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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm learning to ride on my boyfriends motorcycle which is a Harley 1200, I was on it for the first time last night where I was actually in control. I've got all the basics down. But it's hard for me to handle I'm not sure if it's too heavy or too tall for me. I can put my feet down but probably as much as I should. Do y'all think it's just way too big of a bike for me or do I just need something shorter?

Little background:
I am 22 and I weigh 100 ibs. maybe 105 on a good day.
I'm 5'3 and I'm basically a small person.
But I love motorcycles and I would love to ride.

Advice please:)

Oh and Hi, My name is Abby:)

:biking:
 

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Welcome from Kentucky. Suggest you go to a dealer and sit on different bikes. The Softails, while bigger & heavier than Sportsters, actually sit you lower. Also, you can get seats and other accessories that will lower you some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've sat on the softail and 883 and both I could put my feet down. I'm worried about the weight. Throwing around a motorcycle like that was hard, it might have been because my boyfriend was on the back helping and it made it hard for me to steer with his weight behind me. Hmm.
 

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Abby, Joe has a point. I have ridden many bikes, regardless of size, it is where you sit in relation to feet on ground, and center of balance that makes it comfortable for you. That being said, I mostly ride old bikes, like the 72 sportster I ride now, but; currently have an 05 sportster 1200 in the garage of my brother-in-laws' that I go out on once in a while, and I have to say it feels top heavy to me. At slow speeds and initial turns, the handle bars want to flop. this is not a good thing for any body, even someone like me @ 190 5'9", much less like someone like you. If you tryout some of the other bikes at a dealership, you will get a chance to see what gets you going comfortably.
Bob
 

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Carrying a passenger on a Sportster will be a challenge for a small person such as yourself. My wife is taller and only rode a passenger on her Sportster one time. She said it was like learning all over again.
My friends wife is exactly the same size as you, and rode a XL1200 for two years, then changed the 21" front wheel to a 19" and said it was the best thing she ever did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ohk, and where would you recommend power wise? I don't want to get into something I can't handle. I know the softail has a lot of power. But I definitely don't want something weak that is going to put me in danger because it can't keep up with traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Exactly, I didn't have the steering control with him on the back. No matter how hard I leaned it followed his body because he weighs so much more. But I know I'm not ready and he's not ready for me to ride without him in case something goes wrong.
 

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I've sat on the softail and 883 and both I could put my feet down. I'm worried about the weight. Throwing around a motorcycle like that was hard, it might have been because my boyfriend was on the back helping and it made it hard for me to steer with his weight behind me. Hmm.
Having a passenger is totally different from riding solo. It is much, much easier solo.

And "throwing around" a Harley won't happen for you any more than it happens for bigger folks. You "balance" and "guide" your bike. And as many find out, the bigger and heavier touring bikes are actually very well behaved and the additional weight seems to make them MORE stable at parking lot speeds. Any bike will have it's own particular learning curve. But if you can sit on a bike and flat foot it you can learn to ride it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Carrying a passenger on a Sportster will be a challenge for a small person such as yourself. My wife is taller and only rode a passenger on her Sportster one time. She said it was like learning all over again.
My friends wife is exactly the same size as you, and rode a XL1200 for two years, then changed the 21" front wheel to a 19" and said it was the best thing she ever did.

Exactly, I didn't have the steering control with him on the back. No matter how hard I leaned it followed his body because he weighs so much more. But I know I'm not ready and he's not ready for me to ride without him in case something goes wrong.
 

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His added weight sure did not help.
My Girlfriend is all of about 5`3". 100+/- pounds. Rides a 2002 Dyna Glide. Lowered front and rear with a lowered and narrowed Sundowner seat.
Her only hard part is muscling it around when not under it`s own power.
Backing out of the garage, a parking space, etc.
Once using the engines power, even very slow maneuvers, she is good to go.

Some things to keep in mind. You do not hold up the bike. That is the tires job. You balance it.
Learn your balance then let the bike do the work for the slow feet on the pegs stuff.
You would be amazed just how slow you can go and still have only the tire touching the ground.
And. Last but not least. I have seen full grown men having a bit of a hard time with the big Baggers.

It all starts with what you want to be able to do. Your confidence level. Then with practice your skills will increase. Then you confidence grows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Having a passenger is totally different from riding solo. It is much, much easier solo.

And "throwing around" a Harley won't happen for you any more than it happens for bigger folks. You "balance" and "guide" your bike. And as many find out, the bigger and heavier touring bikes are actually very well behaved and the additional weight seems to make them MORE stable at parking lot speeds. Any bike will have it's own particular learning curve. But if you can sit on a bike and flat foot it you can learn to ride it.
You're right, wrong words to use. Having control is what I mean. I probably just need a lower bike. I don't think he's ready for me to have my own though. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
His added weight sure did not help.
My Girlfriend is all of about 5`3". 100+/- pounds. Rides a 2002 Dyna Glide. Lowered front and rear with a lowered and narrowed Sundowner seat.
Her only hard part is muscling it around when not under it`s own power.
Backing out of the garage, a parking space, etc.
Once using the engines power, even very slow maneuvers, she is good to go.

Some things to keep in mind. You do not hold up the bike. That is the tires job. You balance it.
Learn your balance then let the bike do the work for the slow feet on the pegs stuff.
You would be amazed just how slow you can go and still have only the tire touching the ground.
And. Last but not least. I have seen full grown men having a bit of a hard time with the big Baggers.

It all starts with what you want to be able to do. Your confidence level. Then with practice your skills will increase. Then you confidence grows.

I think I'll definitely try a shorter bike. Hopefully it will give me the control and confidence I need. NOW to convince boyfriend (;
 

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Allow me to STRONGLY encourage you to get some training from a professional instructor. A weekend class is worth absolutely every penny you might pay for it. You'll learn more in one weekend than you could ever hope to teach yourself in months of trial and error. Plus, most states allow a certificate of completion from one of those courses to serve in place of the road/riding test element of getting your license.

For example, if you learn the concept of counter steering -- verses thinking in terms of leaning -- you can control the motorcycle even if there's an elephant on the back. You'll also discuss and practice many, many scenarios that otherwise may never even occur to you to consider. All this with the added bonus of dumping a cheap test bike instead of one that you have a financial stake in! Not to mention it could save your life.

If you can hold the bike up at rest and push it in and out of a parking space, you can ride it. There are thousands of people your size on fully dressed baggers that weigh 800+ lbs who ride them as well as anyone. Your size has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to control a motorcycle. It's all about confidence which comes through training and experience.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I do plan on taking the class, I just don't want to go in knowing nothing...
Plus it's a major thing for my boyfriend to teach me. It means a lot to both of us. He's ridden for 10-12 years.
 

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I do plan on taking the class, I just don't want to go in knowing nothing...
Plus it's a major thing for my boyfriend to teach me. It means a lot to both of us. He's ridden for 10-12 years.
I get that it would be nice for him to teach you. I've been married for 25+ years and still love a good warm, fuzzy. But, the more you "practice" before taking the course, the more bad habits the instructors have to break. :) Most of them say if you can ride a bicycle and drive a straight shift, you're ready for the course.

Either way, be careful and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I get that it would be nice for him to teach you. I've been married for 25+ years and still love a good warm, fuzzy. But, the more you "practice" before taking the course, the more bad habits the instructors have to break. :) Most of them say if you can ride a bicycle and drive a straight shift, you're ready for the course.

Either way, be careful and have fun.
Ohk that makes sense. I'll definitely enroll in the course so I can learn the basic good habits. And maybe learn a little more about what's comfortable for me.
 
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