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Old 04-14-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
khale OP
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advice for brand new female rider

Hello all,
I'm a longtime advrider and have ridden motorbikes my entire life. My girlfriend has shown interest in riding and I want to start her off easy. Right now, I have a 1968 honda CB160 for her, but it needs work to get it running. My main concern is that it is an older bike, will be harder and more fickle to operate and will be less reliable. I purchased the bike for her because she loves the retro look (as do I, r75/5 owner), and it was a small CC bike, great to start on.
What I'm considering is buying her a newer (2011 ish) Suzuki TU250X, for around 3k and selling the Honda CB, or putting it away for another day to restore.
She understands basic clutch/throttle operation, but needs a lot of practice before I let her go on Atlanta roads. What advice would you give to me that I can help her to ride and understand how to properly ride a motorcycle?
Also, is it a good idea to buy this newer bike for her to learn on? Is there anything I can do to the bike to prevent a drop? Maybe attach some kind of soft protectors on the tank in case of drops? Obviously, she will learn in a parking lot.
Thanks!
-Kyle
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
doc4216
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Regardless of whether she is female or not, she's a noob and we all have dropped bikes as a noob and beyond. It's going to happen so why not put crash bars on it or make sure whatever bike she gets has sliders on it? I would not personally get anything newer than 09, maybe 10 model, but that's just me.

My best suggestion, being a shorter female myself, is to help her find a bike that she physically feels comfortable on. That will help her with her confidence more than anything. I went through four bikes before finding one that really fit me, then my confidence and skills took off! I wasn't afraid of dropping it because I felt comfortable enough to control it.

Good luck on your search and I will help anyway I can!
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
Lion BR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khale View Post
Hello all,
I'm a longtime advrider and have ridden motorbikes my entire life. My girlfriend has shown interest in riding and I want to start her off easy. Right now, I have a 1968 honda CB160 for her, but it needs work to get it running. My main concern is that it is an older bike, will be harder and more fickle to operate and will be less reliable. I purchased the bike for her because she loves the retro look (as do I, r75/5 owner), and it was a small CC bike, great to start on.
What I'm considering is buying her a newer (2011 ish) Suzuki TU250X, for around 3k and selling the Honda CB, or putting it away for another day to restore.
She understands basic clutch/throttle operation, but needs a lot of practice before I let her go on Atlanta roads. What advice would you give to me that I can help her to ride and understand how to properly ride a motorcycle?
Also, is it a good idea to buy this newer bike for her to learn on? Is there anything I can do to the bike to prevent a drop? Maybe attach some kind of soft protectors on the tank in case of drops? Obviously, she will learn in a parking lot.
Thanks!
-Kyle
I think the ideal is for her to learn and get acquainted with motorcycle riding from a third party. MSF is a great start. Click here for MSF locations in Georgia.

A newer (as in newer than a classic, old) bike is a better choice for her to learn, in my opinion. And safer (brakes come to mind).

Lion
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion BR View Post
I think the ideal is for her to learn and get acquainted with motorcycle riding from a third party. MSF is a great start. Click here for MSF locations in Georgia.

A newer (as in newer than a classic, old) bike is a better choice for her to learn, in my opinion. And safer (brakes come to mind).

Lion
What Lion BR said...

You have too much of an emotional attachment. It's best for an impartial third party to provide the instruction and training. Also, don't invest any money into new motocycles until you determine (via MSF) if your girlfriend has the apptitude. About 95% will take the MSF course and be proven to have the apptitude, however there is nothing worse than investing money in new motorcycles to only find out you fall in the 5% which lack the apptitude.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khale View Post
Hello all,
I'm a longtime advrider and have ridden motorbikes my entire life. My girlfriend has shown interest in riding and I want to start her off easy. Right now, I have a 1968 honda CB160 for her, but it needs work to get it running. My main concern is that it is an older bike, will be harder and more fickle to operate and will be less reliable. I purchased the bike for her because she loves the retro look (as do I, r75/5 owner), and it was a small CC bike, great to start on.
What I'm considering is buying her a newer (2011 ish) Suzuki TU250X, for around 3k and selling the Honda CB, or putting it away for another day to restore.
She understands basic clutch/throttle operation, but needs a lot of practice before I let her go on Atlanta roads. What advice would you give to me that I can help her to ride and understand how to properly ride a motorcycle?
Also, is it a good idea to buy this newer bike for her to learn on? Is there anything I can do to the bike to prevent a drop? Maybe attach some kind of soft protectors on the tank in case of drops? Obviously, she will learn in a parking lot.
Thanks!
-Kyle
Yup, I'd definitely recommend an MSF BRC, and possibly even a beginner dirt-riding course before thinking about throwing all the money into buying a bike. She can learn how to operate a moto with varying traction and terrain conditions, without having to still consciously think about controlling the moto, before having to do it on pavement and/or with traffic around.

Even as an experienced rider of over a decade, I improved my riding through rider training.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
khale OP
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Thanks so much everyone. Looks like I'm going to go for the MSF BRC for her bday. I know she really likes motorbikes, so I'm hoping it will stick and not be a fleeting thing. Any other advice is always appreciated.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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The MSF BRC is the way to go. The TU250 is a good choose for a beginner they are very forgiving, thats why the MSF likes to use them for their courses. I have one for my commuter bike and it's a ball to ride.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
Budman
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New Rider

My son just finished his Basic Rider course. He bought a 2007 Moto Guzzi Breva 750. Only weighs about 400 poounds. He has dropped it twice in the garage. Ive replace right side miror and most reciently the right turn signal. "When you look down the motorcycle goes down"
He is going slow and spending a lot of time in his neighborhood. I installed a windshield and got him a great helmet and some protective gear. Im going to schedule him for another MSA course and have purchased More Proficient Motorcycling for him.
I thought about a smaller bike but this one seemed to be a good buy and its not to big to be intimidating. He really likes it and thats pretty important to his confidence.
Anyway thats my 2 cents.

Bud
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc4216 View Post
, she's a noob and we all have dropped bikes as a noob and beyond.
Not all of us have.

My suggestion for a total noob is a small steet legal dirt bike (in cc's and seat height).
Start the riding lessons off the road where spills can be inconsequential.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
Gummee!
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First and foremost: relax

I watched an obviously n00b female rider turn left at a light. You could tell by body language she was tense.

Tense = bad. Tense = jerky controls and a fidgety MC. Jerky controls and a fidgety MC = spiraling downwards trend towards 'not good things happening.'

M
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:44 PM   #11
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion BR View Post
I think the ideal is for her to learn and get acquainted with motorcycle riding from a third party. MSF is a great start. Click here for MSF locations in Georgia.

A newer (as in newer than a classic, old) bike is a better choice for her to learn, in my opinion. And safer (brakes come to mind).

Lion
+1000. MSF is the best way to go.

As far as bikes, the choices are so numerous it wobbles the mind. Like others, my standard advice is something that you are not going to cry about WHEN it ends up on the ground with some new "character" marks.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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A TU250 is a great choice, but I would say get some sort of smaller lighter dual sport at first, because they drop better then any street bike.

And its a whole lot safer learning to ride in the dirt, not many texters on the trails...
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
LuciferMutt
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Don't teach her yourself. Just don't. Besides the obvious strains it will put on your relationship, the Hurt Report had some pretty sobering statistics on how riders fare when they are taught by family and friends versus officially sanctioned training (hint...they die more when they don't take a real class).

Have her take an MSF class and then go from there.

A TU250 would be an excellent bike. I'd be thrilled if you bought one for me
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:20 PM   #14
smj
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What ever bike you for her to start on - just make sure it fits. Feet very flat on the ground, maybe even a little bend in the knees. Do not put her on a bike that is tall for her. Something lighter weight would be better as well, straight road or enduro style, stay light weight. Last, make all the controls comfortable for her, not you or the last owner. Adjust everything for her, have all the controls smooth as silk. Once she gets it going and starts to want something different, and can pick one out for herself, then worry about what she might ride longer term. Maybe by then she'll want that CB160, or a Harley. Just try to make it work for her. I went through this with my daughters, if it don't work for her, the interest may not last very long. Hope it works out very well for both of you.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:40 PM   #15
Canuman
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If I had to recommend a beginner bike, I'd look at a Yamaha XT225. I also agree with the MSF recommendation. While I find the TU250 dead sexy (it is a really stylish machine), the XT has some serious advantages as a beginner machine, not the least of which is that you can drop it quite a lot without harming it seriously. It's light. It's low. It will ride on pavement, and off-road.

It has a very low first gear. This has advantages and disadvantages, as in the city, there's a very rapid shift from first to second. In fact, you can easily start off in second on the the pavement. That being said, it's very difficult to stall it in first, which builds confidence.

The 225 has a tall sixth, which is pretty good on the highway. As it has only fifteen hp, don't expect miracles, but it can keep up with the big boys. Mostly.

It's cheap, fair looking, and has reasonable brakes. It's simple to fix. Although it's jetted ridiculously lean from the factory, the solution is easy and economical. And it gets about 72 mpg on regular gas. Good little hoss. If your lady wants something with a little more style, you won't loose money on one should you sell it later.
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