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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

My name is Jen and I'm from Michigan. I am set to turn 25 this summer and as part of my quarter-life crisis kick-off, I am thinking of learning to ride, and eventually owning my own bike. I was just wondering if you have any bits of advice or even tips on what kind of bike is best for a beginning female rider. I'm on the short side, 5'4", so I don't know if that will make much difference, but I'm really eager to learn.

My dad just got a 2007 Harley Heritage Softtail and we went out on it last night. I love going out riding, one of my best friends has a 2003 Yamaha R1 Limited Edition, and cruising on the H1 in Hawaii was a blast. I haven't decided what type of bike I want yet, that's a big reason why I joined.

I need advice!!!
 

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Hi Jen! Welcome to the site. Have you taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginning rider's course? If not, that's the first thing you should do. It might give you some ideas on what you will want to ride, as well as how to ride.

You should not have that much trouble finding a bike that fits you, although some will be out of your range. Keep in mind that "fit" on a motorcycle is more than seat height. You also need to be able to reach the bars, which means being able to turn them fully when you're on the road. The reach to the foot controls also can be an issue. Finally, the weight of the bike can be a concern, particularly because you are a beginner. Heavy bikes are more tiring to ride, particularly at slow speeds.

I personally do not like cruiser-style bikes. Many women get them because of the short seat heights that most cruisers have, but (as I said above) seat height isn't the only thing a rider needs to think about. Do not automatically assume that a low seat height is what you need to shoot for, or that you are stuck with a cruiser.

Welcome to the site, and keep us posted!
 

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Jen,

Sachi's right. She a true mother/lawyer type and wise enough to heed instruction from. To the point- what type of rider do you want to be? Weekend warrior, commuter, track-day girl- give us a clue. May I suggest staying away from Sportbikes as your introduction. They tend to be demoralizing and tension filled for new riders. Those that do buy usually end up breaking plastic before they get it dirty when there's no real motorcycle experience. You have choices if you'd like sporty looks so don't worry about not "looking cool". Just decide what your objective is then ask more questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No I haven't taken the course yet, but my dad and I were talking about it the other day and I fully plan on doing exactly that! I don't think I would ever try to drive a bike without having taken a class, that just seems a little too risky to me.

As far as cruiser vs sportbike, I haven't really been able to make that decision. Like I said I've been on both and I enjoy them both, but I'm not sure which would be best suited to me yet. Hopefully that's something I can pick up in the class :)

Thanks for the help, and any further advice is always welcome :D
 

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Riding a motorcycle with no training is no more dangerous than making bombs with no knowldge of explosives.
MORE dangerous? Equally deadly, asuredly. Playing with things that goes BOOM! somehow seems a little more costly in the event of a mistake compared to lowsiding an off camber left at speed.
 

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The good thing about working with explosives is that you're the only one who doesn't know you messed up.

Jen, +1 on the school. No substitute for how valuable it is to know how to ride safe and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh yeah, I had/have every intention of taking the course, what I was especially curious about was what type of bike would be recommended. Since I got some good info already on what to look for and what NOT to look for, I guess I'm just going to have to try things and figure it out for myself.

I plan on taking the course this summer/fall.
 

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It's all personal taste. What bike do you want? Start there and we'll give you ideas.
 

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Whatever you do don't listen to AirHawk. The BossHoss is NOT a good beginner's bike.

Have you checked out the Ninja250?
 

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What if she's not a sportbike chick? The Vulcan 500 or Shadow VLX are great bikes. What if she's a nekked freak! The old GS500s are fine. There are variables we are not yet privy too. We need more info.
 

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The Toad
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What if she's not a sportbike chick? The Vulcan 500 or Shadow VLX are great bikes. What if she's a nekked freak! The old GS500s are fine. There are variables we are not yet privy too. We need more info.
Okay on the nakeds but I refuse to encourage her to move to the darkside...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The more I think about it, the more I think I want a sportbike to start with. I'm not sure if I'd want a heavier or lighter bike, I guess what's easiest to control? I'm really excited to learn, yet the thought of putting my bike down is really nerve-wracking. That's why I came here... I figured people with a lot of experience would have some ideas of at least things I could check out when the time comes for me to get my first bike. I'm not looking for long term, either, all I need is something to start with that's not, like, a Road Toad, lol. So I guess I'm leaning toward sportbike to start, unless that is not recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The most readily available training course is at an HD place near me. The training takes place on a 492 cc Buell Blast, which sounds like it has a little beef behind it, lol. I've been looking at and pricing Ninja 250Rs and I am really starting to like that bike... if that is a highly recommended bike I will probably start looking into those a little more.
 

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Yes, it is one that we (and many others) highly recommend. It is a good bike for even experienced riders, and I know of people who have done Iron Butt rides on them. They are flat-out good bikes for a great price.
 

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The new baby ninja is a great bike to start with. Spend your money and feel happy that you made a wise decision.
 

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The Toad
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The more I think about it, the more I think I want a sportbike to start with. I'm not sure if I'd want a heavier or lighter bike, I guess what's easiest to control? I'm really excited to learn, yet the thought of putting my bike down is really nerve-wracking. That's why I came here... I figured people with a lot of experience would have some ideas of at least things I could check out when the time comes for me to get my first bike. I'm not looking for long term, either, all I need is something to start with that's not, like, a Road Toad, lol. So I guess I'm leaning toward sportbike to start, unless that is not recommended.
A friend of mine is 5'7", very thin, and she had no trouble learning on a GS500. She went to a Ninja650 after a year. She doesn't like the stiff suspension on the Ninja650 and is considering a Versys650.

Start out light on a bike that's not intimidating. A Dual Purpose bike like the Kwacker 250 is good to start out on and you may decide you like the extra versatility.

My wife has been riding since 1979 and is very happy around town on a Yamaha Vino125.

There are plenty of options if you don't limit your interest in types of riding.

buy used for your first bike. It'll save your pocketbook.
 

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A friend of mine is 5'7", very thin, and she had no trouble learning on a GS500. She went to a Ninja650 after a year. She doesn't like the stiff suspension on the Ninja650 and is considering a Versys650.

Start out light on a bike that's not intimidating. A Dual Purpose bike like the Kwacker 250 is good to start out on and you may decide you like the extra versatility.

My wife has been riding since 1979 and is very happy around town on a Yamaha Vino125.

There are plenty of options if you don't limit your interest in types of riding.

buy used for your first bike. It'll save your pocketbook.
Do they all ride Vinos or is just one wife into bikes?
 
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