If you're short in stature and a beginner --

by Barbara Bailey
(Tipp City, OH)

Within the first hour of beginning the practical section of my MSf last summer the instructor pulled me aside and said "Can I honest with you? You are too little for a motorcycle. You need a scooter that has a lower center of gravity." I was crushed. I didn't want to ride a scooter,I wanted the real thing -- a motorcycle! But, at 5', 111 lbs I thought 'HE is the instructor and must know what he's talking about.' Reluctantly, I bought a slightly used Honda Reflex scooter and must admit, it's a dream for a small beginner after struggling sometimes to keep the MC from tipping over. And once failing to do so! I dropped the course to regroup and took it in the fall when I passed on my 49th wedding anniversary --- just one year ago. For my 75th birthday in May I bought a new Burgman 400 -- yes, a scooter! and would ride it everyday if I could. I love to ride! Planning a trip from Ohio to maybe CA next summer! YEA! And Yes, it IS difficult to find the right size for we short gals. Practice, practice, practice!

Comments for If you're short in stature and a beginner --

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Jul 31, 2012
update to --- Short in Stature ...
by: Barbara

Glad you've found what works for YOU! That's Fabulous! Thanks for writing.

Gradually I crept up to a Burgman 650 last November for more oomph but the dealer won't allow one to try it out until one leaves the dealership and, oops, it was too tall for me! That having nothing to do with it though, I was hit on the way home from the dealer by a young gal running a red light who didn't even see me, totaling my new bike with 3 miles on it and fracturing my ankle in six places.

In April I chose a Can-Am SPYDER and am happy as a clam. More oomph and VISABILITY and I don't need to reach the ground! At 76 I'm going strong! Barbara

Jul 31, 2012
If you're short in stature and a beginner --
by: Anonymous

I am 5' and I weigh 100 lbs....I started riding on a Honda Rebel.no problems, I graduated to a 750 Spirit and still have no problems flat-footing. Not sure I will be attempting it @ 72 but at 57 I am still doing OK. Glad you found a compromise that worked for you.....

Mar 14, 2012
Get Life! even if you're short
by: Anonymous

Hi Deb, You and I agree on one thing for certain and it's one of my favorite sayings -- If you're not the lead dog the view never changes! Who wants to spend life looking at the back of a helmet! So glad you have joined the leagues of we single riders! YEA!!! Go Get Life!

Feb 26, 2012
Love to ride!
by: Deb

I rode behind my husband for 30 years until it became possible to get a trike. I am 5'4" so I was always afraid I couldn't hold up 2 wheels. I'm not into pain! Anyway, we had our Yamaha Venture triked and I got my license in January. I am 52 and expecting my first grandchild. I can't get enough riding in. If the weather would cooperate I would ride every day! I may try 2 wheels later on down the road but for now the trike is just as exciting as 2 wheels have ever been for the last 30 years on the back, but now I can ride beside my husband instead of behind.

Feb 03, 2012
If you 're short in stature .......
by: Barbara

love your attitude.........JUST GO!!!
So much of life is attitude!

Feb 03, 2012
Scooter vs. motorcycle
by: Red menace

To weigh in from the scooter-world; we already have to endure silliness from men who don't think a scooter is a "real" bike. If it's got two wheels and makes you happy, who the heck cares! My big scoot is heavier and harder to ride than my SV650 and guess which one holds 3 bags of groceries?
7 of us took scoots across the country summer before last, the smallest was a genuine Vespa 250 (yes, she is an amazing rider). It proves you don't need a behemoth bike to get you where you want to go. Just go.
See y'all on the road,just remember to protect those noggins!

Jan 17, 2012
Atta girl!!!!
by: Anonymous

Getting a new scooter after such an experience, given all the other factors involved, shows AMAZING strength and love of living on your part! Way to go! Get well and enjoy your trip! I admire your spirit. SO impressed.

Nov 28, 2011
P.S. Too short
by: Barbara

P.S.To comment below........
Had I been riding a 650 motorcycle instead of a 650 scooter configuration I most probably would have lost my leg instead of just fractures. The gal hit me so hard it knocked the front bumper off her car. Better total the motorcycle instead of ME!

Nov 27, 2011
Too short?
by: Barbara

Thanks for your reply! I actually believe the instructor did me a great favor in suggesting the scooter because the motorcycle I was riding was much heavier than the Rebel. I'm not only 75, I'm size 2 and have taken delivery this week on my new Burgman 650 which I chose over the Spyder. It's 658 lbs, has the oomph I want for a trip West and I can manage it with ease. I bought a new one three weeks ago which was totaled 15minutes later with only 3 miles on it by a gal who ran a red light and T-boned me. After three weeks of being horizontal 23/7 I shall begin again once the cast comes off --- the second brand new one was delivered 5days ago! YEA!!!
Live ALIVE and Keep Your Shoe Laces Tied!

Nov 27, 2011
too short?
by: Anonymous

I am just under 60" and ride a Honda Rebel. Albeit not the most powerful bike but great for beginner. I can easily put both feet on the ground. Your instructor was wrong to tell you such a thing. I think he was a poor instructor to have de-motivated you in such a way. I was worried I was too old to learn a new trick (53) but the instructor said he taught people a lot older.

Oct 28, 2011
by: Barbara

Thanks Denise! I had my first when I was 14 then life intervened! Looking at a Spyder to ride across country next summer -- my Burgman 400 isn't right for that and I'm too short for most else. Just for fun you could check out my website www.EscapadesbyB.com B

Oct 26, 2011
Good for you!
by: Denise

I'm so impressed with you Barbara! I think that it's so great that mature ladies are riding bikes and finding what fits them and what they like. I'm 57, 5'3" and just bought my first motorcycle again since I was 23. I have a sport bike and love it, but anything you ride, anything you enjoy, is perfect for you! Have fun ladies!

Oct 25, 2011
by: barbara

Thanks, Anonymous, for your wisdom and hints. I'm a long way from Daytona but will definitely check into it! BB

Oct 25, 2011
check out this
by: Anonymous

There is a motorcycle place in Daytona, Fl that has motorcycles for women. They fit the bike to you. The lady that owns the shop is about 5' also. I haven't been there yet but i REALLLLLY want to go. Check it out at www.roarmotorcycles.com

Oct 24, 2011
Sister In Law is 5'0" and rides huge HD
by: Anonymous

My sister in law rides an 880 pound full bagger that is an HD. She had a custom seat put on it that is more narrow, which brings her legs closer together on the bike. She also has always had a "lowering kit" done on them. She is still on the balls of her feet when stopped, but she had ridden now for 20 years, so she is okay with that. She has always had her bikes done this way. Up until this last bike, she has been able to be flat footed.

Oct 24, 2011
by: Barbara

Thanks Suzanne for your reply! My dream would be a smaller version of the Gold Wing which looks more comfortable for long distance. Have never heard anyone say a bike can be lowered but it's worth asking. A trike would be doable but somehow unappealing; perhaps if I was riding West I should consider it, however. BB

Oct 23, 2011
Ride your ride
by: Susanne

Hey Barbara
I can completely understand the height issue. I'm 5'1 and finding a bike to fit is very difficult. A lot of motorcycles can be lowered safely to allow for a shorter rider. I had my Ninja650 lowered one inch and it made a huge difference. Please don't beat yourself up over dropping a bike. We have all done it before. But by the same token if you feel more comfortable on the Burgman then by all means enjoy it. It's a nice scooter. It really isn't important what you ride but that you ride and you do so safely.

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