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I recently purchased an 09' Vulcan 900 Classic. I've already taken MSF class and did great on the little Rebel 250 we trained on. Although I haven't even picked up the new bike yet, I'm a little nervous about starting out on the 900 (even though I knew it was the perfect one for me) Since I'm a relatively small person at 5'5 and about 125, I'd appreciate any stories or advice from other ladies who've been in a similar situation! Thanks!
 

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You'll be fine. You just need to learn a few things and then practice them to build your confidence. Watch this video clip from motorman. At the end, is a very petite woman demonstrating how to pick up a big harley. If you go to youtube, search for motorman and watch some of the clips. Good stuff. I highly recommend buying his Ride Like a Pro DVD and doing the exercises in it. It helped me a great deal with my slow speed riding problems.

 

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Congratulations on your new bike, and welcome to the forum!

You'll do fine on the 900, although you might want to lower it just a bit. My wife's fairly small and she can handle my 900 custom just fine.

Enjoy, and ride safe!
 

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gosh... congratulations...and dont worry... it will be OK... :)

I am a big woman...and strong... but I do recall my first bike after MSF very well.... LOL.... I bought a new Suzuki C50 ...and confidently rode it off the lot into the curb on the other side of the street... ! I had it just about stopped.... but it laid down on the left side... thankfully no damage. My issue was not so much size but lack of familiarity, I think. I gave it slightly too much gas to get out into the roadway and ended up turning just a bit wider than I should have....

Soooo... I think if you take time and go slow and practice in parking lots to really get to know your ride, you will do well. Dont let others pull you beyond what you know.

Also... you may start feeling like you really HAVE finally learned it all around a couple thousand miles... be careful when that happens ! Back off !
That is another story... and not a good one... bike riding is a constant learning experience...... LOL...

Annie

I recently purchased an 09' Vulcan 900 Classic. I've already taken MSF class and did great on the little Rebel 250 we trained on. Although I haven't even picked up the new bike yet, I'm a little nervous about starting out on the 900 (even though I knew it was the perfect one for me) Since I'm a relatively small person at 5'5 and about 125, I'd appreciate any stories or advice from other ladies who've been in a similar situation! Thanks!
 

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Congratulations and good for you!!! A little confidence goes a long way, take it slow until you're comfortable. My wife is 5'4" and 125, she cannot lift my 900 off the kick stand so she is riding a smaller bike. If we would have started her 10 years sooner she may have been able to ride a bigger bike, however she has never been the stongest gal on the block.
 

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As long as you can sit on it and get both feet onto the ground at the same time you should be fine. As others have said begin slowly, and if possible in some place without traffic until you feel confident enough to take the plunge. As you've taken the MSF class that will help you quite a lot. Congratulations on your new ride!
 

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I might consider adding a engine guard if it doesn't already have one. It can help protect the bike somewhat if/when you lay it down, which usually happens at some point. I'm talking about being stopped and loosing your footing, getting off balance or applying the front brake with the wheel turned. More importantly though, it can keep your leg from getting caught underneath when you do have to set it down.

I watched my wife go through all of the above and more as she was learning to ride. Most of all, be safe, ride within your limits and practice, practice and more practice.

Congratulations on passing your MSF class and on your new 900. They are sweet bikes and very enjoyable to ride!

Skeeter
 

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Welcome to the Vulcan club! Started with a 900 three years ago after an MSF course, I took the instructors advice and practiced in an empty shopping mall parking lot. Spent 30 minutes once a week just doing slow u-turns. What I found was that once I had mastered the slow stuff (with no traffic) riding on the street became much less stressful.
One year ago I upgraded to a 1700 Nomad, had all the same concerns about handling the weight (I'm 5' 11", 175 lbs, the bike is over 800), used the same slow speed exercises to really feel comfortable. Ride safe!
 

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First of all, congrats on doing the BRC and getting the new bike. My wife has a 900 Classic LT and she really likes it--better, I think than the GL1800 Gold Wing she was riding. It was just too big and heavy for her.

Back to your bike. You should have no trouble adapting to it. It feels much lighter than it is, and it's not terribly heavy anyway. One of the best things a beginner rider can do is hook up with a group of mature riders that ride a lot, and sensibly, and don't do the "bar to bar" thing you see so much of. Most of those folks will be happy to take you on and teach you what you need to know. The BRC really only teaches you the basic mechanical skills you need to operate, but it doesn't teach you at all how to ride on the street. That can only come with experience. There's just one thing to beware of, and that is peer pressure.

Far too many novice riders get on a bike and let themselves be convinced to try to ride at the same level as more experienced riders, and end up crashing, often with very tragic results. Don't fall victim to this. There's an old saying--"Ride your own ride." And don't be discouraged if at first you can't negotiate the curves as fast as some of the others in the group do. That will come in time and with experience. It took me a couple years before I started getting comfortable doing that.

Ask questions of other riders--"How do you do that," "What do I need to do?" And any other question you may have. It's how you learn by capitalizing on the experience of others. And it's fun doing it, because everytime you have a little victory, it's a rush!

Again, have fun, ride safe, and congratulations on the new ride. And welcome.
 

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Ditto on the engine guards. I once forgot my kick stand was up and rolled right over with the bike. Only damage was to my pride.
 

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I recently purchased an 09' Vulcan 900 Classic. I've already taken MSF class and did great on the little Rebel 250 we trained on. Although I haven't even picked up the new bike yet, I'm a little nervous about starting out on the 900 (even though I knew it was the perfect one for me) Since I'm a relatively small person at 5'5 and about 125, I'd appreciate any stories or advice from other ladies who've been in a similar situation! Thanks!
Mrs. Bulldozer rides her 900 like its a mini bike she is 5-2 ... Practice,practice, and more practice and she had her bike customized in FL. by ROAR Motorcycles for women. It made a huge difference, its lowered, risers on the bars and a seat that really fits her. Good luck, Bulldozer
 

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Thanks a lot. It's a good thing that I know sevaral experienced riders, so I'll pick their brains a lot in the beginning!
 

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Mrs. Bulldozer... hmmmm... would that be "bulldozette" ? or maybe "ditch witch" ?

lol...

annie



Mrs. Bulldozer rides her 900 like its a mini bike she is 5-2 ... Practice,practice, and more practice and she had her bike customized in FL. by ROAR Motorcycles for women. It made a huge difference, its lowered, risers on the bars and a seat that really fits her. Good luck, Bulldozer
 

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Far too many novice riders get on a bike and let themselves be convinced to try to ride at the same level as more experienced riders, and end up crashing, often with very tragic results. Don't fall victim to this. There's an old saying--"Ride your own ride." And don't be discouraged if at first you can't negotiate the curves as fast as some of the others in the group do. That will come in time and with experience. It took me a couple years before I started getting comfortable doing that.
Amen- I had a few friends on new bikes that would try to keep up with me when I had a sport bike. Especially on the twisties. One buddy almost didn't make the turn. I pulled over- looked at him and said- - "ride your own pace. This is not a race- just enjoy the ride." He was scared shitless anyway but I think he got the point. After that- we didn't have any other issues. Had a friend of a friend die on his new Harley- first day out on his birthday- and he was ridding with a bunch of friends on a very difficult road with many hairpin twisties for a newbie. He didn't make one of the turns...trying to keep up with his friends.

Personally I suggest getting to know the bike a few weeks on your own before going out for a group ride. Go out when there is little traffic (Sunday mornings and weeknights) and of course practice in the parking lots too. It may be boring- but you will really get to know the bike well without all the stress of traffic.
 

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a little Rebel 250 (even though I knew it was the perfect one for me) Since I'm a relatively small person at 5'5 and about 125, I'd appreciate any stories or advice from other ladies who've been in a similar situation! Thanks!
vg, well I guess I dont qualify... in the ladies department. but if its stories you'r lookin for,, well you'v come to the right place. I'v got some whoppers!

here's a book I rec'd for xmas from my daughter, lil' bear;
"The Perfect Vehicle" what is it about motorsikles, by Melissa Holbrook Pierson.
a womans perspective from behind the handle bars. interesting reading. I wont give it away. the book. its mine. from the bear. and yes, you are welcome. out, ponch
 

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Everybody seems to think it's all about how well a person can pick up or manhandle a bike around. Once someone is a good rider they learn it's all about making the bike do the work. It's got a motor and brakes, make them work for you. Once you get the hang of it it'll probably make more sense lol.
 
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