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The Shortypants Thread: We are short women and this is what we ride

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Region Riley, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,794
    Location:
    Chch, EnZed
    A bike that I have always thought would make a great learner bike, and all around bike for shorter people, is the Beta Alp. They make the same model(same rough bodywork, anyway) with several different engines in it, all Suzukis - 125, 200, and the "4.0" which is a 350 in reality. The smaller models have a very trials-bike like set of geometry, and even come with trials tires in stock trim, so I don't think they would lend themselves to a lot of riding here in the US due to engine size as well as handling. The 4.0, though, has some real potential. But unfortunately, there is some sort of trade agreement such that they cannot sell them in the US - only Canada and Mexico on the NA continent. Strange, and a loss to all IMO. Here is a pic and link to info on the Alp 4.0:

    [​IMG]

    ...which is essentially a DR350S engine(with, yes, a magic button) in a small-ish chassis with about ~8" of travel on both ends - essentially what most people are modifying so many other bikes to be. Note the slim ergonomics, low-cut seat and bar-to-peg relationship nearly identical to a full-size bike. Stripped of most of it's street-oriented stuff it is/would be a capable bike off road, with some of the same compromises as any other "standard" size bike that has been lowered 4"+, but it comes that way right out of the crate.

    More info here: http://www.betamotor.com/en/alp/bikes/alp-4-0-2008
  2. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
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    48,333
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    :bow:bow
  3. Region Riley

    Region Riley rally kit widow

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,509
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    :cry

    We never get the good bikes in the US. That sounds perfect!

    I ran into this one during my research as well.

    [​IMG]

    The Scorpa T-ride. Same situation, none in the US. :bluduh
  4. Bonnie Abbzug

    Bonnie Abbzug Property of Hayduke

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,350
    Location:
    on the couch pm'ing Hayduke
    +1 :huh
  5. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,686
    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    And they say it is always steeper than it looks. :eek1 That there scares the shit out of me.

    I have only ridden with Lori one up at the moto cross track and YES, she kicked my ass. :lol3

    Marc
  6. shortstuff

    shortstuff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    rural N.E. Alberta
    Hi! Thanks for the suggestions of the CRF230 or KL 250... I will try to see if they are even available in Alberta (most dealers are still selling sleds and aren't switched over to bikes- that may be May at the rate the snow is falling!LOL). They do have a Suzuki DR200SE at the local shop for under $4000. Is it worth a look? I am short but also 55 years old & I don't flex quite as well as I did 20 years ago.
    We are unfamiliar with the Beta-Alp & Scorpa T-ride. If they are available in Canada we haven't heard of them previously.
  7. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,773
    Location:
    Land of Walmart Shoppers
    I own a KLX250S and rented a DR200 in Guatemala for a week recently. There's no comparison - the KLX does everything better, although it's a couple inches taller. The DR200 runs out of steam well before highway speeds and the suspension isn't even close to the KLX. I don't know what the KLX goes for in Canada, but here in the US there are brand new left over '09s going for $3500 out the door and you can buy a used '09 with under 1000 miles for $2500. The only thing the DR200 has going for it is it's low seat height in stock form. The KLX would probably require a bit of lowering and a shaved seat.
  8. shortstuff

    shortstuff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    rural N.E. Alberta
    One of the reasons I was considering the DR 200 was the price. A KLX250 I just looked up was "reduced" to $5900. Plus the cost of modifications for my short stature. This is a bit of a experiment for me to go back to 2 wheels after riding with sidecar rig as well as to dirt/trail riding vs highway. Maybe with some patience a used KLX will become available. At this point I just want the snow to be GONE!!!
  9. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    KLX = the new Kawasaki 250.

    KL = Super Sherpa, older, lower, smaller framed Kawasaki 250
  10. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,120
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Hi,

    I too am in my mid 50s and not as flexible, strong, etc. as I once was. I ride a DR200SE and had the seat cut down so I could touch ground. I enjoy the heck out of that bike but it's not up to what I see the gals doing here but then again neither am I :lol3 . Here's my favorite ride report with that bike from a couple years ago: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=391912 I also did a ride in Baja on that bike but the report on that isn't a stand alone report, it's combined with 20 other people take on the ride.

    Depending on the type of riding you are going to do the DR200SE might work for you. I'd say it's for mellow type riding, which is what I enjoy, so if you like to ride aggressively I'd suggest going with something.

    To the rest of you ladies, you are awesome ! ! ! :clap I have heard stories of Jen from Katy and it's nice to see picture of you and your bike. Katy is another great lady which in the beautiful Northwest we refer to her as Rocky cause she loves those Rocky rides. She's far from a shortypants though.

    Over the years I have tried a number of things to get bikes to fit and it seems there is always compromises. I spent years riding street bike and got back into dirt in the early '90s. I started off on an older XR185 and after a season being frustrated with a too tall bike, hard to kick start because my legs were too short I was ready to give up. I then decided to get an XR100 which I was told by all my riding buddies and the shops it was more of a kids bike, a starter bike and wouldn't work. I didn't care if it was classified (in their minds) as a kids bike I could touch ground on it. I bought the bike and had a blast with for many years, I still have it although I don't ride it as much as I used to. That thing took me every where, it's not fast, it's slow and sure and climbs like a billy goat as long as I don't give it too much gas. It jumps like a jackrabbit too if given too much gas in the wrong places. :lol3 Again the XR100 wouldn't be for everyone but it sure was the bike for me.

    For street riding/forest service roads I also have a F650GS the standard height with the seat cut down. I had a lowered '99 F650 which I enjoyed because I could touch flat footed but the lowering made it bottom out on rough stuff so I stayed away from the lowering on the newer one. The bike still feel a bit bit for me off road but I enjoy it.

    Along with the rest of you I do wish there were more smaller bikes with better suspensions out there. I'm not very coordinated so the sliding off the slide of the bike or dealing with just one foot down isn't fun for me. And an earlier comment about hoping a gust of wind doesn't blow you over. That has actually happened to me twice. One on a street bike a number of years ago and again with the DR200SE in E. TX on my way to Baja. Being only tip toed does give a person much to hold up the bike if anything changes the balance. Oh yeah, I have had people knock my over too, by bumping my bike while I was stopped and one guy knocked me over trying to give me a hug hello. :lol3

    Keep posting picture and telling us what you are doing, I'm sure enjoying this thread.

    Sherry
  11. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Nice Lori!

    :clap
  12. Region Riley

    Region Riley rally kit widow

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    Jun 16, 2008
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    3,509
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Stay tuned everybody...

    Short girl rides a tall bike episode one will happen tomorrow. :lol3
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,406
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    That looks like a great bike to me!
    I have no problem with height as I am 6 foot tall, but always thought dual sports are way over suspended and would do much better if they had 6 or maybe 8 inches of travel and were lower to the ground, lower center of gravity and no so far to fall when you dump it.
    People seem to want motocross bikes as dual sports to handle those 30 foot jumps I guess...
    350cc is perfect, not too heavy, enough power for the street, torque off road to make things easy...

    Instead we get large 500 pound motocross bikes or 200cc bikes....





  14. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    The XT225 would seem to fit that bill, but Bonnie's biggest complaint with it is that it's way under-suspended. :dunno
  15. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,877
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    Better fork springs, cartridge emulators, and a good rear shock might help.

    If you really want to get wild and crazy, put a better set of front forks on.
  16. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,710
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    That's essentially why I ended up with my KLX 250 this time around... The USD forks aren't the greatest (especially when i unfairly compare it to my KTMs), but it's definitely a lot stiffer and more plush than the XT225. I think a set of emulaters would make it pretty darn perfect. Mine handled gravel and babyhead rocks pretty admirably last weekend. Figured I'd throw it out there.

    FWIW, the KLX 250 reminds me a lot of the old XT... same "friendly" disposition. First gear pretty much rocks my world. I can tractor up anything without losing steam and it's got enough speed in that gear to actually make it up stuff. I dig it quite a bit! After the 351 kit I might have actually found MY perfect bike! :clap
  17. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Even lowered, Bonnie's WR250r has much better suspension than the XT. But the bike is pretty heavy for her for more difficult off road. She's using it more like a RFS-sized Adventure bike. For that, for her size, it is perfect.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Would it have been the preferred bike for the Pallapa Chair ride through Baja? Preferable, for her, to the XT225?
  19. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Oh yeah. :nod Much better in sand, on fast but rough roads, and on the highway miles we did. She would have been faster and more comfortable, for sure.
  20. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
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    2,399
    Location:
    Wheat Ridge Colorado


    That Drop scares the hell out of me every time!


    Jen...You'll ALWAYS be a GIANT in my book!