My response to a frequently asked question: "Which bike is right for me?"

by Cindy

As I look through this site, this seems to be a recurrent theme. Either someone is asking in search of that perfect 1st bike, or she is not completely comfortable on her current ride. I have a couple of observations that may help someone.

I have been on two wheels for just 5 years, and am on my second bike. My first was a Kawasaki Vulcan 500, which is often noted as a good beginner bike. For me, it wasn't. It always felt too "verticle" and top heavy to me. Once I got going, she was OK, but at slow speeds I had a hard time with the wabble. I also felt a little awkward when cornering, but being a new rider, I blamed myself for these uneasy feelings.

After three seasons of riding that bike and feeling uncomfortable, I took the advise of a friend who is of a similar build to me (short- 5'2" and stocky- around 200 lbs) and went to a regional dealership with hundreds of used bikes in stock. I sat on lots and lots of bikes, picking them up off the stands to get a feel for their verticle weight.

I found my bike right there: Suzuki VL 800 Volusia (mine is a 2003 with very few miles that I later found from a private seller). The current version in production is the Suzuki c50 Boulevard- same bike, just newer. I found the bike for me! She lifts easily from the stand (more easily than my Vulcan 500 did), and is a lot more stable at slower speeds, wonderful maneuverability, and plenty of pep. I have lowered her so that I can comfortably flat-foot both feet at once, and in doing so, I am feeling much steadier and secure in crawling bumper-to-bumper traffic.

My advise: No-one can tell you what the best bike for you is, but if you take the time to research (in person) various models, and ask lots of questions to friends and knowledgable sales people, you will find the right bike for you- the bike that is most comfortable and safe for you... And it is different for everyone.

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