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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have wanted to get a motorcycle since I was 8. I am now 27. I am dying to get one and love both sport bikes and cruisers. I am torn with not knowing what bike to get for my first bike. My biggest concern is that I am 5 foot 4 inches tall. I would love some advice and input.
 

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The best suggestion I could give you is to leave your wallet and checkbook at home, then go visit your local dealer. They have a lot of bikes, and you can go ahead and sit on them to see if they'd be comfortable. My wife is 5'4", and she can sit on my 86 Virago. If you have the bucks, look at the Harley 883 Huggers.

When it's time to buy, I'd suggest you get something that will last a while, and not a 250, like a lot of new riders do. 250s are fun, but you'll outgrow them. Some folks say the same thing about 500s, like the Buell Blasts, which are inexpensive yet made by Harley.

You can pick up a vintage bike, see if riding is your cup of tea, then spend the big bucks on a new bike. Some folks discover they don't like riding after they get on a bike.

Good luck, and ride safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for your input. for lets say a yamaha r6 can you lower it? would it be better to ride a honda shadow because it is lower? someone pointed out to me that the controls are too far forward. I am just not sure what to think. thank you for your intitial reply.
rey
 

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You could probably lower an R6 but I don't think I would want to. It may affect the handling. I got to agree with Guy about going to various dealers and sitting on bikes. Remember they will sink down some when you sit on them.
 
G

thanks for your input. for lets say a yamaha r6 can you lower it? would it be better to ride a honda shadow because it is lower? someone pointed out to me that the controls are too far forward. I am just not sure what to think. thank you for your intitial reply.
rey
My wife is much shorter than you and she rides an '85 Shadow 500 with no problem. You can pick one up for $1k-1.5K, and it's a dead solid bike from a reliability standpoint. Might be a good place to start until you have some miles under your belt and get a feel for what you like.
 

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Do what i did... im 23 and im about 5'9... i just buught an 85 shadow vt 700 and its real low and you can adjust the suspenssion, confortable, not that hard to ride and its a 700 so it will take you quite a bit of riding to "outgrow" the bike... and to a point you can keep up with the bigger bikes when cruising. For a long time i thougt about getting a 250 but i dont have the cash to get that and a year later want something bigger. And i was looking arround in places and i go a hell of a deal on my shadow. so you could find one cheap. just in case you want to get rid of it or just dont like the riding experience you didnt lose alot of money... I hope i was of some help.
 

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sholdn't be any problem with cruisers, might be a bit short for sporties. I'm 5'6" and I can tiptoe both sides on my bike (30.9" height), new sport bikes are a bit higher (31+"), but then I weigh only 140lbs, so if you're heavier than that you should be good. I'm not sure about 250cc ones since I'm not into those at all :)

YF
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Everyone

Thanks so much I really have been help by everyone posting. I Went to go sit on a bunch of bikes and found that I feel much more at ease with the Shadow. I love the 750 Aero but will most likely takes the advice and buy a used 500 shadow. I love the sport bikes too but when i sat on them it was stressfull and I don't want that for when i am learning.
Thanks so much!
Rey
 
G

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is one of the most important factors in choosing a MC. It is not just seat height. There are several factors to consider.

Seat height is very important and can be dealt with in several ways. Idealy you should be able to sit flat footed in the shoes/boots you will use when riding. If you are close to being able to be flat footed but just a little short, you can get boots with a thicker sole that will make up the difference. Just don't go with a sole over One inch in height. Thiick soles can however influence other riding ergonomics, like shifting ease, brake operation, and leg fatigue. Test your ability buy trying to hold the MC on a none level surface like a seriuosly crowned street.

Another important factor is handle bars. Being shorter and trying to balance and hold up a MC while at a stop can be a challenge. Some MC have 'narrow' grip Harley Sportster style handle bars which aggrevate balancing the bike. My wife for example had two MC that had the 'narrow' style bars. She kept falling over at stops or slow speed turns like into a parking spot or even making a turn on the street from a stopped position. We traded her 1100 shadow Spirit for an 1100 Shadow A.C.E. with a wider handle setup and she was much better from then on. Her confidence was greatly improved as she felt more in control and better able to hold the balance of the bike at stops and turns.

Placement of controls is another important element. Forward controls are great for long distance cruising, but can be a real headache and frightening aspect of town riding. Nothing worse than to feel like you are struggling to break and shift while trying to balance a bike stop light to stop light. Position of foot controls should also be considered when choosing foot pegs. Floor boards (as opposed to pegs) can be very dangerous if they are not positioned correctly for the rider. Even long legged riders can have issues getting their feet down at stops if a set of (wide) floorboards are in the way.

As far as brands and size that is a personal preference. I am a Harley bigot, and so would advise you NOT to get a HD. Unless you are a mechanic or realy enjoy working on your bike look at a metric bike. Cafe or crotch rocket bikes are not appealing to me at all. I don't really understand why any street rider or especially any long distance or endurance cyclist, or someone that rides 2 up would want such a MC. But each to his/her own.

Because of our age and our joint health the wife has ditched her thick soled boots and traded her 1100 Shadow A.C.E. for an '07 VTX1300. For her at 5' 4" she can sit flat footed in street shoes, has a nice wide grasp set of handle bars, and forward controls that she can easily and comfortable reach and use. The VTX is easier to steer for her that the Shadow because if the rake on the front wheel is a little greater. At 1300 CC she has plenty of power, a great looking ride, and a very dependable and comfortable long distance cruiser.


What ever you choose I strongly recommend taking the MSF rider course. It gives you MC riding fundmentals and a substantial break on insutrance.

I've been a serious rider for 43 years and the wife for about 10 years. So my recommendations are from years of riding experience and learning.

Ride safe and long and enjoy yourself.

Colorado Fats
 

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raragon - C50T Suzukis come with windshield, lowers, and saddle bags. They also have floor boards that are a whole lot more comfortable than regular pegs. And that's 50 cu in, NOT 50 cc's! :) I bought the C90T, which is the same bike, but with an engine double the size. My bike seat is 26" from the ground, and that should be plenty low enough for you. I've seen lots of women riding them, and they have no problem at all. As for handling, the gas tank is under the seat, as is the tank on mine, and they handle really well, because the center of gravity is so low. If you want a cruiser to go places, I would suggest a C50T. They're great bikes.
 
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