I grew up with motorcycles, but just got my own five years ago. Its a Suzuki GZ250. Although its a beginners bike I love it because it fits me. But I think I am now ready for more power.
I am 64 and plan to retire in two years. My question is, does the weight of a bigger motorcycle come into play for smaller women? I am 5 feet 2 inches and very slender, but not fragile.
Thanks for the feedback,
Please post your responses for Janet in the comments below. Thank you.
Please post your responses for Janet in the comments below. Thank you.
5 Tips for Short Riders Handling Big Bikes
5 Tips for Short Riders Handling Big Bikes
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65 thoughts on Is Weight of a Bigger Motorcycle a Factor for Smaller Women?
Hello everyone. I am a new rider—5 feet 2 inches and weigh less than 130 pounds. I ride a 2009 883 Harley-Davidson Sportster Low and am able to flat-foot it. However there’s something to be said about determining what is best for your learning style as far as where your feet go. I have forward controls and found this challenging. Courses teach you to have your foot on the rear brake when stopped—try this with short legs and stretched out trying to balance the bike. I don’t practice this anymore.I realize folks find the Sportster 883 light, but honestly I can’t lift it, and when it starts to fall (twice) you better catch it before it goes past the point of no return. Other then this, I love the open road. Riding on the highway, the bike handles nicely. I have lots of learning and miles to go with new experiences. I have a new bike to try with mid-controls, a 2017 H-D Iron. I’m looking forward to riding when warm weather moves in. Safe travels all.
I too, am 5 feet 2 inches and started out with a Yamaha V Star. Once I sat on the Victory Vegas, I was sold. It has a low center of gravity and is way more powerful than my 1200. I could lower their Cross Country if I wanted a bigger bagger, but cannot reach the ground comfortably on their stock 26 inches. I agree, bike makers do not cater to women.
I am 5 feet tall and started out with a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200L. I was never able to flat-foot it, but it was my first bike and I loved it unconditionally. I found out it was top-heavy but that didn’t stop me from riding. I have since traded up to a Softail Deluxe with a dropped suspension and custom seat. It’s a heavier bike, but with its lower center of gravity and 2- or 3-inch heels I can flat-foot it. Best decision I made so far. Looking for that next trade up—Road Glide here I come!
I’ve been through a number of bikes since I started riding in 2002 at 52 years old. I sold my 2008 Harley-Davidson Nightster 1200 in 2015 because I had broken my right shoulder and didn’t know if I’d be able to ride it.I went looking in December 2016 for a bike and none would work. The Scout Sixty was too wide and tall as are all of the Harleys and I’m not able to lift big Hondas off the kickstand. I am 5 feet 1 inch and could flat foot a Honda Spirit and my Harley, but seems they don’t think of women when they make bikes. The other problem is the front of the seat is too wide which takes up height. So I settled for a 2016 Can-Am Spyder F3. I miss the two wheels, but safety is paramount and I’m not going to ride a bike I am not comfortable on. I will be happy with my three wheels until I stop riding. I’m 67 and hope to ride for a long, long time to come.
I’m 5 feet 2 inches and started out three years ago on a Honda Rebel 250. Six months later I bought a 2012 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Custom. I just bought a second bike—a 2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic. It weighs more than 900 pounds and I found it easier to handle than my Super Glide. I had it lowered 2 inches in the back and now it’s perfect.Don’t let size and weight limit you. Most bikes can be fit to you. I bought it for the cruise control and tour pak for long rides. Kept my Super Glide for around town and short rides. My advice is to test ride all makes and models and find the one you like best that fits your needs.
I’m 65 and have been riding my own ride since 1985. I’m 5 feet 7 inches, 126 pounds and I ride a 1900cc (113cu) Yamaha Star Roadliner and it weighs 750 pounds. It’s a big bike and guys often ask how can I handle it. I think for me it’s the fact that when I’m stopped I can put both feet flat on the ground. I often see girls only being able to put their tiptoes on the ground when stopped, making them very unstable. Which leads to the problem of seat height for us girls. Let’s face it, most rides are designed for the guys, but as female riders increase bike sizes will change as well. I think that proper seat height is one of the most important things to consider when buying a bike, for comfort and safety. Look for a bike with an adjustable seat height and if that doesn’t work try for a customized seat as well.
The Roadliner is a heavy bike, but it’s also got a very low center of gravity and wide handlebars, which makes it much easier to balance and control at low speeds.Seat height is an issue for many women, but more experienced riders realize that practice mastering skills can alleviate many of the issues we have with tall motorcycles. Check out our tips for short riders handling big and tall motorcycles.
I too have concerns with bike weight. As a newer rider and over 50, I wanted to flat-foot it for security. Be careful what you test and the route you take. I test rode a Honda Valkyrie that I could flat-foot. It felt heavy but the salesman assured me it would be stable. He took me on a route that required me to come to a stop on an uphill grade. I was able to hold it for awhile, then it started to roll backwards. Thinking I could save it, I tried to throttle my way out of it. The power of that bike coupled with my inexperience with real clutch control led me to a rapid uncontrolled acceleration right across the road and through a fence, dumping it on the other side.Needless to say, not a good experience. From that point forward, if I didn’t feel comfortable on it standing still, I didn’t go further. I did test a number of bikes and eventually chose the Indian Scout. Light, low center of gravity, and plenty of power, it was perfect as soon as I rode it. With bags, windshield and high bars, I can ride with confidence on long or short rides. Keep looking until you find your perfect ride too.
I am 5 feet 1 inch and ride a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom XL. I love it. My husband adjusted it for my height so that my feet are flat on the ground when I stop.I think as long as you adjust the bike properly to fit your height you can ride anything you are comfortable on.
I am 50 (5 feet 2 inches, about one buck weight) and I’ve been riding a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Custom for four years. It is top-heavy but I ride it just fine. At 560 pounds it can be a struggle sometimes to pick it up, but I try not to let it happen. I hear the Softail Slim has a better distribution of the weight. I may trade up to that soon. I rented and rode a Honda Rebel by comparison and almost tossed it when picking it up (lighter than an 883). But I’m a Harley rider and I love cruiser bikes, so I’ll just find my right size.
If you go on big rides, the bigger, heavier bike is a must for comfort and stability on the road. Be careful where you park and pull over, and rely on the kindness of strangers if need be. I couldn’t pick up my Street Glide, but I love it! Easy to ride and like cruising in a Cadillac comfortably.
I’m not quite 5 feet 4 inches, and a size 8 (I hate giving height and weight because weight does not necessarily indicate size), and I can tell you my boyfriend’s 700-pound Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Crossbones that I ride sometimes is much easier to handle at low speeds/parking lots than my own 450-pound Kawasaki Ninja 650. However, once you’re moving the Ninja wins hands down for maneuverability at high speeds. No worries about scraping floorboards.
I ride a Honda VTX 1300. At 5 feet 6 inches and less than 140 pounds, it can be a beast to handle, but the previous owner lowered it just enough that it rides like a dream and goes just where I want it to. I started on a Honda Magna 700, and graduated to a Honda Shadow 1100 Sabre before jumping on the VTX. I say ride what’s in your comfort zone and move up only when you feel ready for something bigger. No sense in scaring yourself by riding something with more power and weight than you are ready for.
I’m 5 feet 1 inch and tipped over 3 of 4 of my bikes. The weight ranged from 450 pounds to 700 pounds. Knowing how to pick up your bike is the key. Having an engine guard makes the job much easier if you don’t allow the bike to go past the engine guard threshold.
Find out how to pick up a dropped bike here.
I am 5.5 feet tall, 130 pounds, and I ride a 2016 Harley Street Glide! It’s my sixth bike and third Harley. You got this, Janet! Be confident—that is all you need!
Having been a motorcycle enthusiast for 40 years and a RiderCoach with MSF for 15, I always encourage all my students not to buy too small. However, being 63 myself, age becomes a factor for strength, balance, and coordination. I have made the change from the sport-tourer back to a cruiser just to stay lower to the ground and to make it more manageable, especially when riding two up.Ride your ride but know your limitations. No one is immune from the age factor. The most important thing is to get good training and ride often. Two or three times a week is often, not once or twice a month. And mix it up with short trips in town and long trips on the roads. I try to get 8 to 10,000 miles a year just to stay sharp.
My very first bike was a Yamaha Virago 535. I am 5 feet 2 inches and weighed probably 130 pounds at that point. A small bike like that should have been easy to handle, but I never felt completely comfortable on it. My second and current bike is a Honda Shadow ACE 750, which is way easier for me to handle than the 535, even though it is heavier.Last summer, I test rode my husband’s Yamaha Roadstar 1700. It fits me well, and I can flatfoot it, but it is a beast! However, the second you ease out the clutch, that bike stands up and goes anywhere you ask it to. It is even easier to ride than my 750, which I didn’t think possible. So the only issue is if you drop it and have no one to help you lift it up. Well, number one, how often will that likely happen? And number 2, you can learn to lift it if it happens to land on a flat surface with good footing. And if it doesn’t? Then it’s likely that even a bigger and stronger guy wouldn’t be able to pick it up by himself anyway. I see plenty of men riding bikes that they wouldn’t be able to pick up if they went down. So why do women worry so much about it? My advice: Test ride everything you can get your hands on and choose the bike that speaks to you.
Great advice, Beth. And be sure to check out our article about the proper technique to lift a dropped motorcycle.
I am 5 feet 3 inches. Started on an 883 Sportster. Moved up to a Dyna Low Rider. It’s perfect for me. My Sporty always felt top heavy to me. The Low Rider feels so much more stable for me.
I started on a HD Fat Boy and have never looked back. I’m 5 foot 6. I now ride a Street Glide and love it. Admittedly there are times I need someone to assist with backing up but that is the only time the weight of the bike is an issue.
I’ve had seven big block Harleys and never had a problem with my 5 foot 4 inch height. I now ride a Ducati Diavel and still have both feet on the ground. The Ducati is nearly 200 pounds lighter than my last Harley and so much easier to push back into a parking spot and maneuver.
I owned a Triumph Speedmaster, which was very front end heavy compared to the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 XL Low that I now own. I love it! Not all Sportsters have a high center of gravity, look for a low model. It is good on gravel roads, around town, on the highway. My advice is to get a bike that you can fully maneuver yourself. That means getting in and out of your garage yourself, up ramps yourself, picking it up yourself. Heavier bikes require throttle control skills to move them. Go get fitted at a dealership. Go to a bike show where all the manufacturers and models are present and get on all the different bikes. Definitely helped me!
I started my journey on Harleys on a Sportster 883 Low. I loved it and found it easy to handle. Just an afterthought. I had been riding for years but on Japanese bikes. Then when the time came to trade it in I sat on quite a few bikes and it wasn’t until I sat on the Softail Slim that I knew where I was going next. Yes it’s got a bigger engine, a bonus, it’s lower than the Sporty, so my 5 foot 3 inch size fits it well. Is it heavy? Hell yes! But when riding you don’t notice it and now that I’ve gotten used to it and know how to handle it I have no problems and have never regretted the move.
I just had to comment that I love this website! Finally a site for us girls! I am a 5-foot 105-pound petite girl and I have also been considering moving from my 2009 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Sportster to a bigger bike, mainly because everyone I have talked to and from reading the feedback on this site! It seems to be a no brainer that with the weight distributed with a low center of gravity that a bike would be easier to manage. But I also am concerned about the weight. The overall opinion is that the Sportys are smaller but yet top-heavy. I love my bike but it is top heavy! So based on all the opinions, I am trying to decide between the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim and the Deluxe. I have not ridden a Big Twin yet, but I now feel more confident hearing all of your opinions. And, not to mention I think I deserve a nice birthday gift just turning the 5-0 this year!My concern about test riding these Big Twins is I am short and feel the need to be flat footed … any opinions on this?
Readers: feel free to post your answers to this similar and relevant question asked by Cheryl here as well.
I am 52, and have had my own bike since age 16. I am also 5 feet 2 inches and still (relatively) slim. I started with a Honda CB200T, then went to a Yamaha 400 Maxim, and then a 700 Maxim. My next bike was, and still is after 20 years, a Yamaha 1100 Virago. It is by far the best handling motorcycle I have ever had. I can flat foot it and easily back up. It’s very easy to handle and ride because the weight is down low. My father bought an old Honda CB200 for my son to learn to ride on, and although I have ridden the little thing again, I can’t even believe I did it so many years ago! Because it’s top-heavy, it’s such a pig compared to the lightness and maneuverability of my Virago!
I have been riding since 1983 starting with a Honda 250 and now have a 2003 Harley-Davidson Low Rider 100th Anniversary Edition, 1450cc. This bike replaced a 93 Harley Sportster 1200cc. The weight difference and length are noticeable but I love both. The Low Rider is a dream to ride but it is for sale as I need the money now. Best of luck and keep the rubber side down!
I am 5 feet 5 inches, 135 pounds and ride a Harley-Davidson Ultra. I practice weekly with 20 foot circles. Since skills are perishable I do this often to know my bike well with what it can and cannot do with me on it. I also ride a BMW GSA 1200 on tippy-toes at a stop. It’s just about knowing your bike and practicing to be comfortable. But also don’t just jump on a larger bike, work up with your skills. Take classes as often as you can.
I’m 5 feet 3 inches. In my 20s, I started with a 185cc Yamaha Exciter. Then I moved up to a 600 Honda Shadow. It took me a week or so to get used the weight difference. I absolutely adored that 600. In my 40s, I bought a Honda Shadow Aero 750 and that was a dream. I drove my husband’s huge 1800 Honda VTX and it was great on the highway, but I needed help pushing it out from a parking spot when on an incline. I could not stand flat-footed on that bike, but I handled it in city traffic and highway traffic. Great times.
Great article. One thing that’s not mentioned much is that it’s not the weight of the bike, it’s the center of gravity. I’ve only ridden Harleys, and the Sportsters are very top heavy. The Softtail family has a much better center of gravity, making it much more comfortable to ride. I ride a 2007 Fat Boy and never have any pain as it fits like a glove. I am almost 5 feet 2 inches. Another thing I noticed is the larger tires have more grip and are much easier to control in the rain and when hitting all the potholes. Go big!
I’m 55 years old, 5 feet 7 inches, and on my sixth street bike. I started with a Honda 750, 883 Harley-Davidson Sporty, a Harley Dyna Convertible, a Harley Heritage Softail, and then took a hiatus from riding for 13 years while raising my son. After my son got out of rodeo and went off to college my husband and I got back into bikes. I started over with a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and then after about three months went to the one I have now—a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street Glide CVO. We bought it for my husband and he had it for about two hours. I rode it and then it was mine! (He now has an Ultra Limited.) Notice how I moved up in size every time. Each time I questioned my choice as they got heavier and heavier, but I always handled it OK because of my confidence and ability. I think that’s the key. You have to feel like it fits you. My current bike’s running weight is 870 pounds. At first I wasn’t so sure about having such a heavy bike, but every time I ride I know it was the right choice. I absolutely love this bike! It feel so comfortable on it while riding. It’s well balanced, corners great, has lots of power, is made for touring, and I just feel like it’s made for me. Just like the other women riders have said, you just have to be careful about where you are going to park. Consider the slant and determine whether you’re backing it in or heading in forward, plus I’m never too proud to ask for a push now and then if I need it. I take it slow and easy when maneuvering with just my legs and arms and I’m not under power. I can easily flatfoot it when stopped and that definitely makes me a little more secure and comfortable.
I’m not a new rider. I’ve been riding since 1954 and have had many different bikes and different sized bikes. I’m not a small woman as I’m 5 foot 2 inches tall but I weigh a whopping 145 pounds, so I’m a fatty.Right now I ride a 1980 Honda 1000 and have a sidecar that I attach when I want to go deer hunting or something (it holds a lot of refreshments for hog roasts) but I have over 300,000 miles on it and I’m looking for a trike for a replacement.It isn’t the size of the woman or the size of the bike, in my opinion, it’s what you are comfortable with and can handle with ease. But since I’m pushing 80 (OK, already tripped over 80) I don’t want to have to deal with the balance and holding it up at stoplights so it’s going to be a new trike.I wish you the best in finding just the perfect bike to suit you, and keep on riding.
I started out on a Kawasaki Ninja 650. I’m 5 feet 3.5 inches. I’ve been riding a Harley Springer Softail Crossbones lately and I have to say it is actually easier to move around stopped or at low speeds than my Ninja is despite weighing a heck of a lot more. I think the center of gravity matters a lot more than the weight.
I’m 57 and started riding three years ago. I rode a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 for a couple years, had fun (and boo-boos, nothing serious), but could not ride her on windy days or on the freeway without fighting to keep her where I wanted to be on the pavement. Moved up to a Suzuki Boulevard C50, which has an extra 150 pounds or so of curb weight. I’m finding her a little easier to handle, just have to be much more aware when parking that I’m able to roll out. And she is so much easier to handle on the freeway, giving me a much more enjoyable ride.
I started on a 250, next a 600 (both Hondas) then a 900 and now am on my favorite bike ,848 street fighter Ducati. Fast, maneuverability, light but great on freeways. Love it!
I’m also 5 feet 2 inches, about 120 pounds, and 60 years young. I gave up riding cruisers 20 years ago due to their weight. Although cruisers are low they are also heavy. I now ride a BMW F 650 GS, factory lowered. After riding more than 10 different bikes (cruisers, sportbikes, dirt bikes, etc.) in my life (been riding since I was 13) this one is by far the best bike for me. It’s so well-balanced and so lightweight that I can handle it well even at low speeds. It’s comfortable and reliable and gets 70 mpg. I rode it to Alaska last year—27 days on the road without a single mishap.
I am 5 feet 4 inches and started riding at age 57 on a lowered Yamaha V Star 650. It was great for developing my skill level but too lightweight in the wind. I moved up to a Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. The lower center of gravity and balance made the weight of the bike inconsequential and the Deluxe is stable in the wind and handles like a dream on the freeway or on mountain curves—my favorite! Your body lower to the ground and a bike with balance is the key, not just its weight. Remember you can also have your seat trimmed lower and narrower. Lastly, the handlebars on the Deluxe have a riser that pull them back to you so no aching back. I am now 67 and my Deluxe has 97,000 miles. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Getting a heavy bike can come in handy when you pass a big commercial truck, high bridge with wind shear or other wind disturbance. I’m 5 feet 4 inches and 122 pounds. My Softail Slim S is 1800cc at 800 pounds. She is a perfect fit for me. I didn’t have to adjust a thing to be able to reach everything and be flat footed. You want the bike to have good ergonomic fit to be comfortable. Next, if the weight makes you feel uncomfortable when maneuvering it, try an advance riders class (MSF BRC-2, Advance RidersCourse). Most dealerships or even YouTube can show you the proper way to pick up a bike if you drop it (I had to pick up my previous bike; weighed 700 pounds). Just remember when parking always park level, nose up or someplace with enough room to motor out. Good luck and look for the bike that fits, whether it be a 600cc or 1800cc
Great photos and advice. Thanks for sharing. Here is our article on how to lift a dropped bike.
If you are really honest with yourself, you already know the answer to your question; only you know your skill level. You do not have to go from a 250 to a touring bike. Try something in between first and see how you do with that first. Skill and confidence are what matter most, but both have to earned first! Good luck and be safe out there!
I’m 5 feet 4 inches and 130 pounds (though I’ve been as low as 115 pounds) and teach fitness. I ride a Harley-Davidson Street Glide. Riding isn’t the issue, it’s stopping! I have to be careful where I park. If there’s any incline I find the flattest space available. As a fitness instructor I try to keep my legs as strong as possible. It’s not about upper body strength on a motorcycle. If I find myself in a situation that I can’t handle alone, after trying to get out of it myself, I grab a strong guy to move it for me. I ask for help reluctantly and when riding with my husband, he’s learned to watch and wait before asking me if I need help. I have a bit of a stubborn streak, but won’t put myself in danger to prove that I’m as good as any man. Women are born with 35 percent less muscle mass than men and, other than weight training, you can slow the age-related decline, but you’ll need help from the “stronger” sex once in a while. I can see all you feminists out there fuming over my remarks, but I’m a strong independent woman who has learned (and respects) my limitation! My new home in West Virginia has humbled me when it comes to hills. There are a lot more challenges than in my flat home state of New Jersey.
I am 64, 5 feet 3 inches. I have been riding for years. I’ve had a 250, 350, 500, 650, and a 1200cc bike. This year I went down to a smaller bike and have to admit I can ride with less stress because it is easier to park, unsure uneven pavement, and drops in pavement, back up, u-turns, etc. so I put my ego on a shelf and now have a F 700 GS. Perfect bike for me. Just did a cross country 6,478 mile trip
As a 77 year old male rider who has ridden a variety of motorcycles, I am convinced that finesse, not size or strength, is the key to successful riding management. Choose a bike that fits you and ride on!
You can do it. I got tired of not having a place to pack my things for long-distance trips. I love to travel on my bike across country. I ride a 2015 Ultra Limited Low and I am 5 feet 3 inches. I have a 31-inch inseam. I had it lowered and then added a backrest which pushes me forward which helps me put my feet flat on the ground. Bottom line, I realize that size does make a difference but what is most important is skill/technique. I am taking some individual training to help with the maneuvers of the bike since it is too heavy. I met a lady at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson who was small petite 5 foot 1 inch and she rode a Heritage Softail. She said she had the seat re-sculpted. Good luck.
I (5 feet 3 inches) started on a Honda Rebel 250 and gradually worked my way up over a number of years to my 2016 Softail Slim, which I bought new this year. Even with the low profile Slim I still purchased a reduced reach seat for more comfort and I love it! I tested a few different Sportster models and felt they were too top heavy for me.My previous bike was a Yamaha Bolt, a really well balanced peppy bike. Keep trying and you will find one that fits you, but it may take some customization to be comfortable. Good luck in your search!
I’m 5 feet 3 inches and ride a 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special. I love it!
Yes, I feel weight is a factor when you’re short. For example, the winds may be more than 10 to 15 mph and we have to squeeze our thighs and stay extra focused on bike positions while riding.
I am 5 feet 2 inches. My first bike is a Suzuki VL800. It is big and heavy but my feet touch the ground with a bend in the knee.
I am 5 feet 2 inches with short legs! I rode a Sportster 1200 (lowered) for years. About five years ago my friends convinced me to get a Softail Deluxe. I love it! Much easier to ride the long distances. I had the Softail lowered about 2 inches so I am flat footed. Bigger bikes are nicer to ride, but also a little more challenging to back up and park. But you can do it.
I have ridden off and on since I was 8 years old. I had a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. I now ride a 2014 Softail Deluxe. When I went to the bigger bike I found it was easier. Bigger bikes are better balanced. The weight feels distributed lower. My smaller Sportster was top heavy. I’m 5 feet 2 inches. I was fitted by Harley in Rapid City. Everything down to the handlebars. They were so helpful. Go test ride some. I knew another woman rider that was short and she rode the Hoka Hey challenge on a Road King. My husband is short and rides a Street Glide bagger. My overall experience has been the bigger the easier as long as you can touch the ground. A Fat Boy Low also fits me well. Figure out if you want to ride around town or just to work or tour the country. That will narrow your field down. Test ride, test ride, test ride! Safe travels, sister!
I have a Honda VTX 1800. I now have 55,000 miles on it. The salesperson I bought it from later told me he thought I was crazy and would not actually ride it. I have. Love it for cruising, even in curves. However, with a dry weight of 745 pounds, I do struggle with a few things. Pushing it backwards up a hill I sometimes need help. Moving it on loose gravel is tough, those type of things. I am careful where I park. As I get older, I’m now almost 54, it’s getting a little tougher. I also had knee surgery. I will get something small down the road, but not too soon. Size does not matter as much as how you feel on it.
I am 56 years old, stand 5 feet 1 inch, and am in my third year of riding motorcycles. I personally own and ride a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200, but this past winter I rented the 2016 Softail Slim S 110 cubic inch. It was much larger and heavier but had wonderful suspension and actually handled much better than my Sporty. Where the bike has a fat front tire and a wider turn radius, it was easy to maneuver. No feeling of tipping. I absolutely loved riding it. So, no, a bigger bike is not a problem, other than getting your feet on the ground. The Slim enabled me to that, because it is, as it’s called, “slim.”
I am 5 feet 3/4 inch, 113 pounds and just turned 62. I rode a Honda Rebel 250 for about a year until I got bored with it. I wanted to move up to a bigger bike also but had a hard time finding the right one. I sat on all kinds of bikes; Honda Shadow, Kawasaki, etc., but they all felt so big and intimidating to me. But then I saw the Harley-Davidson Street 750 (they make a 500 also which weighs exactly the same). When I sat on this bike, I knew it was for me — it just felt right. And after my first ride on it I knew I had made the right decision. I just absolutely love it and it was a great move up for me. Sit on all the different bikes you can or test ride them. I think you’ll know when you find the right one. Good luck to you, Janet!
Met one of my best riding buddies while she was out with one of her motorcycle renters. If you have a motorcycle rental in your area, see what they have in stock. They have valuable feedback on what they will keep in their corral and what they’ve found to be liabilities.I started with an Harley-Davidson Sportster 883, moved to a HD Custom 1200 and now ride a HD Softail Slim. The Slim rides far better because of it’s low center of balance. My much shorter pals can flat foot the Slim. She corners beautifully and I tend to get a little Smarta$$y 1. because I am one 2. because she handles so well that I have the confidence to roll out. Draw back: you separate buy the windshield / bags / rack, i.e. accessories.
I am 5 feet 2 inches and been riding for many miles. My first bike of my very own was a small Suzuki Intruder. It was a great bike but too light. I found myself leaning into the wind a lot, to the point of not riding on windy days. Last year I moved up to a vintage Indian. I had a lowering kit put on and a forward seat and this beauty was made for me! I love how she handles on the wind and practically steers herself, so well balanced. Right away I had to test the brakes when a little fawn, literally fell in front of my bike at highway speed. I hit the brakes hard and it gave the little fawn enough time to get out of the way and I stayed upright and felt confident the entire time. I will never regret going to a bigger bike. I do have a rule when parking though, only park so I can pull out forward unless you have good thighs. Ha Shungila has 5,000 miles on her now and purring right along.
While I am not a smaller person I was worried when I bought my Ultra. I call her half ton cause that’s what she weighs but I love her! The power is amazing and while I am getting her lowered so I won’t need help backing up I have never had trouble finding help to back her. That’s what the biker community is about, helping each other. Anyhow, try several and see what you like but don’t let size stop you!
I just moved up from a Honda Rebel 250 (330 pounds) to a Honda CB550 (450 pounds). It taking some getting used to, but I’m loving it. And the challenge. Check out the videos on how to pick up a fallen bike, no matter the weight. Could come in handy one day.
We have 10 easy steps outlined in our story on how to pick up a fallen bike. Check it out first
My first bike was a Softail and I moved up to a Street Glide four years ago. There’s a little difficulty maneuvering at low speeds and pushing the bike around, but I manage. It’s a way more comfortable ride! Oh, I’m 5 feet 8 inches and around 150 pounds.
I feel that it did play a factor in choosing my daily rider as I wanted comfort in riding alone. I ride an 883 Harley-Davidson Sporty and a 650 Suzuki Savage Bobber, but they are smaller bikes. I feel I can keep up at stops, and in some wind or can maneuver easily at slow speeds, and backing up alone without assistance or a push, but top heavy. The heavier bikes have a lower center of gravity so actually in my opinion, easier to ride like the Dynas, but not as easy to move at slower speeds like backing it up. More modifications for the smaller rider, but us minis can still handle the bigger bikes! I’m a small female rider myself, but with modifications have easily been able to handle a wide variety of weighted bikes.
I’m 5 feet 2 inches about 150 pounds and I ride a 2012 HD Super Glide. I would like a HD Street Glide. I waited for the HD test rides and rode mostly bigger bikes to see if I liked them. I loved them and size really doesn’t matter. All that mattered was if I could touch the ground. I’ve ridden all kinds of bikes including a Triumph Rocket III which I loved. I think you need to test drive as many as you can and just find what you like. Just keep in mind if you dump it you’re gonna need help getting bigger bikes up and be mindful of where you park and the slopes in the parking lots.
I am 5 feet 2 inches and have ridden most of my life. Have ridden all different size and models of motorcycles. I currently ride an 07′ HD Street Glide. I love it. Probably one of the most comfortable and I feel very weight balanced bikes I have rode. People have to be comfortable riding first then find the right bike for them.
I recently moved up from a Harley Sportster to a Street Glide. I absolutely love love love it. It is 100 times easier to ride and control than the Sportster. Just make sure that your feet can easily reach the ground when you are stopped on whatever you decide to get. I was worried about it being heavier, but it is actually much easier to steer and control than the other bike. Test ride several and see what feels great for your ride.
My advice has always been to sit on a lot of bikes and get what is comfortable for you. I have two sportbikes because that is what is comfortable to me. They handle extremely well and have plenty of power when I need to get out of a sticky situation. A good friend of mine prefers cruisers to my “crotch rockets.” She’s also on the smaller side like me (we are both 5 feet 6 inches and about 120 pounds soaking wet). She has Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom and loves it, where I feel like the cruisers are wobbly (she feels the same way about my sportbikes). Basically the best advice is to research a lot of bikes and sit on a lot. If you can, hit up some demo days. Demo days are where I found that I love Gixxers and eventually got one. You can ride many bikes at demo days from big cruisers to high powered crotch rockets.