My first motorcycle as a female rider
I put a lot of thought and research into my first bike. Being a short-ish woman (5’3”) I was concerned about being able to touch the ground. I learned on a Suzuki GS500 whilst doing my DAS training, which I actually quite liked, although it was quite heavy.
Based mainly on seat height, the choice got narrowed down to the Gladius, Ducati Monster and a couple of others that I can no longer remember (so clearly they weren’t memorable!).
A great incentive
I had always liked the look of Ducatis though and was probably my preferred option. I actually bought a Monster 620 before I passed my test although I wasn’t able to ride it back the 45 miles as I was still a learner!
It was quite an incentive to pass!… which I did 6 days later.
I learned a lot with that first bike. In some ways it was easy to ride but with hindsight the gearing made it quite hard especially for a new rider.
Comparing the GS500 to the Monster
Comparing the Suzuki GS500 to the Ducati Monster, the gearing was so different meaning it was difficult to gauge at lower speeds. 1st and 2nd gear seemed so much longer in their use which made it tricky to select the correct gear at certain slower speeds as a learner.
So to me, slow control and tight cornering just seemed harder, being stuck in between deciding on first or second gear! Having nothing else to relate to it was hard knowing what the right thing to do was. It did not have a very tight steering circle so that made tight corners harder as well.
The monster also didn’t like the cold and was actually a bit of a bitch on the clutch and engine until it had covered a few miles. I learned a lot about maintenance though and was really diligent looking after chain and oil (it did actually use a fair bit of oil).
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Getting buffeted by the wind
I had the bike for three years and even took it to the south of France for three weeks. I had no problem with wind resistance even though it is a naked bike.
This trip also overcame my uncertainty of being able to cover longer distances – I could ride about 350 miles a day. This actually wasn’t a problem, although tired at the end of each day I woke up fresh the next day ready to carry on.
So the criteria for choosing my first bike was mainly the actual seat height… and to some extent looks.
Written by Moira Day (female rider)