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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

Kicked Out Of MSF Course

Will I ever be able to ride?


Do you have a question you'd like answered by the readers of WRN? Please send it to editor Genevieve Schmitt at We'll let you know when your question is posted. 

Dear WRN,

I have been riding as a passenger since I was 8. For many years I have been considering what it would be like to drive my own. Now that I am 53 the desire has grown tremendously and it just seems like a perfect time to finally learn. 

Having complete confidence that I wouldn't have any difficulty in learning I signed up for a motorcycle safety class and paid my $200. I completed the first day of classroom time and passed the written test with flying colors. I showed up the next day for the riding portion at the scheduled time of 12:30 in the afternoon decked out in my jeans, boots, long sleeves, gloves and helmet. Since I am in Phoenix and it was the last weekend in May the temperature outside was 111 degrees. Of course there isn't any shade on the driving range so needless to say it was quite warm out there on the asphalt. At that point though, I was still very excited to be there and still had complete confidence that I would be able to complete the class without any difficulty. Was I ever wrong. 

After about two hours in, I was told that since I was having difficulty completing the exercise properly I was done and needed to leave. Once you are asked to leave, that means you go away and don't come back and forfeit your enrollment fee. I was devastated and cried for three days. This was just this past weekend and even though I took a hard blow to my confidence I have not lost my desire to learn to ride and own my a bike of my own.

I contacted the instructor for the group I was in and asked him if being kicked out of the class really meant that I wasn't "cut out to ride" a motorcycle. He was encouraging and told me that some people, especially ones with absolutely no experience just need to take it a little slower than others but I should not give up. 

So my question is, are there other women out there who have had a similar experience that have gone on to become riders? I have been looking at a Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider that I really like and can afford. I still have enough confidence to try learning and truly want to experience riding my own bike. 

Would it be unrealistic for me to actually be able to learn on that type of a bike? Or do I need to start on a much smaller one? I am 5 feet 1 inch, 110 pounds and can reach the ground with both feet on my toes only, however my boyfriend can lower it for me. He is a very experienced rider and will be able to help me out with learning, however I am still a bit apprehensive about my ability to learn since I couldn't complete the course I signed up for and also whether it is practical to attempt to learn on a larger bike. 

If anyone else has a story with similar circumstances I would love to hear it.

Phoenix, AZ

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