Hi there, my name is Heidi, I just took the class last summer and I had no riding experience except as a passenger. I didn't know anything about driving a stick shift either. I am now riding fairly well although the riding season ended shortly after I finished the course. Stick with it and good luck, don't give up! I almost did, and with much encouragement from my boyfriend passed the road and wriitten with flying colors. I thought I would buy a 250 to start but didn't. My boyfriend said it wasn't worth it because soon I would be bored and it would be a waste of my money. Got a Ninja ex500 and couldn't be happier! Easy to ride and not too big.