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Great information as always. I'm completely hooked on your site. It's helped me a lot since I made the decision to ride on my own instead of being a passenger. I got my permit and am taking the MSF course in March. I have sat on a few bikes, none of them a 250cc though. One of the local Harley dealers provides Street 500s for the MFS course I'll be attending, so I haven't bothered.

Taking a step back after learning on a 500cc bike didn't and still doesn't make sense to me personally, for my situation. The Rebel 500 is nice, but actually scares me because of how light it is. I've always been on big cruisers, so it was a little unnerving to be able to move a bike so easily. I was much more comfortable on the Shadow Phantom I tried and am strongly considering, because it wasn't such a pushover. Used of course. I'm 5 feet 1 inch, about 150 pounds and still losing, with a 27.5-inch inseam. Would this be an alright bike for me or should I still go small? Thanks for the great content you provide for us newbies and experienced alike. Very much appreciated.

Elisa
Bronx, NY
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Editor Response
The Harley Street 500 you will ride in class will be set up so that it's impossible to over-accellerate out of control. It's a built-in safety feature the dealers all must comply with in order to make the 500 safe enough for beginners. You also won't have an opportunity to shift beyond second gear or go any faster than 25 mph. So thinking that you're "stepping backward" if you chose a bike that's 500ccs or less is a somewhat skewed way of thinking.

Ultimately, the best choice for you is the bike you feel most comfortable and confident on. I encourage you to take the course first and make the purchase second. Using good self-assessment strategies, you'll know whether your skills are competent enough to handle a larger, heavier, more powerful bike than the one you learn on. Most new riders do best by choosing a bike that is light and small to start with, and trading up once their skills are more developed.

We wish you luck!
Szulewski Tricia
I've had my license since August 2016 and am riding a Yamaha V Star 250. I think it is a great starter bike to help gain confidence and get experience. I've ridden more than 100 miles in one day a few times and the worst problem I had was my hand cramping.

I'm 5 feet and both feet are flat on the ground. I have tipped it over when backing it into the garage and had no trouble getting it upright.

Next year, I'd like to upgrade to a Kawasaki Vulcan S because I feel much more comfortable riding thanks to my V Star.

Wendy
Bloomfield, NJ
Friday, July 21, 2017
I disagree with 70 percent of the bikes on this list. The Indian Scout should be at the top of the list. The Scout is the best-balanced bike made. It feels a lot smaller than it actually is and the handling is superb. Harleys are all top-heavy no matter what model you choose.

Buying any of the other bikes you will grow out of them real quick and you will take a big hit when you try to sell them. Furthermore, if you try riding with other riders or in a group they will have to have a lot of patience because you can't stay up with them even on the highway. The Scout will keep up with everyone no matter what they ride. It is good enough for a beginner as well as the experienced rider. And it has good resale value when you decide you're ready to upgrade to a larger bike later down the road. That aspect is never brought up.


Jim Dewbre
Breckenridge, TX
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Editor Response
Thanks for your opinion Jim. We have found an overwhelming majority of new riders will learn much more safely on a small displacement motorcycle—one that is lightweight enough to be able to balance and maneuver easily in precarious scenarios while the new rider develops riding and road skills. The Scout, which has a torquey 1130cc engine, is indeed well-balanced and easy to maneuver, but can be a handful of engine to a brand-new rider.

Reselling a good used small-displacement cc motorcycle is actually quite easy, as there is always a market of new riders looking for an easy-to-ride first bike to learn on.

And if a new rider is "trying to keep up" with other riders who are frustrated waiting for them, they are riding with the wrong people. New riders should find riding buddies who respect your riding style and learning curve. Never try to keep up and ride outside of your own comfort zone.
Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor
I got my license in 2004. I had a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster Hugger and 1200 Classic in the beginning and hated both of them! I'm short—5 feet 2 inches—and need a lower center of gravity.

I bought a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan Mean Streak 1600 (top picture) that I kept for 11 years. It was the best (bright green) and traded it for a 2008 Harley Dyna Wide Glide CVO (bottom picture) but I didn't like the skinny front tire. It had great power but I didn't like the ride. I've owned my first bagger, a 2016 Harley Street Glide (middle picture) and love it. I call it Miss Ice Pearl. Short girls can ride lots of bikes.




Laurie
Manchester
Sunday, July 16, 2017
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