My first bike! suggestions for a 5'2 130lb female?

Hey y'all, so I grew up riding on the back of my dads Harley. I always said as soon as I was old enough I would get my endorsement. Well here I am, 23 years old, and still dont have it. I think it's time for that to change ! I've been looking up good starter bikes for females. I always thought i'd want a cruiser over a sport bike but once I really began looking i've seen a lot of people recommending a Kawasaki ninja 250R as a good starter bike for females. I feel like sport bikes are lighter than cruisers and i'm pretty small anyway. I don't want something too heavy for my first bike. And obviously not something too tall. Any input on the ninja 250R or any other bikes recommended?



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Feb 28, 2015
Honda Girl
by: Anonymous

I too started on a Rebel for 3 years. I'm 5''1" and 112 lbs. I began to ride with groups this past summer and my Rebel had a heck of a time keeping up. I just bought a Shadow Phantom. It's a 750cc and weighs about 550 lbs., about 200 more than the Rebel . The Shadow allows me to stop and keep both feet flat on the ground. Will I be able to pick her up if she is dropped? Probably not. Could I have picked up the Rebel? Maybe. The women who ride Harley's most likely don't either, but they ride them. There are YouTube videos to show you how to pick up a bike.
Safe riding.

I'd love to know what you decided on!

Jan 07, 2015
For My First Bike
by: Anonymousm

I would suggest something like the suzuki 650 or other metrics. My reason are if you have even a little experience you might doon outgrow the 250 as I did. I found there was about 25-50 lbs difference in weight between the two The bikes were almost identical size wise. I didn't notice thT much difference in the frames, but ther was more power there. The bike won't go any faster than you let it Sooo.. Not much difference in price+ weight about the same + you won't out grow so soon , if at all sounds like a winner to me. I wish I had done this. I don't think the 650 is to big for a beginner, but that is just my opinion. Good luck with your new bike. You have a lot of good advice from your Sisters.

Oct 16, 2014
start small
by: Anonymous

I like Indians. They're great bikes, however, do not buy an Indian Scout as a first bike. Just because a bike is low doesn't mean it's suitable for a beginner to ride on or even someone of intermediate experience. I know Polaris is pushing it as a beginner bike, but it is not a beginner bike. Remember, they're relatively new to making Indians and want to sell bikes. They're not going to be too concerned it you learn to ride it well. Don't let a company's desire to make money get in the way of your learning to ride well.

I just took a Scout out along with the Vintage and Chief. What a blast. Yet during those demo rides, I saw some incredibly bad riders. I see them on the road as well. They're the lane splitters, the ones who don't know their limits of their bikes or themselves, who go too fast in inappropriate places, too slow in others, who are rude and inconsiderate of others on the road, who ride too close to other riders, who have to ride in a gang, who worry about what others think instead of riding within their abilities and "have to lay it down" because they never learned to ride properly. They didn't learn to ride properly because their egos got in the way and they started out on something that was too big for them.

I've been riding since 1977, have taught others to ride over the years, have seen and heard a lot. My advice is start small with something ranging from 100cc (if you can still find some of the old two strokes- two strokes last for decades) to 250cc. It can be a very used old rat, but a rat that still runs well and is street legal. You won't spend much on it and you'll be able to sell it for pretty much what you paid. If it falls over, you won't cry either.

It won't last you more than a summer and that's all you need it for. It's to teach you how to ride the hell out of it, to get really good at motorcycling. If you try doing that with a big engine, you're going to be so intimidated by the power, you won't be able to learn all the things you need to learn well. It's just too much bike to use as your learning tool. Start small and you will end up being a competent rider. You won't have to worry about outlandish speeds while you build basic skills. There's a lot more to learning to ride well than turning a throttle. A small engine bike is light, so even if you're short, can only put one foot down at a time when at a standstill, you'll be able to ride it. Do your basic parking lot maneuvers first. Once you have those down, ride, ride, ride. And do us all a favor: Bikes and booze don't mix. You'll live longer and keep more of your parts!

You'll be doing a lot of parking lot maneuvers to learn the limits of the bike and yourself. And yes, you'll outgrow it quickly, but that's the point. You ride that thing and learn how to use every part of it well, until it's like a second skin and you don't even need to think about it. You know how to use every control without looking, how to shift by feel and sound, which brakes to use for which situation, how to ride in rain and sun, how to do basic upkeep, when to use speed and when to go slowly, how to scan for dangers on the road, to anticipate others' moves so you''ll already have a plan when they do that stupid move etc. When you reach that point you're ready for something bigger in the mid-size range, say 400 to 650. Then learn that one, and know it well. If you decide to go bigger, do it when you feel you've outgrown the bike. People who start out on large engine bikes become lousy bikers. I've seen it over and over. They don't know themselves and they don't know their bike. Don't be one of them.

Parking lot maneuvers to learn: letting the clutch in and out while in first gear, going for about a half mile or so or until you really get where that go forward/disengage point is. You need to know this to take off at intersections after stopping, on uphill starts, starting from uneven terrain. Learn how your brakes work, front only, then rear only then front and rear together at different speeds. You;ll learn how your bike works under each type of braking. Read about braking in motorcycling publications. Makes low circles of different sizes -wide, medium, tight - while keeping your feet on the pegs, finally getting low to the point where you scrape something and then keep going around in a circle while you scrape. Some bikes won't scrape anything, and doing this will tell you a lot about how your bike operates in a corner, how low you can go and how you feel at various heights. You need to know these things to corner competently. Go up and down through the gears to get an idea of the speed range you get out of each gear. Stuffing it into a corner isn't the time to be learning how your bike works. Practice in a parking lot first or a state park or the like, where you won't encounter traffic. Learn to come to neutral as you coast to a stop letting the clutch out slowly to see if it starts to take off, and if not, and to check you're actually in it by rolling the bike back and forth, to see if it rolls freely. Make figure 8s. After you experiment with using front only, rear only , front and rear brakes together and feel comfortable in knowing how your bike responds, get into a tall gear at speed and use both brakes together hard to learn how much room you need to make a powerful emergency stop. You may never need it, but if you do, that knowledge is in you. Learn how to make a safety check before you ride and do it every time: tire pressures, gas, oil, lights, brakes. cables, leaks, chain adjustment, wheels. Ask a mechanic or competent motorcycle friend who does their own maintenance to show you how to adjust your chain and what to check for so you don't end up with a nasty surprise like your back wheel falling off because you forgot to tighten the nut. Practice hand signals, good to know if your blinkers blink out and to catch the attention of drivers who like to pretend bikers don't exist or worse, drivers who are texting. Ride as if everyone is out to get you and practice making a plan for various situations so you;ll be ready. Avoid the gang mentality where you see big group rides in which riders are in dangerously close proximity and prevent cars and other road users from being able to enter traffic. (And bikers wonder why car drivers don't like them???!!) Ride within your limits. If your friends are going faster than is comfortable for you, stay within your abilities. Your skills will improve with practice. Read up on motorcycling or check out some how to ride dvds. Wear protective gear. You're going a whole lot faster than a bicycle and road rash isn't pretty. Good luck and happy trails.

Oct 09, 2014
A bit cramped
by: Anonymous

I too bought a Honda Rebel 250 and learned to ride on it,but when I took my test we rode Suzuki 250's.Mybe it was just me ,but I do believe you have more leg room on other 250's. I felt a little more comfortable with the extra leg room. Is this my imagination?

Sep 21, 2014
Honda Rebel
by: Anonymous

I started on a Honda Rebel 450 but after 2 years bought a brand new Honda Rebel 250---I too am 5'2 and the 250 was perfect. I am very comfortable riding and handleing it. I have dropped it once and was happy I could pick it up myself.

Sep 18, 2014
starter bike for shorter stature
by: Nana

I just read an article about the Indian Scout. It's a very lightweight bike that is made for someone with a shorter inseam. However, the price might be a bit much starting out at around $12,000.

Harley Davidson is making some new 500 and 750 ccs that seem to be a good fit and the pricing on them is around 7 to $8,000.

I started out on a used Suzuki Boulevard C50 - I'm 5'3". I dropped it a few times, but since it was a used bike, it didn't hurt my heart as much as dropping a brand new bike.

Now I ride a Victory Kingpin Low - it's a cruiser. I got it very gently used and it's been the BEST bike for me. I outfitted it for longer rides (windshield/saddlebags). The longest ride I've taken on it was just under 4,000 miles in 7 days. And I'm ready to do it again. It has a lot of power, but the low center of gravity makes it a dream to operate.

Make sure you test ride any bikes you are thinking of buying. You just won't know until you get it out on the road for either city driving or highway driving. Good luck!

Sep 16, 2014
Rebel is a great starter bike
by: Anonymous

I started in the Honda Rebel. It is easy to handle, light weight, and confidence inspiring. Plus you can pick up a used one for cheap and when you are ready to sell it for a bigger bike you will probably get your money back.

It would definitely work for you. Good luck in your new journey as a biker chick! :)

Sep 15, 2014
Check out GearChic
by: Christina

Check out http://gearchic.com/ - Joanne is a short chick and she's covered this topic on her blog a couple of times

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