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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. 馃檪
I might be moving up from my 1998 Honda Shadow 750 ACE into my husband's 2007 Roadstar 1700. Not gonna lie, at only 5'2", I am a little nervous about the transition. Just curious how many other women or riders of smaller stature are here that own this bike.
 

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Welcome. I'm not small or a female but hope it all works out. If you've been riding already you should do fine. Stay safe.
 

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Welcome from Houston, Texas. I'm sure with some time you will be comfortable on it. I'm 5'6" and at first my 1100 felt big, but not anymore. Ride often and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Little bit more history...
I've had my Honda for about 3 years now and have put about 6,000 miles on her. I love the bike... she's beautiful, but since we live in the country, most of our riding is highway. After about an hour or so, I start to get uncomfortable. I've ridden the RoadStar once so far. We brought it to a parking lot, so I could do some slow speed maneuvers. I felt totally comfortable on it. It handles better than my Honda and seems better balanced. I can also flat foot better. My only concern with riding it full-time is getting into a jam where I might have to use body strength to move it. I.e., backing it up a hill, on gravel, etc.
 

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Howdy, fellow northerner. I am from the Duluth area.
Awesome part of the world. Hope to make Duluth one of my trips this summer. You might consider taking the advanced rider course.

MN Advanced Rider Course $75
Course Information
If you want razor sharp hazard avoidance riding skills, try the 8-hour MN Advanced Rider Course where you'll hone the skills you need to avoid the dangers of the road, such as other drivers, deer and debris.

Being able to complete a 28-foot U-turn on your motorcycle is a requirement to take this course. Groups or clubs may purchase an entire Advanced Rider Course for only $500. Riders use their own motorcycles for this course.

The minimum engine size for this course is 400cc.

View schedule and register for a course at:
鈥oseau training site
鈥irginia training site

This course uses the same techniques designed to train and keep police motor officers safe in any riding or traffic situation. Riders provide their own bikes. Video is available for some of the course exercises by clicking on the links provided.

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/rider-training/Pages/mn-advanced-rider-course.aspx
 

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I don't think it so much a matter of being a woman, as it is having a bike that is the right size for you. I see people riding sports bikes, stopping at red lights touching the ground with the tippy toes of their sneakers - its only a matter of time before they will drop their bike.

If you have been well trained you already know a motorcycle is self balancing. When you get over 20 mph you are not actively balancing the bike, you are steering it. If you know how to countersteer it does not take any brute force or 'man-handling' to get the bike where you want it to go, or to brake the bike as necessary.

It sounds like you are already aware of the issues of riding slow, being able to put a foot down (or both) flat footed with a little bend in your knees to spare.

The things you need to watch out for are still the same as anyone else. They did not talk about these things in the beginners MSF riding course, I discovered a few myself:

1. Don't ever try to make a U turn on a hill, not going up or down. When you get halfway thru the U turn, part of the pavement on one side of the bike will be higher, and the other side will be lower. Because you are turning on a hill the bike will speed up and slow down, and its nothing like you are use to on a level surface. Then when you need to put your feet down, one foot will find nothing but air, and over you go! This is true for all riders, no matter how tall you are or how big your bike is.

2. Its a similar situation when you stop on the shoulder of the road - some shoulders can be sloped quite a bit, and some slope the wrong way (towards the street). You want to stop on the edge of the lane, and then turn your bike so its parked nearly perpendicular to the curb (pointed to the street). If you park it straight like a car, then whichever way the shoulder is sloping it bike will not sit on the kick stand or center stand properly.

3. If you are going up or down an hill, and for any reason the road is blocked and you cannot get thru, then you have the problem from #1 above. If you can pull into a driveway or side street, find a level section and do a U turn you are OK. But you have to be aware of this before it happens. If you are going down a steep hill and its blocked at the bottom, like a flood across a bridge, then you cannot walk your bike back up the hill backwards. The best thing in that situation is to stop your bike, secure it on the kickstand, and get someone to help you turn it around, one person on the high and low sides of the bike.

The other thing I would recommend for anyone riding a big bike, and for anyone that is just learning to ride is: never stand on one side of your bike and push it around by the handgrips. If you only have to move it a few feet, sit on the bike, put the kick stand up, and duck walk it. If you need to move it further start it up, you can still duck walk it if you need to go really slow (like across a lawn).

If you are standing on one side and it leans over the other way just a little bit, you cannot possibly pull it back up, esp with a big bike - you need one foot one each side.

Other than going slow and getting stuck on a hill, riding a motorcycle is like driving a car. There is no such thing as a car that is too big for a short / petite person to drive, as long as you can reach the pedals.
 

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I've known a couple women who ride Roadstars without any significant problems. One was about 5'6" and the other a bit taller. I'm not aware of any currently on this forum, but it doesn't mean there aren't any here. Great, comfortable bike once you get it moving. You'll just need to be a bit more selective/strategic when parking so you don't have to muscle it around. You already know this since you've ridden your husband's Roadstar. If the bike is a bit too tall, it's easy to lower the bike with a couple available options. The only negative in lowering the bike is scraping the floorboards a bit more when cornering. I own two roadstars with one of them lowered. I scrape all the time, but really no big deal. Good Luck!
 

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If the bike is setup for you ..ride height etc than the size of the bike should not be an issue at all. I have friends on 1300's and there about your height at 5'2" and i know people with lowered roadliners than are vertically challenged. If it's setup for you to ride than I don't see an issue. My ex is on a stratoliner but she is also 6'2" .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you to those who have responded for your helpful advice. I hope to take the RoadStar out for a few test rides, and also to see if I can adequately even back it out of the garage and uturn it on our gravel driveway in the very near future. Meanwhile, my Shadow isn't going anywhere quite yet because I just love her too much to let her go, and she is MINE. I suspect the RoadStar will be driven by both of us even if my husband gets the new bike.
 

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Little bit more history...
I've had my Honda for about 3 years now and have put about 6,000 miles on her. I love the bike... she's beautiful, but since we live in the country, most of our riding is highway. After about an hour or so, I start to get uncomfortable. I've ridden the RoadStar once so far. We brought it to a parking lot, so I could do some slow speed maneuvers. I felt totally comfortable on it. It handles better than my Honda and seems better balanced. I can also flat foot better. My only concern with riding it full-time is getting into a jam where I might have to use body strength to move it. I.e., backing it up a hill, on gravel, etc.
Have you determined why it gets uncomfortable and thought about making changes to improve the bike? I'm 6'3" 34" inseam and weigh 200 lbs and primarily ride/tour on my XVS 650 which is comfortable for all day riding (after changing the handlebars which was the only issue I had with it)... ~600 miles has been the most in one day so far but I don't see why it couldn't be good for many more miles, I've done ~700 mile days on my DRZ400 with luggage and camping gear... it was possible because I addressed the initial ergonomic issues I had with it and made changes to suit.

However I don't see why you couldn't eventually be ready to move the RS when in a 'jam', just work on strength training or practice moving the bike around under your own power.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So far on the Shadow, I have changed the seat to a Mustang which helped some backside issues, but didn't eliminate them. I get some pain in the hips after a long time in the saddle. I also get numbness in the right arm/hand. I have tried the Crampbuster throttle paddle and also added Grip Puppies this year. The Grip Puppies have helped, but again, it is not eliminated. I have rotated the bars down a bit so my reach isn't so far. (The RoadStar already has more "pull back" than the Shadow.). My next mod was going to be to add Lindby highway bars for a place to put my feet to get my hip and knee joints out of 90 degree angles. But I just haven't gotten there yet, and now this potential trade cropped up. This is why I want to take it for a long ride as well, so I can find out if I'm more comfy going long distances. If I am, without doing mods, then it seems to make sense to just move into the RoadStar instead of making a bunch more mods to the Shadow.
 

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I out grew my Shadow fast..Lindby bar was a must on the Shadow. I'm 6'0" and needed the stretch for sure on the shadow. due to unfortunate circumstances I was able to upgrade to my Vstar 1300. I'd be looking towards the Roadstar and not looking back except for runabout runs and quick stuff. the Roadstar will be much better on the highway and comfort level is much better.. suspension and seating etc. As far as backing up a hill.. ride accordingly so you don't have to walk the bike. I'd rather ride up a hill/incline parking and let gravity roll me back than try to push it up a hill/incline. Smarter riding is better than trying to find muscle power ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As an update, last Sunday afternoon, I was finally able to test drive the Roadstar. We went to a nearby empty parking lot and I did ovals and figure 8s. Found a driveway entrance with a bit of an incline, where I had to hold it up with one leg while braking with the other. I did it. Honestly, on a small incline like that, I do better using the front brake, friction zone, and I can roll on the throttle slightly while still holding front brake. I know that sounds more complicated, but really for me, it's easier. I backed it out of the garage myself and only needed help when the tire sunk into a divet and I didn't have enough room to turn forward. Then took it for about 10 miles on the highway. Weeeee!!! No problems corning. The only issue is that my short leg sits awfully close to the exhaust and it got pretty warm. Not sure if there is anything I can do about that. I actually welcome the warmth when it's cool out, but it was a pretty toasty day that day. My Honda is liquid cooled and I miss the engine heat, to be honest. 馃檪
It sounds like we will likely keep the Yamaha and the Shadow at least for a while. We're still not 100 percent sure hubby is getting the Harley (but probably is). 馃檪
 

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When you stop always put both feet down. You can use the front brake to hold the bike from rolling on any hill, unless you tried to climb a tree.

The clutch is in an oil bath, so you can slip the clutch while reving the engine a bit to get going on a hill, and you wont hurt the clutch any.

I roll the throttle on with my ring and pinky fingers while holding the brake with the other two fingers. This is something to practice when you stop on level ground, so it will be 2nd nature when you are stopped on a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep, that is how I prefer to start on a hill as well. But I know a lot of people who hold the rear brake with their right foot and balance on one leg. But the Roadstar is damn heavy, so I prefer both feet on the ground!
 

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I flat foot with bent knees on my bikes (tall guy problems?) yet still do the front brake and throttle roll-on thang... it only makes sense. The only time I didn't use that technique is on jockey-shift choppers with foot-clutches. ;)
 
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