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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Ladies, Advice please…

Ready to buy first bike. I don’t want to buy something and not be happy… After looking around at used bikes it seems people sell them after not having them for very long because they are looking for something bigger?
I don’t want to buy small. I am sure this will be my only ever purchase. And I will pass this down in 4 years to a son, so it must be cool.

I don’t know if I should go new or used.

I am 115 lbs and these are choices I have narrowed it down to. I will mainly be driving small back country roads, short trips, and sometimes have a child on board ( 8-17y/o)

The Victory and Raider are my favs, not many available used and expensive new…

Yamaha Raider

Suzuki Boulevard M50

Honda Shadow 750 Aero

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic

Victory Vegas or Similar

Any advice on full face helmets too!

Thanks so much!
 

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You weigh 115lbs, and don't wish to buy "small" for your first bike?

You DO realize that, the lightest bike you named is nearly Five Times your own weight, with the worst being almost Eight?

I only point this out, as "small" in your list, is relative only to the behemoths at the large end of your moto-scale.
 

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There are dozens of threads on this board advising not to purchase the type of bikes you've listed for a first bike. You should read them. However, if your mind is made up and you don't want to be confused with the facts, I suggest you get a HD Sportster. You're obviously focused on the cruiser style, it has that, you don't seem to have plans for long rides, the Sporty works for that, it's as easy or easier to ride as any of the bikes you've listed, and your kid will like it when you give it to him. Spend about $5,000 on a 04 to 06, and you won't lose your ass if you do decide to sell it or trade it in a year or two.

Helmets: you can spend $90 or $500, and both will do essentially the same thing. The cheaper ones won't last as long (vents break, straps are thin, etc.) but they will protect your noggin. The more expensive ones are quieter, easier to clean, and look better. As long as it fits snugly, you will be ok.
 

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MM, don't get caught up on the idea that you want to get only one bike. Almost every person who gets into motorcycling likes to try different bikes over their riding career - in fact, that's part of the fun. Bikes have such a greater variety than cars, and it's common to want to experience something else. So, you could easily get a first bike that you could use for a year or so, and then you'll have an even better idea of what you'd like to ride after that. A benefit is that a used bike often can be sold for just about what you paid for it in the first place.

Ok, now more practical stuff. Bike fit is a lot more than seat height and comfort when you're not moving. Motorcycles are dynamic. They are not like cars, where you can tell if you fit just by getting in a car in a showroom and adjusting the seat. The wind pressure and road shocks make a difference on a motorcycle! You might think that a bike in the showroom fits well but I know a LOT of women who have been cruelly surprised out on the road. They find that the wind blows them back, or that they can't turn because the reach to the handlebars is too great. Did you check that reach to the handlebars? Did you try to move the bars from lock to lock? Or did you just reach straight forward? If you can't easily turn the bars from lock to lock *with some ease in your arms* you won't be able to turn the bike out on the road.

As for the bikes you have selected, the only one that I think is suitable for a beginner is the Honda 750. It's still (IMHO) too heavy but from what I have seen it is controllable. The women I know who ride them are tall, though - around 5'7". The Victory and Raider are too damn big, period.

My advice - start with a small, used bike. Learn for a year and then get what you want.
 

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FWIW, I don't think a Sportster is a good choice. The power band isn't bad but they are HEAVY, with the weight up top. I've seen too many women drop those bikes to think that they are a good beginner bike for a lightweight person.
 

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I'd also go with the Sporty or a Triumph Bonneville, both are off the charts in cool factor and you will actually be able to have the bike serviced and modified if you wish when you hand it down to your son.

An added benifit to the Sporty is the Riders Edge and other training programs available through your HD dealer, you are right smack in the middle of their target demographic and you should find much more support from Harley than anyone else.

Sachi's right about fit and bike weight but the Sporty is well balanced and the Bonneville is quit light for a full sized bike.
 

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The Toad
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I'd also go with the Sporty or a Triumph Bonneville, both are off the charts in cool factor and you will actually be able to have the bike serviced and modified if you wish when you hand it down to your son.

An added benifit to the Sporty is the Riders Edge and other training programs available through your HD dealer, you are right smack in the middle of their target demographic and you should find much more support from Harley than anyone else.

Sachi's right about fit and bike weight but the Sporty is well balanced and the Bonneville is quit light for a full sized bike.
And not only that but the Bonnie America is about the only cruiser that isn't as common as fruit flies.
 

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Don't get so wrapped up in how heavy the bike is! The lightest road bikes are at least 350 - 400lbs. You aren't going to be picking the bike up on a regular basis, hopefully.

Much more important is how the weight is distributed. Sporty bikes tend to be more "top-heavy", while cruisers carry their weight closer to the ground.

Most important for you is whether your feet touch the ground on both sides of the bike, and that means more than just your toes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank You!

Thank you all so very much. I have read many of the forums about first rides etc...

You all have given me a lot to think about, and a few more options for bikes. Of course more options, means more confusion!!

I am very worried about dropping a 600lb machine. How do I pick it up? Do I just call for a tow truck? 911? Locate the nearest nursing home and borrow their obesity lift?
Or is that the part where you get to play damsel in distress and hope for a Dudley to happen by?

I will tell you all a lesson, I (and my son) learned about cool looking bikes. I purchased one of those Schwinn Stingray OC chopper bicycles with the extended fork. No one bothered with a test drive…
You can not turn at all on the bike because the handle bars hit your knees… like an adult on a tricycle! Seriously… it is almost that bad. That was a $100 lesson.

I will be much more careful when it comes to the real thing.

Thanks again!
 

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Somewhere on the internet

Some where on the net is a video that a woman made on the proper technique for righting a motorcycle. Perhaps someone who isn't in such a rush to get to work can recall the key words for that search or have the link. It's a fairly popular subject on the net.

So is somewhere 1 or 2 words, I can't for the life of me recall...
 

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I am very worried about dropping a 600lb machine. How do I pick it up? Do I just call for a tow truck? 911?

I purchased one of those Schwinn Stingray OC chopper bicycles with the extended fork. No one bothered with a test drive…
You can not turn at all on the bike because the handle bars hit your knees… like an adult on a tricycle!
There are a couple of techniques for picking up bikes, but that should not be a driver in evaluating which bike to buy. If you drop it, get help picking it up!

So, you're saying the OC Chopper Bicycle handles exactly like their bikes? How authentic!
 

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"I will tell you all a lesson, I (and my son) learned about cool looking bikes. I purchased one of those Schwinn Stingray OC chopper bicycles with the extended fork. No one bothered with a test drive…"

The lesson you learned is to teach your son to build his own chopper bike instead of buying one. No matter how it turns out, it will be way cooler than anything you can buy, and he can actually brag to his friends that he built it himself.
 

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I am very worried about dropping a 600lb machine. How do I pick it up? Do I just call for a tow truck? 911? Locate the nearest nursing home and borrow their obesity lift?
Or is that the part where you get to play damsel in distress and hope for a Dudley to happen by?
The woman sfcd mentioned is called "Skert" and indeed has some videos showing how to pick up huge bikes. The problem is, Skert demonstrates her technique on bikes that have engine guards or the like that keep the bike seat up a bit. As a result, she can get some really good leverage against the bike, which is how her technique works. If the bike is completely flat on the ground, there's no way to get that leverage, and you have to play damsel in distress and hope for a Dudley. (Done it myself with my 420 pound bike . . . :p )

Ok, let's find Skert's site: Pink Ribbon Rides

There you go. :)
 

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I will tell you all a lesson, I (and my son) learned about cool looking bikes. I purchased one of those Schwinn Stingray OC chopper bicycles with the extended fork. No one bothered with a test drive…
You can not turn at all on the bike because the handle bars hit your knees… like an adult on a tricycle! Seriously… it is almost that bad. That was a $100 lesson.
Back in the throws of my miss-spent youth we used to "find" bicycles laying around. This was in the late 60's early 70's when the Schwinn Stingrays were first coming out. We'd "find" one and cut the forks off with a hacksaw then pound those forks over the ones on our bikes..voila...instant chopper. one I had had a regular bicycle seat on instead of the ever popular black with metal flake banana seat, along with the apehangers and extended forks it looked just like the ones on the crappola Biker Movies of the time.

The problem of course was that merely pounding the forks over the exisiting ones wasn't a real permanant solution and after a few wheelies the forks and wheel would come off and bounce down the road and you'd wind up doing a face plant in the street, usually in front of the neighbor in his Old's Vista Cruiser who would hop out and roundly criticize you for being the no good idiot that you were while the other neighbors dog would try to drag you off somewhere...

Fun times...
 
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