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

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

  1. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    793
    Hey Folks,

    A few months back I bought my wife a Yamaha XT225 to learn how to ride on. She got her M license and did the safety course (she did not pass). I bought soups lowering links and lowered the forks. We went out riding a couple times... and she's just not getting it.. she drops the bike constantly, etc.

    I have sold the XT250 and am looking for something else for her.

    She's vertically limited... lol she's about 4'11 140lbs with a 27" inseam. We went to the local honda dealer and they had a CRF125 and even on it she was on her tippy toes.

    I am at a loss for what to replace the XT with.. THe 125 would be about 80lbs lighter. It's about the best option that I've come up with but would love to hear some ideas.. she is determined to ride... and I don't want to discourage that but I cant help but think she would be safer on an ATV... the problem with that is I don't have a trailer(or a place to store it) and I don't think i'd get an atv and my DRZ400 in my F150

    Do you guys/gals think she is going to be happy on something like the crf125, drz125, ttr, etc? I have a DRZ400 and she wants to go riding with me. A lot of what I ride is former railway beds so they are fairly easy but I do get into some atv trails as well.
  2. jsonder

    jsonder Tired Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    941
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    They have kid sized TT and KLX bikes in the Yamaha and Kawasaki shops. Get her to try them on for size. One of the KLX 110s had a 28 inch seat height, which should be fine for her.
    jspringator likes this.
  3. jspringator

    jspringator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Versailles, KY
    Have you considered motarding the bike with 17 inch wheels? I suppose you could put any kind of tires you wanted on it. You would need rims new spokes and someone to lace them. Also, she needs Daytona Lady Star boots. That will get her another inch and a quarter. I added a 1 inch insole in mine for an additional inch. Took a while to stretch the leather, but I can flatfoot that ST now!
  4. SMIFFXC

    SMIFFXC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Maine
    At one point I had a KLX140L with a lowering link for my son. Lowered the bike nicely but still had larger wheels which made trail riding easier. Nice little bike that would be great for someone like her.
  5. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    793
    I cant imagine a KLX110 would be any good for anything other then going around in circles in a field with the suspesnion semi auto, etc.
  6. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    793
    Thought about it but the price of wheels would have been as much as we paid for the bike lol.
  7. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    793
    There are a couple good deals on left over TTR125 or KLX140's not to far from here. They are not the big wheel bikes though.
  8. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,421
    I rather suspect if you take her to a Yamaha dealer and let her sit on a TW200, she's going to find that's what she wants. The Suzuki VanVan 200 is another contender, albiet a bit more street oriented.

    As well older bikes that can be more easily lowered. I've an old Honda XL500. I've a ~28" inseam, and can flat foot the bike with the rear shocks on their lowest setting and the fork tubes slipped about an inch in the tripple tree. Cut the seat down and I'd be knees bent, flat footing it.
  9. sion

    sion sigh-own

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,288
    Location:
    Hocking Hills
  10. Iffykid

    Iffykid Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,551
    Location:
    Blaine,Mn
    Location as there might be someone local with a lowered option to try on for size?
    Why is she constantly dropping the bike? Is it she cant touch when stopping starting or does she just need more practice?
    What did you do to the XT225 to try and lower it if anything? Links, forks, lowered/shaved seat etc?
  11. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone
  12. sion

    sion sigh-own

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,288
    Location:
    Hocking Hills
    which is why I said "for those interested in STREET riding"
    GailCallsMeKarl and ben2go like this.
  13. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone
    I was skimming through and missed that. :shog
  14. GailCallsMeKarl

    GailCallsMeKarl Squirrel w/ no nuts Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,488
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    I'm 4'11", and an MSF RiderCoach. We have TW200s for school and I can get two toes down stock. That said, the bike I spent my first six months on was the TTR125 big wheel. Best decision ever.

    With beginning women riders, I see confidence as the #1 roadblock to riding. We love to beat ourselves up. :)
    Get her something very small and very light. Like the TTR. She might "outgrow" it in 6 months, but she'll have rock solid confidence to learn on the next size up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,883
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Finding the right bike for someone with short legs is difficult but worth it when finding what works. I have a Honda XR100 that I was told I would outgrow, that was '94 and I still have that bike. Many, many happy trail miles on it and I didn't outgrow it because my danged legs never did grow and I don't have the confidence to ride bikes that I can't get the balls of my feet on the ground. On my 100 it's just the balls of my feet. Being able to flat food would be such a luxury for me.

    I also have a DR200SE which was too tall for me. I had the seat cut down and narrowed which got me to the balls of my feet. Then there is my F650GS (single), again I had the seat cut down to be able to put the balls of my feet on the ground. When I have my seats cut down they aren't being "shaved" I have all the padding removed and replaced with a gel pad covered with a fairly thin piece of foam then recovered.

    To put things in perspective since many taller/larger people don't under the challenge some of us have when I'm riding my 200 it would be about the equivalent of a taller person riding a KLR650. When I'm riding my 650 it would be about the same as a taller person riding 1100 - 1200GS. My bikes look small to other people but not to me.

    Here's an example. Me on my 200 and a 6' friend on his F650 Dakar. His bike looks small under him while my bike looks fairly big under me. He's flat footed with his knees bent and I'm on the balls of my feet with my legs straight.
    118[1].jpg
    ER70S-2 and Iffykid like this.
  16. LuluOfDenver

    LuluOfDenver The peanut gallery.

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    Denver and the world
    Exactly what she said. Find a small, lightweight bike for her and teach her to "eject" if she drops the bike--walk off and let the bike take the hit rather than her.

    But in addition, since you said she didn't pass her endorsement class, invest in a day of one-on-one coaching for her. A good coach will make sure she has really basic things down like friction zone and slow speed control. Once she learns those things, riding becomes smoother and less scary--growth can happen.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    T Monkey and Eatmore Mudd like this.
  17. kudzub

    kudzub n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    8
    Finally have my bike and I am in love. However, it isn't a dual sport. Almost pulled the trigger on a couple of XT 225's but when I calculated the price of bike plus mods... Well, it's hard to feel good about that sort of outlay on a first bike. Ultimately, I decided to just get a dirt bike, have fun on it and then decided if I want to swap for a dual sport of just opt to keep it & add a street bike. Likely, I will ultimately end up with an XT 225 or CRF230L. For now though, I'm ecstatic with my used little kid-sized bike!

    So, the winner was a 2002 Honda XR100R. It's an excellent height. It seems like a fantastic starter bike for me. Though, somewhat ironically, it's only downside is the starter. It lacks electric start. so I'll be kicking it. No doubt I'll curse myself for this at some point, I am actually looking forward to learning the right choke, kick start & throttle combo for various circumstances. Will also learn how to pop the clutch or whatever you call it with bikes. It kind of reminds me of my first car, a 5-speed, '78 Corolla with manual choke. It was unbelievably reliable, but took both hands & both feet to start it. lol

    Saturday is my first dirt bike class this Sunday at the MSF school. :D
  18. kudzub

    kudzub n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    8
    Bear in mind the TW200 is a wider bike than some others, or so it seemed in my shopping. While the CRF125 was a good height for me with it's 28.9" seat height, the wider TW200 would need to be at least an inch lower than that. For someone who was too short for even a CRF125, you need to take 4+ inches off the TW200. The Vanvan is shorter than the TW200, but would still need considerable lowering for someone with less inseam than me. Am not saying it couldn't be done but wonder if a straight dirt bike might not be a better idea for someone who is still dropping the bike a lot. Having to pick up the extra 100 lbs of weight a TW200 or Vanvan has over the little, lightweight dirt bikes would get tiring & cut a lot into the fun factor. This is, of course, from my own short perspective. YMMV
    ben2go likes this.
  19. Padilen

    Padilen Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,722
    That's my inseam and I can touch the ground with both feet on my TW. And my right ankle doesn't bend. So 4" is to what? Flat foot ? I think those that are going TW,Van Van and XT need street legal.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
  20. kudzub

    kudzub n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    8
    Yes, to almost flat foot. On level ground and good footing I'd be fine with just getting toes down, but while learning I don't want to have just toes or barely the balls of my feet down or the need to slide to one side. A bike that height is going to be dropped by me a lot more than one I can easily get the balls of my feet down and almost my heels or I could flat foot on one side with just a slight lean. Even with that I'm still going to drop the bike sometimes but doing so too often is demoralizing and sucks a lot of the fun out of a ride. The OP said a lowered XT225 was too tall and a CRF125 was, as well. A stock XT225 probably isn't even an inch taller than a TW and a CRF 125 is shorter and thinner than a TW. Was just sharing my own perspective since I've just gone through all this. Am very glad the TW works well for you. It may work for me later, when I've more experience and confidence. I love, love the look of the TW and Vanvan and think those could be very practical for my needs, later.

    Street legal is great & I'd have agreed with you that it was a need if I'd not just gone through a long search for a dual sport. Finally, I decided that while street legal may be a need in the future, it really isn't right now. To start out, I've accepted that I need something I can have fun on now rather than a bike I need to grow into, experience wise. Some of us, or at least one of us, just need a more confidence inspiring ride.