I posted this on twitter and facebook recently but felt it was really important to state for the record.
There's no such thing as women's motorcycles, only beginner motorcycles.
Sorry, but there's no such thing! I don't care what anyone has told you (including other women riders), but they're wrong, absolutely wrong. And sorry but low cruisers aren't women's motorcycles, either. In fact, I think large, heavy cruisers (no matter how low) are the worst beginner bikes, ever. Not because I'm not a cruiser person, but because they're painful to balance and the center of gravity is totally screwed up! Having your feet forward changes the way you provide input and the way it responds. And if you drop your KLX or your DR, it only takes you a second to pick it up!
In riding the Brammo recently, I've come to discover how incredibly fun an upright, lightweight dual sport/supermoto style bike could be for a new rider. It's a completely different world of motorcycles, and a completely different experience from what I'm used to. I'm convinced that something like a Suzuki DR400SE (below left) or Kawasaki KLX250 (below right) is one of the best beginner options out there.
If I had to do it all over again, I would've gone this route (Thanks Betty!). I still love sportbike riding, but I think I'm falling in love with the dual sport way of life and will definitely be moving in that direction going forward. I still love and adore my SV and will be holding on or quite a while.