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I started on a Ninja 300 and it is a very fun bike, but I bought a Ninja 650 a few months later. The 300 you will grow out of quickly but they are a lot of fun. The 650 you can set up and adjust easier. You will be happy with it longer. I bought mine from a 5 foot, 5 inch female and I'm a 5 foot 9 inch male.

David R
Normandy Park, WA
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Hi. I am a long time reader. I was 5 feet 7 inches and 240 pounds and started on a 440cc Kawasaki. I upgraded to a 550cc Kawasaki, then a 600cc Yamaha Radian. Now I ride a Suzuki 1400cc Intruder.

The 440 was a great starter bike. I didn't have it long as a 550cc became available. The 550 was highway rideable through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio. It did the job, but I wanted more. The 600 sporty bike was bought for my then boyfriend and he trashed it! He was a new rider, too tired to ride, and he went anyway. He went down my driveway and hit a parked car on the same side of the street. Broke his arm and refused to go to hospital until the pain got him! He's still a dummy. LOL.

l love my 1400 Intruder girl. After cancer I am 5 feet 4 inches and 200 pounds.
In my experience (legal since 1994), you should start with a 500cc and grow with it.

Deborah
Cleveland, OH
Saturday, January 18, 2020
I’m 5 feet 5 inches (I shrunk an inch the past few years!) and pleasantly chubby (ha) and I started on a 1994 Honda Shadow 1100 V-twin. It isn’t the amount of ccs the bike has, but more how it fits you in terms of seat height, the reach of the handlebars and the foot pegs or floorboards, and the shifter/brakes.

I’m glad I started on the Honda (it was a nice used bike). I rode it for about two years, then sold it and bought a Honda VTX1300R which had a nice low seat height, great center of gravity, etc. I rode this bike for 12 years. Both of these bikes could haul me around with no effort!

Last year I traded in my Honda VTX1300 for an Indian Chieftain Limited (1811cc). It is a lot heavier but the ride is fabulous and it is so much more nimble than my Hondas ever were. I just have to be cognizant of where I park, as my bad knees don’t work well if I have to back it uphill at all. Don’t let the ccs scare you—it is more about the fit and comfort that is important on your first bike (and if you really like it, it may be your bike for a long time.) Best wishes!


Jane Cross
Blaine, MN
Friday, November 8, 2019
I have to offer a counterpoint to everyone saying to go bigger. I used to ride bmx as a teen and larger cruiser style bikes felt intimidating to me when I first got on a roadbike this past spring (20 years later).

I chose to get a very small bike—a used Honda 250cc. I outgrew it in about two to three months and was ready to move on to a much larger cruiser. However, I am really glad I had the time on that bike to refresh my riding skills and transfer them to the unique challenges of riding on the road. I never felt overwhelmed by the bike or its power so I wasn’t intimidated. It was light—I could’ve picked it right up if I dropped it. It was maneuverable and fun and easy to stop.

Long story short, I would try sitting on and riding a smaller used bike and make your decision then. It’s not a bad idea to start small and upgrade and resell when you’re ready. Here are some pictures for context. I’m 5 feet 10 inches and 260 pounds.



Genevieve
Eau Claire, WI
Monday, November 4, 2019
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