New Rider Looking for Much Needed Info

by RedHoney B

I am known as RedHoney B and I have decided that instead of being a "trophy" rider, I want to own the world along with all of the lady bikers that I see. I will be in a Harley Davidson class in April. The class will provide Buells for training purposes. My question is what size bike should I be looking into purchasing in the beginning. I live in the DC/MD/VA area. If there are any ladies from the area, holla at a sista. I am sure that I will need all of the support that I can get and will be looking for new riding partners as well.

~RedHoney B~

Comments for New Rider Looking for Much Needed Info

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Jan 20, 2011
Yes, Size Matters!
by: Beth

I would caution any new rider against anything under a 535/600cc motorcycle. You will outgrow it in about two months! I absolutely loved my 600 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe that I bought on eBay when I first got my license. It gave me all the confidence I needed, and lasted me two seasons.

In August of my 2nd riding season, my girls wanted to ride from NJ to NH for the weekend, and my poor bike wouldn't be able to keep up highway speeds for very long (not to mention small gas tank). So I went out and bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT (it's a cruiser, not a crotch-rocket). It's a 2006 and I'm still riding it. It's nimble enough to do the day-to-day commute to work and around town, but big enough haul my ass and my luggage from NJ to Sturgis, SD and beyond! And she'll get me to TN this summer!

So don't feel that you have to start off small (with a 250), but you also don't need to go with a huge bike that you have muscle through the turns.

Lastly, I would say to definitely buy a used bike for your first one. They are cheaper, and if you drop it, you won't feel as badly about it. Plus, if you should decide that riding isn't right for you (sad, but it happens!), you haven't invested a ton of money.

Jan 16, 2011
I Agree
by: SoftOne

Go and sit on bikes. Once you have your license, ride the demos tha are offered at rallys etc. Rarely do beginners stay with their first bike and your skills progress. Once you find what feels good, look to 2nd hand bikes. They are cheap and all over Craigslist etc. Get your experience up and you will find the right bike for your next step. I agree the HD Sporty might not be a good beginner bike, but that's what I rode when I returned to riding after many years of lapse. If you or anyone can ride a Sporty, you can ride anything! after that.

Jan 12, 2011
Size Is Important
by: Kathy K

My first bike, many years ago, was a 250 Rebel. Fifteen years later, when I took up riding again, I got a V-Star 650. Lots of new riders want to start small, but there's really no need to start that small. The V-Star 650 is a great starter bike. Not too big, but big enough to keep up with the big boys. I think the Suzuki Boulevard is similar, but I have never ridden one. Either, used, would be very nice, low-cost starter options.

Jan 12, 2011
RE: New Ride Looking for Much Needed Info
by: rosiered

I took the MSF course & bought a used Honda Rebel 250 for my first bike. Didn't want to spend much in case I dropped it. Never did drop it but quickly out grew it & so bought a used Honda VLX 600 next. Fun bike but hard to keep up with hubby on the HD Road King on the highway. You may want to think about what kind of riding you plan to do but don't overwhelm yourself. The experience is more positive when you start small & excel as opposed to going big & not being able to handle the bike.

So I now I have a Suzuki Boulevard C50 & love it! I'm only 5'2" & 115 lbs so it was a great fit with minor adjustments. Also used but it was mint & less than half of a new one. I bought it end of season so the seller just wanted to get rid of it to avoid paying winter storage. Shop around. I used the money I saved for accessories :)

I have ridden hubby's Road King & admire the power of the Harley but we live in a city so the C50 is about 100 lbs lighter & just easier for me to move around in city traffic but is still comfy as a couch when we take road trips. So, find the bike that fits you & don't get too caught up in the brand. After-all, who cares what you're riding as long as you are! Good luck!

Jan 12, 2011
Good for you!
by: Anonymous

I took the safety class through HD and had a ball. The Buell is good to learn on, and you don't have to worry about dropping them, as most of them have already been dropped. I thought to get the Buell for my first bike, but the instructor cautioned us that most that went that route were looking for a bigger bike after a month or two of riding. So then I decided to get a Sportster. Again a bad choice as the Sportster is a top heavy bike and not good for a beginner. I fell in love with a Dyna Super Glide and have been riding her for four years now. Your best bet is to go to the dealers and sit on the bikes. You will feel if it is right for you-seat height, feet touching flat footed, arm reach, etc. Your local dealer can help you on these points. Good luck to you and ride safe!

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