Is is time to give up and sell it?

Need some womanly advice.

I was so confident, that I bought a brand new HD Sporty, before I took my riding course. Did really well on the little Buell, and passed test.

Then, I hopped on my new bike, got into three really bad corners (covered with gravel) and you guessed it..bike went one direction and I coasted down the road on my belly.

That was two years ago, and I still cannot get up the courage to ride it. Hubby says it's time to sell it -- is he right?

Comments for Is is time to give up and sell it?

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Oct 24, 2011
by: Anonymous

Every time I have ever made the comment that I find the Sportsters top heavy, some man has told me I don't know what I am talking about. As an experienced rider, I believe I know what works for me. My husband rides one and even he finds the bike to be top heavy for his liking. I think I would like the new, lower version but I have heard story after story of women getting the Sportster as their first bike, spilling almost right away and never getting back on.

Oct 24, 2011
Top Heavy Sporty's
by: Anonymous

HD sportys are big bikes. They are also "top heavy". Just compare them with other models in the 800cc to 900cc range. The weight is the same or more on the sporty's and the wheelbase is shorty. Luckily, HD's hold their value. I say: sell it and buy yourself a used bike that fits you and try again. Take another class, just to get yourself reacclimated.

Aug 07, 2011
Try again
by: Minimom

Some good advice here! I'm not sure how much is involved in the US courses but I'd certainly try again with a smaller bike to gain confidence and road experience. Do you have any proper motorbike clubs nearby as you could join one and they often have newbie ride out nights where the more experienced will accompany us newbies, take the pace a bit slower and offer constructive advice on riding style. Get someone to ride ahead of you as you can see what they are doing and how they are handling the turns (preferably a responsible rider not a speed fiend!)

You can do it girl, just slow the pace a bit :)

Jul 18, 2011
Go Gradually
by: Anonymous

So sorry to hear you fell! We all know that is scary and that thumping in your chest is familiar to everyone at some point in time. The others are right though, if you want to keep riding the best way will be to just start back into it. The longer you avoid it the scarier it will become in your mind. Then when you avoid it, it makes some of the anxiety die down so you feel better for a bit (but never really face your fear). It is like any other fear or phobia: face it slowly and show yourself that it is now safe. Try small rides in empty parking lots to regain your confidence. Once you feel comfortable with that, graduate to an empty road, etc. The longer you avoid it, the scarier it will become. If you want to keep riding, slowly face your anxieties and they will disappear!

Jul 15, 2011
Rider Coach!
by: Anonymous

Someone just posted anonymous that they are a rider coach.

Gosh to have one of those would be a blessing. Where can one find a rider coach? Is there a web site for each state. Hate to ask another question with in this thread. Sorry.

Info for all would be nice.



Jul 15, 2011
Top Heavy Sporty
by: Anonymous

Nonsense- the sportster body style is very similar to several other bikes and no one ever says they are top heavy. The problem is NOT with the bike- it is the rider who does not have BALANCE- get a smaller bike and work on balance drills at slow speed. once you can control and maneuver a bike at a walking pace and steer up to 95 % you will no longer have problems with your sporty! There are no shortcuts when riding- no one can wave a magic wand and make you a good rider- you have to put in the time and actually develop your skill sets correctly. If you can't ride a sporty well, you will not be able to ride any other bike well either. I am a ride coach and have had numerous ladies with sporties who come to me saying the exact same thing- after I get them on a Rebel and help them develop true balance they go back to their bikes and love them.

Jul 07, 2011
Continue to Ride
by: Anonymous

Check out www.cycle-ergo.com This is a motorcycle simulator easy to see what bike fits your body type.

Some good stories on womenridersnow.com
There is a article by a female psychologist about the 2 kinds of riders the one that have fallen and the ones that will.

This is a good site with some good stories.
There is a story of a lady who rode 8,000 miles in her first year of riding and never went any further than 10 miles away from her home. LOL. It goes to show you different learning curves for different people.

I wish you luck and do get David Hough's book the Proficient Motorcyclist. It is very helpful.

Take Care


Jul 06, 2011
Many Thanks
by: Anonymous

Really appreciate all of you taking the time to respond to my dilemma.

All excellent advice. May do some shopping for something a little smaller and less intimidating.

Again, a huge THANK YOU!

Jul 06, 2011
by: Cindy

After a stellar 1st season of over 2500 miles, my second summer was short-lived after dumping my bike 4 times in the course of one weekend. Needless to say, I also suffered from a confidence issue. I simply decided that this is a new season, and I need get out there and just ride. That's what I'm doing, and feeling so much more confident. My prior spills have taught me about the pitfalls of riding, and how to keep myself safe.

Get back on that horse. Have someone take you to a large empty parking lot where you can practice all your skills. And wear your appropriate safety gear. If after one more try, you are still uncomfortable, selling it might be the answer. It's worth another try- I did! May the roads be kind to you!

Jul 04, 2011
Is it time?
by: Mahnah

I am sorry you fell and completely understand your feelings. I attempted to learn years ago, bad teacher and ending up falling on my Suzuki 250 went over handlebars and broke my pelvis. Took about 10 years before I could get on the back of a bike because I didn't get right back on. Now after riding on the back I decided to do it right took the class and got my license. I bought a new Sporty low rider and love her! She fits me well. I have however went down twice in the last 3 days on my dang driveway which is dirt and gravel and have had some fear and confidence issues.

Get on her somewhere level and see if you feel like a pair, good fit if not trade or sell her and get something you love and feels right.

Don't give up just take things slow and ride at your level which is really cautious and that is not a bad thing.

Jul 04, 2011
Try a 2011 Sportster SuperLow
by: Caroline

I have only ever had a 2011 SuperLow and love, love, love it!! I am 5'3 and this bike is a perfect fit for my frame. I feel very confident ( not cocky) on my bike. This is my first bike and I will celebrate my 1st year as a motorcyclist in August. With my husband, I have taken 2 big road trips and ride every weekend and evening (after work), this is the key to knowing your bike and how she handles. The only way to truly see that this is right for you is to persevere with your riding, and then see if the fear goes away...you should absolutely LOVE the thought of going for a ride.

Some modifications may need to take place in order that you fit the bike properly (if you plan to keep it). I have seen huge positive changes having tweaked some things on mine :)

Let us know how it goes...

See you in the curves,


Jul 03, 2011
Buell & HD are Totally Different :)
by: kscanuck785

1st, I'm sorry your dropped your bike, but most of us did, so it's almost "good, now that's outta way"...lol

I started on a Ninja 250, did my class on it, then fell in love with a Buell Blast, moved up to a ninja 500 and now I have a vintage GPZ 550.

The Buell Blast is 360 lbs and HD Sportster is about 550-600 lbs..that is a HUGE difference, specially for a beginner. I say KEEP the HD but go on craigslist, find an OLD & Smaller bike for less than $1000, (old Honda CB or older Kawasaki KZ) one that you won't be worried about damaging too much and learn on it. Chances are someone you know will take it from your hands later on as a project bike...lol

Jul 02, 2011
Get Back On Something
by: Lois

I also had an accident coming around a curve gravel in the road I ended up sliding down the road and my bike flipped over completely. All I got were skinned knees my bike was in the shop for 3 months awaiting parts. I was so glad I had another bike to ride while my Guzzi was being fixed. The old adage you gotta get right back on the horse is true, the longer you wait the harder it gets. Trade in the sporty get something smaller for a while who knows you may never want a big bike again, the great thing is there are hundreds of bikes out there take a look around and get what makes you comfortable you'll know it when you see it. I like to look by myself no husband, tell the salesman you'll get him when you need him and just take your time and look at everything sit on everything when your ready ask questions when you find one then bring the husband and show him what YOU want. Just my 2 cents

Jul 02, 2011
Bike sell or not.......
by: Anonymous

As an old biker friend of mine said there is a reason they don't teach you on those big hogs for beginning class.

He also said there are 2 types of bikers those that have fallen and drop their bikes and those that will.

Words of wisdom from an old biker who started on a very slow old bike and has been riding for 42 years. His hog was a goal not instant gratification. He worked long and hard for that hog and learned on old used bikes and took every twistie and hill he could find and practiced until he felt comfortable.

Talk to people join Women on Wheels and get some local advise.

Sorry that you fell and hope that all is well.

Jul 02, 2011
by: Sharon Turner

Sportsters have a high center of gravity that make them top heavy. Your story of spilling on them is a common one for women. We just don't have the same level of upper body strength as men do but for some reason the common misconception is that it is a good bike for women.

Women need a bike with a lower center of gravity so that we can use our legs more. Sell the Sportster and get one that has a lower seat. Mine is 25 inches and it works very well for me.

Jul 01, 2011
Confidence and Passion to Ride
by: Lori

I think it depends on how much you want to ride and your confidence level. Six year ago I took the course with a friend of mine, she is a very confident person, and she started on a 1300 Honda VTX, I started on a Honda Shadow 600, although maybe not as confident of a person as she, I had the passion to ride and to ride well (I am now riding a Heritage Softail and love it!). Just from my impression, if I were you, if you can't find the courage to get back on the Sportster, trade it in on a smaller bike and gain your skill and confidence back. I had a 1200 Custom Sportster and I found it to be top heavy also. I gained my confidence and skill on the Honda Shadow - it only took less than a year before I traded it in though. Good luck.. hope you get back on.

Jul 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

Correct me if I am wrong, but a Buell is different then HD Sportster..I started with an 883 Sportster Hugger ..Year 02..

I did have trouble with dropping her in the beginning..I dropped her quite a bit.

I have been riding for two years now,and I went down one time on a cul de sac.

I was nervous to get back on but determined to do it! I felt it was like a horse, if you get bucked off, you get back on! Because if you don't you will have that fear.

it depends on you how much you want it.There were times I almost threw in the towel but I had to ride!!

Now when I look back at the beginning, some people would say. NO! You are not riding a sportster that is to much bike for a beginner! You need a smaller bike to start.

Well my opinion is, you get the bike you want to ride...If I could go back in time, I would of gotten a softail from the beginning.That is what I am wanting now..I wish I could find someone to trade with, I would. But unlikely to find someone to trade a softail for a sporty.

She has been good for me.

I ride now since the weather is nice about 500 miles miles a week and it's an awesome ride going threw twisties and then town and freeway, plus highway. Two years ago I would never be thinking I would be riding like this..I also ride solo. Please never let anyone push you beyond where you feel comfortable!

My teacher at class told me the sporty was top heavy, but she is all I know right now, until I can get my softtail! Ride safe.

Jul 01, 2011
Baby Steps
by: Anonymous

Even my husband started with a 250cc bike after he passed his course. Practiced and practiced until he felt comfortable. Then he purchased a 750cc bike . One of my friends she started on Yes a Suzuki 125 cc (in which I practiced on), graduated to a 250cc and then she bought a HD Soft tail. Her husband told her not to buy a sportster due to the problems with the center of gravity.

She then proceed to go to Sturgis and then a cross country trip on her HD. I think baby steps is the way to go. Confidence in riding and practicing. Get David Hough's Book about motorcycling.

Try some other bikes. Get a used smaller one and go from there that is if you really want to ride.
Some people learn at different paces a HD was not right for you at this time. Myself I ride a side car due to physical stuff. I am now ready for a different side car that has more power. I like riding off road and taking camping gear. It took me a while to manage turns and highways. Be kind to yourself and try again with a small more manageable bike for now. Then graduate.

Just my 2 cents.

Keep the shinny side up.


Jul 01, 2011
Up to You
by: Wanda

First, I am so sorry you fell. I'm glad you're all right. That is a scary thing to have to overcome. With regards to the bike, the decision is yours. I agree with the previous post that trading would be a good way to go. Or, you could sell it and use the money to purchase a better bike for you. A Sporty is not the easiest bike to ride, and it does have a high center of gravity. Research other bikes: BMW G650 GS, Triumph Bonneville, Yamaha TW200 . . . . the list goes on of bikes that are easier to ride than the Sporty. You have to ask yourself if riding is something you really want to do. Do you enjoy it? Is it your passion? There are obvious risks that go along with riding. You should do everything you can to be as safe as you can. You did good by taking the MSF course. Do you need a refresher course, since you've been away from riding for so long? Wear all your safety gear. Get a bike that fits you physically that you feel comfortable on. If riding is not for you, then move on to a different hobby. Just write down all the options of what you could do, and then pick the one that gives you the least feeling of resistance inside. You will know the right decision for you.

Jul 01, 2011
Trade it!
by: Anonymous

I would trade it. The Sportster is a difficult bike for a beginner as it has a high center of gravity. You may find that a bike with a lower center of gravity is much easier to handle.

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