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Old 04-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #31
Bronco638
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I see a lot of folks mentioning the Ninjette (EX250). I have a Honda VTR250 Interceptor that I am thinking of selling. It's a v-twin and is capable enough so that she could ride it for a few years without feeling like she's out-growing it. It is certainly just as capable as any EX250 (and some might argue it's better). I use it as a commuter. It gets almost 70 mpg and is capable of highway speeds all day long. It has a low seat height and is relatively light weight. Parts are plentiful (even cheap) on eBay as well as thru Honda. I spent the winter doing maintenance so that it wouldn't need much, if anything, to it for years to come. Like the EX250, the riding position is more standard than sport. My asking price would leave a little less than half of your GF's budget for farkles or riding gear. Aside from the paint job, it's bone stock with 7700 miles.

I simply have too many toys to fit in the garage. Perhaps it's time for someone else to enjoy it.

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Old 04-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #32
farmerstu
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lots of good suggestions. that bmw look to be a no brainer for the price.
the 305 dream is a horrible idea. parts are somewhere between unobtainiam and gold plated expensive. brakes? what brakes. those things were a toad in 65 why would almost 50 years make them any better. in my day the 305 scrambler was the hot ticket.
see if you can find a nice mid 60s car for her to take for a drive. no p.s.,4 wheel drum brake no power assist, steering wheel like a semi. etc. then explain that it is the 4 wheel version of the 305 honda. she should get the idea.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
...................................

I'll also be a heretic and suggest looking at scooters. After the MSF my GF wanted a motorcycle really bad as her first bike, but somehow she got to looking at scooters, and voila, she ended up with a 250 Vespa. HUGE smiles on her face, perfect beginner for her. She eventually got to riding bikes, but she never regretted starting off on the scooter.

Good luck, have fun, and don't forget: LISTEN TO HER, and what she wants, don't just listen to us!
NOOOOOO! don't let her get a scooter. If she gets one you'll end up taking it for a spin and before you know it you'll need to get one too!

Ultimately this needs to be her decision. Let her read this thread and make her own decision.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #34
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Royal Enfield G5 or C5. Classic styling, good torque, handles well on gravel and
dirt roads. You said she wants to learn about maintenance.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by farmerstu View Post
lots of good suggestions. that bmw look to be a no brainer for the price.
the 305 dream is a horrible idea. parts are somewhere between unobtainiam and gold plated expensive. brakes? what brakes. those things were a toad in 65 why would almost 50 years make them any better. in my day the 305 scrambler was the hot ticket.
see if you can find a nice mid 60s car for her to take for a drive. no p.s.,4 wheel drum brake no power assist, steering wheel like a semi. etc. then explain that it is the 4 wheel version of the 305 honda. she should get the idea.
Yes, if I was putting the $ down I would would be on a flight to TX

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
NOOOOOO! don't let her get a scooter. If she gets one you'll end up taking it for a spin and before you know it you'll need to get one too!

Ultimately this needs to be her decision. Let her read this thread and make her own decision.
I can say with confidence that there will be no scooter purchases in our future.

That is what I am doing. She is not a inmate but, I sent her a link this morning to lurk from. I am just pushing the conversation foward at this point.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #36
rgoers
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"...not interested in dirt..."

Then, I would stay away from dual sports altogether. They tend to be much higher, and the KLR that you mentioned is quite heavy. Neither is a good combo for a beginner. She needs something she can flat-foot, that has the bulk of its weight down low.

I started out on an '84 Kawi 550 LTD. It was low, had plenty of power, and it was real fun to ride. I'm not a girl, but something in that category would make a good starter bike for her if she likes cruising. I was thinking Honda Shadow, etc...
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #37
klaviator
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Small cruisers are a good choice for someone who is inseam challenged but the riding position puts your weight right on your tailbone. Combine that with very limited and budget rear suspension and your GF will not only have no interest in dirt riding but may also have little interest in riding roads that aren't real smooth.

On the other hand, if wind protection is important, it is normally easy to mount a windshield on a cruiser.

No matter what she picks, it will be a compromise of some sort.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #38
Blixa
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I suggest something light with mild power delivery that she can flat-foot.

Just for reference, my bike (f650gs single) is pretty light as far as street-legal bikes generally go (420 wet), but when learning how to stop on hills or slopes, when my bike started to lean over, it was really tough fighting it. I think it would have been easier with both feet flat on the ground to support the weight. I have the Dakar version which is taller, and at 5'9", I was only able to get my toes down. Obviously, once you get out more, you learn how to handle incline stops and slanted stops and flat-footing no longer is needed, but it can be unnerving when starting out.

Also, my bike is a bitch for me to pick up. My bf can do it no sweat but it's hard for me and I think I'm pretty strong. She'll likely drop it a few times starting out so something light or at least something that doesn't lie flat on its side like my bike does would make it easy to lift so she can get out and practice on her own without worrying about getting stranded somewhere.

A lowered DRZ400 would be a good starter I think. It's got enough power to do highways and it's plenty light if she drops it and needs to right it. But if she's not keen on DS bikes, the characteristics I noted above are useful.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #39
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Suzuki GS500. Low seat height, not too much power, comfortable riding position.
It's even a bit sporty.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #40
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A 250-450 standard twin under 400lb would be ideal. There aren't many sold these days though. A KZ440 or Nighthawk 450 would be good, if a little heavy, if you can find a reliable one that hasn't been chopped/bobbed/cafed. Weight could probably be shaved on those though.

The TU250X is small and light. So is the Nighthawk 250. You could also check out the thumper standards, the Misfit and the Ace from www.ClevelandCycleWerks.com. One of these could be scramblerized, cafe'd, etc.

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Old 04-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #41
iyaoyas98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blixa View Post
I suggest something light with mild power delivery that she can flat-foot.

Just for reference, my bike (f650gs single) is pretty light as far as street-legal bikes generally go (420 wet), but when learning how to stop on hills or slopes, when my bike started to lean over, it was really tough fighting it. I think it would have been easier with both feet flat on the ground to support the weight. I have the Dakar version which is taller, and at 5'9", I was only able to get my toes down. Obviously, once you get out more, you learn how to handle incline stops and slanted stops and flat-footing no longer is needed, but it can be unnerving when starting out.

Also, my bike is a bitch for me to pick up. My bf can do it no sweat but it's hard for me and I think I'm pretty strong. She'll likely drop it a few times starting out so something light or at least something that doesn't lie flat on its side like my bike does would make it easy to lift so she can get out and practice on her own without worrying about getting stranded somewhere.

A lowered DRZ400 would be a good starter I think. It's got enough power to do highways and it's plenty light if she drops it and needs to right it. But if she's not keen on DS bikes, the characteristics I noted above are useful.

I bought my girlfriend one, and even with 2" lowering links and the triples dropped on the forks, still too tall. She's 5'6.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:43 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blixa View Post
I suggest something light with mild power delivery that she can flat-foot.

Just for reference, my bike (f650gs single) is pretty light as far as street-legal bikes generally go (420 wet), but when learning how to stop on hills or slopes, when my bike started to lean over, it was really tough fighting it. I think it would have been easier with both feet flat on the ground to support the weight. I have the Dakar version which is taller, and at 5'9", I was only able to get my toes down. Obviously, once you get out more, you learn how to handle incline stops and slanted stops and flat-footing no longer is needed, but it can be unnerving when starting out.

Also, my bike is a bitch for me to pick up. My bf can do it no sweat but it's hard for me and I think I'm pretty strong. She'll likely drop it a few times starting out so something light or at least something that doesn't lie flat on its side like my bike does would make it easy to lift so she can get out and practice on her own without worrying about getting stranded somewhere.

A lowered DRZ400 would be a good starter I think. It's got enough power to do highways and it's plenty light if she drops it and needs to right it. But if she's not keen on DS bikes, the characteristics I noted above are useful.
Finally a lady's input. Well she is not exactly learning, but not a ton of experience.
It says you have a Dakar which I believe is taller than the standard single. She flatfooted one at the dealership. The Serato which I believe is the new Dakar was probably too tall. A guy in my club says that his wife's 650 is harder to pick up than his 1200 because the cans keep it up higher
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:56 PM   #43
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My girlfriend rides a 1980 Honda CM400T. She got it for $400 bucks, and with a little paint and different handlebars it looks pretty good. It needed some carb work, but now it runs great. It has enough power to cruise down the highway, a nice low comfy seat, and big footpegs. She loves it because it is low enough she can touch the ground and feel safe, has enough power to go down the highway comfortably but not too much power. Also she can drop it and not feel too bad about it. It saw a the ground a few times while she was learning.

She likes riding my TW200, but wanted more power for the highway. My DR650 is way too tall for her.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #44
Blixa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ginger View Post
Finally a lady's input. Well she is not exactly learning, but not a ton of experience.
It says you have a Dakar which I believe is taller than the standard single. She flatfooted one at the dealership. The Serato which I believe is the new Dakar was probably too tall. A guy in my club says that his wife's 650 is harder to pick up than his 1200 because the cans keep it up higher
I believe the Dakar and Sertao are the same height.

If she can flat-foot a Dakar, we can rule out seat height as a concern. I am envious!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Nighthawk 250.
^This.

I've had 4 Nighthawks (250, 2x450 and a 750) over the years...and was surprised that it took somebody that long to suggest one. Are they THAT disliked? The riding position is fantastic and they have poise at speed but agility for parking lots and around town. Plus, within the model there are multiple engine sizes lurking with nearly identical frames. Easy to bump up from a 250 to, say, an early 2000s 750 without getting used to tons of things. Easy to maintain, they don't look terrible...
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