the street with their significant other, feet swung to one side, resting on the rear peg. At least one company thought they did this often enough to market a footrest specifically designed to keep women's feet comfortable on a wide platform that could be flipped up out of the way when their man was riding solo. Maybe it's my selective memory, but no matter how much thinking I do, no images of this come to mind. Maybe it was specific to some areas of the country. Any of you remember this?

Footrest for women riding side saddle on a motorcycle


  1. sweetlemonaid says

    All I can see in this idea, is lawsuit! How does the lady stay in place in a mild turn?
    I can see a lawyer having a field day with this idea. It seem to me that it would help pull the other rider off the cycle. “Promoting an unsafe condition and action.” I grew up in Montana, and to make a point, side saddles for ladies, are very rare for horse back riding.

  2. Hawk says

    Her Mama told her to always keep her knees together … I remember girlfriends like that!

  3. Guru G says

    Actually, this is still prevalent in Pakistan and India. Women sit in this position as “spreading their legs” is considered indecent. Also, most women dress in non-western clothing which makes the “spreading” look very awkward due to the lenght of the “shirt” .

  4. kneeslider says

    Audrey Hepburn didn’t live in my neighborhood, at least she never rode by my house, I probably would have noticed :-)

  5. Richard says

    In the USA, I never saw a live woman ride a motorcycle sideways like that, but I do remember them doing it in commercials and in the movies. At that time, all the married couples on TV also slept in separate beds, to “protect us” from getting any ideas. It didn’t work.

  6. humanoid says

    I sat like this on my old moped a few times, as the bench seat made my arse hurt. It’s a lot more comfortable and stable than you would think. I never felt like I was in danger of falling off. But it does make steering harder, so sidesaddle is best left to passengers.

  7. Jon P says

    I think I need to show this pic to some “stuntaz” just to let them know how unoriginal they are…

  8. Fraser says

    OUCH! Imagine the state of her knees if she fell off!
    I don’t remember seeing women ride like that even in the 60’s in the UK.

  9. Boris says

    I can remember back in the 1970s my Aunt and Uncle showing up at a wedding on his Honda. He was in his suit and a helmet, and she was in an ankle-length dress and helmet, riding side saddle. I don’t remember them having anything other than the stock footpegs though…..

  10. Bob says

    Riding in this way is still prominent within much of Asia, including Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.

  11. bigsalamander says

    Had this really nice looking babe ask for a ride for a couple of miles on my 500 Interceptor. She jumped on sideways. I was turned on and speechless. She could have stood on her head and it would have been OK. I’ve got to quit thinking about it.

  12. Bikerman says

    Hey! In India, women still regularly sit like this only. Infact, most of the women sit like this in many south Asian countries..

  13. says

    Please remember that things were a bit different back in the day. As I recall the flip out footrest was during a time where it was very improper for a lady to straddle anything while warring a skirt. I do remember seeing a few of them on the west cost in Oregon but they didn’t take off. Gee, I can’t imagine why! Anyway it is kind of a mute point now that most of the women I know ride their own bikes.