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Old 04-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
Bobby Ginger OP
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GF wants first bike

Ladies and Gentleman of the forum, I seek your advice. My GF rides with me occasionally. Recently she had discussed the desire for her own bike. I fully support her in getting her own, but I am not sure how to help her choose. She is asking for my advice but I may not be the best reference which is why I am here.

GF’s riding experience.
She has taken the MSF course (a big plus) and has her endorsement. She rode a few small cruisers but has not ridden consistently for a while. I gave her a few books and she is brushing up on riding literature now.

My initial suggestions for her were midsize dual sports and standards. Her limit is 3k, so I thought a dr650, klr, or gs650 might be good options. I think that was more what I wanted. There was a BMW 650 strata that she liked but the price was wrong. The KLR was a probably a bad suggestion due to the weight and the others are not exactly light. I keep coming back to the 650GS but maybe I need a third bike again

A friend of hers is a bike collector and has a 1965 Honda 305 dream for sale. She wants to have a “cool” classic for her first. I definitely understand the mentality since my first was a Ducati GT1000, but I only put a few thousand miles on it before selling. I do not want her to make the same mistake I did, but I also do not want to interfere too much.

So help me convince her that this is a great choice or a terrible one or somewhere in between. At the end of the day I really do not care what she chooses as long as she does it safely and enjoys it. I am bringing up ATTATG every time we talk bikes.

Reasons I think it is a good choice:

Something she is excited about, light weight, not too much to handle for a beginner. Price is good for the conditions and would be easy to sale.

Reasons I think it is a bad choice:

Parts seem tough to find and the bike could be expensive to fix, She has expressed interested in traveling and a 50 year old bike may not be ideally suited, seat/riding position, top speed, and lack of screen. A bad fist purchase could turn her off form riding.
Similar situation advice would be most helpful.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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Hayabusa................YEEEEAHHHHHHH!!!!

Cool classic as first bike is probably not the best idea if it is in primo shape. My advice is always start on a bike that you will not cry when it falls over because there is a good chance it will. Other that that, good luck. Another "smaller" option to consider is an XT225/250. Always see them on CL pretty cheap.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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My wife started on a used Honda Twinstar 200. She loved the bike. It was fast enough to handle highway traffic in San Diego but would only go around 35 climbing up some of the mountain roads in the area. So we got rid of the Twin star and got her a 550 Seca. She hated that bike and never got comfortable with it. Good thing she didn't start out on the bigger bike.

My suggestion, it's better to start with a small bike. She can always move up to a bigger bike in the future. Get something used so if she decides to sell she won't lose much money on resale.

I'd consider a used Ninja 250 or CBR 250. Both are big enough to ride cross country.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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From experience. Don't start her off with a bike to big. We did with a lowered BMW 650GS. My wife took the MSF course and got her endorsement on a little 250 cruiser. Then she tried riding the 650. It was too big a jump at on time so she did not want to ride. We picked up a small 250 cruiser and she rode that for a little over a year. After riding that she was ready to ride the 650.

For the last 3 years we have gone on 7-10 day trips. This year we just got back from a 10, 2250 mile trip from KC to SC. During that trip she took the 2 day off road BMW class at the BMW Performance Center.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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Is she short or tall?

If she is not short then I always thought a DRZ400 is the perfect beginner bike if she is willing to accept the dirt look.

DD
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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If she wants something "classic" what about a slightly used Suzuki TU 250 ...classic looks with modern FI
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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A first bike should not be a dream bike. Try an SV650. 40ci same as an old Bonneville but with way better brakes and handling. Lightweight, inexpensive to run and very forgiving if dropped. An 03 or newer, any of the FI models.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
My wife started on a used Honda Twinstar 200. She loved the bike. It was fast enough to handle highway traffic in San Diego but would only go around 35 climbing up some of the mountain roads in the area. So we got rid of the Twin star and got her a 550 Seca. She hated that bike and never got comfortable with it. Good thing she didn't start out on the bigger bike.

Hmm, I saw a few seca's local, glad I saw this.

My suggestion, it's better to start with a small bike. She can always move up to a bigger bike in the future. Get something used so if she decides to sell she won't lose much money on resale.

I'd consider a used Ninja 250 or CBR 250. Both are big enough to ride cross country.
I do not think she has been on a ninja but the rake might not be to her preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajayhawkfan View Post
From experience. Don't start her off with a bike to big. We did with a lowered BMW 650GS. My wife took the MSF course and got her endorsement on a little 250 cruiser. Then she tried riding the 650. It was too big a jump at on time so she did not want to ride. We picked up a small 250 cruiser and she rode that for a little over a year. After riding that she was ready to ride the 650.

For the last 3 years we have gone on 7-10 day trips. This year we just got back from a 10, 2250 mile trip from KC to SC. During that trip she took the 2 day off road BMW class at the BMW Performance Center.
Awesome! I am starting to think the same thing, start slow. If the Honda dream is not a lemon, I guess it could be a great starter, but those drum brakes got me scared

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdiver View Post
Is she short or tall?

If she is not short then I always thought a DRZ400 is the perfect beginner bike if she is willing to accept the dirt look.

DD
The Z would be a great choice with a low seat. She is tall and could handle it. I recenly sold one that I could have set up for her. I think the dirt aspect of it does not apeal.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
Bobby Ginger OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffS77 View Post
If she wants something "classic" what about a slightly used Suzuki TU 250 ...classic looks with modern FI
That is a GREAT idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliken View Post
Hayabusa................YEEEEAHHHHHHH!!!!

Cool classic as first bike is probably not the best idea if it is in primo shape. My advice is always start on a bike that you will not cry when it falls over because there is a good chance it will. Other that that, good luck. Another "smaller" option to consider is an XT225/250. Always see them on CL pretty cheap.
Yep, if I could get her interested in a "dirt" bike, this would be it. I have seen many ladies on here start out with those bikes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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Logically...

OK,

She wants to go on trips
She is not interested in dirt
She is not tall
She is not highly experienced

My short list would be (all used bikes)
- Ninja 250 or 500
- TU-250x
- SV-650
- Versys

Stylistically, she may prefer the TU-250X. It is a classic standard look. And it is just a great bike to have in the stable. You might like it yourself for short rides.

Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ginger View Post


The Z would be a great choice with a low seat. She is tall and could handle it. I recenly sold one that I could have set up for her. I think the dirt aspect of it either does not apeal, or scares her.
Show her this.

http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....44&postcount=1


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Old 04-12-2013, 01:53 AM   #12
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There you go, girls bike for sure.

An old Honda 305 is cool to look at, not cool to get parts for, and really not cool if it leaves her walking regularly. Which it might. Get her a Bonneville. Not too powerful. Kind of heavy for a girl though. But when she gets tired of it, you can ride it. Think ahead, in a devious sort of way.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:15 AM   #13
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Wee Strom?

May be a bit powerfull ... but it is 'street worthy'.. while having some dirt capability..

Rather than 'us' focusing on size cc .. she probably wants less weight, a good seat height ... try things first. Find out what she likes and does not like on one bike - and then find others that have the features she wants.

She may not like dirt due to the feeling of instability.. but you might get some sway with the scenery you get by going with dirt roads. She does not have to start out with dirt roads .. but it is the way most males start.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Wee Strom?

May be a bit powerfull ... but it is 'street worthy'.. while having some dirt capability..

Rather than 'us' focusing on size cc .. she probably wants less weight, a good seat height ... try things first. Find out what she likes and does not like on one bike - and then find others that have the features she wants.

She may not like dirt due to the feeling of instability.. but you might get some sway with the scenery you get by going with dirt roads. She does not have to start out with dirt roads .. but it is the way most males start.
Probably too tall.

SV650 would probably be a better fit.

Honda has some bikes with ergo's suited to the other 70% of the population, but alas, no classics.

My wife is going through the same thing after riding a scooter for six months. (Got her bike license 30 years ago, hardly ridden since). The NC700 looks about the best choice for her.

"getting the skillz back" on the scoot has been a very good thing for her - she's found she loves riding, but is now looking for something that's capabale of getting out of it's own way and isn't so wierd on roundabouts.

As others have suggested, start small.

Pete
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:11 AM   #15
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I would also agree not to get a too bigger bike if it's her first.
But if she has got plenty of confidence then why not.
My wife has just bought her first "Big Bike"
We tried many bikes and the one that stood out for me was the
Honda Shadow S



We found it a very easy and forgiving bike to ride.
I think it would defo suit a novice who wants a bigun.


If it's a dual sport type she prefers, then the XT 225/250 Serow all day long.


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