Recently I found myself deep in garage talk with some great women riders discussing type of bikes, their size and the various topics that pertained to the type of bikes that suited their ride needs and skill level.
Sadly some did not have the best experience.
I’ve always had an open mind for learning blended with the curious desire to hear others experiences and I’d like to share Catherine’s story…
Catherine aka Cat, is an adventurous soul, who in 2004 after many years of being a passenger bought her first bike a Yamaha 650 V-Star. She thought was a great bike, but then she went on to tell some something I do hear often, what she really wanted was a Harley. So later that year she went on the get a Harley, a 1200 Sportster, another great bike.
I appreciated her honestly as she explained to me, “it was too much bike for my humble beginning, but I was thrilled and went hog wild with all the Harley paraphernalia! February 2005, brought a beautiful 70 degree day in Pennsylvania and I just had to get out and ride! I took off with some of my friends. On the way back, at the end of the day when I was tired I misjudge a patch of cinders that was laying across the road in a curve and crashed! The inexperienced rider in me, did not quite understand what was happening and the tired brain did everything that was not supposed to be done! Instead of riding the slide, I tried to correct the fall, and ended up smashing the bike into the guard rail, doing a flip over the bike into the field with my leg pinned between the bike and the guard rail…. ya, not a pretty sight. Almost lost my leg, spent a month in the hospital and had to do a lot of rehab to get back to a somewhat normal life. But…………. I still ride! Crazy? Ya maybe but I love to ride and so I went looking for a more suitable bike for my endeavors. I ended up on a BMW F650GS Single, I now ride the F650GS (800cc) twin which has taken my up to Prudhoe Bay, AK along the famed Dalton Highway, across Canada from Vancouver to St. Anthony, NF and through out most of the lower 48! So, yes size does matter but so does training and care in where you ride, how you ride and when you ride. I’ve taken several “off road” classes to be able to ride that big BMW in the dirt and gravel and had I started off with a smaller more manageable bike I think I might not have lost control of my bike on that February day….”
Cat learned first hand that the proper instruction for your skill level and motorcycle is the key to safety. I concur with her on taking the Motorcycle Safety Class, take it twice, three times if you need. Find another rider to be your mentor that won’t push you to do more than what you are comfortable with, but will help you gain confidence and practice what you learned in the MSR class.
Have fun, respect the machine and ride as much as you can.