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Old 09-09-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
rpmwfo OP
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What dual sport/dirt bike for girlfriend?

Girlfriend recently expressed interest in trail riding and a possible trip to Moab. Naturally I said no problem we'll have to get you a bike and start teaching you how to ride in the dirt.

She's 5'8" tall. She's been riding on the street for a couple of years. Real quick study on the street(going to have to get her a new street bike next summer).

What bike should I get her? I would like relatively light, decent power, and in a perfect world- electric start. Plated(anything can be plated here in Colorado) or factory dual sport.

She isn't a timid rider on the street, so I doubt she will be one in the dirt(although she said she wasn't interested in log hopping). In a perfect world I would get her a KTM 450 EXC and call it day. Same maintenance and parts as the one I've got now. Not sure if that will be too much. She rode mine with the supermoto setup and liked it a lot. Not sure how that would translate to dirt riding for her.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #2
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Your idea about getting her the same as yourself could be the best of both worlds, if she's already had a shot with SM wheels and can handle that, then you'd hope the transition to SIMPLE dirt riding on the same bike shouldn't be to severe, hopefully.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:07 AM   #3
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If she liked it, I'd get the same bike. Only 1 set of tools and spares to carry, and you have known working parts on hand to troubleshoot with.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
RENCRN8
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Maybe a 400exc for the linear power. Either way I think RFS is a great choice, as you no doubt already know.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
rickypanecatyl
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Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
If she liked it, I'd get the same bike. Only 1 set of tools and spares to carry, and you have known working parts on hand to troubleshoot with.
+1 When at all possible having the same bike is good...

Do the new FI EXC's come with different mappings like the 690? The 690 on soft power is excellent for loaning, letting guys go for a first ride etc without hurting themselves.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
1stgenfarmboy
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It according what degree of trail, side of the mountain kinda trail or gravel road kinda trail...

this is a nice electric start real trail bike, if your just going to ride roads get her what you have, the big bikes would be hard for her to handle in the rocks I would think


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Old 09-09-2013, 01:17 PM   #7
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Probably something 400-650 class.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
pne
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Definitely something she can flat foot at a stop. One thing I've noticed with the ladies is being able to put a foot down is a huge deal breaker. Even though when we are out coaching new riders we tell them do NOT ride around with your feet off the pegs trying to catch yourself at low speeds. Most girls (and lots of guys) still do this in the dirt, even though they are capable riders on the street. All the girls I've met who quit dirt riding after the first try, was because someone started them out on a full size bike and they couldn't balance at low speeds and couldn't put both feet down.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:50 AM   #9
rpmwfo OP
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Originally Posted by 1stgenfarmboy View Post
It according what degree of trail, side of the mountain kinda trail or gravel road kinda trail...

this is a nice electric start real trail bike, if your just going to ride roads get her what you have, the big bikes would be hard for her to handle in the rocks I would think


I am thinking forest roads, some of the mountain passes in Colorado, and some of the easier trails to start out. No crazy single track. Yet.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:50 AM   #10
rpmwfo OP
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Definitely something she can flat foot at a stop. One thing I've noticed with the ladies is being able to put a foot down is a huge deal breaker. Even though when we are out coaching new riders we tell them do NOT ride around with your feet off the pegs trying to catch yourself at low speeds. Most girls (and lots of guys) still do this in the dirt, even though they are capable riders on the street. All the girls I've met who quit dirt riding after the first try, was because someone started them out on a full size bike and they couldn't balance at low speeds and couldn't put both feet down.
I wouldn't be opposed to getting whatever I get lowered for her.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:53 AM   #11
rpmwfo OP
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Maybe a 400exc for the linear power. Either way I think RFS is a great choice, as you no doubt already know.
I love mine. She really liked it too with the supermoto setup. Just don't want to start her out with too much bike for the dirt. My plans to get her into street riding have worked out beyond my wildest expectations. Just want to start her out right in the dirt too. Life is easier when the other half loves to ride...
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rpmwfo View Post
I love mine. She really liked it too with the supermoto setup. Just don't want to start her out with too much bike for the dirt. My plans to get her into street riding have worked out beyond my wildest expectations. Just want to start her out right in the dirt too. Life is easier when the other half loves to ride...
OK, take this for what it's worth;

- for real offroad riding, you don't want to have too much bike; weight, power or seat height. What is fine for the street or a logging road is NOT fine for serious offroad work. Personally there is no way I'd put a first time dirt rider on a 450 anything.

It really depends what you'll be riding and how aggressive and driven she is. You're lucky in that she is fairly tall which gives you a wider range of motorcycles to choose from.

If you really want something street legal and want to teach her how to ride in the dirt, I'd suggest a CRF250L or KX250L....the sherpa wouldn't be bad either. All of them are too heavy for serious offroad work.

My wife raced offroad for 15 years and was the PNWMA Women's offroad champion for several years. She was only 5'5" and started out on a modified KX100, then moved on to a Gas Gas 250 Pampera and finally a lowered KTM200XC. Honestly the Gas Gas was almost the perfect offroad bike for a woman; light weight, low seat height (33.85"), quality suspension and brake components and tractable trials motor. Too bad they stopped making them, though you might find one used. Oh, and they were street legal in europe.

http://www.gasgas.com/Pages/2003's/P...ain-specs.html

Another thing I've found is that when you put someone on a dirtbike, especially a smaller one, after they've been riding a larger dual sport or street bike, there is a 100% chance that they'll say they don't like it and it's too small....you have to ignore them and let them get used to it. Once the going gets rough, they will come to appreciate a smaller, lighter and lower bike.

2 cents,
Dave

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Old 09-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
rickypanecatyl
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Though lower than the EXC 450 the crf250l is significantly heavier.

What about the free ride? The size of the crf250l but nearly 80 lbs lighter. It's street legal though it's weakest area is high speed droning on the road..

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Old 09-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #14
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Yam XT 225. Cheap, runs good and really a great trail bike.
If your wife 'outgrows' it, sell it and get something else.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #15
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Better to have her start on a smaller bike wishing for a bigger one than have her start on a bigger bike and be all fucked up from it. Dirt riding is not street riding, it's hard sometimes.
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