Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As I said in my intro, I'm a 45 year old female who has ridden as a passenger for a long time but never, ever driven my own two wheels of any sort.

This past weekend I took (and passed) my BRC. I had a perfect score on the Quick Stop and on the Swerve, and only missed 5 points on the Cornering but that stupid, stupid figure 8 in the box did me in and cost me 8 points! (I hated the box!)

So, for this class I was on a Honda Rebel 250. I'm 5'9" 140-ish lbs. Given that I've only been on the back of our BIG Ultra Classic (love my princess seat LOL), and so don't have anything to really compare it to -- the Rebel felt just awkward. I had a hard time getting comfortable shifting mostly because I had to pigeon-toe my feet to reach it and the rear brake.

Anyway...I'm just wondering if any of you had zero experience prior to taking a motorcycle class like I did and, if so, do you think the difficulty with tight space maneuvering at low speeds even with a tiny bike is fairly normal.

I'm fairly certain when I'm ready to buy my own it will be used (absolutely) and I'm definitely a cruiser-type (Heritage Softail - look but without that $$$) so visually I like the Honda Shadow ACE or Aero, not the Sprint. What do you think of those in the 650?
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
You aced the braking and the swerve. 5 points in the curve is often just a bit too slow, no big deal.

The box is simply to demonstrate your clutch control and low speed maneuvering. This is not a lifesaving maneuver like the other parts of the test. (Which is why it only has a maximum score of 8 points) With practice, you should be able to beat the box even on a fairly large motorcycle. It all comes down to smooth clutch control, good counterbalancing, choosing the correct path of travel, and controlling your momentum properly.

Getting a score like you did is something to be proud of for a new rider. You demonstrated competency at the skills that really matter. Keep practicing to stay sharp!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I'm fairly certain when I'm ready to buy my own it will be used (absolutely) and I'm definitely a cruiser-type (Heritage Softail - look but without that $$$) so visually I like the Honda Shadow ACE or Aero, not the Sprint. What do you think of those in the 650?
Here in PA, the courses are free and therefore, in the 10 yrs that I have been licensed, I have taken the course 3 times and passed all 3 times. They actually encourage you to take it at least once every 2-3 years. If you are seasoned, you should then take the advanced course on your own bike to sharpen your skills on the same interval I listed above.

Take it from an expert on getting the wrong bike at the wrong time. I was alone when I was chasing down this dream of mine and was taken advantage of when I was sold a large bike (1200cc Harley) as my first. And what is sad is that this was a Harley dealer that sold it to me!! To this day I discourage newer riders to go to that dealership. On a good note, I never dropped it and have yet to drop any bike. As the saying goes, it's not WILL it happen, but WHEN! Anyway, I rode it and sold it. Then purchased a very nice Vulcan 500LTD. Very comfortable cruiser but negative feedback and no support on the home front gave me no ambition so it sat for 2 yrs before I sold it. Why am I telling you this? Because being a VERY, VERY new rider, you need a smaller and lighter bike. The Honda Shadow Line of bikes are very nice and I am leaning towards either the cruiser style Aero or the bobber look of the Phantom as my next ride. These bikes are between 520 to 550lbs and still heavy for a rider like yourself. These bikes are also around 750cc.

I do not want you to get discouraged by getting a larger bike than you can handle and go backwards like I did. I have had my license for 10 yrs and out of those years, I do not have that many riding hours. It is wasted time that I cannot get back. The bikes used in our class were the Suzuki GZ 250 cruiser. Very comfortable, forgiving and light. Do a web search, maybe throw a leg over one and see what ya think. Even if you ride it for only one season, these bikes can be sold without losing any resale value. You can then move up to a larger bike....with confidence! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
I'm just wondering if any of you had zero experience prior to taking a motorcycle class like I did and, if so, do you think the difficulty with tight space maneuvering at low speeds even with a tiny bike is fairly normal.
Yes, and I hadn't even ridden in the Princess seat either. Some with more confidence, not me, can do a bigger bike as a first bike, but I'd agree lighter is better for a first bike. I made the mistake of buying a Honda Magna V30 as my first bike, which I don't think is even that heavy of a bike, but was too big for me and too powerful with 70HP, so I ended up selling and getting the bike I used in class - the Suzuki TU250x. When I first started out it was difficult to coordinate everything, but now it seems second nature, so it'll get better with time. If you like the cruiser type bike, another option might be the Suzuki S40. It's sub 400 pounds, but is a 650, so it's got a bike more oomph than your average 250cc like the Rebel.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
Nope, you're the only one that I know of that feels that way....:D :D LOL!!! There are so many of us around here that had trouble with "The Box". I ran a little wide on the last curve.

Start used and with a fairly light bike. You will learn a lot faster and not be as scared of dropping it on those slow maneuvers.

Good Luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks

Thanks for the advice. Glad I'm not the only one who had trouble with the box. LOL. Part of me thought, if I can't manage this on a flippin' Honda Rebel, how am I going to do it on anything else??!! But...considering I was going with zero riding experience and, in actuality, only getting a few minutes here and there to give it a shot...I figured I just need more practice which the class doesn't really allow time for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
Good on ya for taking and passing your BRC! I think you are wise to start with a smaller bike. The Hondas you mention would be fine. A Kawi 500 LTD would also be a great choice. Whatever you get, make a habit of visiting an empty parking lot at least once a week and practice slow speed maneuvers (like the box) and your emergency braking. It will pay off.

P.S I also went into my BRC with no riding experience. I had never even SAT ON a motorcycle!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Congrats on the class. The box destroyed me too so you are not alone in that. The Rebel was probably awkward because it was the first time you had actually ridden and controlled a motorcycle. When I took the class I was so awkward I kept sticking my knees out thinking I was losing my balance. Up until the class I had never been on a bike. I bought a Rebel and have not regretted it at all. It is fast enough to keep up but not enough to kill me if I make a mistake. And since the class, I have practiced the low speed turns like the dreaded box and can now do it flawlessly. I plan on riding the Rebel this season and then upgrading to a bigger bike next year. Good luck whichever direction you decide to go. Just practice, practice, practice. Oh yeah...practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
The box was a challenge for me and I had been riding for over 40 years when I took the course.
For a new rider the usual advice is to go out to a multi-brand dealer and sit on any bike new or used that remotely appeals to you. It will give you the chance to try standing the bikes up and check for reach. In your case it will also let you check for that pigeon toed foot position. As a new rider I would stay with used bikes in the 500cc or less range. A 500 will cruise all day at highway speeds.
If you are an HD fan, you might want to look at the new "Street" bikes. They are very light weight feeling and easy to toss around while standing still. I checked them just out of curiosity and think one would make a nice second bike for me when I don't feel like using my touring bike and I'm going to ride solo.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top