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Old 11-29-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
InsideThePerimeter OP
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First Bike Questions

I took the MSF class Labor Day week, got my MC endorsement the next week and bought a bike the next.

Got a good deal on a 05 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit as my first bike ever.

After about 2 1/2 months of cruising I now want a Dual Sport bike like maybe a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom.

My wife takes the MSF class MLK Day week. I managed the Shadow as my first bike for 1000 miles and so far so good but is it the right first bike for my wife?

She's tall enough to flat foot it and is a former Adventure Race Nationals qualifier and can kick my but on a Mountain Bike so she is not weak.

Secondly what about the Wee- Strom as my first Dual Sport? I have never ridden off road.

Eventually I'd like for us both to have the same Dual Sport bike to make maintenance, parts and things easier in general.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Did you ask her?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
mrbreeze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newby1 View Post
I took the MSF class Labor Day week, got my MC endorsement the next week and bought a bike the next.

Got a good deal on a 05 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit as my first bike ever.

After about 2 1/2 months of cruising I now want a Dual Sport bike like maybe a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom.

My wife takes the MSF class MLK Day week. I managed the Shadow as my first bike for 1000 miles and so far so good but is it the right first bike for my wife?

She's tall enough to flat foot it and is a former Adventure Race Nationals qualifier and can kick my but on a Mountain Bike so she is not weak.

Secondly what about the Wee- Strom as my first Dual Sport? I have never ridden off road.

Eventually I'd like for us both to have the same Dual Sport bike to make maintenance, parts and things easier in general.

If your going to ride, your going to fall. Most people fall a few times until they get their experience level up and learn a few things. Always wear good protective gear, and make sure your wife does too, on road and off. Don't put a lot of money into a bike until you get really comfortable riding. Giving it a year or two. The DL 650 is a great bike and a good choice, but it's heavy for any serious off pavement work. If that's what you want to do, you would be better off with a smaller, lighter single cylinder bike. The DL 650 is more of a road bike that can handle a well graded gravel road,

Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
ninepeaks9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newby1 View Post
I took the MSF class Labor Day week, got my MC endorsement the next week and bought a bike the next.

Got a good deal on a 05 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit as my first bike ever.

After about 2 1/2 months of cruising I now want a Dual Sport bike like maybe a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom.

My wife takes the MSF class MLK Day week. I managed the Shadow as my first bike for 1000 miles and so far so good but is it the right first bike for my wife?

She's tall enough to flat foot it and is a former Adventure Race Nationals qualifier and can kick my but on a Mountain Bike so she is not weak.

Secondly what about the Wee- Strom as my first Dual Sport? I have never ridden off road.

Eventually I'd like for us both to have the same Dual Sport bike to make maintenance, parts and things easier in general.
I've had DL650 for couple years. They sit a little high for me (5'9") but light enough, so wasn't a problem. It can handle some off-road but it's more suited to street riding. Would probably fit 80% street 20% off-road riding style.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
Maggot12
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The Strom will probably be as big a difference to you as the shadow to her. Take it easy at first and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Strom is top heavy, and if you haven't ridden off road before, you'd be better off on something smaller.

Get a pair of CRF250Ls and ride all over the place.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:20 PM   #7
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I'm 40yo/5'8"/200lb/30"inseam/strong like bull. I got my first dualsport last year. A DR650SE (367lb curb weight) is about as heavy as I want to deal with solo in sand and mud. A low 225-350, with a mid-range powerband, that weighs 300lb curb or less, would be easier to learn dirt on, for sure. An XT225/250, CRF230L, or KL250 Super Sherpa come to mind. If you're longer-legged people than me, a taller 250 under 300lb could be easy enough too...KLX250S or DR250/350SE. These kinds of dualsports are typically MUCH easier to ride than a heavy feet-forward bike.

Wear full gear that will work offroad. "Riding shoes" don't cut it. Use supportive and protective BOOTS. A sturdy leather 10"+ workboot, or the Fly Racing Maverik ATV boot is about as low/minimal as I would go. It fits well with knee/shin armor. The moto-style Maverik, and the inexpensive Oneal Element, are taller. Basically...Protect your head, hands, chest, back, arms/shoulders, and legs from impacts. You will almost surely fall while learning dirt. You will fall repeatedly. It's part of the fun.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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A Wee- Strom is NOT and Dual Sport. it is more of a streat/gravle road bike. Dual Sport bikes are more like dirtbikes. but I like them regardless. no matter what you get you have a very low number of miles under you so be careful on it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:37 AM   #9
InsideThePerimeter OP
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Thanks for the help.

My wife has never ridden a motorcycle so she has no idea about bikes yet.

I got a line on a used Suzuki 250 cruiser at good price from a friend so I might just get her that for Christmas and then we ride cruisers together and practice our skills until spring when it's warm.

Come Spring I get my Wee-Strom and she can move up to my 750 if she likes and is confident.

Currently I use First Gear Mesh pants and Jacket for the street and some Kevlar jeans with knee armor for rides to more casual settings.

For Adventure Touring including any off road I'm thinking

http://www.compacc.com/p/Fox-Titan-S...cket/1007007/0
http://www.compacc.com/p/Bohn-Body-G...ants/1001014/0

for pants and jackets. Trying for mesh as it's brutal hot and humid most of the year here.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:23 AM   #10
Scott of the Sahara
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I think for a first time rider smaller is better. You can always move up and get a bigger bike as you gain confidence. It is pretty hard to enjoy a bike that you can not handle at a stop sign. As far as dual sport goes if you plan on riding off road I agree that a small 250 is much better for that. I took my KLR 650 off road with a friend once. That was all it took for me to realize I don't want to ride off road at all.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #11
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My first bike was an 80s Xt250 and I had that bike for just about a year before I moved up. The bike was an amazing bike to learn on, and it had a low seat height of about 29 or so inches. The only thing that gave me a hard time when I got it was learning how to use a kick start. I'd say go for something small cheap and reliable. Something that you wouldn't mind if you accidentally drop, which you probably will,, it's just how it goes. As I general rule I have used, until you get used to riding, I wouldn't go over 500cc. You can if you want but that's just the way I've heard it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Something that you really want to think about is how you are going to feel when you drop that brand new VStrom the first time. You see it laying there with broken bits hanging off, maybe a big dent in the tank, bent bars, bent wheel, etc. Plus then you calculate that you lost 20% value when you rode it away from the dealership, and now with the added damage, it has gone down some more. Is it really a good idea to learn on a brand new oversized bike?

As many have said, get a smaller bike to learn off roading on. There is a reason that smaller bikes were made. To bash up and learn on. Once you have learned all you want to know about how to fall off and pick it up, then you can pass it along to the next new person that wants to try off roading.

Also, remember that in the off road world, bigger is not always better. I have seen 6 foot guys having a grand time on little 250-350cc bikes. They can go places that the bigger bikes can't, mainly due to being lighter and more agile. Some riding skill helps as well. lol.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:38 AM   #13
InsideThePerimeter OP
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Can't afford a new anything much less a 2012 V-Strom, there's a 2006 DL650 with 8200 miles at a local shop that's already beat up quite nicely I'm looking at but Christmas is not the time to come up with extra $.

I don't want to go Dirt Bike riding but do want to be able to hit gravel, fire roads maybe hard pack golf cart path type stuff to eventuall go Touring around the country on.

Right now looking to get her past the MSF test and probably a 250cc Street bike to start and let her move up to my 750.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newby1 View Post
Can't afford a new anything much less a 2012 V-Strom, there's a 2006 DL650 with 8200 miles at a local shop that's already beat up quite nicely I'm looking at but Christmas is not the time to come up with extra $.

I don't want to go Dirt Bike riding but do want to be able to hit gravel, fire roads maybe hard pack golf cart path type stuff to eventuall go Touring around the country on.

Right now looking to get her past the MSF test and probably a 250cc Street bike to start and let her move up to my 750.
Look into a honda 230sm or any sm, the supermoto seems like it'd make a great commuter, but I don't know how it does on the highways. Haven't tried that on a test drive. But then again, you can get a supermoto tire like the distanzias with an aggressive tread that works on both hardpack and street, at least in my testing from my xt250. If 230 is too smal get a 400 or 650. just my $.02
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:41 AM   #15
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Sounds like you've got a plan: inexpensive Suzuki 250 for her and you keep riding Honda 750 for a bit. The 250cc dualsport is spot on as well, and the supermotard versions are great (IMO) on anything but true woods rides (my WR250X does fine on the highway as well).

Regardless of what you ultimately choose, you 'll have a great time.
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