picking 1st bike for the girl

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by steveyak, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    Hey Guys looking for some unbiased input. We are looking to get my girl her first bike she is leaning in the sport direction. She is 5'8" so not a little girl, she has very little riding experience, I've just had her on little xr100 for the last few months. She's been doing really well, looking through turn getting used to controls. So a good student you could say. Ok so the question is do you think an sv650 is to much for someone to have as a first bike and still have a good learning curve, other option we were looking at is ninja 250. Open for suggestions but keep in mind the first bike will have a budget in the $2500 range so small gs's are out of the question on price alone.
    Thanks for the input::ear:ear
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  2. Nanuq

    Nanuq Aventurer by Trade

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    If she has ample time on the 100cc, she should be fine on the 650cc, she will need to get used to it, but with a little time and effort she will be fine. Anything I can do on a 650cc, I learned on a 150cc. Some other questions to consider might be age-is her brain fully developed, particularly her front lobes, the decision making part of the brain? In essence is she going to be responsible enough to make quick decisions with a larger machine in a sketchy traffic or terrain. Secondly, how are her athletic skills in general? If she is naturally athletic she will have no problem adapting her skills and body to a larger bike. These are questions I always ask with my students and with my own kids + family.
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  3. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    Them are good choices, ya might wanta consider a GS500 'n EX500 too. (They can be had in her price range. :thumb )
    In a perfect world, I think it's best to start out small 'n work her way up to larger bikes. Some peeps are content to ride an Ningette 250 for years, 'n sum folks "out grow" 'em right away. :dunno
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  4. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    I don't understand the question... why would you ask about a motorcycle for a woman... why would a lady need such a thing? Exactly how far apart is your kitchen and dining room?
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  5. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    She is a national champion skydiver, so she is pretty good with the quick decisions and/or pressure. What she is still lacking is the muscle memory, and natural reactions. She is very good about respecting her limits.
    I have just been riding my whole life so I don't have that open thought to know if a 70hp bike would be alot to someone just starting out(intimidating) or if its what im thinking small enough, smooth enough power to have when you want but not so much to scare you that you may touch it by accident.
    Thanks for the input again
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  6. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    She is definitely not your average woman.:lol3
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  7. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    I forgot about gs500 that may be the perfect bike. I think better power range and same price range. thanks
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  8. N-m

    N-m Captain 2 Sexy

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    I see a common mistake in the gun industry all the time where a man will decide on what a woman needs and the woman will let him decide. The wrong choice is often made because it is such a personal choice. I'm not saying this is what is happening here but wanted to help broaden your and her options.

    While being an amateur rider myself I can only recommend to anyone they follow the below procedure to ensure they actually want one and are not being led into one:

    1. Decide on what type of riding you want to do. This dramatically narrows options from everything to a segment
    2. Decide on budget. Cuts down on options even further
    3. Sit on or even ride if possible everything out there that can be safely ridden. While you may not have many opportunities to ride I encountered not a single dealer that was against my sitting on everything in their shop when I asked permission
    4. Invest in a moto school like the ones Motorcycle Safety Foundation puts on. For beginner classes they furnish bikes up to 250 cc and you could theoretically ride several different bikes in a weekend on a course.

    I hope I haven't overstepped my bounds but just followed that procedure over the course of 3 months and think I have made a great decision. Now next year I may want something different to ride but currently I am thinking about excuses to ride one more mile and not excuses to leave it parked.
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  9. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    You did not over step.
    She doesnt have experience on bikes to know what she wants, but she feels that the turns are where she will enjoy her self the most. budget we set $2500 range. she has sat on many bikes and she is pretty open there, however she has not sat on them at 60mph for a few hours at a time. She is doing msf in march, of course I have her doing that and she is the type to like some coaching anyway.
    As for leading her, she started asking me to help her with riding a couple years before we started dating, And i'm not pushing the direction because I was hoping she would take the dual sport route so I could ride the f8 with her but it looks like ill spend more time on the speed triple with her. :D
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  10. N-m

    N-m Captain 2 Sexy

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    I wanted to add:

    I sat on the bikes you have mind and asked with many sport bike riders. I found in this area there were bikes that were comfortable for about an hour and bikes that would be comfortable for longer rides b/c of the more upright riding position. Personally I thing the more comfortable you are over a longer period of time would be the better route for a new rider since they have one less distraction and can get more time in the saddle if they want w/o having to take a break.

    I saw great reviews on the bikes in question and most said they were great for someone starting in the sport area.
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  11. steveyak

    steveyak Adventurer

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    Im also trying to get away from the 250 partially because I feel it is the scariest bike I have ever ridden, just for the fact that it really cant get out of the way with a full sized person on it. I put about 25 miles on one and was scared when I had to pull out into traffic. 22hp doesnt take you very far very fast.
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  12. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    Without knowing the style of riding (on or off, city or touring etc) I would recommend a Buell Blast. They are simple to maintain, very durable and light.
    Also they offer a distinctive fresher "look" bc of under frame exhust, radius mounted font brake etc. HD used these for the riding school which speaks tons about ease of use nd durability plus low cost for repairs.
    Either way share your decision.
    Cheers

    Not my vid but good description:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzgBqRFcVWY&sns=em
    #12
  13. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    Ninja 250's are great starter bikes and used, low mile specimens(well under 10,000 miles) can be found in the $1400-$2000 price range.

    Spend the rest on a MSF course and good riding gear.:deal

    A lot of MSF facilities have a Ninja or two. She may be able to try one before she buys.

    If she decides to get one and after she gets used to riding it, she can always sell it for close to what she has in it and get a bigger cc bike.

    Just saw this. Well at least get her in a class and get good gear. Don't forget to add gear into that budget.
    Good luck! :freaky
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  14. Benesesso

    Benesesso Long timer

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    I think an SV-650 would be ideal. The "S" model has clipons and a windscreen. Power isn't real high, but better than another possibility--an '88-90 Honda Hawk GT. Both bikes are light and real flickable. I rode my Hawk thru the Italian Alps a few times, after making the mistake of taking my '88 Kaw ZX10 the first time.

    IIRC the Hawk is 5 speed while the SV is 6. Both great bikes, and it's easy to put clipons on the Hawk from some other Honda-forget which one. Both bikes need something like Race Tech Gold Emulators for the forks-big improvement that I installed in both of mine.

    No longer have either Hawk or SV, but if you buy a 2005 yellow SV650 I have a bunch of parts for it. Note the 2005 yellow is different from the 2004 (hint, hint).

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    :rofl:rofl:rofl

    That's funny. Politically incorrect, but still funny!
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  16. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    To add to what others have suggested...

    Have her ride a Triumph Street Triple. It may be harder to find one and may be a little over your stated budget but it would be worth it IMO.
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  17. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

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    If you are looking for dual sport TW200 or XT250.
    Starting out big is tough let her get some time on a bike she can handle easily.

    My wife rides the TW and daughter is on the XT (the wife is too short for the xt)
    they will do every thing fine and they both have picked them up them selves after a mishap.

    Now my wife is lookin for another bike unfortunately its is a Softtail Slim (but whatever floats her boat) but she says she isn't getting rid of the TW.

    tom
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  18. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    The most important thing to remember is this lady is learning to ride and this is her first bike, hopefully not her last. Riding is not natural to most people and developing the muscle memory and skills to be a good rider is a challenge for some. Why make things more difficult than they need to be.

    There's probably rarely anyone that failed at learning to ride because they began on too small of a bike. There's a reason in almost every other country, riders are started on small bikes to learn. On the other hand, there are plenty of new riders that gave up or just never became good riders because they started on a bike that was too big and too powerful, and they just never got it. Boyfriends & husbands have a lot to do with this issue too making the wrong choice of starter bike for their lady. :D It sounds like the XR100 has been very positive so far, but that's probably just around the yard. Once she's on the street, she's got a whole new world to deal with. Keep it as easy as you can for her.

    Now at 5'8", she has the height advantage on her side that many ladies don't have, but with that said, that doesn't instantly make her able to handle a larger bike. She just might not drop it as much since she has longer legs to catch it, but she'll still struggle just the same with newbie mistakes everyone makes. The real question is do you want her making these mistakes on a small docile easy to handle bike, or something more powerful and larger that can get away from her and get her discouraged or even hurt.

    I actually think the Ninja 250 is a great learning bike. It has 2 very distinct personalities. Keep the RPM's under 6k and its very mellow and easy to ride and is so forgiving at even some of the most stupid mistakes new riders can make. Start revving it up near 10-12k+ RPM's and it actually moves out pretty well. Ridden aggressively, the Ninja 250 is actually a fairly quick bike. I'm 6'4", 250lbs and I did a 2500 mile trip on a Ninja 250, plus lots of around town riding. And just to debunk any myths, the Ninja 250 is easily capable of maintaining 80mph on the interstate with full size man on it. I think my wife and I have owned 5-6 Ninja 250's through the years because they are always so much fun to ride, and we enjoy stepping down to them to play on them. We have one in the garage right now that we are rebuilding as a project bike.

    One of the things I like about a Ninja 250 is that because its so docile with low RPM's, once a new rider becomes comfortable with it, they can slowly start learning to ride it more aggressively and slowly build up what its like to "push" a bike a bit more and build those skills. Some riders never learn that starting on larger bikes and end up being very "timid riders" for years because they are too scared to actually get into the power of the bike.

    Now, with her height ,the EX500 or GS500 might not be bad choices either if she'd rather have something with a little bit more power than the 250's, but not enough to be overwhelming. These bikes are a bit heavier, but her extra height should help her there.

    However, I very strongly disagree that the SV650, Ninja 650 or any 600cc 4 cylinder sport bikes make good starting bikes. They are just too easy to screw up on when new riders make mistakes and they are learning, so they are going to make mistakes. The 650's make excellent 2nd bikes once someone becomes proficient with the basics, but not 1st bikes.

    I've helped and seen a lot of ladies learn how to ride and the ones that usually do better are those that started small and learned the basics without being intimidated, and in the long run, they became better riders faster and developed a better set of skills to help them. Once they are comfortable on a small bike, every bike after that seems like a breeze to them.

    Remember the most important thing again. She is learning to ride and I'm sure you want her to succeed. A small bike is not going to hold her back, but a big bike might.
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  19. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    This tells me you have never ridden an SV650 or a Ninja 650 (both of which have only 2 cylinders)

    I agree about the 600cc 4 cylinder sport bikes.

    The SV650, Ninja 650 and a Triumph Street Triple all have very polite power delivery that a new rider would be able to easily get along with. Also, the geometry and ergonomics of the bikes are also good for a new rider as they all have an upright comfortable riding position.

    This is not to discount the Ninja 250 in any way as they too are fine bikes. One can generally pick up a pre-owned one learn to ride and sell it for the same price they payed for it making it a Free starter bike. (provided it is not dropped)
    #19
  20. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    [​IMG]


    Internet pic, but its a great bike for women due to the low seat, torque and light weight. [​IMG]
    #20