New rider big bike

by Debbie

I have been riding on the back with my husband for years and he recently got a new touring bike. We thought that it would be a good time for me to learn to ride myself as I have been wanting to. I inherited his previous bike which is a 2010 HD heritage classic. I recently took the MCF rider' s edge course, passed, and got my license. We took my new bike to a parking lot so that I could ride around and become familiar with the controls, weight, etc. I did ok but the weight throws me a little when stopping. Today I took it out again to ride around my neighborhood, practicing stopping and taking off. Did ok for awhile then I pulled into a small parking lot to turn around ( to avoid a busy street) and layer it down. I know what I did wrong but I had to call my husband to come and help me pick it up. I was only two blocks from home. My question to all you experienced riders is: am I going to be able to handle this bike? I am 5'4" and weigh 170lbs. I am determined to try this but am I being realistic?

Comments for New rider big bike

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Feb 15, 2015
New rider to Street Glide
by: Julie

I purchased a Street Glide last month and am anxious for the warm weather to come to Minnesota. I previously drove a Suzuki Boulevard. We are taking a trip with 9 other bikes in July to Colorado. I am the only female driver. I am excited and yet so nervous about this trip. Luckily I have a loving and caring husband that will watch over me. Love this website. I need all the encouragement I can get.

Jul 22, 2013
by: Debbie

Practicing in the big parking lot of a large stadium and I am becoming more comfortable with my bike. You all were right. Each time I practice I feel better about it and I am enjoying it more. I am focusing on my weak area which is stopping then turning. Getting much better. Thanks!

Jul 16, 2013
New rider big bike
by: Debbie

Thank you all for your replies and comments. It is very encouraging. I had no idea that riding was as physical as it is and I guess I thought I could hop on and go with a little practice. I realize now I need a lot more practice and that dropping your bike isn't the end of the world. I really love this web site and reading about everyone else's experiences. Thanks again! I will persevere!

Jul 16, 2013
Ride what you want to!
by: Sassy2731

Yes do not let anyone tell you that you cannot ride that Heritage. I'm only 5'2" and I love to ride my Fatboy (which is the same frame as the Heritage). My hubby lowered it for me so I am flatfooted on it. I also have a Roadking that has been fitted to me, but I'm still not quite flat footed on the RK but still love to ride both my bikes. One is for around town and the RK is for riding the highway and long distance rides. Just don't let anyone tell you that a bike doesn't fit you cause you have to make the bike fit you with adjustments with a lowering kit and adjustments to the handlebars and even the seats. So just get adjusted up and go ride...

Jul 16, 2013
Heritage Classic
by: Joan

Debbie, I agree with what Dar has said. Spend more time in a empty parking lot and take your time getting to know your bike. If you are having trouble flat-footing your bike, another option is to have a thicker sole put on your riding boots. There is a lady in our HOG chapter that is about your size and just started riding a couple of months ago. She has a 2009 Heritage Classic. Yes, she has dropped her bike, but it has always been at slow speeds..(in fact the majority of us have dropped our bikes. It happens, but you just get back on and go.) She now has ridden several 200-300 mile rides. She still has some issues with parking her bike and just stops when we get to our destination, puts the kickstand down and lets her husband park it for her. :) I would also recommend watching the 'Ride Like a Pro' DVD. They show some excellent parking lot practices. You will also see a little 4'11" young lady ride a big touring bike. One other thing, you might like to check out this HD Forum for ladies:


You can ask all the questions you want to and get a lot of helpful information. These ladies are non-judgmental and very encouraging.

Keep on practicing and you will get this!

Jul 16, 2013
New Rider
by: Dar

If you read through the many postings here, you will find the courage and confidence to get through this. You already have the determination, just keep practicing, easy on the front brakes and don't look down. Recall what they taught you in the safety course. Are your feet flat on the ground when sitting and stopped, if not, they may be able to lower the bike for you. Is it an easy stretch to reach the controls, and if not, adjustments may be made there as well. Once the bike gets going it's all about skills to keep it upright and they taught you that in the class. YOU have to decide if the bike is too much for you, please don't let anyone tell you what to ride... (some folks forget they were once in your shoes too!). Only you make the decision to stick with this one or go smaller.

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