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Old 05-30-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
Commando73 OP
Joined: Sep 2012
Oddometer: 6
Is this a good idea?

Hey, I know very little about trials and have never ridden one but always wanted to. I have been trying to figure out what bike to buy for my wife, as she wants to start riding. Unfortunately all the options that I have found for a low seat height bike are heavy, badly suspended and braked beginner bikes. Then I ran across this.

Now I am super excited. This looks perfect and has the huge plus of getting me a trials bike to mess around with when she isn't riding it. Is this a good idea? She would use it for mountain woods riding. I am sure it would be no good for high speed desert or MX, but it wouldn't be used for that. Any advice would be great, Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
Retro Rider
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Oddometer: 808
I don't think it's the best wife bike. A e-start Yamaha 250 would be better, that's what my wife had. She could not kick a XL350 much less a Beta trails.

Some negatives to consider -

Trials suspenssion bottoms on even easy terain in 4th and up
Shifter set very far foward, more advanced skills needed to shift.
High compression 2T with kick on wrong side is not easy to start.
Low gearing + huge flywheel = hard to stall. Bad thing happen when it gets away from you.
Steep steering angle makes it super twitchy at speed. I have seen good trials rider wad it bad loosing the front on gravel, easy to do.

I trail ride mine, love it on wicked stuff I would not do on a 450. Would not turn my wife loose on it or any noob.

Love the story of a guy that let his 12 year old daughter try his trials bike. She ran it into the house at slow speed, the forks flexed then it proceeded to try to climb the side of the house, there was a tire mark 6 foot off the ground where the rear got traction before flipping over backwards and landing on her.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
Boom Boom
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Central PA
Oddometer: 243
I had one for my EVO, I used it more for the extra fuel range.
The seat does not work for trail riding because the peg position is still standard trials location. When you do sit your toes point to the ground just asking to snap your foot.
Look at the Sherco X-ride if you like this idea.
Still trials like ability but a more friendly trail seat.
Noticed (2) at the world round that had plates on them so pending what state you live in that offers one more plug for the X-ride.
2014 Sherco ST 300
2014 Sherco SEF-R 300
2013 Sherco X-ride
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
Joined: Mar 2013
Oddometer: 19
I am a 53 year old female with limited dirt experience. I bought a trials bike with the idea of trail riding. There is no height issue and I can pick the bike up easily. I can also load it into the back of my vehicle by myself. Since getting this bike, a couple of months ago, I have become interested in trials riding. I'm really bad at it, but it offers me challenges I can work on in my tiny front yard.

The little I've used it on trails has me agreeing with the comments above, except I did not have any trouble learning to shift standing, with the shifter way forward, and I've never bottomed out on a trail. My trials bike is a 2.0 and I can start it without too much trouble. I have tried to start other's 250s-280s. No luck. They are too difficult for me. Maybe it's a technique thing, but it's too exhausting to kick it over and over and then get someone to start it for me. There are women who have little or no trouble starting the bigger engines, but as a learning bike I would suspect that to be an obstacle.

The gearing is also weird compared to a regular trail bike. It's doable, but I'm sometimes confused which gear I should be in when changing gears on the fly. Like you said, trail bikes that are a good fit for women (like me) are heavy and the suspension is not very good. The wheels are small and the bikes twitchy. My crf150f is about 240 pounds wet. It is hard for me to pick up. The trials bike is super light.

I think a trials bike would be a good investment for you to "play" on and for your wife to learn slow, tight, maneuvers, and maybe wheelie over small obstacles. As a dedicated trail bike, I wouldn't recommend it based on my own experience. If I could afford it, I would invest in one of the trials-like bikes for trail riding. I would still like e-start though. I don't know if the Sherco X-ride or any of those bikes offer e-start.

Sometimes being a female sucks. Being old definitely sucks, but there you go! I keep moving and learning (hopefully without breaking).
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
Trials Ninja
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Boise aria
Oddometer: 1,135
Wife on a TXT Pro 125 first trail/trials bike.

My wife has only limited trouble kick starting her 125 and loves how easy it is to ride as well as is glad it light when she tips it over. She also like hmb doesn't have any issues shifting standing up. She really only uses the seat at slow speeds on smooth trails and finds herself standing more than sitting.

Over all it has been a great first trail bike for her and she likes the trials side of it however it taking that part slow.

On the side of a play bike for yourself even a 125 would be a great first trials bike and tell I got my 4RT found riding her 125 was both fun and great for the first few months of my trials learning.

Good luck making your call.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
Commando73 OP
Joined: Sep 2012
Oddometer: 6
Thanks for all the input. I didn't know about the shifter location or the foot pegs being to far back. I had assumed that a 2 stroke trials bike would be easy to start like a 2 stroke trail bike. ( I ride a KTM 300XC and love it) I guess this must be due to the high compression ratio? I have considered the cross over type bikes, and they do seem like they would be a good choice. Unfortunately they seem to be even harder to find than a trials bike and don't fit my selfish desire for a trails bike in the garage. I think what I really need to do is find one that I can try out, just to get a first hand idea of what I would be dealing with. Thanks again, it is great to be able to get first hand opinions so quickly.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Oddometer: 808
from my experience a Beta is harder to kick than a GasGas. I can kick a GasGas like any dirt bike. My Beta 250 and a 270 I had you really have to jump on it to get to turn over. The compression is so high that it runs best on a 50/50 mix of pump gas and race gas.

The pegs are set back to make getting the front up over an obstacle easier.

The shifter is forward to keep it out of the way and allow you to move around on the pegs, you usually don't shift in a section.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Minneapolis, Ks
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Trying to come up with a dissertation on the fly, please bear with me.

There is a HELLUVA lot more to your question, than even I can answer without knowing you, your wife, and having a clue what your plans are. What I read & can IMPLY so far is, you want a trials bike. You want to justify buying another bike, letting your wife have an opportunity to ride a bike, that would maybe be easier to ride than say, a yamaha/Kawasaki 110cc four stroke dirtbike? I doubt your wife would find the trials bike anything less than challenging, depending on her experience or ability?

So Im the type of guy that has learned to assume the worst, hope to be wrong. So! Here's what I think, you could find any trials bike, but if your wife is challenged by say, a 50cc moped (something Honda thinks ANYONE should/could ride)... you might just get her HURT on a trials bike. Trials bikes are designed to be ridden standing up, the peg ergonomics sucks sitting down, which actually sux worse because they are without a seat. Plus 99% of casual riders (street, dirt, just about anything, is about sitting on your BUTT, frankly and having that & thighs, as your 77% stability and control point, especially at first!

But if she is semi adapt to riding... Well lets say or assume, she can handle your big dirt bike when she wants to, but it just wears her out, it is just too tall, hard or impossible to start, all that stuff like that (BTW I rode a Honda 450F for a few minutes, that is how I felt, & I have ridden motorcycle since 72, I am short so like your wife, a big ol dirt bike is a challenge even though I could ride the hell out of it, but need a booster or something to get back on, let alone start it I surely gave TMI to my point?). Then she could probably get along on trials bike, with some special and before her 1st attempt at least, instructions, and a BIG open grassy are to give it a whirl...

IF she is an old pro at riding, and it is just about finding a bike, and you would LOVE to have a trials bike, and still it fit for her use, and I know about trying to compromise and have several "options" from a toy or two. Well then, I bet you get her a trials bike and if she likes it, you both will want one, and other bikes will just sit around. Happens about 8 of 10 times, one gets hooked the rest follow.

Back to non rider or semi capable rider WOES, on first "stand up" ride! Be very cautious if you get her a trials bike, as stated built to ride standing up. What happens to EVERY ding dang rider that has never ridden a trials bike is: that person is standing up, used to riding sitting down, with thighs and butt actually supporting them. The trials bike has TREMENDOUS torque, due to gearing and how engines are tuned! So standing up, not ready, she/he "blips" even slightly on the throttle. THis thrusts her/him backwards off balance, which causes them to rip the throttle even more wide open. Un-experienced riders usually (freeze in PANIC and not know what to do) end up riding the bike into some object or into the dirt, at higher than walking pace by far... That can hurt and scare the crap out of all but us thrill seeking "jackass" generation or like minded people. What you have to POUND THIS POINT INTO THE GROUND FOR THEM, is to keep one finger on the clutch, with IMPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS THAT IF ANYTING IS GOING WRONG, EVERYTHING ELSE BE DAMNED, PULL IN THE CLUTCH, and or JUST GET OFF THE BIKE, SAVE YOURSELF 1ST!!!

Lastly, sorry If i have assumed too much, but any case you might see what I am trying to say...

My family (folks and I) are this way (like I think you might be) have all kinds of used toys, never the 'perfect' toy just for 1 thing or person except our Raga Pro's we compete on... So, FWIW my wife rides the trail 70 we kind of got for "farm use" and was used to show our kids how to even ride... By no means perfect, but at least she can ride it until the trail gets too bad, then she gets off, walks or turns around EASILY.

Sting32 screwed with this post 06-05-2013 at 08:29 AM
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:46 PM   #9
Trials Ninja
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Boise aria
Oddometer: 1,135
Good point Sting... I forgot to mention that my wife had been riding a dualsport 230 for some time before the trials bike and we had been working on lots of different kinds of riding. Standing, sitting, turning, etc.

She had also been on street bikes for years (BMW F650CS - not the GS dual sport) and is great with balance etc.

All that past experience was of great help in her learning to ride on the trials bike.

Easy to forget the starting point wasn't absolute beginner and having a dual sport and loving the adventure riding already helped a bunch when playing on the trials bike.

Such is life.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:52 AM   #10
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Joined: Jan 2012
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Gas Gas Randonee or Beta Alp would probably be ideal, unless taking part in competition is something being considered?
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