What's a good beginner motorcycle for a lady?

I love riding on Harleys with my boyfriend so I'm interested in getting my own bike. Not sure it's a good idea since I don't have any experience driving a motorcycle. What's a good beginner bike to look into getting where I can learn to drive and get comfortable, that's good for a lady?

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  • Dimo J
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Riding our own is ALWAYS a good idea. Take the MSF Basic Rider course and you'll be fine! http://www.msf-usa.org/

    A good beginner bike that can keep up with the pack would be a Suzuki S40. It is like 200 pounds lighter than a Harley so it's easier for a less physical person to handle. It was retro style when it came out in 1986. The big single and the light weight make it quick off the line, 'though the top speed is only about 85 mph. That one big cylinder sitting bolt upright is an attention getter. Easy to work on. Easy to adapt to whatever style you want -- bobber, bagger, whatever. Has a strong support forum at suzukisavage.com It's not only a beginner's bike, but a keeper it you aren't into bigger is better. I've taken mine on tour, back to back 500+ mile days on the Interstate.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One important thing is that you should be able to sit on a bike with both feet flat on the ground. This sometimes limits the choices for a girl if she's short (what we call 'inseam challenged').

    Other than that, you want something smaller and lighter for your first bike. You don't want to buy a shiny new bike because you're going to be hard on your first bike, you're probably going to abuse the clutch, and you might drop it once or twice before you get the hang of it.

    Cruisers (like your BF's Harley) are easier to manage because they have such a low center of gravity. Plus they have a lower seat. Plus if you got, say a Japanese cruiser, you'd match your BF. Bikes like the Honda Shadow, Suzuki Savage, Yamaha Star etc. A 650 or 750 is big enough for starters, in fact you might not outgrow it at all.

    You should take the MSF course (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). They actually provide the bike for you. They will get you started with the right habits. At first it's all about safety, since half of all motorcycle accidents happen to people in their first year, so it's good to get started off on the right foot. You can find your local MSF through the DMV (or whatever initials they use where you live.)

    If you never rode a bicycle, I'd start with one of those to get the idea of balancing and steering. If you can't drive a car with a manual shift, it will take you a while to get the idea. But if you can ride a bike and shift a car, it's not hard to ride a motorcycle at all. And it's much more fun to drive than ride on the back!

  • 1 decade ago

    I would suggest getting a little 250 rebel Honda. Less then 3,000.00 new and you can trade it back in or resale cause they are just perfect for beginners. Most people ride these because you can stand flat footed and not get burned on the exhaust system. Also when you have had enough practice. You then go to the DMV and ask for MSF(are whatever it might be called in your area) they provide motorcycles and you actually take your test there on their property.(It is easier and more fun to take the class for 25.00 and learn about the correct and safe way of driving a motorcycle. Plus it's a lot easier to pass their class then at the DMV.) If upon passing they will give you a card to take to the DMV and you get your license. I have had all kinds of motorcycles and it should be all about the fit of the motorcycle to you not about name brands or what other people may think of a certain style of motorcycle.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm teaching a young lady on a old CM400 Honda- she has had it on highway at 60, run around town streets fairly safe. Low seat lets her put feet down with thick soled boots. She's maybe a 100 pounds with full stomach and did a few spins on a little scooter first. Niece learned some on brothers 250 Honda Rebel but Rebel isn't real strong at 60mph. Used a 100 Honda single a few years back to train 200pound Xgirlfriend before split- she was learning around town when not smoking weed. Kawasaki has a low seat model , can't remember name, sort of dumb name for a bike, about a 250. Deacon in church has a 440 Kaw he trained daughter on- she is about 5-6 and 140- is currently getting MP training in Army and is relatively strong. Get something you can sit on flatfooted on ground and can pickup from laydown position, have fun.

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  • 1 decade ago

    First off, I STRONGLY suggest a motorcycle safety foundation training course. (The final exam earns you your license.) http://www.msf-usa.org/

    Buy something used and inexpensive for a starter bike.

    Look for something old but not too old. You don't want something so old that it is a junker, but not something so new that you'll feel bad if you lay it down.

    Look for something in the 500 - 800 CC engine size. This will be powerful enough so you don't get bored too soon, but not so fast that you will be afraid of it.

    Look for a standard or cruiser bike for your first bike. They are more forgiving and usually have less power than a sport bike with the same size engine. Although cruisers are heavier than other bikes they have the lowest center of gravity and are easy to balance considering their weight. Stay away from the sport bikes for your first bike as they require more skill. Going with a sport bike for your first bike is like getting a Formula 1 race car for your first car, not a good idea. Also used sport bikes tend to be more abused.

    Consider the fit of the motorcycle. People come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. So do motorcycles. When selecting a motorcycle consider how well it fits your body. Ask yourself how well you can put both feet flat on the ground. Ask yourself how well the seating position feels. Do you have to reach too far to the handlebars? Riding hunched over can get uncomfortable very fast. Is the foot peg location comfortable? Does the bike feel too big or too small? An uncomfortable motorcycle won't be much fun to ride for any amount of distance. However, a bike that fits you well will be lots of fun.

    Avoid buying over the Internet. I would never buy a motorcycle site unseen. You could very easily end up paying too much for junk. Always do a visual inspection and test ride before buying a motorcycle. When you go to look at the bike, bring a helmet. If you do not have your motorcycle license yet, bring a friend with a motorcycle license and 2 helmets.

    Watch the classified section of your local news paper. Some locations have shopper magazines with used motorcycles in your area. Reasonably priced used bikes are out there. Be patient. Don't buy too quickly, but if you find one you like, buy it right away. If you find a good starter bike, don't hesitate as they can sell quickly.

    Don't get hung up on any particular brand. All of the name brands are about the same. Pay more attention to the bike's condition. If any one brand were really superior to all other brands, this would be the only brand bike on the road. In addition, if any brand bike was really inferior to the other brands, nobody would buy them and the company would be out of business.

    Learn on this bike. Make your mistakes on it. You will make mistakes. Nearly all new riders will lay their bike on its side at least once. Would you rather make your mistakes on an older bike or your nice shiny expensive new bike?

    The most important thing you should do when getting your first bike is to take a motorcycle safety course.

    After you have been riding a while and gain some experience, you can sell your starter bike and get the one you want. If maintained properly and not abused, you won't lose too much money on your starter bike. Put the money from the sale towards the bike you really want. By this time, you will have figured out what style bike best suits your riding style and needs.

    If you settle on a sport bike for your next bike, avoid the used ones. Young riders think they are racers on racing bikes and tend to beat the crap out of them so they are likely to be more abused. So if considering a sport bike, consider something new.

    I know I used variations of this answer before. However, I feel this is good advice.

    Use your head while riding. Remember, Stupid Hurts.

    Have fun - Ride safe

    Beginner bike list -

    Suzuki GS500F (Sporty)

    Kawasaki Ninja 500R (My current bike...dated but sporty)

    Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD (cruiser)

    Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom (Cruiser)

    Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Dual Sport)

    Honda Shadow Aero/Spirit 750 (Cruiser)

    Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 XL Low (Cruiser)

    Suzuki GSX650F (sporty)

    Triumph Bonneville (Cruiser)

    BMW G650 Xcountry (Dual Sport)

    Kawasaki Ninja 250R (Sporty)

    Suzuki SV650F (Sporty)

    Suzuki SV650 (Naked)

    Hyosung GT250R (sporty)

    Harley Sportster 883 is supposedly the 'beginner' Harley bike. As for Japanese cruiser starters lower cc Yamaha V-Star or Honda Shadow.

  • 1 decade ago

    A good starter bike for a woman would be in my opinion either a Sportster 883 or a Sportster 1200. The 883 is a little small for most people, however the 1200 is big enough and light enough for most beginning riders.

    Theres actually a very nice 1200 for sale at HarleyInsanity.com, very low miles if I recall correctly...you should check it out...

  • ZX3R
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I don't have any idea about harleys but I wanted to recommend you a website.

    http://www.getyourownbike.com

    It's a real site where they have some cool t-shirts and stickers and stuff. geared mostly toward women who finally decided to get their own bike.

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