First Motorcycle: A Keeper or a Small Bike Youll Resell Soon?

Share your thoughts on what motorcycle you chose as your first one and why

first motorcycle street 750
The Harley-Davidson Street 750, a midsize
beginner motorcycle one can
keep beyond the beginner years.

Dear WRN Readers,

Did any of you get the motorcycle you wanted for your first bike instead of getting a very small bike that you know you wont keep?

Thanks for letting me know,
Cheryl Davis
Via Facebook

Please respond in the comments below. Thanks!
If you have a question, email it to us at

To read more responses to this question, click here to see the answers posted on a Facebook post about this.

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46 thoughts on First Motorcycle: A Keeper or a Small Bike Youll Resell Soon?

  1. I learned to ride in August of this year, and bought a Yamaha Virago 250 (2009) and put about 500 miles on it. It was really great to learn on and gain confidence on. I dropped it once and was so glad that I hadn’t bought something more expensive. I would have been very upset with myself. But after awhile, the bike was too loud for me, and I didn’t like that I had to let it warm up before I rode it, plus I was finding that I wanted some storage and didn’t want saddlebags. I traded it in and bought a 2009 Kymco Grandvista 250, and I like it a lot because of its ease and pep, plus the size and the storage, etc., but it’s already not starting in my garage after only 80 miles (I think a carb problem). I wish I had just started with the Bonneville that I was so tempted by back in September.

  2. I was a passenger for the first time on my husband’s brand new 2016 Triumph Thruxton in April. I was scared out of my mind but learned to love the lifestyle. After a few months I decided I wanted to learn to ride so we bought my first bike (on a whim), a 2016 Triumph Street Twin 900cc. I knew it was pretty large for my first bike so I took the motorcycle riders course first. After a few times on back roads I’m starting to get the hang of it. I just knew I didn’t want to turn around right away and buy a bigger bike. It’s a little intimidating but I’m taking it slow and easy. Each time I go out I challenge myself to do a little more. Of course everyone is pushing me to “just get out there and ride,” but I’m in no hurry and I want to make sure I’m confident on my own before tackling traffic and higher speeds. My only advice is to follow your gut and ride your own ride!

  3. My first time riding a motorcycle was at a course this past July. I would really like a Harley Fat Bob, but didn’t want to spend $10k when I wasn’t overly confident in my riding skills. I purchased a used 2004 Yamaha V Star 1100 for cheap to practice before upgrading. I’m glad I did—I’ve already put the bike down while braking not straightened out. I would have been so mad at myself if I’d have done that with a much more expensive bike. I’ve also learned a few things I want in a bike while owning this one: I want a 6-speed transmission, cruise control, a fat front tire, and definitely better seating (more “in” the bike than this Yamaha, though I’m still researching aftermarket seats.)

  4. When I first started riding, yes, I wanted a larger bike and thought with experience I would learn to handle one. It turned out I was wrong. I bought a bike I was comfortable on and could handle. It was a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster. Yes it was a smaller bike, but I loved it and I kept up with the big boys. After I rode for two years my husband had me try out one of his baggers. It was big and heavy. I could ride it, but never felt like I was ever really in control. I also rode a Softtail for awhile. It was fun, but very heavy. Recently I traded it in for an Indian Scout. Still a “small” bike, but once again, something I can handle and am comfortable with. Please think about something smaller than what you believe you can handle.

  5. Yamaha V Star 250. It’s a perfect beginner bike for a risk-averse “older” woman. It’s lightweight, smooth, affordable, reliable, easy, easy … and gets 94 mpg. I don’t think I would have ridden as much without such a “simple” bike. I never thought I’d outgrow it, but after a couple of years I traded up to something still (relatively speaking) lightweight and affordable—a Suzuki S50. Lots of power (especially after having the carbs rejetted), low center of gravity, and fun to ride!

  6. My boyfriend highly recommended that I got nothing less than 750cc to start with since he thought I would outgrow it very quickly. My first bike was a Suzuki Intruder 800 and it was great to learn on. I still have it. It’s a lot of fun to zip around town on. My long distance bike is a Yamaha V-Star Classic 1100 and I absolutely love that bike. Super comfortable!

  7. I have been lucky enough to have been given both my first bikes—my Dad gave me his Suzuki 125cc when I was 18 (I loved that bike, but I didn’t know how to look after it, or even that I could). Recently I have been given a Lifan 125cc – LF 125-J…yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either. Currently I’m getting it working again (I’m in the process of starting a Facebook page to document this), and then I will go everywhere on it.Will I sell it? Probably once I have my full motorbike license and am not restricted to 125cc any more, I don’t want much more power—by law and by survival instinct (Cornish roads are insanely twisty, and Cornish hedges can be more than 8 feet tall, so you can’t see what’s coming) I can’t go that fast anyway, 350cc is about all I want, because for my PhD I’m hoping to do a lot of traveling on it.Oh, the name? Didn’t mean to name it, but I have always loved the bit in The War of the Worlds about the ironclad ship “Thunder Child” that is destroyed saving people. The bike is low-powered but pretty heavy—it suddenly seemed appropriate.

  8. When I bought my first bike, I had never ridden before and always wanted to. I took my new purchase as an investment. I bought it at the end of the season, so it was stored at a dealership warehouse until Spring. It was a 2013 Harley-Davidson FortyEight Sportster and I loved it. I had taken a riding course and did a lot of practicing but not so much the first summer. But I put 6000kms on it before I upgraded to a 2016 Dyna Wide Glide. I’m still adjusting to it but love my new bike. I live in Northwestern BC where riding season is shorter. With the new bike in hand, my boyfriend and I are riding in more remote areas that I couldn’t explore before with the limitation of a smaller tank.

  9. I think it depends on the person. I wanted a Harley-Davidson Sportster. I had taken a motorcycle rider course, but the bikes were so small it didn’t really prepare me for a heavy bike. It was a very good course. But I was determined to start on a Sportster. I am a very determined, headstrong, stubborn person. I got my Sportster three weeks after my course and then started learning to ride it. It took me a couple of months in parking lots and back roads before I would ride in traffic. I think it was best for me. If I’d gotten something smaller, I don’t think I would have been as happy because I would have just added more learning time to myself. Some other personality types I can see would do better in confidence building with a smaller bike. Not that a Sportster is big but they are heavy and top heavy. I love the Sportsters! I now ride a Dyna Wide Glide. Sometimes I do wish I could have kept my Sporty too. They are so fun to ride.

  10. I took the Basic RiderCourse this last April, but had all winter long to think about which bike to buy. Having heard all the advice it came down to not wanting to feel like I was wasting money on my first bike by buying a 250. So I kind of went in between. I finally settled on a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Superlow. I found a great deal and this will last me for the first few years while honing my skills. I might even just customize and keep this bike.

  11. My Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low was a birthday gift from my daughter. Now that I’ve had it a year I plan on moving up to a Softail or Street Glide before the next riding season. It’s a great bike but is not comfortable enough for the touring I plan to do next year. It’s got more than 6,000 miles on it already and I still feel it’s too top heavy for my 5 feet 1 inch. But how many moms get a Harley for their birthday?!

  12. I took the MSF course at age 47 two years ago this August. I knew the bikes for the course were 250s and that many people recommend that size to new riders. When I started shopping for a bike, I sat on a bunch of 250s and they felt small for me. I’m not super tall at 5 feet 8 inches, but I have long legs and felt cramped. A friend of mine who is a MSF instructor in New Hampshire finally said I should get a bike that isn’t too overpowered, but fit me physically and that a mid-sized bike wouldn’t be too much for me. Well, in my case I was really happy I heeded that advice.I bought a Honda Shadow ACE 750, took the course, and then spent a month in a local park’s parking lot and local quiet streets on my Shadow and then felt comfortable enough to move out. I knew that this wouldn’t ultimately be my forever bike either. I wasn’t sure I needed more power, but I knew I’d want something newer.I’ve test ridden several bikes now including the Indian Scout and the Victory Vegas. I was really surprised at how well at two years in I handled the 1731cc Vegas. I was no longer intimidated because I took time to develop my skills, especially the slow speed maneuvers. I’m ready for my forever bike now. My recommendation will always be for new riders to get a bike that fits you but isn’t too overpowered either. Ergonomics matter.

  13. I bought a Harley-Davidson 883XL Sportster at age 51 and haven’t looked back. I ride everywhere, every day, all the time.

  14. I went with a smaller bike, a Honda Rebel 250cc to learn and get comfortable on. I will be moving up to an Indian Scout next year as I’m all ready to move up!

  15. I finished my Team Oregon beginners class two weeks ago and felt like a confident beginner in that class. So I bought the bike I really wanted about a week later. It is a 2009 Triumph Bonneville SE. It was delivered to my house about five days ago and it only took me two longish rides (avoiding massive traffic) to feel pretty comfortable about the weight and power. I will have a slower learning curve with tight turns at slow speeds but I am so so glad I got this bike. I love it!

    1. This is a great intermediate motorcycle to start on as a beginner because it’s lightweight with a small profile and easy-to-handle standard riding position. So congratulations for going after the motorcycle of your dreams and taking your time learning to ride it.

  16. I was not very confident so I started with a Honda Rebel 250cc. I loved it! I rode it for about two years and then I felt very ready to move onto my “big girl bike.” I got a Suzuki Boulevard C50T 805cc which I also love. I know if I had started on a bigger bike I would have been frustrated and might not have kept riding. All my riding friends said I could handle a bigger bike but I didn’t feel confident. Don’t ride for someone else. There’s nothing wrong with starting small and moving up when you feel comfortable.

  17. Age 56, yep. I always wanted to own a Harley-Davidson, and was hoping to get a purple Harley at age 40. Well, that never happened. I never rode before; never had a boyfriend or husband to help me learn to ride; so I took the MSF course, and never looked back. I started to shop for a bike. I thought I would get the Honda Rebel because that was what I learned on. I walked into the Honda showroom and a very unhelpful and unpleasant old man didn’t give me much attention. He just told me to buy the bike and ride out, but “don’t ride it on the highway.” I walked out and drove to the local Harley dealership just to see the bikes, thinking they didn’t have anything for me.I was greeted by a friendly and patient salesman who showed me the Street 500. He assured me that it wasn’t too big and heavy for me as a new rider. I purchased it and had it delivered to my home because I couldn’t ride it through busy city streets at this point. On my first day I dropped it twice. I was sick to my stomach thinking I had made a huge mistake and that this bike was way too heavy for me. Well, two months later, I love my bike and we are getting along very well. Everyone at the Harley dealership is helpful and eager to give me advice and suggestions. I have a motorcycle family looking out for me.

  18. I took my course this July and a week after graduating I had a Dyna Low Rider. I knew this wasn’t a typical new rider’s first bike so I took it easy riding in places with very little traffic. Yes it’s much heavier than what we used in class and it has more power but I’m still glad this is the bike I chose. I expect to get a lot of years out of it. For me, I didn’t want to get a smaller bike and then have to relearn another bike so I went for it from the beginning.

  19. I guess I’m an outlier here, but I got a small bike that I was pretty sure I would want to keep forever. I think it all depends on what you ultimately want out of a bike. I got a Suzuki TU250X in 2014, and when people ask me when I’m gonna upgrade, I tell them how happy I am with her just the way she is. We tool around the twisties of Central Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and around town. No interest in interstates. I’ve gone on several overnights, including camping, and she was more than adequate and a ton of fun.

    1. Thanks for sharing this Kath! I personally have ridden this motorcycle and love it, and agree it it has plenty of power and fun that makes one want to hold onto it, long past the beginner stage. Good for you!

  20. I’ve ridden behind my husband for more than 15 years. Last Spring we took a bike trip to Tucson and I decided, “That’s it! I want to ride my own! I got home and booked the course and threw a leg over a bike for the first time in May. Going into the course I kept telling my husband that my first bike had to be a Harley (he was insistent on my starting on a Rebel, despite his love for Harleys.) But after three days of riding on a 250 Rebel in the course, I realized that he was right. Being a total newbie with so many things to master (shifting, braking, watching every other vehicle and pedestrian, etc) I really didn’t need to throw in the stress of a big, heavy machine. I completed the course and immediately got my license. We bought a 2008 Rebel as soon as I finished. This has been integral to building my confidence and developing good riding habits. We found a great deal on a 2008 Shadow Spirit 750 for my next bike. I’ve ridden it a couple of times and the transition has been going really well. I know people say that buying a small bike to start with is a waste because you outgrow them so quickly, but I disagree. These bikes seem to hold their value because they are stepping stone bikes. I have no shame in riding my little Rebel or the Shadow—hey, I feel pretty bad-ass because I am actually riding my own bike!I’ll be riding a Dyna alongside my husband’s Road King one of these days, but until then I’ll work my way up to it (and enjoy every minute of the ride.)

    1. Ride on, Krista!In some countries, the licensing process is “tiered” in that new riders must start out on a small-cc motorcycle for a certain amount of time before moving up to the next class larger bike, just like how you are doing it. This is a smart and safe way to learn and progress as you develop your skills and confidence.Why not send us some snapshots of your motorcycles for our “Your Motorcycles” section? Find out here how to submit.

  21. My advice is to start with a bike that you feel comfortable riding, most likely a smaller bike. When it comes time to sell it or trade it in, you’re not going to lose much money, if any at all. The smaller cc bikes are always in demand and keep their value relatively well.When I first started riding, I was told by several experienced riders to get a bike in the 600cc range so that I wouldn’t outgrow it too quickly. With this advice in mind, I went to the dealer with my husband and sat on just one 600cc sportbike before realizing it was too much bike to start with (it was super heavy!) The sales guy was very helpful and suggested I try the 250 and 300 sportbikes instead. I found a 2013 Honda CBR 250R Repsol edition that fit me perfectly and instantly fell in love. I rode that bike for 8,000 miles in one year on the highways in and around Boston with no problems keeping up with traffic. In fact, I was the one doing most of the passing! I could get that bike up to 90 mph without much effort and sitting in traffic was OK.While I could go fast on the CBR 250, I had to be strategic about it and eventually I came to the conclusion that I really needed (and was ready for) more power. I learned so much from the baby CBR and I truly believe that it made me a better rider because it fit my beginner skill set. I traded in my small bike for a shiny new 2016 Honda CBR 500R which I anticipate will be my long term daily commuter bike. I’m thankful that I started out on a smaller bike and feel confident on bigger bikes.

  22. I started with a Honda Rebel and I will end with a Honda Rebel! I will be 65 in a couple weeks, and I’m in my seventh year of riding. I love my 2012 Rebel. It fits me perfectly, I can handle the weight, and it’s a very forgiving little bike. It doesn’t have all the chrome that a Harleys have, but it is a sharp looking little bike. My husband rides a Harley, and I have no problems keeping up with him. We have a lot of fun with the Rebel! Guys will stop and look at his bike and make compliments, and I’ll say “Hey, what about mine!!” I love messing with the old-school Harley guys! I coveted a different bike for a while and sat on many different models, but never felt comfortable. I took the MSF course on a Rebel, so I suppose that’s why I bonded with it!

  23. Shortly after my 40th birthday and after riding along the back of my husband’s 2003 Heritage Softail Classic for three seasons, I decided I wanted to try riding my own bike. I had ridden my own snowmobile since 1986, so I thought why not try? I didn’t choose my first motorcycle, my husband chose it for me. He thought I should learn to ride on something I could handle. I agreed.He purchased a small Honda 250 Rebel. The first place I rode it was on our lawn. I was so afraid to let go of the clutch and sat there for what seemed like an eternity, feathering clutch and throttle until finally, I went. I rode that Rebel, whom my husband nicknamed Barbie, for more than 50 miles in our yard before I took it down the road. I dropped Barbie a couple of times in the yard but fortunately was unharmed and able to pick it up on my own. I went for my license on it and passed. The first season I rode 1,500 miles while riders with Harleys and other motorcycles passed us on the bigger roads.The following season I went to a Harley dealer (one of many I had visited) and fell in love with one of the bikes they had on display in the showroom. It was a brand new 2008 1200 XL Custom Sportster. I had to have it, and put Barbie up for sale. My first ride on the Sportster was in a parking lot. I wanted to feel the bike before I took it down the road. I spent the following eight seasons racking up over 15,000 miles. I was happy with my Sportster and thought I may keep it forever, but on the long rides I was getting a bit fatigued while my husband wanted to keep riding.In the summer of 2014 we walked into another dealer and it was another love at first sight. There, up on the very front display, was a Softail Slim that the salesperson said was spoken for but it was the one I wanted. Long story short, we went back the next day and I traded my long loved girl in for that Slim. So far I have put more than 5,000 miles on my Slim and I love it more each time I ride.My advice to first time riders is to start small and work up to the big. I’m so glad I did and I owe a lot to Barbie and will never forget that’s how I got my start. Attached here are pictures of my Sportster and my Slim.

  24. I fell in love with my first bike, which I found for sale on the side of the road, before I had my motorcycle license. The 1997 Dyna Glide FXD proved to be more than I could handle. So I bought a Yamaha V Star 250 that helped build my confidence. I ended up selling my Harley to my new boyfriend, who is now my love, and I bought a 883 Sportster which I still have and love. Together we have five bikes. Life is good!

  25. I’ve been so happy that I bought the smaller bike first. I never did dump it, but I was oh-so-close to it several times. Being low to the ground and lighter allowed me to keep it upright, and learn some lessons along the way about handling by riding slowly. The bike was agile and I had time to build technique and confidence before moving up to a bigger bike.

  26. I had a Kawasaki Vulcan 500. It was a great bike to learn on. For two years I rode that bike, then I went to a Harley dealership and the salesman sat me on a Softail Deluxe and bam!—I knew that this was the bike for me. It really helped me and gave me confidence learning to ride on a smaller bike. So when I did decide to get a different bike I didn’t feel so overwhelmed when I road it for the first time.

  27. In 2009 I learned on a Harley Sportster 883, borrowed from my son-in-law for two weeks and fell in love with it! Got my M License and started looking, but my husband had me get a 2007 Honda Rebel 250. It was fine for what it was, I had a bike! I have Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus and riding was/is my freedom! Two months after getting it I took my first out of state trip and went to Michigan, up along Lake Michigan, solo. I put 13,000 miles on it in just over three years. It was great, but for road trips a bigger bike would be better. I loved the little Rebel however and always planned to keep it regardless of a second bike but really needed a bigger bike because I wanted to take more trips and you just can’t stretch out on the Rebel, even with highway bars.So my second bike is a 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 750. It still isn’t quite what I’m heading for, but it’s a stepping stone so to speak. It’s much better for trips, It’s a great bike, I love it, but I’m heading for a Harley Road King I think. I’m not sure just yet. I’ll get there, in a year or two.

  28. I started on a 750 Seca, then after a year to a 900 Kawasaki Vulcan, two years later to a Victory Crossroads 1730cc. True madness but a bigger bike is not so much about the power but added safety and comforts – ABS brakes, more lights, cruise control, larger gas tank, larger saddle bags and keeping up with my husband on road trips!

  29. I knew my ideal bike was a Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe, and I also knew that I didn’t want to start with that bike. Before even getting my motorcycle license my husband purchased me a Honda 250 Rebel. I don’t regret my decision at all. The Honda was a great starter bike and it allowed me to build my confidence and my skills. Less than two months later, my husband purchased a Softail Deluxe for me. I am thrilled to have my Softail, but very glad I started on with a smaller bike! I could handle the Softail much better now.

  30. I debated back and forth on this exact question after taking the class and getting my endorsement in July. Prior to class I had zero experience and I’m on the small side (5 feet 2 inches and less than 115 pounds), but I figured either way I was going to need to learn to ride the bigger bike whether it be now or later. I went for it and got what I ultimately wanted, a Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. I’m not going to lie, at first I was having doubts and thought I may have made the wrong choice. Then I found the review for my bike on this site, and after reading all the comments I knew with some practice I could handle it. For the first two weeks I practiced in parking lots and quiet backroads and slowly built up my confidence. A month later I am loving it and very happy with my decision.

  31. Honestly, I think a lot of this is based on personal preference. Would you feel comfortable enough on a larger bike right now? If so, go ahead and get something a little larger. Another option would be to get something that you can modify as you develop as a rider, like a Sportster 883 and putting a 1200 kit in it. Personally, I would love to have a Victory Magnum, but I just can’t afford a new bike right now. However, I am incredibly comfortable on my Sportster. I have already added some stuff (soft lowers, running lights, windshield, seat, Road King saddlebags and air shocks), and I have plans to change more (1200 kit, cams, custom exhaust, FXRT fairing and lowers, and maybe custom bars and hard painted bags) this winter to help better meet my needs. I regularly ride an Ultra, Dyna, Fat Boy, and Heritage, but the Sportster is my favorite of them all.I think the key is to find something that you are relatively comfortable on now that allows you to develop, or find something that you can modify as you develop.

  32. My first bike came into my life just a month ago, a 1987 Honda Rebel 450. I first figured on a Rebel 250 since I had no experience before the class and not too much confidence, but I kept listening to everyone’s conflicting advice. One warning that stuck with me was that it wouldn’t go fast enough on the highway and could be a safety hazard (not true, I now learn from Rebel 250 riders). Next idea was a Shadow 650, but when I tried one just a week or so after the class, it felt too big and intimidating, made me really wonder if I could control it. And the Yamaha V Star 650, which I tipped over on my test ride, right in the seller’s neighbor’s driveway. I’d read the excellent article in WRN on how to lift a bike before I even took my class, and lifted it right up, no damage thank goodness. So back to something smaller – lo and behold, there was a couple selling a Rebel 450. I fell in love. Now someone told me that by next year I could be ready for an 883, but honestly, it feels like I’ll want this baby with me for a long time.

  33. I got the bike I wanted—a 1981 Suzuki GS450L. I chose this model for several reasons. 1. Power. With 450cc and two cylinders, it had enough to get me there or get out of the way.2. Size and weight. It’s a low rider with extended bars. My feet touched the ground. And when it fell over, I could pick it back up.Take a lesson or course, talk with riders, read, and learn how to ride your motorcycle. If you can not take and pass the DMV test on your own motorcycle … should you be riding it? Twenty years later I bought a new 750cc, three cylinder rocket, a BMW K75, which I still ride. It is tall, weighs 535 pounds, and fortunately its BMW engineered mono shock and single pipe and three cylinders looks asymmetric but is so well balanced it wants to stay upright and fly. And we do!

  34. I knew my ideal bike was a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, and I also knew that I didn’t want to start with that bike. Two weeks after getting my motorcycle license I purchased a Honda Shadow 600 VLX. I received a lot of “free advice” that I should start with a larger bike but I chose not to. I don’t regret my decision at all. The Honda was a great starter bike and it allowed me to build my confidence and my skills. Less than a year later, my husband purchased a Heritage Softail for me. I am thrilled to have my Softail, but very glad I trusted my own instincts and started with a smaller bike! By the way, I sold the Shadow for what I paid for it, to another newbie!

  35. I just started riding this summer and chose a Rebel 250 thinking I would ride it this year and trade next summer. I have decided to keep it for another year. At first I thought it was not powerful enough but I realized I was shifting too early. The key to this bike is to keep the RPMs high. It takes some getting used to because it screams and my impulse was to upshift, but now that I have gotten to know the bike better I have found it very fun and responsive. The people I ride with have much bigger bikes but I am able to keep up just fine. I don’t really want to go faster than 80, however, so that could be a limiting factor for some. I find the bike to be very comfortable and usually ride for four to six hours at a time. I do notice its light weight (350 pounds) when I’m on the freeway with larger cars/trucks but I think that’s probably an issue no matter how big your bike is – trucks will always be bigger. The lesson I learned when bike shopping is to make sure it fits you well. Sit on as many bikes as you can to see how they feel!

  36. My first bike was a 2007 Big Dog Mastiff with a 300mm tire and 1916cc engine, I called the beast! Barely 5 feet tall, on my 51st birthday I took my first ride in a parking lot. Fear quickly turned to laughter, and then the unexpected feeling of complete freedom.Nearly three years, and 60,000 miles later I love riding even more! The Big Dog is long gone, now I ride a 2014 Harley CVO Softail Deluxe that is beautifully balanced at just under 800 pounds. Before deciding on the size of your bike, take a beginner’s riding course; it is worth every penny. Spend some time reading advice of those great women that have been there before you, their advice was invaluable to me. Be prepared to laugh, because you will, but most of all you will be inspired to ride!The Big Dog belonged to my husband who moved on to a Road King so I thought why not! Not having any riding experience, it was like any other bike to me. I personally do not believe the size of your first bike matters, it is whatever you feel confident on is most important.

    1. Kim,Thanks for sharing your first bike story. Wow! You manhandled the Mastiff as your first bike! Kudos to you. I reviewed that motorcycle way back in 2005 when it first came out. You can read my review here.I appreciate your advice that the size of the motorcycle doesn’t matter, rather it’s what a new rider feels confident on, but many women riders have a false sense of confidence in the beginning fueled by an overabundance of enthusiasm for getting on their first motorcycle. That’s why I’m a big advocate of starting on a smaller motorcycle, one you will trade out to a bigger bike. I’m glad it worked for you though.

  37. I’ve been riding almost two years and I’m nearly 52.Like Christine, I have a Yamaha V Star 250 and I love it! I haven’t ridden on freeways, but it’s great for riding around town and on county roads and small highways. I’ve been thinking of talking to my mechanic about getting a new chain and sprocket gearing (the stock chain tends to get loose a lot). The bike looks great and I get a few comments, usually from older guys, about the styling and they’re surprised that’s it’s just a 250. I like to look at cycles, but I don’t really have any desire (at this point anyway) to get anything bigger. I might consider the Harley-Davidson Street 500, since that’s what I learned on, but what I really wish is that there was a V Star 500!

  38. I just bought my first motorcycle — a Kawasaki Vulcan S with ABS. It’s exactly the bike I wanted, and so far, I am so happy with the purchase. Low seat height, low center of gravity, lightweight, so maneuverable, great stability at low speeds, just overall really confidence-inspiring right from the start. And with it being a 650cc engine, I shouldn’t grow out of it any time soon.

  39. My first bike, which I still have, is a 2013 Yamaha FZ6R. I love it and it was great for starting out, and still has enough pep to be fun. It is also a good little touring bike. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting something better suited for touring, and with more features, like a Triumph Tiger, but I just can’t give up that little bike yet. I got a second bike for myself for my police graduation and because I wanted one for having ridden for two years. I got a Suzuki GSX 750, which is a great bike, too (but pretty high strung and powerful).I always tell people that for a first bike, you want one that you will keep for a while but isn’t too powerful or overwhelming. I would have never started out with my Gixxer, because it’s such a sensitive bike. The FZ6R is very forgiving but still has enough power to be fun if you want to give the throttle a little twist. It’s also pretty easy to handle and does low speed maneuvers very well. It’s just a bike that performs everything well. Everyone is different. A 250cc might be your speed and is a good confidence builder. Other people might get tired of a 250 within a month. I’m one where once I get confident, I do very well. But when I’m in the process of learning something, I like making it easier on myself. The good news is that there are lots of bikes to choose from that would fit your personality and learning style. Some people can learn on a big bike and be fine. I actually wanted an FZ1 as my first bike but I’m glad I stuck with the FZ6R and I didn’t get a big bike. I’m also glad that I didn’t get a super small bike that I would have outgrown once I got the confidence.

  40. Don’t try to get “the” bike from Day One! Focus on getting one you are confident you can ride. For some, this may be a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 or larger. For me, I wasn’t very confident and I chose a decidedly starter bike that I thought had some unique qualities. I will keep my little Yamaha V Star 250 as a practice wrenching bike when I trade up … which finally may be on the horizon. The WRN review said this may be a starter bike to keep, and in my opinion, they’re right. Honestly, if my “Wee Star” were more limiting, I’d have gotten a bigger bike long before now. But here I am, 2.5 years and 9,150 miles later, still riding “Veronica.” Why? She looks great and as the only V-twin in her class, has more torque and looks and feels less “beginner.” I keep hearing and reading from Honda Rebel (also 250cc) riders saying their bike doesn’t feel comfortable on the freeway, but I’ve ridden my V Star at 70-75 mph routinely and for over an hour many times, and there’s no mirror shake, hesitation, or struggle. (Even had her at 85 mph for a short while). She’s taken me on a four-day, 792-mile journey to southern Calif., on major freeways in a cross-wind, and over winding mountain roads. She’s proven to be a great commuter bike in the dense traffic San Francisco Bay Area. Most people mistake her for 450-500cc due to styling, or a Honda Shadow (750cc) from a distance because she is blue. You may very well be able to start larger, but don’t assume you will be bored with a smaller bike in one season.

  41. I just got a Honda Rebel 250 to start out with. I’d eventually love to get a Triumph Bonneville, but right now the lighter weight, lower to the ground, less powerful Rebel is the best fit for me.

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