Advice Needed

by Karen Patterson
(Cedar Hill MO)

I need advice. I am a 5'1, 108 pound, 56 year old female. I registered for the MSF New Rider Course. Was really excited and a bit nervous too. I've wanted to learn to ride for a long time. I've never operated anything motorized before except of course, a car. No Ski Doos, no four wheelers, no dirt bikes, nothing at all. I did fine during the book part of the MSF class. But when we got into the actual riding part? Which is of course THE most important part; I ended up leaving class. I felt like it was moving way too fast for me. Instructions were given once and you were expected to perform. I understand, that is the nature of the class, but it wasnt working for me.
One of the first things they had us do was straighten our motorcycles while astride them. I had trouble with that. They finally gave me a tip (dont know why they didnt tell me in the beginning) on how to straighten it and from then on, I could. The next thing they had us do was "power walk" the motorcycle up an incline, while we were astride, and the bike was in neutral. They had us using 500 cc "training" bikes. HOWEVER. Even with the seat set low, my feet were not completely flat. I could not get the bike up the incline. Everyone else in class was done. Up the incline and waiting on me. And there I was still trying to tippie toe it up that incline. It was horrible. Everyone else outweighed me and were inches taller. Right now I am EXTREMELY discouraged. Can anyone tell me what I should do next? I see no point in retaking the course right now. But I really want to learn to ride and I am not a quitter. Advice please. Do I give up my dream of riding? If not what are my next steps. Group lessons didn't work at all.

Comments for Advice Needed

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Feb 14, 2016
Failed by 4 points! NEW
by: Marta

I am a little bombed because I failed my MSF class by 4 measly points; but I passed the written exam. I am going to take the test again.

Jun 01, 2015
Dont give up!!!
by: Anonymous

I took the class twice. The second time the teachers were better and were so much more patient. Also different class locations may have different sized bikes. My MSF course had 250 cc motorcycles. You can also try Harley Davidson. They have a women's group that meets just for women that want to learn how to ride. You can check there to see if they have all women classes. You can call any Harley dealership that offers the course though I believe there is a fee for their class. I took the regular MSF class because it was free in Pennsylvania. But if I had to pay, Harley would have been my choice. You get to learn on Harleys and they could fit you for a bike that was the proper size.

May 31, 2015
by: Karen

Thanks to both of you! I found another class, at the community college near me. It's for beginners and they use lighter sports bikes for class. I am going to call tomorrow and make SURE the class is for beginners; and i will ask if they have a class for women only. If yes to both, I'll enroll. I'd eventually like to get a Harley. Just my own personal preference. Hoping to be able to handle one with some riding experience on lighter bikes.

May 31, 2015
by: Ellie

I tok a course twice. The first time was with mostly men, and I think that is why I had a hard time.

The first thing I understand from your message is you need to ask questions about how to control a bike. I recommend you look for a course with just women. You will find a big difference, women answered questions for me in my language.
This is the most important thing to learn. You need to be able to use the throttle, shift, and the clutch to control your speed.

I recommend you shop around for a small size cruiser. I am 5'2" and had my challenges finding the right bike to fit me. I found a Suzuki savage, which is small and light. That bike is now called a S40', I think. My next bike was a Honda 750. It was low enough for me to have both feet on the ground.

If you have a friend who know how to ride, ask them to take you to a big parking lot with lots of space to practice. Take your time go slow, and remember to keep trying.

Once you can control the bike, then you'll be of for!

Write back please and let me know how your doing.

Regards, Elea

May 31, 2015
Keep trying
by: Anonymous

Don't give up. It took me three tries to pass the course. Between my classes we bought a small dirt bike and I practiced on it in the back yard. Then because I was having trouble keeping a bigger bike up at stops, I bought a 250 Yamaha as my bike. Love that bike and we still have it, but I have graduated to a 900cc Vulcan.

And check around in your area, this may not be the only class. You may find another one that is more helpful.

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