LADIES - First Bike for a chubby gal????

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mj5898
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LADIES - First Bike for a chubby gal????

#1 Unread post by mj5898 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:52 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum but have enjoyed reading the posts tremendously. I am a "big girl" (at least in weight - nearly 300#), but only 5'1 3/4" (yes that 3/4" counts :mrgreen: ). Anyway, I have been riding a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter for the past year and am ready to try a manual transmission.

I am taking the MSF course next weekend, so I am sure I will be able to sit on different bikes, but I wanted to ask the experts - women who ride - what the best starter bike for me would be. I have read a lot on different forums about 250cc bikes (GZ250, Rebel, Ninja), but I am concerned that with my weight, none of those bikes will really pull. I do not want to peel out and do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds or anything, but want to enjoy the ride bike enough to ride often. Also, I have images of the Flintstones in my head - peddling with my feet because I am too big for the bike.

I need to build up skill and confidence in my ability to handle a motorcycle before moving up to something else. Thanks in advance for any advice/input. :D

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#2 Unread post by Z (fka Sweet Tooth) » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:46 pm

Are you looking for a sport bike or a cruiser?

If you've been riding around on a 400 scooter for the past year I can't imagine why you would have trouble with something like a 650 cruiser. Take the class first, make sure it's for you, then hit the dealerships and try them out for size.
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#3 Unread post by CNF2002 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:49 pm

Sit on the bikes for comfort, not necessarily the engine size. The small 30hp bikes wont even notice your weight.

At 5 feet I think height should be your main concern...find a bike that has a low seat (or low seat option) that you can flatfoot it when stopped.
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#4 Unread post by mj5898 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:51 pm

Yes, I figured a cruiser would be best for my height - vertically challenged and all. The 400 (actually 385cc) does not have any problems with my weight. And hopefully that will continue to go down (I have lost 72# so far with Weight Watchers). Thanks again!

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#5 Unread post by Z (fka Sweet Tooth) » Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:01 pm

Congrats on the weight loss so far.
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#6 Unread post by bok » Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:09 pm

after the course depending on your comfort level, you wouldn't be out of line looking at a 650 V-Star or 750 Shadow. Both of those have fairly low seat heights compared to something like the ninja 250.

Keep at the weight watchers, not only is it good for you, but it will help your riding by making your balance a bit better.
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#7 Unread post by Mad Mac » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:19 pm

A good resource for new riders, female motorcyclists and precision-sized male riders is the Short Biker List web site and mailing list: http://www.ki.org/sbl

Here is a list of beginner motorcycles to consider, listed by size:
http://www.nebcom.com/noemi/moto/sbl.sbl.html

Here are suggestions for techniques for short riders:
http://www.nebcom.com/noemi/moto/sbl.faq.html

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#8 Unread post by sharpmagna » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:46 pm

check out the yamaha vstar custom/classic. they're both 650cc models that have low seat heights. or if you think you can handle a slightly larger bike, check out the suzuki boulevard 50ci models.

don't let your weight hold you back. a guy at work who's pretty large but dropping the weight has been showing interest after I got my bike. I'm trying to help him get over his reservations on the bikes he wants to try.
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#9 Unread post by Locopez » Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:02 pm

great to hear you are having fun. Congrats on weight loss...I agree with the low seat position....to get both feet planted on the ground! Have fun and be safe!
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#10 Unread post by Loonette » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:29 pm

I'm on the heavier side as well and am only 5' 3" tall. In the MSF course (at which time I weighed 50 pounds more than I do now), I got freaked out when we had to get to know the bike by putting both feet on the pegs while on the side stand. I was convinced I would break the side stand!! :shock:

I rode a 250 cruiser once I was done with the MSF course, and it pulled me around just fine. I felt the bike was limited when it came to highway speed in the wind, but I hear that can happen even with a smaller rider.

Given your road experience on two wheels, you should be able to do just fine on a cruiser of 650cc on up to 900cc. As long as you're comfortable being seated on the bike, reaching the hand grips and foot pegs, etc..., then getting used to the increase in power should be relatively easy. Just take your time getting acquainted.

Let us know what you finally choose. Good luck!!

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#11 Unread post by younggun » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:38 pm

Dont mean to butt in, just some info on the Suzuki Marauder gz 250. If I remember the total weight including bike it can handle is 800 lbs, not to mention I weigh around 180 lbs and the wife around 130 lbs. I rode around with the wife on my gz 250 and never had any problems, slower to accelerate, of course but it got to highway speeds. Have fun riding!!!!
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#12 Unread post by bok » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:41 am

+1 to that Short Biker's List, I just went over and read some of the material there, and will change some of the things i tell shorter riders because it makes sense.

in the past one of the things i tried to tell shorter riders is that putting both feet down flat isn't as important as many people think. once you are comfortable on the bike you will usually only have your left foot down and your right foot on the peg/floorboard anyway.

thanks to the SBL, i will add that if you can practice and become a good slow-speed rider, then the times you might need to flatfoot are pretty minimal and can be overcome with a little forethought about where you park or how you take on hills and dips in the road.

another thing to consider when choosing a bike is the tank width. to me, it seems that those of us with bigger legs lose a bit of height while seated because our legs are spread out a bit wider than some of the skinny folks out there. Basically sit on a bunch of bikes and you will find one you like. since the ninja is on your list, by all means sit on the 250 and the 500, one of those might be more comfortable than the rebel.

don't let your height or weight deter you. stay positive and motivated to find a nice bike that you feel comfortable on.
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#13 Unread post by canuckerjay » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:04 am

younggun wrote:Dont mean to butt in, just some info on the Suzuki Marauder gz 250. If I remember the total weight including bike it can handle is 800 lbs, not to mention I weigh around 180 lbs and the wife around 130 lbs. I rode around with the wife on my gz 250 and never had any problems, slower to accelerate, of course but it got to highway speeds. Have fun riding!!!!
I have no advice to give here -- but I do want to congratulate you on your success thus far with the weight thing. Lots of people out there think it's easy to dump the weight and it's not. It's a hard thing to commit to and stick to in this society. Be strong, be proud, and best of luck to you.
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#14 Unread post by SilveradoGirl » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:25 am

I am a bit taller than you, 5'7" but am about the same weight.....I ride a Yamaha Silverado VStar 650. I won't lie to you, at first it can seem pretty intimidating, but sit on it a few times at your dealership. Try it out. It is a nicely proportioned bike, fits real well. Seat height is low. My mom is 5'3" I think, and she can flat foot it no problems at all...I think you could too. the Vstar Custom has a bit narrower seat so would seem even lower....give them a try, plenty of power...and hey, good looks don't hurt either.
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#15 Unread post by mj5898 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:24 pm

Thanks for all the advice and well-wishes with the weight loss.

I actually am buying a 96 Honda Rebel this afternoon. It has 6k miles and is in great shape for its age. I am paying only $1400 for it including new tires, add-on windshield, service manual and delivery to my house :mrgreen:

I know it will not last me too long, but I really feel starting small will pay off in the long run in helping me build confidence. Plus, I will not feel too bad when I drop her since she is already used. :wink:

As far as my next bike, I LOVE the looks of the V Star 650 as well as the Suzuki C50 and Honda Shadow. Hopefully, next ridiing season I will be ready, but I plan to take it slow at first.

Happy riding all!!!

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#16 Unread post by bok » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:28 pm

congratz on the new bike. as is custom around here we will want to see pictures in the new riders forum :)

sounds like you have a good attitude toward riding. don't get down on yourself if you drop it, just pick it and yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it.

don't forget to practice, in a safe controlled parking lot if you have one close to you, until you get the basic skills honed on the new bike.
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#17 Unread post by Z (fka Sweet Tooth) » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:15 pm

mj5898 wrote:I know it will not last me too long, but I really feel starting small will pay off in the long run in helping me build confidence. Plus, I will not feel too bad when I drop her since she is already used. :wink:
Oh I think you will be suprised how long it will actualy last if you take care of it!...

Congrats and happy practicing.
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#18 Unread post by mj5898 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:47 am

I posted these in the New Rider Forum, but in case some of you do not get over there, I wanted to add them here as well. What cha' think about her? :D

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#19 Unread post by younggun » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:05 am

sorry to butt in again but nice bike and congrats. Hope you enjoy your new ride
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#20 Unread post by jmillheiser » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:06 pm

Congrats on the new bike. We have been trying to find a bike for my wife, she is about your weight just a little taller (shes 5'3") She can flat foot most cruisers, but forward controls are difficult for her to reach.

She rode a GZ250 at the MSF course, her biggest compalint about the GZ was that she could drag the pegs on it without trying.

I find that short bike list a little amusing. It says someone 5'5" and over can flatfoot a bandit 600. I'm 5'10" and I cant even flat foot my bandit 600.

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