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Kimberly,
I’m very similar in height and weight as you. I started out on a Kawasaki 800 Vulcan back in 2003 and never regretted getting the bigger engine. It was just enough "umph" to get me up the mountain passes while still being comfortable to learn on. I agree with the others who say the Ninja 650 would be a better starter bike for you, and Kawasakis are very reliable bikes. I’ve had three in the years I’ve been riding.

Good luck and welcome to the family!

Staci
Lakewood, CO
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Hello from France! Aside from the good advice of buying used first, and checking if you can be flat-footed (or at least stable-footed) when at a stop, your sitting position is a big part. I prefer a street bike position: low and tight cockpit with knees up. My husband sits like he has a stick up his bum, very very upright. We have a big height difference but comfortably ride the same bikes. I've ridden the Kawasaki Ninjas and I've got short legs. If you like knees up, you should be ok. But if you're going on long rides and need to stretch long legs, not sure if the tight positioning will be enjoyable. Cheers and bonne route.


Vicki Lenoir
St Raphael, France
Friday, September 27, 2019
I agree with Angela that a Kawasaki Ninja 650 would be a better option. It’s a great beginner bike that you can grow into and if you upgrade to a liter bike down the line, it won’t be such an extreme jump in power. I started on a Yamaha R3 and literally outgrew it in less than six months. If you opt to buy a new bike, I would also invest in some frame sliders to protect it in the event you drop it.


Janice G.
Bradenton, FL
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Kimberly,
Your straight-forward honesty is great. I have been in similar situations.

I am 5 feet 2 inches tall and currently weigh 163 pounds. My weight has varied between 135 and 230 pounds over the past 13 years and I have enjoyed riding three different bikes during that time.

I bought my first bike when I turned 50 years old, after completing a motorcycle safety course. It was a used Honda Rebel 250.

The most important factor I consider when I make my purchase is seat height. I want to be flat-footed when I come to a complete stop. The 250 was fine for about 2 years, then I gained weight (230 pounds) and needed more power so I got a new Honda Shadow 750. This bike had the seat height and the power needed.

When I turned 60 I got my dream bike. For the last three years I have ridden a Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special. I was about 200 pounds at that time. I have been eating healthier and my current weight is 163. It's a lot easier to ride and my bike seems to go faster.

Starting with a small used bike was a great experience. As my riding skills improved, the size, power, and quality of my bikes improved. Feeling safe on the bike helped me enjoy the rides.

I have replaced the horns on all my bikes with very loud air horns. These horns really improve other driver's awareness of my presence. The horns have prevented multiple incidents.

Enjoy the ride and stay safe.

Penny O.
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Editor Response
Thank you for sharing your experience Penny!
Szulewski Tricia
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