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post #1 of 50 Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 10:04 pm Thread Starter
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Bike for wife

I am looking for a bike for the wife to drive. I guess she is tired of sitting back and relaxing on my ride and thinks it is time to get her own. What size bikes are the ladies out there riding. She is 5'6" and hasn't driven a bike in some years. I taught her how to ride about ten years ago, she is taking the motorcycle safety course next week.

Any thoughts,

Thanks

Mike
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post #2 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 12:10 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Oh thank goodness. I read the subject, and thought that you wanted to trade your bike for my wife, or is it my bike for your wife?

Seriously, I don't know about which bikes would be a good fit, but recommend that you buy an inexpensive, used, smaller displacement machine to start. When she is ready for the next step, you should be able to sell it for nearly what you paid for it. Consider it a medium term rental - kind of like how students rent musical instruments.

I have read that the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is a great starter bike, but don't know if its configuration would match your wife's interests or fit.
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post #3 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 1:43 am
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Re: Bike for wife

I agree on the Ninja 250 or a Ninja 500. You can find a decent used one cheap for her to ride 6 months to a year then sell for what you bought it for.

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post #4 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 6:08 am
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Re: Bike for wife

The Ninja will give you a "Forward leaning position" & My wife did not like the feel
She liked the "Up right" position that the Honda Rebel 250 gave her.
BTW she is taking the safety course in September (Too hot for her now).

Stevie Shreeve
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post #5 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 8:42 am
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Re: Bike for wife

+ 1 on the Honda Rebel, nice little starter bike.

In a previous life (before wife)
I had a girlfriend that came with her own Sporster,
at first I thought it was pretty cool,
we looked good together.
(that's important if you're into the HD thing)

After the "novelty" wore off it wasn't that much fun anymore,
not only did I have two bikes to maintain,
I missed the "intimacy" of the ride and the boobies on my back!
And I spent most of my time riding...
looking in the rear view mirror.

My "current" wife is content to ride on the back
and I'm certainly not going to talk her out of it.


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post #6 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 9:33 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Honda Rebel? She'll outgrow that fast. Even the Rebel riders on Honda forums consider their bikes cheap throw-a-aways. If you want to go small then try a scooter. Something like the Burgman 400. Itís a lot more fun (a whole lot more than most bikes), more powerful, easier to ride and much more versatile and practical (65L storage) than the rebel.
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post #7 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 11:32 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Plenty of cheap,used Buell Blast's out there. I believe a lot of the riding schools used them.

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post #8 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 11:53 am
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Re: Bike for wife

A scooter isn't a bad way to go . I have a 250 Honda Helix , it will keep up with the big bikes... If'n they are not going too quick , or fast . The Helix goes OK up to around 70 , it will go a little faster ..But not much .

The bigger scooter's that are out now go better , but I like my Helix . It has a rear brake pedal , & a hand brake for the front . I know people that have got confused . They ride motorcycles most of the time , and are use to the clutching / shifting / braking on a motorcycle . Most scooter's are automatic , there is the going & stoping , but the shifting not so much .

They were turning around in the road on a steep hill and grabbed for the clutch , and ended up on the ground . As there is no clutch , but a rear brake handle instead .

If'n you can keep the the controls in your mind , were they are & how they work . The 400 - 600 Burgmans are hard to beat , as are the big Hondas,...Etc...But If'n you can't a Helix is easer , you use the same foot & hand to stop as a real motorcycle .

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post #9 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 1:12 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Here's another vote for a Kawasaki Ninja 250 (or 500). A few things to note. The current 250 was introduced in 2008. It is sportier looking and feeling than the previous generation, which ran from '88 to '07. I recommend the last generation ... a great starter bike for a female or a younger/smaller male beginner. One can be found in brand new condition with low miles for under $2K. And you'll get most, if not all of that back in a year or two should she decide to upgrade.

I don't like the Rebel as much because it doesn't have enough power to get you out of trouble. Whereas, the Ninja hauled me down the road effortlessly ... and topping 100mph wasn't an issue.


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post #10 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 2:58 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Take a look also at the Honda 599...
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post #11 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 4:07 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Have her sit on a lot of bikes and find out what appeals to her as far as comfort and start from there. Sport bike positioning isn't for everybody. My wife wants to ride as well. We looked at a bunch of bikes and we found that she likes a low seat, floor boards, windshield, and wide bars. We're probably going to go in the direction of a 650 - 750 v-twin. Possibly the Suzuki Boulavard.

I agree against the rebel, and the Buell Blast is fun if you want to beat the crap out of a bike around town. That wheel comes up easy, but as far as doing some riding, I personally hated it. I rode one around Leesburg for a weekend while my bike was down and looked forward to getting to my destination instead of riding. That single cylinder vibrates your soul and that clutch was tight. My 2 cents

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post #12 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 5:00 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

First, figure what kind of riding she wants to do. Sport? Cruise? Tour? Sport-tour?

Every now and then my wife has toyed with the idea of riding on her own if we're not on a trip. For instance she's now figured that she'd want a cruiser style with a low seat where she can put both feet on the ground. She's sat on the V-Star silverado series, Suzuki Boulevard and HD 883 Sportster. With the HD being the largest to suit her needs. But recently she fell in love with a friends R1200C.

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post #13 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 5:00 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patric
A scooter isn't a bad way to go . .... The 400 - 600 Burgmans are hard to beat , as are the big Hondas,...Etc...But If'n you can't a Helix is easer , you use the same foot & hand to stop as a real motorcycle .


Burgmans 650


I wouldnít recommend the Burgman 650 to any beginner. It is an extremely heavy bike and has some unusually behaviors and coupled with its excessive heft (625lbs)/very poor suspension/extremely harsh engine breaking, makes it little hard for a beginner to master.
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post #14 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 6:34 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

If you want a bike your wife can start with and won't outgrow, seriously look at a Kawasaki Versys. It is a relatively light 650cc twin with plenty of power, available accessories,upright seating position and very good comfort and handling. I believe it was named" Motorcycle of the Year" in 2007 or 2008 by by one of the major cycle magazines. A used Versys can be bought for $4000-$5000.
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post #15 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 7:29 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

I checked out a Versys two years ago. They're tall IIRC. I had knee surgery a few weeks before and couldn't get a leg over. Haven't seen another one since. If they're as tall as I remember, maybe the seat can be lowered by adjusting the suspension.

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post #16 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 8:01 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

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post #17 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 8:24 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountianMama
Honda Pacific Coast 800
Shaft
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Thats an excellent bike. I don't remember the last time I saw one, but they were great everyday motorcycles

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post #18 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 8:46 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

What about the Harley Vrod Aka VRSC. They sit low, have ample power, and the ladies really like them. Check one out, she may fall in love with it. Happy Trails.
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post #19 of 50 Old Jun 4th, 2010, 10:21 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

I wanna buy my wife a Can-Am Spider, so I can ride it too!!!!

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post #20 of 50 Old Jun 5th, 2010, 1:53 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

If she's ridden at all, get her a REAL bike, something she can keep up with you on. Under powered bikes suck and are dangerous - you can't out of your own way! Get something with ABS for safety and anti-dive front end features. My vote would be an R1150S or taller, depending on her inseam. Small bikes are uncomfortable, get blown around in the wind and aren't any fun.

I find it offensive that men think a girl rider needs to start out on little dinky pos bikes.

There, I feel better!

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #21 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 6:49 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
I wanna buy my wife a Can-Am Spider, so I can ride it too!!!!

Best idea so far

Of course you would have to go all out and get the 24K one as it has all the bells and whistles.

Saw one at the dealer the other day; looks nice, has a fair amout of storage, heated grips and seat, audio and a good-looking rear end

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post #22 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 10:11 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
If she's ridden at all, get her a REAL bike, something she can keep up with you on. Under powered bikes suck and are dangerous - you can't out of your own way! Get something with ABS for safety and anti-dive front end features. My vote would be an R1150S or taller, depending on her inseam. Small bikes are uncomfortable, get blown around in the wind and aren't any fun.

I find it offensive that men think a girl rider needs to start out on little dinky pos bikes.

There, I feel better!
Deb, I hear ya and I feel ya. But I'm telling you ... that Kaw Ninja 250R (especially the newest generation) would surprise the crap outta you! Yes it's only 32HP ... but it only weighs 375 pounds WET! It's power-to-weight ratio makes it a really fun bike to ride ... on the street or track. It redefines "flickable"! I only wish I was a smaller guy ... I'd probably own one as a commuter bike.


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post #23 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 10:38 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
I wanna buy my wife a Can-Am Spider, so I can ride it too!!!!
Wow! You read my mind, bro, I've been thinking the same exact thing. And here is the kicker, my wife is on board with it too. So, its on like donkey kong.
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post #24 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 11:06 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
I find it offensive that men think a girl rider needs to start out on little dinky pos bikes.
Personally I feel that EVERY rider, male just as well as female, should start out with a smaller bike. one with a power to weight ratio that doesn't allow them to out accelerate their experience. In all European countries where this law was enacted the numbers speak books. Rebel, Ninja, Scooter, ... Just something that allows the noob to think. I always compare that with a high powered car. WOuld you give someone you JUST hot their drivers license a high powered Corvette and consider it safe? I sure do not. Or When thinking of a pilots license Right after you get your license you are not fit to fly a jet or even high powered faster prop driven plane. It is experience that allows someone to do that, and the same should be applied with motorcycles.
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post #25 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 11:13 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Personally I feel that EVERY rider, male just as well as female, should start out with a smaller bike. one with a power to weight ratio that doesn't allow them to out accelerate their experience. In all European countries where this law was enacted the numbers speak books. Rebel, Ninja, Scooter, ... Just something that allows the noob to think. I always compare that with a high powered car. WOuld you give someone you JUST hot their drivers license a high powered Corvette and consider it safe? I sure do not. Or When thinking of a pilots license Right after you get your license you are not fit to fly a jet or even high powered faster prop driven plane. It is experience that allows someone to do that, and the same should be applied with motorcycles.
Well said Andy! It is not about what sex you are, it is about the fact that most riders drop or crash a bike in the first six months of riding and something inexpensive and managable is much smarter for the first year.

Scott
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post #26 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 12:31 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
Oh thank goodness. I read the subject, and thought that you wanted to trade your bike for my wife, or is it my bike for your wife?

Seriously, I don't know about which bikes would be a good fit, but recommend that you buy an inexpensive, used, smaller displacement machine to start. When she is ready for the next step, you should be able to sell it for nearly what you paid for it. Consider it a medium term rental - kind of like how students rent musical instruments.

I have read that the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is a great starter bike, but don't know if its configuration would match your wife's interests or fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
If she's ridden at all, get her a REAL bike, something she can keep up with you on. Under powered bikes suck and are dangerous - you can't out of your own way! Get something with ABS for safety and anti-dive front end features. My vote would be an R1150S or taller, depending on her inseam. Small bikes are uncomfortable, get blown around in the wind and aren't any fun.

I find it offensive that men think a girl rider needs to start out on little dinky pos bikes.

There, I feel better!
Deb - I am glad you feel better, but I believe you misinterpreted everyone's assumptions and intent.

I started out on a small bike, then progressed to a medium bike, and now I ride a K1200GT, which I purchased after 25 years of daily riding. None of my comments were related to gender or size, they are related to experience and safety. I have given the same advice to men and women equally, because I believe it is the best way. I believe that the same is true of the other people who made similar suggestions above.

I would recommend learning on a small Cessna before taking that 747 out for a spin, too.

There are many people who start out on large powerful motorcycles, and some have no problems. Sadly, injuries among inexperienced new owners of powerful motorcycles are all too common. They justify the purchase by saying that they save money because they don't have to purchase two or three bikes, but it is a false economy, in my experience.
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post #27 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 1:25 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
Deb - I am glad you feel better, but I believe you misinterpreted everyone's assumptions and intent.

I started out on a small bike, then progressed to a medium bike, and now I ride a K1200GT, which I purchased after 25 years of daily riding. None of my comments were related to gender or size, they are related to experience and safety. I have given the same advice to men and women equally, because I believe it is the best way. I believe that the same is true of the other people who made similar suggestions above.

I would recommend learning on a small Cessna before taking that 747 out for a spin, too.

There are many people who start out on large powerful motorcycles, and some have no problems. Sadly, injuries among inexperienced new owners of powerful motorcycles are all too common. They justify the purchase by saying that they save money because they don't have to purchase two or three bikes, but it is a false economy, in my experience.
Heck my first bike was a 100cc 2 stroke twin Yamaha, after which I graduated to a 250 Suzuki T20, then to a couple of 350 Yamaha, and a few other mid-size bikes before getting a 750 Yamaha triple. All of this from age 16 to 24, before I moved to the US. After that the bikes got bigger...!
BTW I put over 100k miles on various bikes before I getting my car driver's license...! I strongly believe this made me a better driver all around.

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And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #28 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 3:31 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
Deb - I am glad you feel better, but I believe you misinterpreted everyone's assumptions and intent.
What misinterpretation? They already have small dirt bikes, and she used to ride. Why make her suffer with a little underpowered bike that won't keep up with her hubbie on his LT? Having to flog your m/c is tiring and not that much fun after the first 15 minutes. My first road bike was a Yamaha Road Star, and I never dropped it or wrecked it. Unlike the uber-experienced MSF teacher who test rode it and crashed it.

Women don't suffer from testosterone poisoning and are more careful than men anyway. Get this gal a bike she can enjoy!

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #29 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 3:39 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
Deb, I hear ya and I feel ya. But I'm telling you ... that Kaw Ninja 250R (especially the newest generation) would surprise the crap outta you! Yes it's only 32HP ... but it only weighs 375 pounds WET! It's power-to-weight ratio makes it a really fun bike to ride ... on the street or track. It redefines "flickable"! I only wish I was a smaller guy ... I'd probably own one as a commuter bike.


Joe, can we be serious here???? You really think that 250 would keep up with you on your Connie? Me no theen' so.

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #30 of 50 Old Jun 6th, 2010, 10:47 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
Joe, can we be serious here???? You really think that 250 would keep up with you on your Connie? Me no theen' so.
I don't know about "keep up" ... but the fact is, there are very few woman that care about that. And if any rider is getting on a bike for the first time in 10 years, they're probably not going to "keep up" no matter what they're on. Know what I mean?

Also, keep in mind that you probably ride a little (a LOT) more aggressively than a lot of male riders, and definitely more aggressively than MOST female riders.

All I DO know is that my friend Nancy and I had a great time riding our Ninjas together. And very few bikes could keep up with my ZX-11. But that didn't seem to matter to Nancy. In fact, she replaced her 250 for a Kaw 600 and regretted the move.

Here's a pic of our Twin Ninjas.


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post #31 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 8:36 am
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Re: Bike for wife

I guess a lot depends on how HE rides. Are there curves in Wisconsin? I was a cautious, slow rider at first, and Dean was very patient with me and was an excellent teacher. Happiness is when you and your spouse ride the same ride/style and can have a blast at it. With a bigger cc bike you're not limited, and bikes like the R1150S are lightweight, easy to flick around and are a gas to ride, plus have all the safety features like ABS and no dive suspensions. I just about killed myself on my daughter's SV, grabbing a bunch of front brake and sliding sideways for a bit - it made me appreciate the "anti-stupid" factor of my GT's ABS. Whoopsee! David wouldn't be a gimp right now either if he'd been on his GT when he hit the dirt-then-pavement at 30 mph. (No offense, there, Mr T!) Imo, non-cruiser bikes that weigh anywhere in the 375-500# range all feel pretty much the same above 5mph, (even an LT feels light once you get the beast moving) so go for safety and quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
I don't know about "keep up" ... but the fact is, there are very few woman that care about that.
Au contraire, mon ami! In our club we have a group of gals who ride that are always looking for info, teaching, whatever to improve. I think the truth is most gals don't get good instruction and settle for not keeping up. If a gal has the moxy to want to ride, she'll want to ride well.

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #32 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 11:03 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Iíve known a lot of female rider and their expectations were quite different than my own. They were more comfortable on smaller CC bikes. That was the average. There are women that prefer larger and ride well but they were not average. Inseam and weight management plays a bigger roll and was a bigger concern than for the average male.

When I was in Japan back in the early 80s I supervised several training units. One was a motorcycle training unit. We provided (donated by the local merchants) bikes of various sizes up to (IIRC) 150-~650 CC but participants where certainly allowed to bring what they hadÖagainst our written advice. This was against our written advice because those bikes were almost always large/heavy touring/cruising or high HP sport bikes.

The woman overwhelming preferred the smaller bikes. So much so we finally reserved the smaller bikes for them and eventually started a class strictly for woman and the training/group rides and bikes were based on ďTheirĒ expectations. Though we did have a few females in our regular classes and they, most of them with very few exceptions, normally did not appreciated the attributes of the larger bikes.

We had to keep running statistics on our riding program and we found, not surprising, that whether the rider were men or women the smaller CC bikes were 98% less likely to involved in a class or riding event accident. We, as well as our Insurance vender believed that the smaller bikes were much safer for beginners. And there awere a lot more fun to ride and the smaller bikes kept the riders more interested in the activity.

The larger bikes (those over our 650 cc bikes) tended to overwhelm a few male riders (not many) but most of the female riders which, predictably, resulted in them dropping the program. I owned a HD but preferred the 250 variants we had in our programs for the small number of group rides and events I attended. At the time I preferred Scuba diving over riding but had to show my face from time-to-time for political reasons.

One thing to keep in mind is that sites like this one caters to the enthusiast and has no accountability to the average rider. If you havenít ridden in a while go small. Youíll certainly have a lot more fun relearning what was lost. And when it is time to move up, it is certainly a hell of a lot easier to resale a small cc bike than a larger one.
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post #33 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 2:28 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

I give up, I'm done. This is like talking politics with Meese........... (JK there, Ken!) Beemer chicks have more cajonitas than you seem to give them credit for.

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #34 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 3:24 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Deb, no disrespect but this thread is about a bike for Mike's wife. Her needs and skills are likely different from yours so the advice offered here may benefit her, all perceived sexism aside.

Gilles & Kathy
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post #35 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 3:40 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
I guess a lot depends on how HE rides. Are there curves in Wisconsin? I was a cautious, slow rider at first, and Dean was very patient with me and was an excellent teacher. Happiness is when you and your spouse ride the same ride/style and can have a blast at it. With a bigger cc bike you're not limited, and bikes like the R1150S are lightweight, easy to flick around and are a gas to ride, plus have all the safety features like ABS and no dive suspensions. I just about killed myself on my daughter's SV, grabbing a bunch of front brake and sliding sideways for a bit - it made me appreciate the "anti-stupid" factor of my GT's ABS. Whoopsee! David wouldn't be a gimp right now either if he'd been on his GT when he hit the dirt-then-pavement at 30 mph. (No offense, there, Mr T!) Imo, non-cruiser bikes that weigh anywhere in the 375-500# range all feel pretty much the same above 5mph, (even an LT feels light once you get the beast moving) so go for safety and quality.



Au contraire, mon ami! In our club we have a group of gals who ride that are always looking for info, teaching, whatever to improve. I think the truth is most gals don't get good instruction and settle for not keeping up. If a gal has the moxy to want to ride, she'll want to ride well.

Thanks, I think???? To be a bit clinical about my incident in relation to part of this discussion. While I would not have had the accident that occurred, there's no guarantee that I would have avoided an accident altogether. I was headed for a low side pretty fast and the light weight and nimbleness of the Hyper is probably part of why I save the front end slide. I'll never know ( and have no intention of testing this theory) if the GT could have been saved in that situation and conditions. Given, the GT most likely would not have proceeded into a large stoppie that ended up flipping the bike endo on top of me, and the GT's ABS would likely have handled the sand and dirt better (compared to a locked front wheel and flipping). But it's impossible to know if it would have been a successful save, another type of high side incident, or t-boning the car parked on the side of the road I was aimed at. But yes, the GT has more things available such as ABS, weight distribution, etc., compared to my Ducati, that may make avoiding such incidents slightly more likely.

Regarding the "girl bike" discussion. I think both camps should get over it! There seems to be a foregone conclusion that the woman in question isn't smart enough to know her own limitations nor how to know if a bike fits and/or suits her. Isn't it ultimately her choice? Yes, opinions and thoughts are great, and everyone has valid points from there particular perspective, but I think we've lost target on the original request for information. I've ridden with some very fast and highly skilled women (Deb and her daughter Jesse being at the top of that list) and some really slow and poorly skilled men (no need to call anyone out here), and vice versa. At the end of the day we're all Motorcyclists, which is a non gender specific term, and when discussing someone's desire to ride, what they ride and what they can handle, should be treated as such. So maybe, just maybe, if everyone backs off the preconceived gender issues and focuses on what may be good input and insight for this new Motorcyclist, the original poster will get some really helpful information.

Wow, a few days without pain meds really lets your brain roam free!

David Taylor
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post #36 of 50 Old Jun 7th, 2010, 4:42 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Mine just got tired of looking at the back of my head. At 4'10" there ain't much out there with any power that she could fit. Got her indorsement, tried a 250, THEN demo'd a CanAm Spyder, and ordered on the spot. We built the Spyder to her specs (intercom, 2-way, McCruise, Russel seat, GIVIs, etc), and are having a blast! (They are quite a fun ride, as I have more than a mile or 2 on it myself!

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post #37 of 50 Old Jun 8th, 2010, 7:32 am
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Talking Re: Bike for wife

I have 16,000 miles on my spyder, and I love it! I added Heli Bars to mine so Dave couldn't ride it.

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post #38 of 50 Old Jun 11th, 2010, 1:44 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
I wanna buy my wife a Can-Am Spider, so I can ride it too!!!!
Worked here (W is 4'10")!! AND I got to add a bunch of farkles (autcom, cruise, grips, HeatTroller, Russel seat, GIVI luggage, + a pile of windshields, ending with the CHAD.) We both love it. Been to Canada twice, looking for a Rockies trip. Rolling at 65 and both of us grab a handful, she squirts ahead (then I catch up).

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post #39 of 50 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 8:36 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Here;s my .02 worth. And it comes from some experience as a rider coach, watching people learn and thinking about "best first bikes". Start with a bike that can be grown with. Rebel? Not bad if all you;re doing is plunking around town. For a little more cash, weight, etc. go with a 600 shadow if she wants a low slung, cruiser type. Sporty types? 250 Ninja, or maybe up to a 650 SV or whatever they call it these days. It's more of a standard , but a standard will do a lot of things well and are easy to learn on. With the power to grow with as experience is gained. Buell Blast? Not so much. That big old single piston vibrates a LOT at slow speeds. Annoyingly so. As a coach, I get a kick out of watching the the back tire jump with each fire of the plug at slow speeds.

I tell everyone the same thing, regardless of male or female. And that's basically my recommendations for anyone that does well in class. It really depends on how well a person acclimates themselves to riding.

Good luck with it.
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post #40 of 50 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 2:04 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Starting with a small bike is a good idea, I don't think a bike smaller than a 500 is a good idea. the 250 is just not big enough for a run on the highway and if she needs to get out of the way quick she might not have enough power for the push. I spent several years on a 550 and it will take care of her needs. She is going to remember her previous lessons quick and get the refresher skills in the riding class. She'll be good to go in no time and the bigger displacement will serve you both well.

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post #41 of 50 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 9:04 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by baurcorp
Starting with a small bike is a good idea, I don't think a bike smaller than a 500 is a good idea. the 250 is just not big enough for a run on the highway and if she needs to get out of the way quick she might not have enough power for the push.....
I was taught that that was a poor way to make up for lack of training and skill. And I think that the comment about a 250 not being big enough to run on the highway is funny since the same 2 Ninjas 250s (late models) zoom pass me and wave every morning. I set my throttle at 75-78 mph indicated. There is a Burgman 400 that does this to me also but I donít see him everyday.

Why donít we just do what people did when I first started ridding. Then the average bike sold was less than 500CC (or still is since the overwhelming majority of bikes sold today is under 500CC ~ 96%); You could use your skills and the bikes maneuverability and its brakes to get out of trouble. Brakes and wispy weight maneuverability rules over power for the push when it comes to avoiding accidents any day. Over the years Iíve noticed as people move up in displacement they are less likely to utilize skills and the bikeís fundamental advantages and just twist the throttle.
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post #42 of 50 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 10:45 am
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Re: Bike for wife

My wife decided that after 10 yrs of looking at my helmet, she wanted a bike. First thing we did was get her into the MSF course. Then we went to every, and I mean EVERY bike shop we could find and she threw a leg over every bike they had. Even if she knew it wasn't the type of bike she wanted, it's important to get ideas about optimal seating height, handlebar reach/height, etc. I or the salesperson would hold the front fender so she could put her feet on the pegs to get ideas about control position.

Her decision? A Suzuki Boulevard C50. 805cc, fit her perfectly. Enough power if she wants it, but not too heavy of a bike. She LOVES that bike too. Named her Alice (something about the Twilight books, I think).

When we ride together, I let her lead so she doesn't feel like she has to try to keep up with me. tT's about her working on her skills and building confidence, not about her having to put herself in an uncomfortable situation by feeling that she has to stay with me while we're riding. I love to watch her ride. I can see her confidence build every time we go out.

Glad to see your SO is taking the MSF course. She'll gain a lot of knowledge from it. And the look on her face when she completes it is something you'll treasure.

Take her out and try on every bike you can. Take notes, and pics. She's going to be nervous about it, but be there to help ask the questions she might not think of.

Enjoy riding together, keep if as stress free for both of you as you can.

Good luck,
Casey

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post #43 of 50 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 11:54 am
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Re: Bike for wife

There has been a lot of discussion on this thread, but the original poster (Mike) has not reappeared to clarify the discussion with additional details. We don't know if his wife wants a motorcycle that is suitable for a beginner or one for an experienced rider.

We have made many assumptions and given lots of advice, all of it based on a paucity of real information. We can guess all we want, but we don't know if Mike is bothering to read the thread at all.

Well, Mike. Are you there?
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post #44 of 50 Old Jun 17th, 2010, 1:39 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier6162
I was taught that that was a poor way to make up for lack of training and skill. And I think that the comment about a 250 not being big enough to run on the highway is funny since the same 2 Ninjas 250s (late models) zoom pass me and wave every morning. I set my throttle at 75-78 mph indicated. There is a Burgman 400 that does this to me also but I donít see him everyday.

Why donít we just do what people did when I first started ridding. Then the average bike sold was less than 500CC (or still is since the overwhelming majority of bikes sold today is under 500CC ~ 96%); You could use your skills and the bikes maneuverability and its brakes to get out of trouble. Brakes and wispy weight maneuverability rules over power for the push when it comes to avoiding accidents any day. Over the years Iíve noticed as people move up in displacement they are less likely to utilize skills and the bikeís fundamental advantages and just twist the throttle.
I gues the need for speed wins ut with me.

HEY....IT'S THE WAY OF MY PEOPLE....
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post #45 of 50 Old Nov 29th, 2010, 9:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsauer608
If she's ridden at all, get her a REAL bike, something she can keep up with you on. Under powered bikes suck and are dangerous - you can't out of your own way! Get something with ABS for safety and anti-dive front end features. My vote would be an R1150S or taller, depending on her inseam. Small bikes are uncomfortable, get blown around in the wind and aren't any fun.

I find it offensive that men think a girl rider needs to start out on little dinky pos bikes.

There, I feel better!
We ended up on a FJR 1300, this bike blows the doors off mine. It is affectionately referred to as the chick bike at work. I bought it off a guy at work... It has turned out to be my play bike. She has a few hundred miles on it, I have a few thousand. I just miss the cruise control and heated stuff when I ride hers. I did hook up power for my jacket and gloves, so it is not parked for the year yet.

Mike
In the frozen tundra
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post #46 of 50 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 8:55 am
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by lstinthot
We ended up on a FJR 1300, this bike blows the doors off mine. It is affectionately referred to as the chick bike at work. I bought it off a guy at work... It has turned out to be my play bike. She has a few hundred miles on it, I have a few thousand. I just miss the cruise control and heated stuff when I ride hers. I did hook up power for my jacket and gloves, so it is not parked for the year yet.
Awesome! Congratulations!

Dean and Deb
Golden, CO


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post #47 of 50 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 11:19 am
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Re: Bike for wife

I would second the comment about considering an R 1200 C. The low seat height, telescopic front fork and ABS brakes make it a safe, economical and easy to ride bike that will not be outgrown after the first season. I have done several trips with 400-500 mile days on mine including a 3000 mile 10 day trip to Canada. It is a great bike that I would ride a lot more if the range exceeded 125 miles. It is a bike one can ride along with others with pride, including other BMW riders. I get more thumbs up and "great looking bike" comments on the C than on either the RT or the Ducati. Other than the 4.5 gallon tank that gives a 125 mile range, the most common criticism of the C is the 61 bhp boxer engine which some consider underpowered, but which I have found to be adequate for both commuting and touring.

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post #48 of 50 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by lstinthot
We ended up on a FJR 1300, this bike blows the doors off mine. It is affectionately referred to as the chick bike at work. I bought it off a guy at work... It has turned out to be my play bike. She has a few hundred miles on it, I have a few thousand. I just miss the cruise control and heated stuff when I ride hers. I did hook up power for my jacket and gloves, so it is not parked for the year yet.
Based on you initial post, an FJR1300 seems like a lot of bike for someone who hasn't ridden much. An F800ST would have probably been a better choice for your wife as the bike would be lighter and a bit easier to handle. If you like the FJR, you should test ride a K1300GT. It has more horsies, 6 speed tranny with heated seats, handgrips and all the farkles. I personally think the K1300 also has a better suspension, but that is must my opinion.

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post #49 of 50 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 7:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalli
Based on you initial post, an FJR1300 seems like a lot of bike for someone who hasn't ridden much. An F800ST would have probably been a better choice for your wife as the bike would be lighter and a bit easier to handle. If you like the FJR, you should test ride a K1300GT. It has more horsies, 6 speed tranny with heated seats, handgrips and all the farkles. I personally think the K1300 also has a better suspension, but that is must my opinion.
I am kicking myself for not getting another BMW. We got a good deal on this bike but I should have waited for a good deal on a GT or RT. They weigh about the same as her FJR but have the heat. Her biggest thing she wanted was wind protection. FJR does pretty good as does the BMW bikes as well. She likes the bike. We had to lower it for her so she could feel comfortable with both feet on the ground. She rides slow and cautious when she rides and gets more and more comfortable each time she gets out there. I like watching her ride, but miss her on the back when we are not together..

Mike
In the frozen tundra
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post #50 of 50 Old Nov 30th, 2010, 7:35 pm
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Re: Bike for wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
I wanna buy my wife a Can-Am Spider, so I can ride it too!!!!
another LT Can-Am pair.



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