Bigger Bike?

by Noelle S.
(Freehold, NJ)

Hello again ladies. I feel like I am ready to trade up from m y Honda Shadow 600. I am completely in love with the Harley 1200 custom with a super reach solo seat and mini apes. When I sit on the bike, it feels perfect but a little heavy. I know I need to test ride it but thats my first dilemma. I've been riding for 2 seasons and still not confident all of the time. I'm concerned with pulling out of the dealership for a test ride. My other question is will this be to much bike for me? I am 5'4" 140 lbs. I usually do not let fear stand in my way, but I don't want to drop a brand new bike on a test ride. I'm sure I want to go bigger, but my other choice was another shadow but a 750. I'm just worries in a year or two I will be wishing I went to the 1200. If anyone else has any experience, I would love to hear from you. Thanks again and happy and safe riding!

Comments for Bigger Bike?

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May 06, 2013
Shadow vs Sportster
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi Noelle ...

Ride as many different bikes as you can before you decide! It has more to do with fit, balance, handling, and center of gravity than it does engine size!

I loved my Shadow 500, rode it for 20 years. I got a Sportster 883 6 years ago and switched between them for a couple of years deciding which one to keep. Although the 883 is nearly twice the displacement of my Shadow, they both had the same top speed, 95 mph (do you really need to go faster than that?), because of the difference in gearing.

Other things to look at when deciding between bikes YOU are really comfortable on, is how easy/difficult are they to service (for example, do you really want to pull the gas tank just to change the spark plug as with the Suzuki Savage?), what is the parts availability, what modifications can be made if you desire them?

Ride YOUR ride! Well meaning friends often will tell you what you "should" want/do, which is really what THEY "would" want/do. I go through this all the time with one friend in particular. Stand YOUR ground!

In the end I chose the Sportster (a '95 Standard Deluxe) because the higher center of gravity makes it easier for me to handle on the "horse trails" (aka dirt roads) I like to ride.

YOU are the only one that can say what bike is best for you! Enjoy riding!

May 05, 2013
Compare your two statements
by: Judy

1) I don't feel confident all the time

2) I feel I'm ready to move up

If you aren't confident in your ability on a smaller bike (and you've only been riding two years, how many miles?) then how is it you feel you're "ready to move up?"

Think this through a bit more for your own good.
Remember, the extra heft will make this other bike more difficult to handle in slow speed/parking lot manuveurs as well as off-camber turns or other non optimal situations.

Also, have you considered different types (genres) of bikes other than very heavy Cruisers? You might find something that is far more confidence-inspiring if you do so.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

May 05, 2013
by: Lynn - FL

I would test the Harley, but also test the Yamaha 900 VStar, Suzuki. If you have some legs, also test out the VStrom. Heck, test out as many as possible. Don't let anyone talk you into the first one you try. You will be pleasantly surprised that they are many bikes that you will like. Be open minded & have fun!

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