suggestions please!!

Hi there everyone!!
Wanting to learn how to ride..Im 5'1 and roughly 100lbs. Looking for something that is easy to handle....where I can have my feet planted on the ground and feel like I have full control of the bike....not the other way around. Any suggestions????

Comments for suggestions please!!

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Oct 15, 2014
start small
by: Anonymous

My husband and I used to teach motorcycling to friends who were newcomers to riding, long before there was anything like Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes and we turned out some pretty good riders. I also worked for a bike shop, so I got to see a lot of different people and heard a lot of different experiences.

If you want to be an excellent rider, start small. By small I mean get or borrow a good used 100cc to 200cc motorcycle and learn to ride it. Ride it until you really know how to ride it. Riders who start on bigger bikes never learn to be really competent at riding because the power overwhelms them. They'll always be a little afraid of the bike because they don't have basic skills down. Don't move up in size until you are thoroughly competent on the small one.

First, before you even go out on the road, learn how to take care of the bike and how to do a basic safety inspection to make sure your equipment is ready to ride. Learn how to check your tire pressures, how to adjust your chain if it's chain drive. Do the lights work, all of them? The horn? Are the cables in good shape? Read the manual and talk to the dealership about how to do a basic safety check. All riders should do a basic check every time they go out. Do your tires have enough tread? Do the front and rear brakes work properly? Is the clutch adjusted properly so that it shifts smoothly through every gear? Are the wheel on properly? (something to check if you've had the wheel off to change a tire or if you've had someone else do this.) Does the throttle work properly with no sticking point? Do you know where all the controls are without having to look at them and how to use them? Is the shift pedal adjusted properly? Do you have gas? Do you know how much gas your tank holds and your average range so you don't run out of gas? Do you understand how to use the petcock? Do you know how many miles you can go on reserve before you run out of gas? (To find out, when you're on reserve, have a filled gas can strapped on your bike and ride until you run out of gas, noting how many miles you went and at what speed. Fill back up with the gas you bought. ) Is the oil drain plug on tight so you don't get oil drizzling over your tires, a very dangerous situation? Do you know how to adjust your shocks to accommodate different loads? Learn how to put the bike on its center stand if it has one.
All of these and more are basics to knowing your machine.

Best practice for learning to ride is in places where you have no traffic. Mall parking lots used to be empty on Sundays, so they used to be good places to learn and practice. We also used to practice every spring to just to get back in shape after not riding all winter. Shopping available 7 days a week killed off the mall lot as a good practice spot, but you may be able to practice in a state park, a defunct business with a large enough area, where you work after hours if they have a big lot and the like.

Learn how to start and stop the bike in first gear so you learn exactly where the clutch engages and the bike starts to move forward and where it disengages. Do this until you can do it flawlessly. Go up to 2nd gear and back down to first. Then go up another gear and back down until you are comfortable cycling up and down through all the gears. Learn how to listen to the engine (or to check the tach if it has one) to know when it's time to shift. Learn how to put the bike in neutral as you come to a stop. Learn how to roll the bike back and forth to make sure you're really in neutral. You can't always trust the neutral light. As you learn to go up into higher gears, then back down to slow down, learn how to rev the engine a bit as you downshift in order for the gears to mesh evenly.

Learn how to do engine breaking-good for going into corners and down steep inclines. Learn how to use your brakes. Practice using just the front break at slow speed and see how your bike responds. Add a little more speed and see how it works again. Keep adding a little more speed and see how the front brake responds. Then do the the same with the rear brake only. Then use the two brakes together, going up in speed increments and see how they work. Once you're comfortable, go up to a high speed and learn how to come to a very quick sudden stop as if you had to avoid an accident in a very short space. This will teach you the stopping limits of your bike, something you need to know if you ever need to avoid a collision. You need to know how much space you need to make a powerful stop. When you do these things, you'll see how starting out on a big bike would be very intimidating and most likely you wouldn't be comfortable learning the limits of your bike.

Learn to make circles, starting large then going tighter and tighter. Try to touch the lower side to the ground and see which part of your bike touches first. The foot pedal? The muffler? Some bikes won't touch anything at all (unless they've fallen over). Some bikes will touch a part very quickly. If your bike will touch the ground, continue around a full revolution in one direction of the circle, then do the same n the other side. Everyone has a side they're more comfortable with and this will teach you about yours. These will teach you the cornering limits of your bike and the limits of your own abilities. Adjust your shocks in various settings and see how your bike feels. Try circles, wiggles, cornering, breaking in a corner, on the straight. Always ride well within your abilities.

Ride as if everyone is out to get you. Think ahead to escape routes. Play scenarios in your mind in order to prepare for the stupid things people do on the road. What if the car in front suddenly jams on its brakes, swerves? What if you get cut off? How are you going to handle that tailgater? What if that kid runs out in the road after his ball? Is that guy really turning left? Does he know his signal is on? What about those leaves or that sand in the blind corner you're about to enter. How does you bike stop in sand using the rear brake or on a dirt road? The front brake?

Assume no one sees you because there are people who blank motorcycles out of their mind with selective seeing. Motorcycles don't exist in their universe. Ride by the rules of the road and don't be one of those stupid riders who goes between lanes. All you need is a car door or a small swerve and you're history. Don't speed where you shouldn't. Be cautious in the rain (even in a car) because the first 10 to 20 minutes of rain will lift a lot of oil and other substances and make for a very slick surface that may cause you to hydroplane. The center line of a lane is usually the oiliest, so it's often best to ride a bit to either side of it.

Don't ride two abreast, except for stopping at stop lights because this removes your ability to maneuver around obstacles like potholes, manhole covers, animals etc. Don't ride too close to other riders, especially if you're on one of those poker runs, one of the most dangerous biking situations you can go into where bikes are riding two abreast and too close. Those groups are usually disobeying all safety laws regarding safe spacing, in allowing other traffic to pass them, in allowing other traffic to go about its business. I think if riders want to have a big group ride, put small groups together of 4 riders max, with lots of space between riders and between groups. It's safer and it allows other traffic use of the road as well. How to turn car drivers off to the motorcycling world is to keep them waiting for half an hour to get out of their driveway or to turn a corner when one of the group rides go through. Be a polite, safe, considerate rider.

This certainly isn't everything, but it'll get you started.

Jul 27, 2014
Best first bike
by: Anonymous

I am 5'2" and so I started with a 650 suzuki savage which is short and fairly light, the I moved up to a 750 honda shadow spirit. Both bikes were small enough to give me training time to learn to control the bikes. I am now on a slightly higher framed naked bike.


May 02, 2014
Low Seat
by: Anonymous

If you want a bike that's a bit bigger, the Honda Shadow Aero has a low seat height. Very comfortable and easy bike to handle.

Apr 24, 2014
Learner Bike
by: Anonymous

I learned on a Honda Rebel.. as well.. nimble bike and I am 5'1" my feet touch the ground with no problem and I am still riding it after 2 years.. but am ready to move up to a bigger bike..

Apr 24, 2014
Learning to Ride
by: Barb

I'm 5'2", 130 lbs and learned how to ride on a Honda Rebel as well, 250cc. It was a great confidence builder but I wanted something bigger only after 3 or 4 months. I moved up to a Suzuki S50, 800cc which is a great bike to ride. Not super heavy and very manuverable. Good bike for highway riding as well. Not sure where you are located but I'm actually selling my Suzuki, moved up to a BMW F800ST. Good luck to you. You'll love it!!!

Apr 23, 2014
Re: suggestions please!!
by: Janet

I have a Honda Rebel. It is light weight and I can touch the ground with no problems. You can also find used ones very reasonably priced. I Love mine.

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