Is My Fiancés Motorcycle Too Big For Me To Learn On?

Help a reader decide on her first bike

kawasaki vulcan 500 learner bikes
Kawasaki Vulcan 500

Dear Women Riders Now,

I’m going totake the MSF course this summer. My fiancée has a Honda Shadow ACE 750 that he plans to either save for me as a first bike or sell.

Im 5 feet 8 inches with a 33-inch inseam and weigh 155 pounds. Ive sat on his bike to get a feel for it but it seems very heavy to me and I’m afraid that riding slowly, stopping at lights, and parking will be difficult.

Is it better to start on something lighter with a little less power? My thoughts are to get a Kawasaki Vulcan 500, Honda Shadow 600, or an older Suzuki Savage 650—something older and a little lighter that I could ride for a year and then move up.

Im fearful of starting out on a motorcycle with too much power. I want something that I can ride comfortably all day but will not freak me out. I would love to get some advice from women riders.

Thank you.
Leslie Green Wilkins
Via Facebook

Please post your advice to Leslie in the comments below. Thank you.

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38 thoughts on Is My Fiancés Motorcycle Too Big For Me To Learn On?

  1. I am getting excited every time I read stories by women riders. My obstacle was “can I still be a woman rider at my age (52) and be a new beginner?” A 63-year-old woman has greatly inspired me.

  2. Wow, thank you so much for all of the comments. I just noticed that this had been posted to the main page. Good news—I was able to get into the MSF course a couple months ago as a walk-on. I was scared to death going into it because we were riding in hard rain and freezing to death but I felt if I could learn in those conditions I would be much better in good weather. They put me on a Honda Rebel 250 and that was so easy to ride but it felt small for me. I wanted something slightly bigger but not as big as the Honda Shadow ACE. My fiancee ended up selling his Shadow and using the money to buy me a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 while I was out of town. I had only sat on a Vulcan S at the dealership, which felt light enough. I didn’t want to buy a brand new bike as my first bike. I researched the Vulcan 500 and I thought it was the best for me but I was waiting to find one to sit on it and get a feel for it.Lucky for him, I’m very comfortable on this Vulcan and have ridden around for the last two months. I still have anxiety on it at times so I’m only riding roads I’m comfortable on. I avoid roads with stop signs at the top of hills, roundabouts and heavy traffic. I’ve just started riding to work and I’m riding state roads now and country roads. I’ve avoided traffic which I’m sure with experience I will move on to other roads. I’m taking my time.I’m sure eventually I will want to buy a different bike, but I’m pretty sure I will be with my Vulcan for a while. It’s a great starter bike.

  3. Took my training course in August 2015. Bought a Suzuki Boulevard VL800. Gradually rode more and more around town and on service roads. I dropped it three times at corner turns and stops; the fourth time I scared myself so bought a Suzuki 400 and rode it for two months until winter in Canada. When spring came I got on the 800, dropped it once but have been going strong ever since. So, I guess starting smaller and working up is good. I am 5 feet 4 inches AND WAS 65 years old at training and never on a bike before. I love it!

  4. Leslie, the right bike for you is the one that you feel most comfortable on. If your fiancé’s bike does not make you feel safe or comfortable, try other bikes at the bike store. I started on a Suzuki TS185 and am so very glad I did as it gave me confidence and increased my riding skills. I’ve also taken the MSF course and every time I get on my current bike (Honda Shadow 750), I learn something new.Riding is a constant learning experience coupled with the joy and pleasure of riding. When you have the right bike, your enjoyment will only be increased. You will get into that sweet spot we all experience with the right bike.Try out other bikes. You will know the one for you when you test it. It will speak to you and feel like it is a part of you.

  5. The right first bike is any bike that doesn’t scare you. Mine was an older Honda Shadow 650 VLX, at age 63, but this year I began riding dirt on a little Yamaha TW200 and I definitely see an advantage to riding something small for awhile. I am much less timid on the little bike, and therefore learn more quickly. I replaced my Honda with a Suzuki 650 V-Strom last year because, after three tours on the Shadow, I realized I wanted the flexibility of a dual-sport. I loved that Shadow and thought I would keep her forever, but riding is a process of discovering who you are. Whatever you choose as your first ride, it’s a good bet you won’t keep it forever.

  6. I have a Honda Shadow Ace 750. It’s my first bike. I’m 5 feet 7 inches and it’s the perfect size for me. When I was shopping for my bike, after l learned and took the BRC on a Suzuki 250, I thought the 750 seemed too powerful for me as a new rider. But after test riding 250, 600, and 750s, I knew that the Honda Shadow ACE was the best bike for me. It felt the most comfortable size-wise, and it had no problem taking off at stop signs and stop lights to join the flow of traffic, unlike on a 250. he weight of the bike, 550 pounds, is totally manageable for me, and I’m about 140 pounds. My bike feels like an extension of my body, which a lot of riders will agree, once they are accustomed to their bike.Now that I have been riding for a few years, I still enjoy my Shadow ACE. It is still a good bike for me. When I think of touring, I may get a larger bike. but for riding around with my group of friends, on day trips ,and just around town, the 750 is still a great choice.

  7. I took the course nine years ago at 55. My instructor said anything that’s a 250cc to start (am 55 feet 6 inches) so a GZ250 from Suzuki is what I chose. Loved that bike; taught me a lot. A fast moving tanker on the highway told me I needed a bigger bike. So on to a Suzuki Volusia VL800, which is the predecessor of the Suzuki C50. At first I felt it was front end heavy but after installing pullback lifters (risers) my center of gravity was good. All Suzukis have a low center. I accept if it falls I need help to get it up, especially as I age.

  8. Just a quick comment. I have ridden all sized motorcycles and I have taken the advanced riders course on each time I moved up a size. It helped to get comfortable, especially when I purchased an 1800 Gold Wing.

  9. I started at age 58 on a lowered and used Yamaha 650. I am only 5 feet 5 inches but it sat so low my legs were bent – a lot! It was easy to maneuver because my center of gravity was so low and easy to hold up with my legs. Ten thousand miles later I sold it for more than I had bought it for. I bought a slightly used 2005 Softail Deluxe. It sits lower than the Fat Boy Low or the Heritage. It now has 97,000 miles on it and runs like a champ. It is heavier than the Yamaha 650 but rides smoother and feels more stable. Also important are your handlebars. If you have to lean forward to reach them your back will get tired on longer rides. Heavier bikes often have less vibration also. One last bit of advice, practice riding around the block a few hundred times before you take the class. If you are proficient at shifting and braking, you will be more able to focus on the other skills you will need to ride in the wind!

  10. Beth gave a perfect answer. I don’t like the high center of gravity. The Shadow ACE Classic was my first bike in 2011 and I had “issues” until my husband easily dropped the seat. As long as I could safely straddle the bike, I felt safe and comfortable. I am only 5 feet 6 inches with a 31-inch inseam. Anything smaller you may out ride quickly. And FYI, I did drop it once due to a “dude” driving the wrong direction. I admit there was adrenaline pumping but I was able to upright it myself. Taking the riders course is smart since not only does it teach you to be a better rider or passenger but a better driver too. In my class there was a guy maybe a 25-inch inseam who commented that when he stopped he often tipped his BMW. Instructor said maybe the bike was a little too big for him. You can figure his response … noooo!

  11. Hi there! Here’s my 50 cents worth of advice: it is not worth buying a smaller bike (250 or even 600cc) because you will outgrow it very quickly. If you have the option of riding the 750 Shadow, go for it! You are tall so your feet should reach the ground easily, and don’t be afraid of the weight of the bike. You will learn to handle it with practice. Yes, you will drop it like everyone else has done even once! But if you do, take it as the chance to learn how to bring it back up yourself (it’s surprisingly easy).I learned to ride on an old 1980 750 Honda and believe me, I am also 5 feet 8 and my feet barely reached the ground! I dropped it of course, but learned to ride on that freaking thing. I now ride a 2014 Shadow Phantom 750 and honestly, I feel I am ready to upgrade to a bigger bike. The 750 does not have the power I would like when riding in a highway. I can keep up with bigger bikes but with effort. I’m buying a 1100 cc or 1200cc Indian or Harley as my next bike for sure. It all depends on the use you will give the bike, if you plan on doing long distance riding you need a bigger bike, but if your plan is to only cruise around town, a smaller bike might be all you need.Don’t be afraid of a heavier bike, they don’t bite! Just look around you and you will see all these small framed women riding big dressers! Go for it!

  12. I have been riding since 2002 and started on a Yamaha Virago 750. I love my bike, named Verge. I was always just on the “verge.” There were a couple oops incidences early on, but I would not trade any of my saddle time. Verge had 17,800 some miles when I bought it. Now there are 67,500 something. I have been to Florida and Colorado and of course states in between. I love solo riding, but also ride with my “Sisters in the Wind” here in Indiana. Similar to you, I am a bit shorter, but my inseam is 34 inches with a tad more girth at 166 pounds. Always remember … you can do whatever you put your mind to do. Ride the wind sister.

  13. I lived through this decision before I took the course. I would recommend the heavier, bigger bike because it is what you will most likely gravitate to sooner than later. But, if real fear is involved, then follow your heart. Good luck!

  14. Congratulations on deciding to learn by taking a course. The course will allow you to understand how a bike is so exciting to ride, yet different than any other machine. Give yourself some time to decide what is right for you once you have taken the course on what bike is comfortable to you. I rode a bike before children (just a few years ago), now that they are grown I am back riding. I had a smaller bike and currently I ride a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. I was nervous to start on the Fat Boy, however my partner and friends have been so supportive and encouraging, I am becoming more comfortable with my boy. I am happy with the bike that I currently have. Enjoy the journey!

  15. I would say choose whatever you are personally comfortable with and not what people say you should do! My first bike was/is a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail. I was a little worried about it being a bit big for a starter bike at first, but once I got the feel for it I wouldn’t want to downsize. (I am 5 feet 9 inches) Also, I would worry more about the balance/center of gravity issue than the power issue. I don’t see how a bike having more power is a problem. Just don’t lay on the full throttle! Good luck with learning to ride, just take it easy at first and slowly push your comfort zone. You will probably get the feel for it faster than you think!

  16. I took the MSF course in August of 2015 (on a Yamaha 250). I didn’t listen to my husband and his friends when they told me to get a “bigger bike” as my first motorcycle. I wanted to make sure I was comfortable and could build my confidence on something I felt was manageable. I purchased an older Honda Shadow 600 VLX. It was larger than the 250 but didn’t intimidate me. I sat on several bikes while I was shopping (Vulcan 500, Yamaha, Honda 750) but as soon as I sat on the Shadow 600 I knew it was the right one. The Shadow was a perfect first bike for me. It allowed me to gain valuable riding time and build my confidence.In May my husband purchased a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic for me, which was the ultimate bike of my dreams (I just didn’t expect to get one so quickly). I was a little nervous about the move to a bigger bike, but was amazed at how much easier it was to handle. I read review after review from women riders who said they found a bigger bike “easier” but I didn’t really understand it until I started riding the Softail. Like you, I am 5 feet 9 inches tall, which gives us a big advantage.I would tell you to start on the bike you feel comfortable with. What you can handle, pick up, and what allows you to build confidence. As cliché as it sounds, you are the only one that knows that.

  17. Hi Leslie, It may not be the size of the bike, but the center of gravity that makes it seem unmanageable. I sat on so many bikes before choosing the right one for me. The best test was standing and allowing the bike to tip to the side. Feel how easy or difficult it is to bring it upright again. Then do the same thing sitting. (Have a salesman or your fiance hold the handlebars and the front wheel between their knees to prevent it from tipping and for extra confidence.) The lower the center of gravity the easier it is to control. The Honda Shadow 600 seemed very heavy – higher center of gravity – than some of the newer Honda Shadow 750s. I ended up buying a 2009 Yamaha V Star 650 Classic, which I am very happy with. It is not top heavy. For me it felt the best and easiest to balance and maneuver. Through much testing and “leaning” at different dealers and help from a very patient husband, the 250 cc bikes soon felt too tiny, even before riding one. I am a 5 feet 3 inches and 15 pounds. Best of luck to you!

  18. Take the class first. We walked our bikes across the parking lot before we ever rode them, just to get the feel of them. And when you do get your bik..when you are sitting on it, hold the front brake lever, feet on the ground, kickstand up, and turn the handlebars to a straight position, the bike will stand up! I learned on an Enduro 250, bought a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883, and now ride a Harley-Davidson Street Glide.

  19. You have one advantage over a lot of us women—being 5 feet 8 inches tall! Are you able to stand you fiancé’s bike up from the kickstand? Let me give you a little trick I have showed other women when standing up a bike from the kickstand. Straighten the handle bars and put your left hand under the left side of the gas tank. You will be surprised at how easy a bike stands up.Another option besides the bikes you mentioned would be a Kawasaki Vulcan 900. It weighs about the same as a Honda Shadow 750. My advice is to go to a dealer and sit on several different bikes and find the one that feels right to you.Get Jerry “Motorman” Palladino’s Ride Like a Pro DVD and head to the parking lot to practice when you decide on a bike. My husband and I practice several times a year. Never hurts to brush up skills no matter how experienced a rider is, especially those of us who live in cold weather climates and can’t ride for several months!I started riding on a Honda Shadow 750 and two months later went to a Kawasaki Vulcan 900. A year and 17,000 miles later I moved up to a much larger bike—a Victory Cross Roads. Now I own a 2014 Indian Chieftain.Unlike you, I am short—5 feet 4 inches, so parking can be a challenge, but I just watch where I park and most of the time get along just fine!Good luck to you!

  20. Wait until after you take the MSF course. After the course you will have a better idea of how maneuver the bike, clutching, braking and balance. I took the Rider’s Edge course on a Buell and my first bike was a 2008 Fat Bob, which was a much heavier bike. You have to work your way up to riding. Don’t rush it. If you find your fiance’s bike is too heavy then test ride a few others.

  21. I rode the 250s in first my Intro and then my BRC, and pretty much right from the start, I was shopping for something a little bigger. I loves zipping around the course on the 250, but wanted something a little bigger to start, especially since I was going to be paying for it for a while (about three more months to go!!).I ended up with a Honda Shadow 600, and have no regrets. Have had to get help to pick it up a couple of times, but mostly because once it’s down, it’s too close to the ground for the back-up technique to work well for me.I felt the slightly bigger bike fit me just right, and gave me enough growing room. Even now, with four years and about 10,000 miles under my belt, I enjoy riding this bike. I’d like to get something bigger someday, but am very happy with what I have.So, I guess I’m in favor of starting larger, but not too large. I think something like an 883 would probably be the max I would have gone with if I had had the money at the time. You want a bike that you’re comfortable with not just in fit, but size and weight.

  22. Hubby bought me a Suzuki Boulevard C50 before I even had my first lesson. After taking the MSF class I began riding it around the neighborhood. I had trouble at every stop. I never got over being nervous on that bike. One day when he was on the bike he dropped it causing $$$$ damage. I was never so happy to see it go. We replaced it with a Kawasaki Vulcan 900. I picked out the bike, I test drove her, I signed the papers on her! I love this bike. You have to find what is right for you.

  23. I just got my license a month ago and bought a Honda Rebel (CMX250). I agree it’s best to start small, ride consistently, and listen to your inner voice to gain confidence. I had never ridden a motorcycle before March of this year. I’m amazed how far I’ve progressed and this has made my riding so much fun! I can see myself at some point getting a more powerful bike, but am having a great and positive experience each time I go out. Best wishes to you!

  24. I took my safety course in January 2015. Hubby wanted me to start with a Honda Shadow 750 but I felt that I needed something smaller in order to get my confidence. I am 5 feet 4 inches, short legs. I’d sat on the 750 many, many times, not to mention just about every other bike I could get my butt on for months, and the Shadow just felt too big and heavy to me. (All I kept looking at was the monster size tank).He bought me a Honda Rebel 250 for Christmas 2014. It was perfect—the size didn’t intimidate me. I rode her until April 2015. After many miles on the Rebel I went back to the dealer and sat on the Shadow again and immediately knew that I had to take it home. It felt good! I love it! But for me, the Rebel gave me the confidence I needed to bring my new girl home. I realized that I don’t ride looking at that big tank. If I had it to do again, I would still start with the smaller bike. That was the right choice for me. Just remember that the bike you ride is a very personal choice. After you take your class you may have a better feel for what you want or what you may be comfy on. Riding my own bike is one of the best choices I have ever made. I still enjoy riding with the hubby on our Gold Wing for long trips, but riding my own is so exhilarating.

  25. I am 5 feet 2 inches and 110 pounds. I am getting my license next month, and will then be looking for a Harley. I am not that strong, and my inseam is only 31-inches so I am short. Any suggestions on what type of bike to get?

    1. Julie,I assume you’re taking the MSF class first. If you’re set on getting a Harley as your first motorcycle regardless of your size, we recommend the Street 500. Starting on this motorcycle, or something smaller, like a Honda 250, will give you the highest chance of success: learning with confidence, limiting moments of fear and doubt, less likely to drop the bike, learning the skills need to ride safely in the shortest time possible. Check out this article on first bikes for more advice.

  26. I started on a Honda 250, but knew it wouldn’t be “the bike.” I tried a lot of motorcycles three months into my first year, usually selected by someone more experienced than me. I agree, many felt wrong: weight, power, response, center of gravity. I even crashed one I couldn’t hold at an uphill stop sign. That was a light bulb moment for me. No one was going to be riding the bike for me, so I needed to listen to the uncomfortable voice in me when it said, don’t ride that one, it is wrong for you. My voice led me to the Indian Scout and I knew immediately it was the right bike for me. Riding happily now and can’t wait to get on it. Trust your inner voice. If it feels wrong don’t assume you’ll get used to it in time. Riding is a love affair with your bike. Choose as carefully as you would a mate and you will choose wisely.

  27. A lot of great advice. It’s really about how you feel sitting on the bike, kind of like a good pair of jeans. I agree with starting on a smaller bike because you will out and practice is everything. I’m 5 feet 11 inches so I had problems with the smaller bikes. The class had 250 Hondas, then I went and bought a big bike right from the word go. But that worked for me. Only you can choose your own bike, no one else. Being afraid of the power of a bigger bike—you control the throttle. I’ve learned through the 20-plus years of riding, never ride outside your skill level. Good luck. Stay safe.

  28. Hi Leslie,I had the same situation. I am 5 feet 7 inches and 140 pounds. Although my husband’s Honda Shadow 750 seemed like it would be the right fit, the weight of it took me by surprise. First time trying to ride it, I was going very slowly, turned the handlebars, and down I went. Fell right over. I just couldn’t hold it up. So I bought much, much smaller—a Honda Rebel 250. I love it. I know that I will quickly outgrow it, but for now, it allows me to concentrate on what I learned in my MSF classes, instead of focusing on trying to hold up the bike.Good luck to you, as I’m sure you’ll find a bike that is just the right size for you.

  29. Two years ago I sold my 1966 Mustang when we moved to New Mexico. I had been on the back of a motorcycle for more than 30 years with my husband. He always bought the Cadillacs of motorcycles. Either the Honda Gold Wing or his now Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. I knew from the feel of his bike that it was not for me.My daughters both learned to ride and got motorcycle licenses. I decided that at more than 50 years old it was time to check off a bucket list item. So I bought a motorcycle.I was lucky enough to be working with a young salesman from Thunderbird H-D who listened to what I described and he was able to place me with a motorcycle I felt comfortable with. I got a 2013 H-D Fat Boy Lo. I like the lower center of gravity on this bike and the fact that it didn’t feel top heavy to me which was a huge fear. I can also put both my feet firmly on the ground.I was given the motorcycle safety course for free for buying the Harley and we learned on H-D Street 500s. I was able to gain the confidence I needed to get out on the road. Started on neighborhood streets and practiced the basics, then moved up to bigger and bigger streets and busier ones until finally, a few months later, I was driving I-25 in New Mexico at 75 mph.The key here is I sat on and felt many different motorcycles in the H-D showroom and followed my gut to pick the one I melded with. I would suggest you do the same. Sit on many motorcycles of all different brands and look for that feel of “yeah, this is the one.” Once you have picked the right bike, the rest will come. Don’t ever take anyone else’s second choice. By the way … my Fat Boy Lo has the 103 engine which is over 1670ccs.

  30. I also faced the same dilemma when I started riding two years ago. My husband has an 883 Sportster SuperLow. However, after sitting on many Harleys and moving my husband’s bike around the driveway and the garage, I knew I did not feel comfortable on a heavier bike.It’s very funny that I now have two sportbikes, because growing up, my family did not like them and we always had associated them with squids riding around at 100 mph. However, I walked into a sportbike shop one day and sat on a few, and loved how light they felt. My first bike, a Yamaha FZ6R has been a perfect first bike, and now I also have a Suzuki GSXR 750 that has been a perfect advanced bike so far.The bike that I rode on a demo day that was amazing and would be perfect for a beginner (and anyone who likes a nimble little bike) is the Yamaha R3. It weighs about 360 pounds, is peppy but doesn’t have too much get up and go and corners extremely well, in fact, better than a lot of bigger bikes. The R3 also felt comfy enough to ride all day and had a more upright riding position. It shifted very smoothly and I believe even has a slipper clutch. It does not come with ABS but I have never ridden with ABS and have not had any issues.I always recommend sitting on some different sportbikes just because I was hellbent on a cruiser when I first started looking and once I got to know the sportbikes I loved them. Everyone is different on the good first bike topic. The FZ6R is a little heavy but a good bike that you would have for a long time. The R3 is even better because it is so light and very confidence building. My second bike, the GSXR, is an advanced bike with a more aggressive position – don’t even look at Gixxer as a first bike. It’s a lot of fun with experience, though! Do what is right for you and if you think you might have issues with his bike, you won’t be confident on it. Get a bike that you can build a lot of confidence on! Once you have some experience under your belt you will find that you will be able to hop on most bikes and figure them out.

  31. I think most of the advice in article is absolutely correct. One thing I always tell my friends who are learning to ride is also to try to push the bike backwards, like coming out of a spot. If it’s too heavy for you to comfortably do on your own go smaller. That doesn’t always mean less power but a shorter stature bike or lighter. I always was a Harley rider (5 feet 9 inches, 150 pounds) and wanted more nimble, so now I am riding adventure bikes and they seemed scary tall. But when you get our there and try you will find that one that just feels like home. Trust you, not the salesman, not your husband. YOU. Start small, build confidence, and trade up.

  32. You should always ride the bike you want to ride, not the bike anyone else (and this includes your boyfriend) wants you to ride. Take the MSF class, get your endorsement, then buy YOUR bike.

  33. When I took up riding in 2012 I had a very similar challenge – many long time riding men constantly telling me size matters. I came out of the MSF course with a motorcycle endorsement and comfort on a Honda Rebel 250. When I went shopping almost everything felt too heavy, too big, too tall, too bulky, etc. While the adage of buying as large as you’re comfortable riding may be true, you also don’t need your forever bike right out of the gate. Be kind and patient with yourself. I bought (still own) a Suzuki Savage (now renamed Boulevard S40) and given it’s a 650 big single engine, was just over 300 pounds wet. This was nice and light and comfy, and it was bigger than the Rebel 250 I was debating (and therefore would last me longer). Going on three years with her, a great first bike – also buy used if able (I did and am happy for it because you know you will likely drop it at some point!)When you sit on your ride, and push it to a riding position, and it doesn’t scare the bejabbers out of you, you’ve got the right bike. Test drive it if able, or go to demo days. From my perspective, cruiser models 250cc through 650cc are all really good bikes for your first (especially if you’re short) and there are a lot of naked bikes that are more sporty and light/nimble for those with a longer inseam. At your height don’t be afraid to try these on for size too. The heft you’re uncomfortable with may evaporate as they are usually lighter, and you have the gift of a 33-inch inseam (at 28 myself, I’m envious!). Ultimately it’s not a competition, if you buy something you’re afraid of and won’t ride, completely defeats the purpose of getting that motorcycle therapy in!Keep the shiny side up,Katy

  34. Leslie, I know there are people who can start and learn on larger bikes, but I am a firm advocate for starting small and working your way up. For one thing, if you take the MSF class to learn to ride, the bikes used in the class will probably be 125s. Going from that, immediately to a 750 could pose an unnecessary challenge. I rode a Honda Shadow 750 Spirit as my second bike that I bought in my second season after getting my license the year before on a 250 Yamaha Exciter. I’m only 5-feet-2 and the bike fit me just fine, but in my first year I would have been scared of it. My advice would be to ask your husband if he can hold the bike for you for a year, while you learn on something smaller, and then decide in year two if you would feel comfortable on it. (I was more than ready for it once I had a whole first season behind me.) I wrote on this topic some time ago on my blog. I’ll share the link here in hopes it will be helpful to you!

  35. Deborah is right on the money. If you are not comfortable with the bike, don’t try to force it! I started my 5-foot-3 daughter out on a 250 Honda Rebel with the understanding that she would most likely outgrow it in a year, which she did and now owns a 600 Shadow that she loves. But it was a comfortable learning curve for her and if you don’t enjoy the ride, what’s the point?

  36. Leslie, if you’re afraid of the bike, then it’s not the right one to learn to ride on.I think you’re on the right track to find something lighter that you feel more comfortable with while you’re learning. Then when you have some experience and are more solid with your skills, move up to a bigger bike. When I first started out, I followed some well-meaning advice which led me to buying a bigger, more powerful bike as a first bike. I was afraid to ride it. So after it sat in the garage for several years I finally sold it. A couple of years later, I bought a 250cc scooter and started over. Should have done that to begin with. If your fiancee really thinks you should learn on his 750, both of you should read the story on the home page: Reader Story: So You Wanna Buy Your Wife a Bike?, A step-by-step guide from an MSF Instructor. The story may also help you find the right bike to begin on.After you take the MSF class, you may have a better idea of what you’d be comfortable with and the instructors may give you some guidance on choosing one. Good luck!

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