Beginner bike ideas for a tall girl? 5'10"

by Didge

Hi all!

Love this site! Seeing lots of posts about new bikes and wanted to add my query. I'm about 5'10" (mostly leg!), fairly thin, and am looking to purchase my Very First Bike. I love the sporty bikes, but don't want my knees up in my chin. I also don't want anything *too* crazy powerful as I want to really learn to ride before going crazy-fast-stupid. :)

I'll be riding around town and eventually taking 2-4 hour day trips to visit friends with bikes. I hope. ;)

Any thoughts/opinions/ideas on beginner bikes are greatly appreciated!

Comments for Beginner bike ideas for a tall girl? 5'10"

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Feb 01, 2015
by: Didge

Wow, can't believe this post is 5 years old?!? SO much has happened since then, lol!

I ended up buying a used Ninja 500. Great beginner bike, easy to control, not too sport-bikey-crouched-over. Learned a LOT about basic moto control on that bike, yet it was still just big enough to get on the highway. Outgrew it after a couple years, and started looking again... here were my requirements for my 2nd bike:

- very little fairing (so no sport bikes/sport tourers)
- upright seating/taller for sight lines/visability (again, no sport bikes!)
- not a cruiser (there goes a lot!)
- able to go off road (hmm, I see where this is going)
- comfy for long distances, able to pile on luggage/camping gear/etc

I "test rode" (rented) a BMW 650 while in Hawaii. Liked it, but wasn't sold. Back in Chicago I test rode several friend's bikes - an older BMW 650 (too buzzy), a KTM 990 (the first bike I was a passenger so I have a special spot in my heart for them) which was WAY too huge for my needs, and a few BMW 800's. I thought the BMW 800 was going to be my bike, I just loved them.

Then, I test rode a Tiger 800EX. Could not get the shit-eating grin off of my face for DAYS. The engine was just SO much smoother than the BMW.

Found a used one in Texas in May 2013 and rode it back north to Chicago that month... omg SO MUCH FUN! Didn't have my knees in my chin, could see above cars, Carried all of my gear with the side bags/top case/tank bag. Just love it.

Still love it! :D

SO glad I started with the Ninja though, the 800 is a pretty powerful and big bike.

That's the update! Cheers everyone!!!

Feb 01, 2015
I am tall and leggy too!
by: Michèl

Hi there I am 5'11" and 140lbs I have had the pleasure of riding lots of bikes... The Kawasaki is a longer bike the Suzuki are nice as well...stay away from the Yamaha or Ducati's very hard on the shoulders and For short bodies... If you have long legs then you have long arms usually and calories are the best Susie's would be the next choice" BMW are Nice because they are shaft driven but they're expensive and they tend to break down a lot. Good luck!

Apr 30, 2010
Keep the Ideas Coming...!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the input ladies! I have only been a passenger, never ridden. So "safety first" is my motto. I really want to learn how to ride and ride WELL before getting a "dream bike" (who knows, maybe I'll hate it... LOL! yeah right).

I will be taking some classroom/riding lessons, I think they teach on 250s.

My thought is to find a good used bike, 250-500 for this first riding season and practice, practice, practice... then have more knowledge in my noggin to use when I go to buy THE Bike.

Have a few friends who have/had BMWs and loved them. Will check them out!


Apr 30, 2010
Maybe a Good Choice
by: Anonymous

Liking sport bikes AND being fairly tall is a good thing, since most of these type bikes are more for the long legged. Look at the "sport touring" models. You might try the BMW 800 sport touring bike, very comfortable on long trip and you can get bags for it, or, I have a friend that rides a Honda ST, also good for 3-4 day trips or more. The "sport touring" type bike are a little more stretched out and have more of an up-right seating position. Yamaha has two, the FJR which is a really nice bike and the FZ1.

If you ware wanting to do 3-4 day trips stay away from the true sport bike...very uncomfortable for distances.

I ride a 08 Yamaha FZ1 which I have set up with soft bags for weekend trips, very nice bike but not quite as heavy as the others.

Hope this helps!

Apr 30, 2010
Beginner Bikes for Tall Girl
by: Michelle

Are you going to take the MSF course Didge? I, too am 5'10" and after feeling relatively comfortable in the MSF course I bought a Shadow 750. It is a great size for me and as I am muscular, the weight isn't an issue. This was last year in the fall and I had very few days to ride before winter set in. But after a few short rides this year (in major cross winds) I am already contemplating a bike upgrade. But that is me. I am looking at longer trips with it so I feel like I need to give the one I have a good try on a long weekend trip to see how it goes before I upgrade.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Best of luck with your search. Oh and I had several people suggest the Sportster to me; so I tried it and felt like I was one of those clowns that comes out on a tricycle (knees past my ears). Great bike but just too short for me.

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