View Full Version : Small woman, need advice on good bike for my size
05-23-2008, 11:10 AM
I am a 5'4'', 100 pound girl who has had her liscense for a year but has not ridden due to my size. I cannot find a good bike for my size. I learned on a Suzuki 250 and ended up having a small accident banging myself up pretty good. I do not want this to really happen again. I need a bike that is going to be comfortable for my size. Can anyone give me some advice.
05-23-2008, 11:20 AM
What style of bike? All bikes can be altered to accommodate different sizes, but some are better suited than others. The older Ninja 250 (the new 2008 model is higher) should be good as-is, I would think. If you're into something more cruiserish, the Honda Rebel and Nighthawk are both good choices.
05-23-2008, 11:32 AM
My concern is turning can be an issue with me being so lightweight. i need something to feel comfotable on when turning.
05-23-2008, 11:38 AM
I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that since you're so small and light, you feel intimidated by the bike's weight when trying to maneuver it? If that's the case then any of the bikes I mentioned should be ok, they're just about the smallest and lightest bikes available. You could also try to find vintage bikes from the 70's and 80's, they had real small ones back then. I just saw a 1976 CB200 for sale the other day, it was almost a scooter. The problem there is that it's hard to find a reliable one, and harder to find parts for them.
Have you taken any courses, like the MSF basic rider course? That would improve your confidence in handling any bike.
05-23-2008, 12:05 PM
Doesn't matter which bike, if it's heavy enough for you to handle it with 1 leg on the ground (which is any bike I think) you'll have problem turning if you DON'T PUT SPEED INTO IT. Do not go too slow (I assume that's the problem you were having?)
05-23-2008, 02:54 PM
No, it is more of having issues with the lean because i am so light.
05-23-2008, 03:17 PM
I rode my grandfathers Kawasaki LTD440 when I was no more than 13. I think that style of bike would lend itself well to the situation.
I know of several people that have lowered their Ninja 650r to a more comfortable height. Combo of seat, shock and tire profile.
I guess it depends on the style of bike you really want.
You're weight shouldn't have much to do with the lean. If you are leaning enough to tip it over you are probably going too fast or not turning safely. I'd look into a Ninja 250, Honda Rebel, or small Honda Shadow.
05-23-2008, 03:51 PM
No, it is more of having issues with the lean because i am so light.
I'm only 35lbs heavier than you and 2" taller than you :). Like Bob said - it's the technique, not your weight.
You push the handle to lean/turn, not using your weight (you might shift your weight to countersteer after already leaning). Check out Capt Crash's lean (or is it turn?) video in the General Discussion forum.
EDIT: here's link to his video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGY-kLYKqSY
05-23-2008, 06:51 PM
I think that you just need some saddle time to build some confidence. Look at maybe some small to mid cruisers - cruisers generally have a lower stance and lower center of gravity. Once you get over 10 MPH and have your feet on the pegs - height and weight become a mute point - until you have a stop sign, red light, etc :(. It becomes a matter of reach and confidence.
05-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Size of the bike shouldn't have anything to do with the lean. I have ridden an Ultra Classic with no problems. I am not saying that would be a good choice for someone your size. I am just saying after you learn to ride well, you can ride anything. Go to a garage party at your local dealer. It is a ladies only event and they teach even the smallest women how to pick up an Electra Glide. It is a great experience and it is free. I would sit on some bikes and see what you feel comfortable with. If you sit on the right one, you will know it. Please don't buy something that you can't handle on your own. One day I say a lady that looked to be around 100 lbs riding an Ultra Classic and she had to get her husband help her get it off the kick stand. It just made me cringe. I am sorry but if you cant get your bike off your kick stand without help, then you need to rethink your choices. Hope you find one you feel comfortable with.
05-25-2008, 02:53 PM
I definitely need something I feel comfortable on. The balance of the bike can be a problem so I should be looking at curb weight I guess.
05-25-2008, 03:04 PM
When I took my MSF course, they supplied us with Honda Rebel 250 cc motorcycles. While it was a little cozy for me ( I'm 6'0 200 pounds), it was perfect for the ladies (they were about 5'3, on average). They were able to keep both feet on the ground, use the kickstand effectively, and ride without much difficulty.
I was actually surprised by these little motorcycles. We had a 280 pound guy in our class and it carried him easily. They have a good amount of acceleration and steering and easy shifting. IF I was such a fat ass ;) I would def. get one of those.
05-25-2008, 03:37 PM
I wouldn't let your size determine your confidence. I'm not much bigger than you, 5"3, 115 lbs, and I just started riding my husbands Suzuki Boulevard. It's the M50 cruiser, 800cc and the great thing about it is that it's low enough for me sit with both feet flat on the ground. I'm brand new at this too so I can't give much advise except for my own experience but just start off really slow and don't do anything that you're not comfortable with. The Boulevard weighs abougt 550lbs and I haven't encountered any situations where I thought I was going to drop the bike (yet!:p) When I first rode it my husband took me out to a big empty parking lot and watched me do slow turns and practice my shifting. Now I've graduated to the residental area by my house. I took my safety course through an organization that also offers 1 on 1 coaching from qualified instructors, maybe you have something like that in your area? But don't give up! Just take it slow and keep it at!
05-26-2008, 09:15 AM
Ok, I have to agree with everyone else that it isn't your weight but your technique that can cause you to spill during a turn/lean. I am only 5'1'' and I weigh 100 lbs too but I ride my hubby's Honda Magna 7500cc bike and that thing easily weighs 600 lbs (hence why I can never back it up, lol).
If you are intimadated by the bigger bikes, look smaller then. During the safety course I rode the Kawasaki Elimantor but it is only 125 cc. I have heard good things about the Honda Nighthawks and Rebels too. Good luck!
05-26-2008, 09:43 AM
yes i agree, i am a short person also and when i went to the different dealers in town, i went and sat on a few bikes. the favorite one that I would have gotten if I went the Motorcycle route instead of the dual sport would have been the Honda Rebel. I hear they are really good bikes and easy to start out on. easy move. I just started riding myself so i cant give you much advice. The only other thing i can think of that someone on here told me about was get a pair of boots that will make u slightly taller and that may make it a little easier. Best of luck to you!
05-26-2008, 11:32 AM
My only caution with bigger boots is to make sure the entire platform of the boot is bigger and not just the heel. I thought I got a wicked deal on ebay with women's bike boots but the heel gets hung up between the foot peg and the shift lever so now I'm wearing my work boots until I find another pair.
05-29-2008, 03:07 PM
i wouldn't mind a dual-purpose bike either if y'all have some suggestions there too.
05-29-2008, 03:54 PM
Yamaha makes a couple small dualsports for pretty cheap, but I think the better ones are the Honda 230 and the Suzuki DR400's.
05-29-2008, 03:56 PM
I have a kawi klr250 and that is just enough for me to handle right now since i am very new at this. you have to be pretty strong to move it if you needed to by yourself w/o it turned on. Other than that I dont have a problem with it. Getting the kick starting down on mine is tricky, but getting the hang of it.
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