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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/7/2003 8:30:05 PM EDT
My wife has decided that she would like a motorcycle so she can ride with me and my buddies. She's rather small (5'3", 120 lbs or so.) She's never ridden before, so I'm looking for a "starter" bike. so far I think I've narrowed it down to Yamaha Virago 250 Honda Rebel 250 Suzuki GZ 250 The honda and the Suzuki's MSRP is around $3000, While the Yamaha is $4000 From reading about them online , I am leaning towards the Yamaha. Do any of you guys have experience with these bikes? Reccomendations? BTW I ride a 55 British Enfield. I'm not comfortable with letting her use it, cause it's not as safe or reliable as todays bikes, and it definately needs TLC to keep it running. I'd hate for her to be stranded somewhere. Thanks,
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 8:41:25 PM EDT
If you really loved your wife you would buy her a custom bike AKA Simm's,Westcoast or others,just the way she wants it.Nah just kidden.Thats cool she wants to ride.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 8:42:22 PM EDT
Mine want to ride too. I'm leaning towards the Honda Rebel. It's a cute enought bike for her to ride and small enough for her to handle ( I hope).
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 8:46:50 PM EDT
A buddy of mine bought his wife a Virago to get started about 8 years ago. Now she rides a 1200 Sportster Sport, but still has the Virago to ride when she doesn't want to get the HD all grungy. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the UJM's mentioned - just go with the one she likes the best.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 3:41:26 AM EDT
Take a long look at the Suzuki Savage. I has a nice low seat height (for the inseam challenged) is fairly light weight and has enough cc's (650 cc single cylinder) that she will not outgrow it the first year. I know 2 or 3 women who ride these and they love them.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 4:46:12 AM EDT
do not buy a new bike,you will yake a bath on the resale when the time comes to get the wife abigger bike. she will want a 600 cc bike in about 6 months,also she won't feel as bad dropping a used bike like a new bike. riding cousre would do her some good as well. josam
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:02:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 5:05:30 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:15:40 AM EDT
have her register as "beryllium breasts", then post a topic entitled "what's a good crotch rocket for a petite female". should get her a reply or two.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:28:38 AM EDT
[b]BTW I ride a 55 British Enfield.[/b] classy! i love old brit bikes. [b]I'm not comfortable with letting her use it, cause it's not as safe or reliable as todays bikes,[/b] great brakes, huh? [b]and it definately needs TLC to keep it running.[/b] a spare lucas complete electrical system in one saddlebag, 40' of wire, fuses and a schematic in the other should do it!! lol! [b]I'd hate for her to be stranded somewhere.[/b] the simple, standard british riding rules will help here! never allow her to ride it after dark. never allow here to use the lights. never allow her to ride it when the humidity is above 40%. never allow her to go more than 2 miles from home. all uphill (makes pushing it home that much faster and easier! always provide her with a knee wrap for her kicker leg. spare spark plugs and a wrench in her purse. if the carbs are amal momoblocks, teach her to swear with an english accent...if concentrics, teach her to push the bike over a cliff. alway have her park the bike at the top of a steep hill so that bump-starting it becomes second nature! i started a girl off on a 350 harley "sprint" (italian built by aeromacchi)...later that summer she was on a superglide. it sounds to me like you may be starting her off 'too small' with just a 250cc machine. if she has any strength and common sense, i would think she could handle a 500-600cc bike pretty easily. campy, the snortin' norton lover!
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:33:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 5:34:25 AM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:33:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 5:35:00 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:38:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB: [b]BTW I ride a 55 British Enfield.[/b] classy! i love old brit bikes. [b]I'm not comfortable with letting her use it, cause it's not as safe or reliable as todays bikes,[/b] great brakes, huh? [b]and it definately needs TLC to keep it running.[/b] a spare lucas complete electrical system in one saddlebag, 40' of wire, fuses and a schematic in the other should do it!! lol! [b]I'd hate for her to be stranded somewhere.[/b] the simple, standard british riding rules will help here! never allow her to ride it after dark. never allow here to use the lights. never allow her to ride it when the humidity is above 40%. never allow her to go more than 2 miles from home. all uphill (makes pushing it home that much faster and easier! always provide her with a knee wrap for her kicker leg. spare spark plugs and a wrench in her purse. if the carbs are amal momoblocks, teach her to swear with an english accent...if concentrics, teach her to push the bike over a cliff. alway have her park the bike at the top of a steep hill so that bump-starting it becomes second nature!
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It has brakes?!? It sure is a blast though, (when it behaves)
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:39:41 AM EDT
Go with used if you can find one that fits your wife's needs. If/ when she wants new bike any dealer worth their weight can direct you to someone who can make a custom seat so that she can reach the ground with both feet. Good luck in your search and have fun riding.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 6:06:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 6:57:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 7:03:00 AM EDT by RiffRandall]
Any of those 3 would be good for a starter bike, along with Bushman_269's suggestion of the Suzuki Savage 650 thumper. The Honda Rebel 450cc might be a better bet for highway use (they still make the 450, right?). If you go too small to start she'll grow bored with it's gutlessness at highway speeds. Since your bike is a '55 Enfield (twin or single?) have you thought about buying one of the new Indian built Enfields? Newly manufactured, but basically the same exact bike as the old Royal Enfield 350/500cc single. Upgraded lights/electrics & carb (had to pass current DOT/EPA regs for import) & I think they now offer electric start [url]http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/mdl_models.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 7:54:37 AM EDT
I wouldn't start anyone out on a 250. I don't know where you live, but around here a 250 will get you killed. Look at the 650 posted above or the Honda Shadown Ace. The Ace has a pretty low seat height from what I've seen. My ex GF took the MSF course and bought a HD Sportster Hugger a week later. She dropped it a couple of times but never did any real damage. You didn't ask for this advice, but I'm going to give it anyway. I would be very careful where you take this. I don't know spit about your relationship, but I don't ever want a woman to buy a bike while I'm with her again. I will date women that have their own bikes already, but my ex buying a bike ruined my riding, and probably helped ruin our relationship. After she had the bike of her own she always had to come along, no more riding by myself. She also didn't like to go fast, which I do, and that just pissed me off. I actually wound up leaving her a couple of times because going 55 mph on I95 in Ft Lauderdale will get you killed. In short, be very careful where you tread with this.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 8:20:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 8:21:10 AM EDT by mr_camera_man]
I was looking for a started bike myself, and found the Buell Blast to be pretty interesting. I never actually got the money together though, so I speak only of what I've read. It's a 500cc thumper, which I would personally be a whole lot more comfortable with than an engine half it's size. IIRC, it also uses plastic around the tank and in a few other areas, so it'll take less damage when (not if) it's dropped. Besides, they're made by H-D, so they can't be all bad [:D] [url]http://www.buell.com/en_us/products/motorcycles/blast/blastmain.asp[/url] [img]http://a1276.g.akamai.net/7/1276/1354/332ff774c5fe13/www.buell.com/en_us/images/products/motorcycles/blast/gallery/blast3.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 9:01:37 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 10:08:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 10:09:49 AM EDT by crumabn]
Originally Posted By RiffRandall: Since your bike is a '55 Enfield (twin or single?) have you thought about buying one of the new Indian built Enfields? Newly manufactured, but basically the same exact bike as the old Royal Enfield 350/500cc single. Upgraded lights/electrics & carb (had to pass current DOT/EPA regs for import) & I think they now offer electric start [url]http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/mdl_models.html[/url]
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I've messed with the new enfields a bit, and they are nice bikes. very easy to work on, but again not really up to par with today's models. They still have the drum brakes front and back, and a "suicide clutch" (if you hod it in for more than a minute or so, being a wet, chain drive clutch, it WILL get hot, then grab, then it won't disengage- it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happens if your bike suddenly decides to go when your stopped at a red light) like the old indians. Also the shift linkage is real shitty, because they had to convert it over to left foot shift/right foot brake. converted back they're good, but then you have to re learn how to ride. Also the American exhaust SUCKS! it's too restrictive, and cost about 20% in HP. Considering the bike only puts out 25 BHP anyway, that's quite a loss! That being said, they are relatively cheap, and after some tinkering and tweaking, they are real nice bikes- in fact I may pick one up so I can save wear and tear on the vintage one. Oh, and you are correct- they do come in electric start now (starting last year.) After consideration, I may opt away from the Suzuki "thumper" it looks okay by itself, but next to a "real" big single, it looks like ass. I don't think speed will be an issue, as I can't hardly get her to Drive on the expressway. Most of our cruising is in town, or on back country roads. Hell, my bike tops out at around 70mph! Thanks,
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 10:16:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By norman74: You didn't ask for this advice, but I'm going to give it anyway. I would be very careful where you take this. I don't know spit about your relationship, but I don't ever want a woman to buy a bike while I'm with her again. I will date women that have their own bikes already, but my ex buying a bike ruined my riding, and probably helped ruin our relationship. After she had the bike of her own she always had to come along, no more riding by myself. She also didn't like to go fast, which I do, and that just pissed me off. I actually wound up leaving her a couple of times because going 55 mph on I95 in Ft Lauderdale will get you killed. In short, be very careful where you tread with this.
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Thanks for the advise. I don't see that as a big issue- we've been married for 14 years now, and she has her "girl" time, and I have my "guy" time. She was just wanting to come along occasionally. My bike's no speed demon either- barely keeps up on the highway, top speed is around 70mph. Honestly, if a bike is going to be the demise of my marriage, then there would definately be other issues at hand. Thanks tho.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 10:20:28 AM EDT
I whole heartedly agree on the Yamaha V Star 650. These are very low to the ground with a low center of gravity, very low maintenance and non-intimidating. Don't get a 250cc as it just will not keep up on the highway. The V Stars are second generation Virago engines and are extremely reliable. I have a 750cc Virago that I bought new in '96 and have had 0 problems in 17K miles. The 650 V star is a stroked version of the 535cc Virago that was made for years. The Buell seat height would be too tall for someone of her stature. The Honda 600 cc would be my next choice.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 3:47:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DaffyDuck: The Buell seat height would be too tall for someone of her stature.
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Yeah, 'cause the [url=http://www.buell.com/en_us/products/motorcycles/blast/blastspecs.asp]25.5" seat height of the blast[/url] is soooo tall compared to the [url=http://www.yamaha-motor.com/products/unitinfo.asp?lid=2&lc=mcy&cid=4&mid=22]27.5" seat height of the V-Starr[/url][rolleyes] In terms of the 250 being slow, it's as much about the acceleration, maybe more so, than the top end speed. Merging into traffic and being able to accelerate out of danger are very important for riding, at least where I ride.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:14:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2003 4:14:53 AM EDT by Brohawk]
Some good advice on bikes there. Make sure it physically fits her, such as being able to put both feet flat on the ground, not having to stretch the reach the handlebars, etc. Also, get her into a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Course. I went to the MSF's website ([url]www.msf-usa.org[/url])and foung the contact info for Ohio: Motorcycle Ohio 1970 W. Broad Street P.O. Box 182081 Columbus, OH 43218-2081 RiderCourse Information: (800) 83-RIDER (OH Only) Mr. Robert D. Secrest Program Coordinator (614) 466-4041 (614) 728-8330 - fax Email: bsecrest@dps.state.oh.us
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:23:39 AM EDT
USED..... I started with a usedbike and it was great to learn on, but after awhile, it was too small. Gether one you would like to restore. Then you don't have to sell it. Make it a Honda as they are so reliable.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:30:58 AM EDT
And one more point- have her go through the Rider Course BEFORE laying down the fundage for a bike. The Beginning RiderCourse is designed for somebody who has never touched a bike before, and training motorcycles are provided. I've had people come through courses who thought, "Hey- riding a motorcycle sure looks cool! I think I'd like to do that!" Then after seeing what all is involved (mental strategies, new motor skills, coordination, hazards in the street, etc.) they've decided that riding isn't for them. It's a pretty steep learning curve, sort of like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. The folks I've described are definitely in the minority, but I've seen it happen. Just something to think about. Good luck to both of you.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:39:41 AM EDT
My ex's "starter" bike was a 650 Yamaha V-Star. It's a great bike for the money, and she probably won't be feeling the need to upgrade after only a few months.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 6:25:04 AM EDT
The Buell Blast seems like a great starter bike. They are inexpensive used, HD will gurantee the value if you trade up & they have easily replaced inexpensive breakable parts for the inevitable drop. [url]http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcbuell/blast/00blast.html[/url] Cycle trader online has several in your area. I have seen 2-3 year old ones go for under $2000.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 7:59:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bushman_269: Take a long look at the Suzuki Savage. I has a nice low seat height (for the inseam challenged) is fairly light weight and has enough cc's (650 cc single cylinder) that she will not outgrow it the first year. I know 2 or 3 women who ride these and they love them.
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I second this as an excellent choice. The 250 bikes can't hang on the interstate and sooner of later you will need to use one. My wife started out on this bike and it is not much more of a handful for a beginner than the 250's, but will allow her to grow more since it has enough power to do anything you need to do the first few years. I wouldn't encourage anyone to start out on a bike that's too small or too big, but would err a bit on the side of a bit big. It's a challenge when you're a new rider anyway and a slightly larger bike allows more room to grow without getting bored. I've seen a lot of women start out on bikes that were too much for them, and some of them eventually became excellent riders but they took longer to do it and some never do get comfortable. Starting with something that you can handle but will allow you to grow into taking longer trips etc. I think is the best way to build a good foundation for a good rider. FWIW, we were just on a MC trip this weekend and a long time Harley guy mentioned to me that my wife was one of the best riders he's ridden with male or female. I credit her skill to having started on a manageable bike (650 Savage) and getting a good foundation before moving on to a Harley.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 10:06:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2003 10:10:00 AM EDT by Emoto]
Brohawk was right on the money recommending you put her through the MSF course. Teaching your wife or GF to ride is about the WORST thing you could ever do. Let the professionals do it. she'll get an insurance discount that way, too. Plus, it will make her as safe as can be expected. My $.02 for a bike is this one: [url]http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/f650gs.jsp[/url] [img]http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/images/machine/f650gs/gallery_photos/000005.jpg[/img] She can put hard bags on it, get it lowered if she likes and it is a great overall bike. Good power, handles well, reliable, etc. I know a woman who rode almost up to the arctic circle on one...
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