Wednesday, February 9
For Al who is learning to use the front brake without rolling on the throttle:
I just want to let you know your not alone. I do that to. I got my bike in October 2004. I don't have many miles on my bike yet, so I'm still a newbie. I think it's just going to take practice. I try to roll my hand a little forward when I go for the brake so I don't give it gas at the same time when I'm braking. Good luck. – Vivian, V-Star Rider (note from Mama: yes, practice is usually the key!)
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Wednesday, February 9
Hey VTwin Mama,
Thought I'd add my solution to your list (short bike rider solutions): I have a Kawasaki ZZR600 2003 model and I'm just touching 5 foot tall. I had the seat shaved down an inch and had the rear suspension taken down an inch as well, and voila! Much more confidence in being able to get the balls of my feet on the ground. – Karen
Dear Karen,
Thanks for taking the time to share the bike that works for you and details on modifications. I'll make sure to add the bike to the list! Sounds like you're having a ball! – Mama
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Wednesday, February 9

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Dear Mama,
Could I have the e-mail address to the person that thinks there are only MEN riders out there so I can tell them my opinion? I was one of many who had a subscription to Women Rider that of course got dropped because as you know they cut it.
When is the Motorcycle world going to get it that there is a lot of $$$$ to be had from us Women? WE like to ride and we like to spend. What does not add up to them? Sorry got a little carried away so I will save the rest for them.
Thank you and congratulations!! 5 Years. Just so you know, I pass out your website to almost every man rider that has a women in their life that rides or not. I of course pass it out to the women I meet as well. But, it is really nice when I get to pass it out to the men. I guess it is a way to let them know there are a lot of women riders out there so GET OUT OF OUR WAY! :) Just kidding but sometimes I feel like that. So, ok I am a bit disturbed by the information that Women Rider was dropped of the website and no annual issues or anything else. Have a great day, – Celeste
Dear Celeste,
Thanks for the congrats on hitting the five year mark with the VTwin Mama site! It's been my labor of love and any time I think I might want to hang it up, I get pulled back in by all the questions, responses and observations that make SUCH a big difference to riders of all sorts!
Yes, Woman Rider got dumped from the line-up of Ehlert Publishing. What a blow! So that all readers can understand . . . I saw the links were missing on the RiderReport site . . . and contacted the Managing Editor of the three remaining magazines. She forwarded that email to Genevieve, former editor of Woman Rider, who replied:

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Wednesday, February 9
Dear VTwin Mama,
I just found your site from another site and saw the message on the Ridley motorcycle. Well, I can tell you from experience, it is a great little bike and goes fast too as my wife has one and it is a blast to ride. I have a full dresser and have ridden the Ridley and have fun too. And the mileage is awesome, about 50 mpg in town and near 70 on highway. – Scott
Dear Scott,
Thanks for the first hand note of experience with the Ridley auto tranny bike. Sounds like you and your wife are having fun, and the mileage is certainly delicious given the astronomical gas prices these days! – Mama
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Wednesday, February 9
Dear VTwin Mama,
Hello, I am a 47 yr old post mastectomy woman with past extreme back injuries but I ride a '87 BMW w/side car. I need an adjustable clutch. The reach is too far. It tires and hurts my chest muscles. Any sites/companies that have this available? My left leg goes numb, I love the *suicide* shifter . . . is this feasible on the BMW?? This is a great site!! thank you for all you do to make this site so wonderful. I plan on being here often b4 taking off on my solo flights across the nation!!
Added note after I inquired whether this letter was about reaching the whole body or the "reach" of having to stretch fingers to grasp the lever: 
Excellent question. using whole body or too wide of reach. While I know its the reach, I actually went out and sat on my bike. It is comfortable and seems easy to access the handle. The problem is with the reach. It isn't necessarily too much reach, it is rather that it is just at the  full reach, each time I extend my fingers and pull back, I feel it right up into the chest. My main chest muscle on the left side has been extended and lifted to the surface due to implant after radical cancer mastectomy. But, I will also go down and try different bars because now I am thinking maybe if they were a little closer.. I also will pay close attention to the way I sit and reach. hmm. I will be having mastectomy again on the right side and I will need to be able to reach throttle and brake. Wow, you're good! Have me thinking in the right direction already!  I will be waiting to hear from you. Thank you sooooo much sister! – Gypsy
Dear Gypsy,
My hat (or is that helmet?!) is off to you on searching for solutions that will allow you to continue to ride following such invasive surgery, especially on potential longer hauls!
There are more "ergonomic" clutch levers available in the marketplace . . . basically meaning that the "pull" is tons easier. Here is a site I found that looks unique to me in terms of its solution (worth checking out). You might also want to check with ASV to see if their levers (brake and clutch) with pivoting set points might work with your bike (allows you to set the lever for small hands). Part of my problem with researching your question is that I'm not as familiar with aftermarket parts houses for BMW (or what OEM parts might be available . . . something to explore with the local dealer). Readers with BMW's . . . please help Gypsy out!
As to the issue of your left leg . . . I just posted a letter from Bess, who asked about conversion solutions that would alter the shifter. I noted a number of sites that address this issue in great detail and even offer one-on-one counseling to determine what could work. Have a read through that and see if you find the sources that will help make a difference to you as well.  – Mama
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Monday, February 7
For Rand or anyone who's looking for a motorcycle manual:
Half Price Books is a great place to start looking. They're not located in every state (only 13 of them), but there are some great finds in their stores. I live in Fort Worth, TX and go there frequently. – Linda Scott (note from Mama: thanks for the heads up on this!)
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Monday, February 7
Dear VTwin Mama,
Just discovered your website. It is GRERAT! I am a 56 yr. old, 6ft.4in. tall guy who always wanted to ride a motorcycle and, finally, is going to do it. I took the local MSF course last Nov.(04), DIDN'T PASS the Driving Skills Test (very embarrassing --my classmates were astounded as they ALL said I "looked perfect"). Instructor said, "you have all the mechanics down pat"--just need to get your speed up (I thought I was moving pretty fast BUT I didn't check my speedometer). That aside, my PRIMARY PROBLEM is: when coming to a quick stop, I have a tendency to roll ON the throttle with the palm of my hand while squeezing/applying the front brake. Any tips on how to avoid this? – Al
Dear Al,
You're not alone! As to the throttle roll while braking, start with this letter and read on for tips on the challenge! – Mama

 

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Monday, February 7
Dear VTwin Mama,
Hi, my name is Margie, aka Maggy. I have no one to ride with or practice with here in Las Vegas. I am such a loner. I do not have my Riding endorsement and my permit needs to be renewed. I tried to make it through the MSF course along with other riding courses but man, one thing or another it did not happen, never made it to day two of riding yet.
I so much want to train in a parking lot on my Shadow ACE 750. If you know of anyone willing to get me across the street, lol, to practice and work with me so I can take the test at DMV. Please let me know. I so much want to ride. – Maggy
Dear Maggy,
Ok, it's time to reach out! Although my site doesn't have any listings with individual Las Vegas, NV women riders, the Ride My Own site does, and here is the listings page for Nevada with plenty of LV gals. Send a few emails out and see if there is assistance for you. Try this route first, but if necessary, prepare to check out one of the women's riding organizations which can be found on my Women's Sites page. Or, you can check with the local dealer for your bike type and see if they have a club . . . you might find a kindred spirit there! Good luck and keep asking . . .  – Mama
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Wednesday, February 2
Dear VTwin Mama,
Hello , my wife rides a '85 Honda Rebel 250 and she wants to change mufflers from stock to slash cut megaphones with removable baffles for more sound. First, can this change be made by removing the baffles and running straight pipes? And if so, how will we need to rejet the carb? Thanks. – Billy
Dear Billy,
Anytime you alter the exhaust system there exists the great possibility that the carb will need to be re-jetted. Many readers of this site have counseled that instead of removing the baffles completely from the stock pipes, you may wish to drill a pattern of small holes in the baffles. Often times this will produce the extra sound you're looking for without completely altering the set-up.
Here is a discussion thread from the Honda Rebel Online site (lots of info all around) on rejetting carbs: http://www.surfmaine.com/rebelforum/viewtopic.php?t=3288&highlight=carb+rejet. Good luck on your project! – Mama
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Wednesday, February 2
Dear VTwin Mama,
It's been a wonderful weekend for me. It's been cold and snowy once again here in Ohio but who really cares about that! We have our vacation planned this year, 1 week at the Honda Hoot (all reservation made) and a 4 day weekend at Midwest Star BBQ in August in Pennsylvania (all reservations made) We are ready to ride I tell you.
What made the weekend even better is that we drove up to Cleveland yesterday to go to the International Motorcycle Show. Talk about putting you in the mood to ride. It was awesome. One of the main reasons to go was to look for another bike for me. I will start my 2nd season this year on my Honda Shadow VLX. But this time next I hope to move up to either a Honda Aero 750 or possibly a Suzuki C50. I sat on the C50 I and I really loved it. It felt great and didn't seem to much different as far as weight. I know there will be more power in the C50.
Over the past year I have read that a lot of ladies ride this bike. I was wondering if you and others could possibly give me input on their likes and dislikes about the bike. Has anyone had a lot of trouble with it? I really want to investigate this bike because it was pretty much love and first sight. – Donna in Ohio
Dear Donna,
Good grief . . . it took me a few seconds to realize the C50 is part of the new Boulevard series, the updated version of the Volusia 800. I know we've had a bit of input on it, but I could only find references to the 2003 Volusia version (versus the actual C50). Readers with the C50 are encouraged to write in or share review sites that might help Donna! – Mama