What dual sport/dirt bike for girlfriend?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by rpmwfo, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. rpmwfo

    rpmwfo Been here awhile

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    Girlfriend recently expressed interest in trail riding and a possible trip to Moab. Naturally I said no problem we'll have to get you a bike and start teaching you how to ride in the dirt.

    She's 5'8" tall. She's been riding on the street for a couple of years. Real quick study on the street(going to have to get her a new street bike next summer).

    What bike should I get her? I would like relatively light, decent power, and in a perfect world- electric start. Plated(anything can be plated here in Colorado) or factory dual sport.

    She isn't a timid rider on the street, so I doubt she will be one in the dirt(although she said she wasn't interested in log hopping). In a perfect world I would get her a KTM 450 EXC and call it day. Same maintenance and parts as the one I've got now. Not sure if that will be too much. She rode mine with the supermoto setup and liked it a lot. Not sure how that would translate to dirt riding for her.
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  2. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Been here awhile

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    Your idea about getting her the same as yourself could be the best of both worlds, if she's already had a shot with SM wheels and can handle that, then you'd hope the transition to SIMPLE dirt riding on the same bike shouldn't be to severe, hopefully.
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  3. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    If she liked it, I'd get the same bike. Only 1 set of tools and spares to carry, and you have known working parts on hand to troubleshoot with.
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  4. RENCRN8

    RENCRN8 Been here awhile

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    Maybe a 400exc for the linear power. Either way I think RFS is a great choice, as you no doubt already know.
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  5. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    +1 When at all possible having the same bike is good...

    Do the new FI EXC's come with different mappings like the 690? The 690 on soft power is excellent for loaning, letting guys go for a first ride etc without hurting themselves.
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  6. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    It according what degree of trail, side of the mountain kinda trail or gravel road kinda trail...

    this is a nice electric start real trail bike, if your just going to ride roads get her what you have, the big bikes would be hard for her to handle in the rocks I would think


    [​IMG]
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  7. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

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    Probably something 400-650 class.
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  8. pne

    pne Long timer

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    Definitely something she can flat foot at a stop. One thing I've noticed with the ladies is being able to put a foot down is a huge deal breaker. Even though when we are out coaching new riders we tell them do NOT ride around with your feet off the pegs trying to catch yourself at low speeds. Most girls (and lots of guys) still do this in the dirt, even though they are capable riders on the street. All the girls I've met who quit dirt riding after the first try, was because someone started them out on a full size bike and they couldn't balance at low speeds and couldn't put both feet down.
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  9. rpmwfo

    rpmwfo Been here awhile

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    I am thinking forest roads, some of the mountain passes in Colorado, and some of the easier trails to start out. No crazy single track. Yet.
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  10. rpmwfo

    rpmwfo Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't be opposed to getting whatever I get lowered for her.
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  11. rpmwfo

    rpmwfo Been here awhile

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    I love mine. She really liked it too with the supermoto setup. Just don't want to start her out with too much bike for the dirt. My plans to get her into street riding have worked out beyond my wildest expectations. Just want to start her out right in the dirt too. Life is easier when the other half loves to ride...
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  12. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

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    OK, take this for what it's worth;

    - for real offroad riding, you don't want to have too much bike; weight, power or seat height. What is fine for the street or a logging road is NOT fine for serious offroad work. Personally there is no way I'd put a first time dirt rider on a 450 anything.

    It really depends what you'll be riding and how aggressive and driven she is. You're lucky in that she is fairly tall which gives you a wider range of motorcycles to choose from.

    If you really want something street legal and want to teach her how to ride in the dirt, I'd suggest a CRF250L or KX250L....the sherpa wouldn't be bad either. All of them are too heavy for serious offroad work.

    My wife raced offroad for 15 years and was the PNWMA Women's offroad champion for several years. She was only 5'5" and started out on a modified KX100, then moved on to a Gas Gas 250 Pampera and finally a lowered KTM200XC. Honestly the Gas Gas was almost the perfect offroad bike for a woman; light weight, low seat height (33.85"), quality suspension and brake components and tractable trials motor. Too bad they stopped making them, though you might find one used. Oh, and they were street legal in europe.

    http://www.gasgas.com/Pages/2003's/Pampera/pro-280-main-specs.html

    Another thing I've found is that when you put someone on a dirtbike, especially a smaller one, after they've been riding a larger dual sport or street bike, there is a 100% chance that they'll say they don't like it and it's too small....you have to ignore them and let them get used to it. Once the going gets rough, they will come to appreciate a smaller, lighter and lower bike.

    2 cents,
    Dave

    -
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  13. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    Though lower than the EXC 450 the crf250l is significantly heavier.

    What about the free ride? The size of the crf250l but nearly 80 lbs lighter. It's street legal though it's weakest area is high speed droning on the road..

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I847 using Tapatalk 2
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  14. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    Yam XT 225. Cheap, runs good and really a great trail bike.
    If your wife 'outgrows' it, sell it and get something else.
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  15. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Better to have her start on a smaller bike wishing for a bigger one than have her start on a bigger bike and be all fucked up from it. Dirt riding is not street riding, it's hard sometimes.
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  16. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

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    Free ride may be worth considering. The 450 is lighter than a 250l but it is too tall and too powerful for a dirt newbie.

    Dave
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  17. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

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    Agreed; I've taught over a dozen women how to ride offroad....it's a whole different ballgame compared to street riding, especially if you're talking about decent single track. (by decent, I mean difficult enough to be interesting for an intermediate rider).

    Dave
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  18. CTDan

    CTDan Long timer

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    A friend of mine suggested that riding with your spouse or girlfriend was like doubling your cost while cutting your fun in half...

    He loves stirring up my wife and knows we enjoy our outings immensely.

    The first bike will be "the first bike". My wife is ready for her 3rd try at the right bike.

    Her taste surprises me. I thought for sure we had it the second time around.

    At least we get closer each time, and we haven't lost much $ on any of them.
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  19. rpmwfo

    rpmwfo Been here awhile

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    Sounds like the KTM RFS options are a bad first choice. Free Ride is a bit much(cost wise) to test the waters with. If she likes offroad then I would say yes. First dirt bike- most likely not. Might be tough finding the GasGas. I'll look for a Sherpa or an XT. I would think the CRF and KLX options are too heavy. Any other options? Smaller XR(XR100 or 250) just to try out the dirt first? Then upgrade?

    Trails to start out would be Woodland 717, Rampart in Colorado. Something easier around Moab.

    Ultimately, I would like to get her into more advanced riding if she enjoys it. If she doesn't, I'll just ride with her on the street. She wants to go riding more than I do all the time. When she expressed interest in offroad I figured I had to capitalize on it....
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  20. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

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    An XR/CRF100 would be way too small for her. A CRF150F (not R) is a universal offroad learning bike but while the size, power and seat height is friendly, they are quite heavy. At 5'8" she might as well go to a CRF230 instead; I have one girlfriend that has one and loves it. CRF250's are way too tall. An older XR200 is very similar to a CRF230 (sans electric start). An older XR250R is a great bike, but again: tall. Of all the 4stroke Honda's, I'd say a CRF230 or XR200 would be best with the electric start on the CRF being a big bonus. A CRF150F would work too, just a bit smaller than a 230 and not much weight difference.


    ...I think you're on the right track.

    Dave
    #20