My First Bike!

by Rene L.
(Oakley, CA, USA)

Me & My Suzuki the First Day!

Me & My Suzuki the First Day!

Last year, almost on a whim, I decided to learn to ride. My boyfriend is a huge motorcycle junkie with a V-Rod. I was fine riding two up with him as long as we stuck to surface streets. I was way too chicken to ride with him on freeways which meant that I got left out of most of the fun of his nice long club rides and over nighters. I finally decided that if I knew how to ride myself I could conquer my fear of riding on the freeway with him. I never imagined that I would want to ride myself, until after my first day on a bike in my MSF class. It was such an exciting experience. I had to take the class 3 times, yes count em, three times before I passed the test, but pass I did. Then I had a Motorcycle license and no bike - no way was I even going to consider mounting up on the front of that big V-Rod! So my boyfriend and I set out in search of an appropriate bike. We thought it needed to be more than the little Rebel's in the class, be something I would be comfortable handling as I continue to practice getting to be a better rider, but not something that I would outgrow too fast. We searched and searched until I found my Suzuki Boulevard S-40. I'm kind of a girly girl so it was a bonus that the color I chose, which they market as being "red", is really a nice bright fuschia-pink. I love my little bike and am so happy that I decided to ride. I still enjoy riding two-up with my boyfriend, and will be taking my first long club ride with him next month, but it is sooo nice to also be able to ride my own. Oh BTW, I learned to ride at the young age of 52! Never too late!

Comments for My First Bike!

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Sep 08, 2009
by: Rene L.

Hi Jonna,

Congrats on your new bike and good for you for figuring out that with a bike that was manageable for you, you could indeed ride. I love my little S-40 and it sounds like you are enjoying yours too.

I'm also writing in hopes that Tammy from Brentwood will see this post. Sorry for the delay, but if you are still interested, would like to hear from you so we can get together and ride sometime.


Sep 07, 2009
Suzuki Boulevard S40
by: Jonna

Hi Rene! We have twin bikes! Mine is actually my second bike although I'm a new rider. My husband is a Harley guy & I've been riding on the back of his bike for the past 18 years. He first got me a Harley Sportster 1200R. He started taking me to a parking lot to practice & after dropping it twice and lurching when I started to take off I lost confidence and gave up. Then my son wanted to learn so we took him to the Motorcycle safety classes and after watching him and the others I realized what my problem was. My bike was just too big for me! I told my husband & when the class was over we went looking at bikes. When I saw that bike I fell in love. Well Hubby bought it & brought it home and the first time I got on it I actually took off no problem! My son says I only wanted it for the color but I tell him it's the color that makes it easy for me to ride! My son by the way has my husband's old Harley and we are really enjoying going riding togther as a family.

Jun 30, 2009
Wanna Ride?
by: Tammy

Hi Rene, I'm also a new rider - just down the road from you in Brentwood. I have a Rebel and have been looking for other new riders in the area to ride with. Feel free to email me if you're interested in meeting up sometime! I'm at gogirltmc@gmail.com. Congratulations to you! Your bike is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Jun 23, 2009
My First Bike
by: Cindy

I logged on to this site to see if there were other women out there that felt remotely like I do. I am 51, took my class this weekend and passed, barely. Dropped the bike on me in class testing "emergency braking" in the rain. Got back up and on and passed the testing portion. I know I need to practice, and have a GORGEOUS Sportster 1200 sitting in the garage waiting to go out with my husband...any advice? The roads seems scarier than a parking lot, the highways, just seem insurmountable.

You have all given me the courage to get out there! Thank you!

Jun 15, 2009
Way to Go!
by: Contessa

Hey! I loved reading your story. So glad you persisted. I'm a 42 year old newlywed(9 wonderful days!). My new husband was very supportive of me taking the MSF class last month and I passed the test. A week later, I bought my 2006 Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Low. I've had it for 3 weeks now and have logged over 600 miles so far. My husband is very encouraging as my "coach". We get the looks cruising together, with him on his slick, preppy Ducati sport/touring bike and me on my little, low slung Harley. We have such a good time together. Taking the bikes makes mundane errands fun. Glad to see so many grown up ladies getting off the back and taking the grips into their own hands!

Jun 10, 2009
You Are Me!!
by: Chrisgea

So fun to read your story. I am 57. This is my third summer, but I had to take the class two times. My first ride on the expressway scared the you know what out of me. And on the return ride I got clobbered with something really big. But my husband was following me in the car. So, just last week I wanted to take a ride on my bike but it was all expressway. Just like you, I decided, if I was ever going to go any distance with other riders, I'd better bite the bullet. So I did!! It was scary, but way better then the first time. All in all, I'm loving it. I started riding the same year I became a grandma. I love your bike! So far, I'm sharing with my husband and my son. We have a very old 1987 Virago 1100. It's old but nice.

Jun 01, 2009
It's No Sportbike, But Spunky
by: Rene L.


Well, my bike is definitely not a sportbike, but it is pretty spunky. My boyfriend, who is a die-hard Harley guy was my consultant when I was looking to buy. He suggested it because it was powerful enough that I won't easily out grow it and believed that it would be able to keep up if I was out riding in a group. He rode it home when I picked it up from the dealer and gave it a thumbs up.

Jun 01, 2009
Your Bike
by: Jackie T

I saw this bike over the weekend at a hotel I was staying at, you're right it's gorgeous. Is it 650cc and Im' a veteran rider (sports bikes) this would be my first cruiser; do you think it would be to slow?

May 31, 2009
Hang in there!
by: Rene L.

Hi Marion,

Oh, I'm sorry to hear your news, but am very happy to hear that you are going to keep trying. Your plan to get in a little practice in the mean time is a really good one. Remember I took the practical portion of the class 3 times (total of 6 days on the bike). Each day after class I wished I had a bike that I could practice on. Practice makes such a difference, as evidenced by the fact that after getting in more practice, via the extra days in class, I passed, and passed with a pretty good score. I know you can do it. Keep me posted! Oh, also, try to have some fun. I realized after I finally passed that I was so focused on the instructors and stressed out about each little step, that it was not until the last time I took the class that I started to enjoy being on the bike, lol. You will be getting your license in no time : ).


May 31, 2009
I Failed!
by: Marion

Hi Rene....well I failed....but I haven't given up! I will keep retrying and retaking the test until I pass. Can't believe how physically grueling this has been. My boyfriend has offered to let me practice on his bike and I will retake the class, so I hope in a few weeks time I will have more positive new for you.

May 31, 2009
You can do it!
by: Rene L.

Hi Marion,

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I wish you all the best tomorrow. I'm sure you will do fine. Just keep your head up and stay determined.

Keep us posted on your progress!


May 30, 2009
Thank You...
by: Marion

Rene...Hello from Toronto Canada! I am a 47 yr old female who has lived a very safe life...up to now. I just took the first of a two day motorcycle safety course today and it was both exciting and scary! All day my thoughts went from "This is so much fun. I can do this." to "What the heck and I doing? Am I crazy? I can't do this!"

I just stumbled upon this website and read your story and you have re-inspired me...so THANK YOU! I will think about you tomorrow, Rene, and (fingers crossed) will pass the test. And as you said, if I fail, well I can always retake the class and test. Good luck to you and stay safe.

May 19, 2009
Thanks to All
by: Rene L.

Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderfully encouraging feedback. I am so glad I found this forum. I just love it!


May 19, 2009
Great Job!
by: Lynn

Isn't it empowering to finally get your license and a new motorcycle?! This past year they started a 4 hour beginners riding lesson for people who wanted a head start. They could take the riding lesson and then decide if they wanted to sign up for the class. I think it was an excellent idea and has probably helped people pass on the first try now.

Very pretty motorcycle for a pretty lady. Ride on!

May 13, 2009
Way to go!!
by: Tracy

I got my first bike at the age of 43 (Kawaski Vulcan 500)! I had ridden dirt bikes as a kid but had never been on the road, other as a passenger, it was scary at first however it did not take long to become confident! My husband and I ride together and what a blessing to be able to share that same passion with him! Hope you enjoy you bike for years to come!!

May 11, 2009
by: Anonymous

Congratulations on your nice ride !! I just took a MSF last weekend and what an experience it was! Having never been on a motorcycle, it was a exciting and nerve-racking to be attempting to ride one. Being a small & tiny girl, I found it extremely difficult to handle my bike. The fact that I kept falling numerous times didn't help either. At the end of the weekend, everybody was surprised that I stuck it out in spite of the many problems. I didn't pass the test, but someday, just like you, i hope too. Your story is a great inspiration!

Good Luck & Happy Riding!

May 10, 2009
No Worries About the Time it Takes to Pass
by: Anonymous

Hi Kid,

After the 10 minutes it took for me to get over being embarrassed at having been asked to leave for the day the second day on the bikes in class, I decided that it was all about perspective.

Since there was no charge for re-taking the class the second and 3rd times, I decided that I would take whatever time I needed to pass the class. I also decided to think of the additional days on the bike in class as more time to practice.

Since I did not have my own bike at that time, it made perfect sense to me and significantly relieved the pressure I felt to pass the class. The second time around, I just missed passing the test, but just going through the entire test was good preparation and practice for the next time around and low and behold that time I did in fact pass. So, the moral of my story was that ultimately, the thing that mattered most was that I not give up. I didn't and now I am a proud licensed motorcycle rider and proud owner of my first shiny brand new bike. Hang in there.

May 08, 2009
Way to Go!
by: new kid crash

I'm hoping it doesn't take me 3x's for the course work. I failed by five points on the first try. I've got my bike Honda Shadow 600VLX....my husband is scared to death I'm going to get hurt. He just wants me to stay on the back of his bike. Glad yours is happy to see you ride your own. I'll be 49 this year, so your showing me there is time for me to enjoy the roads for myself. Be safe and have fun.

May 05, 2009
Ride Like the Wind
by: Carolyn

Congratulations on another goal met. Now you can "ride like the wind", Kitty :-) (get it?)

May 05, 2009
Love It!
by: Whammi

Well well well, don't you look cute on bike!

When my hubby and I get ours we will go on a long ride with you (unless I chicken out, ha).


May 05, 2009
Hot Mama!!
by: Joelle

Rene`, I am so happy for you!! You give all women strength and encouragement to conquer all their fears.

You have to take me and Lauren for a ride along the coast!!!


May 05, 2009
My First Bike
by: uwishtoo

I know what you mean about the highways - I also stayed on the surface streets from July til December when I went on an escort for a welcome home with the Patriot Guard and I took the bike this time since it was all surface streets. After the welcome home a friend and I were leaving and making plans on going to his post or mine for a soda (American Legion post) and he said oh that's right you won't go on the highways. I said well, as long as I know you are next to me I will go. So off we went - I don't take surface streets since unless I absolutely have to

Ride Safe

Sue A

May 05, 2009
by: Anonymous

What a beautiful picture on your shiny ride. I'm inspired, looks good for you...when I'm ready to buy it will be at the top of my list...peace
LKS Vermont

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