How large a bike is too much...

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Ryethil
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How large a bike is too much...

#1 Unread post by Ryethil » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:32 pm

We have an ongoing club argument that we can't answer and I don't know if anyone can answer...

There are lists for first bikes and what sizes are best for newbies.
There are lists for intermediate bikes and possible lists for experienced riders.

But we, as a club, have a tendency to ride Sportsters and big twins (Hawgs) and manage to the best of our abiltiies. When I've been to places like Daytona, there are more and more women riding big bikes that just a few years ago would be considered too large for the fairer sex.

Now there is more and more women riding Racer Replica's with 30"-32" seat hieghts.

So now I asking the obvious. How big is too big? I know that has a lot to do with the person's size and comfort level. But given a women who wants to ride a bigger bike, how much tippy toeing and weight shifting is allowed before it becomes unsafe? Bikes can be modified but how much modification can a person do before it changes the ride ability of a motercycle and should it be allowed to a great extent if it allows the person to ride the bike they want.

I ride a big twins but I'm 5'9"and a little with a 36"inseam. Good for riding bikes but not so good if you want to look attractive or cute. I'm too buff to be a model. :roll:

Most women are smaller but I've seen them ride big Harleys too. And I've seen larger women ride metric cruisers because they didn't feel safe without their feet flat on the ground. So I guess a range is called for each size but that's too much work. Is there something simple and easily applied?

This is all just conjecture for in the end it's what we feel comfortable riding. So I'm just wondering... :D
Alex
It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

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#2 Unread post by Wrider » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:04 am

I knew a short guy at school that rode a dual sport. To put his foot (singular foot) on the ground he had to straddle the seat with his knee. He was perfectly comfortable with that. Then I've known others that if they can't have the whole foot on the ground at least a foot out from the bike they won't touch it. All depends on the person. Personally my weight lets me flat-foot most bikes due to suspension compression. Only ones I've found myself tippy-toeing are ones like the Adventure 990 and V-Stroms.
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#3 Unread post by Ryethil » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:20 pm

Wrider wrote:I knew a short guy at school that rode a dual sport. To put his foot (singular foot) on the ground he had to straddle the seat with his knee. He was perfectly comfortable with that. Then I've known others that if they can't have the whole foot on the ground at least a foot out from the bike they won't touch it. All depends on the person. Personally my weight lets me flat-foot most bikes due to suspension compression. Only ones I've found myself tippy-toeing are ones like the Adventure 990 and V-Stroms.
OMG, the first real job I had was a Suzuki wrench. Taught me a lot about people, their babies and getting it right the first time.

Back then it RMs, I think. I had a special milk crate that I would step on and climb on the bike. (The dealer had a mini-track out back to test bikes on) There was no way I could get on the bike, never mind kick-starting it without it. Hated those things. Hated the punk little 14 year olds that would jump on the bike, one kick and then wheelie out the door. :roll:

Usafe at any speed... :laughing:
Alex
It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

My First Custom, Late 90's Sportster, Heavily Breathed On, Big Block, S&S HP Heads, Custom High Performance Pipes. Wickedly fast, Uncomfortable, Front end is a jackhammer. Age 18yrs, Still have the bike!

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#4 Unread post by mazer » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:34 pm

I think fit is important, but subjectve. If you like the bike and it feels good to you, it does not really matter if someone else thinks it is too big for you or not. If you can ride it safely, stop it safely feel the fit is right for them I say go for it. I have seen 10 to 12 year olds throw around dirt bikes that I thought were outrageously too big for them, they could hardly keep the bike upright at a full stop, but rolling through corners on dirt tracks, they flew. Looking at the Adventure riders forum I have seen photos of women who could not make it through some of the sand pits because they could not paddle the bike with their feet to help keep it upright, and they ate sand everytime, but they go back up and kept at it. soon enough some of them get good enough to not have to rely on their feet.
Just my 2 cents.

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#5 Unread post by slimcolo » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:54 pm

Wrider said
I knew a short guy at school that rode a dual sport. To put his foot (singular foot) on the ground he had to straddle the seat with his knee. He was perfectly comfortable with that.
I remember in High School a guy that done the same, and was ranked 7th in the state in amature MX. This was a few years ago as he rode either a Bull or a Husky. (maybe a Penton or Maico, well it was not japanese or Brit, can't remember as that was 30 yrs ago)

Also knew a woman that was 5-1 weighing 98 lbs that rode a Full Dress FLH. She had a Stupid Glide seat with about 1-1/2inch foam removed and wore boots with 2 inch thick soles. (couldn't shift without a heal toe)

Also met an old japanese that was 4-2 and rode a Panhead. He had the frame modified and removed oil tank (used a B&S gas tank mounted on sissy bar for oil) so he could sit on top of the tranny. (this guy also said his first introduction to bikes was the guards in the internment camps in WWII, and made up his mind, at 4 yrs old, to also get one)

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Re: How large a bike is too much...

#6 Unread post by Nalian » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:12 pm

Ryethil wrote:This is all just conjecture for in the end it's what we feel comfortable riding. So I'm just wondering... :D
Given how wildly different each person is from the next, I don't think that there are any rules you can place on it that aren't things like:

Too big if you can't comfortably get it off the side stand.
Aren't comfortable with how it feels when you're standing (on tip toes or flat feet)

etc. I'm 5'8" but have a 32" inseam. You're only an inch taller than I am, but have 4 more inches of leg. What bike is appropriate for me is likely pretty different than you. I am pretty strong so I find I have hard time judging what is/isn't comfortable for other gals in the top-heavy vs not bikes. I always advocate getting a feel for it by sitting on it, and a test ride if possible.

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#7 Unread post by Ryethil » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:45 pm

mazer wrote:I think fit is important, but subjectve. If you like the bike and it feels good to you, it does not really matter if someone else thinks it is too big for you or not. If you can ride it safely, stop it safely feel the fit is right for them I say go for it. I have seen 10 to 12 year olds throw around dirt bikes that I thought were outrageously too big for them, they could hardly keep the bike upright at a full stop, but rolling through corners on dirt tracks, they flew. Looking at the Adventure riders forum I have seen photos of women who could not make it through some of the sand pits because they could not paddle the bike with their feet to help keep it upright, and they ate sand everytime, but they go back up and kept at it. soon enough some of them get good enough to not have to rely on their feet.
Just my 2 cents.
Let me try another way. Club members are fairly obvious and stand out in a crowd real well. So we get a lot of questions about women riding motorcycles. We also field a lot of dreams and want to's. A few of us gurls/girls (okay) treat the question seriously and don't just say Sportster out of hand. For the most part, it's that these women feel pressure from male riders that keep them from acting rationally.

Your advice is perfect. :D However, guys (and some women) say that such and such a bike is perfect for learning on. (BS, but that's another thread.) A lot of women have rode pillion and now want the controls in their own hands. But a 250cc won't keep up with their husband's larger bike, so they feel hurt and confused.

At least I can ride a big twin without being asked if I'm a real woman nowadays. :D

So this leads me to evaluate their problem from different sides and what I've come up with, is it "safe" for a woman (or small man) to attempt gymnastics to keep a bike big enough to keep up with their husband, fast highway traffic, whatever while doing acrobatics, lowering the bike so that it has little or no suspension travel or both? :?

Yes, we have a few women that act like midgets in a circus just so they can ride that Hawg (and be cool). Several will tell other club members that they are wimps for riding a Sportster. (Head cases, possibley) The women that ride on Sportsters know their abilitys and feel a Sportster's plenty.

Peer pressure again... :evil:

So what do I tell a woman who is convinced that nothing smaller than a VStar 950 is too small. Mostly they're not true newbies and this their first medium to large bike.

I mentioned Dirt Bikes before. And yes these kids could race their way around a course faster than was humanly possible. At least this human.

I'm not trying to upset an apple cart here. But dreams and perceptions are such real things, at least for a while. At what point should I caution someone that they maybe going a bit too fast or you really can't do that and be truly safe?

I'm not asking raw CC's here. I'm talking about the pure size and power of the bike. Which is harder to talk to a person about the just raw CC's.

If I'm all washed up or causing problems, let me know and I'll drop it.
Alex
It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

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#8 Unread post by Ryethil » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:11 pm

slimcolo wrote:Wrider said
I knew a short guy at school that rode a dual sport. To put his foot (singular foot) on the ground he had to straddle the seat with his knee. He was perfectly comfortable with that.
I remember in High School a guy that done the same, and was ranked 7th in the state in amature MX. This was a few years ago as he rode either a Bull or a Husky. (maybe a Penton or Maico, well it was not japanese or Brit, can't remember as that was 30 yrs ago)

Also knew a woman that was 5-1 weighing 98 lbs that rode a Full Dress FLH. She had a Stupid Glide seat with about 1-1/2inch foam removed and wore boots with 2 inch thick soles. (couldn't shift without a heal toe)

Also met an old japanese that was 4-2 and rode a Panhead. He had the frame modified and removed oil tank (used a B&S gas tank mounted on sissy bar for oil) so he could sit on top of the tranny. (this guy also said his first introduction to bikes was the guards in the internment camps in WWII, and made up his mind, at 4 yrs old, to also get one)
I understand what you say. However, when does it pass a point where motorcycle safety is compromised? When does it go beyond a point that the person is filling some other want to because they aren't enjoying what I call the pleasures of motorcycle riding. Not that I'm any great shakes.

like I said before ^^^, when does it be come dangerous to the would be rider and the people around them? And when it does, should someone say anything about it? Or simply say the person is totally free to hurt themselves. That is what I'm asking.
Alex
It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

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[img]http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab194/Ryethil/user28512_pic25609_1235625747-1.jpg[/img]

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Re: How large a bike is too much...

#9 Unread post by Ryethil » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:30 pm

Nalian wrote:
Ryethil wrote:This is all just conjecture for in the end it's what we feel comfortable riding. So I'm just wondering... :D
Given how wildly different each person is from the next, I don't think that there are any rules you can place on it that aren't things like:

Too big if you can't comfortably get it off the side stand.
Aren't comfortable with how it feels when you're standing (on tip toes or flat feet)

etc. I'm 5'8" but have a 32" inseam. You're only an inch taller than I am, but have 4 more inches of leg. What bike is appropriate for me is likely pretty different than you. I am pretty strong so I find I have hard time judging what is/isn't comfortable for other gals in the top-heavy vs not bikes. I always advocate getting a feel for it by sitting on it, and a test ride if possible.
First, 4" of leg seem nice but cothing companies' women's tall is sometimes still not long enough and you look like Lil' Abner. It gets old quick. I'm also similarly longer in my arms. I can out reach most guys for what good it does. :roll:

Actually, that maybe just what I'm asking. I see some women's coping mechanism to handle big bikes and I become afraid for them. Maybe what I am asking is for a few failsafe points that I can use to dissaude a rider from hurting themselves and others. It used to be kick starters and then clutch control. Now with the new slipper clutches and hydrolic brakes, you don't have to bother with upper body strength as much. I used to take so much cr*p for being so buff that I never realized that some women just can't do certain things. I think I can be diplomatic enough but I just want some guidelines when I should say, "Please, No".

However, as some have said here, does a stranger have the right to impede a person's dreams? I dunno. :dunno:
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It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

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#10 Unread post by PacificShot327 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:39 pm

But a 250cc won't keep up with their husband's larger bike, so they feel hurt and confused.
Why not? Should do just fine unless hubby is riding beyond legal limits and/or accelerating so quickly that... well, nevermind.

I'm quick to b#$%@ about people's driving habits. :oops:
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Re: How large a bike is too much...

#11 Unread post by PacificShot327 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:46 pm

Ryethil wrote: First, 4" of leg seem nice but cothing companies' women's tall is sometimes still not long enough and you look like Lil' Abner. It gets old quick.

Darn right. I also hate how a lot of clothing companies equate waist size with leg length (bigger you are around, the taller you are? nuh uh. I'm 5'10" and I wear a size 4 (or size 6 on a good day)).
I used to take so much cr*p for being so buff that I never realized that some women just can't do certain things.
Ew, why? I take pride in havin' my muskully muskulls. :D My poor mother is terribly jealous. :flex:
However, as some have said here, does a stranger have the right to impede a person's dreams? I dunno. :dunno:
I would give a resounding YES to this question, IF it puts your safety in question. Newbies (or anyone, really, for that matter) with too big a bike for them are DANGEROUS. If you don't have complete control over the machine you're riding, you are compromising your safety and that of those around you. If my sister ever decides to start riding (Oh, Lord...) and wants some big flashy thing like I might have at that point in the future, I consider it my absolute responsibility to make sure she does not manage to get such a machine in her hands, if not for her own well-being, but for anyone else's that might be on the road with her.
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#12 Unread post by Nalian » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:11 pm

If I understand your question right - I guess I approach this issue from a different angle altogether.

For those who are asking me advice and are new to riding: I don't tend to go by what specific bike someone shouldn't shouldn't get. I would go by stats on the bike. A sportster actually isn't a great starter bike for a lot of folks - some of those especially women - when it's too topheavy for them. I started on the sportster, and I'm not saying it's a bad bike to start on in general. But it's not the most ideal bike, and while it may weigh less than other bikes, it can feel a lot heavier because of where all the weight is.

When people are starting out new, I tell them that they should make sure they can flat foot the bike, and probably stay on a smaller sized bike for the bike class they're interested in, and under 50 hp for starting out. I don't find numbers easy to give for the weight of an appropriate bike - again because how the bike holds the weight and the type of bike you get is so crazily different. I usually make some effort to talk with people about how motorcycles carry weight, and how to tell when it's "top heavy" or not. I usually try and explain how a well suited bike will feel in the end - comfortable, easily balanced, confidence inspiring. All great points for a first bike.

I then explain the 50 hp thing and usually give some anecdotes related to the weight/hp of a car vs a bike - usually folks get the idea on how powerful motorcycles are from that.

I also make a concerted effort to point out first bike/not only/last bike, why its better to start smaller in general (build skills/confidence, etc). Overall this isn't a conversation I enter into lightly, but all of the above points can be made in a quick 3-5 minute conversation (obviously not a deep conversation, but enough to get the points across).

Overall I think the starting horsepower and where the bike makes all the horsepower is a lot more important than the engine size or weight of the bike.

If someone who is riding for a while asks advice...the questions are an entirely different set.

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#13 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:18 pm

Ryethil wrote:
mazer wrote:I think fit is important, but subjectve. If you like the bike and it feels good to you, it does not really matter if someone else thinks it is too big for you or not. If you can ride it safely, stop it safely feel the fit is right for them I say go for it. I have seen 10 to 12 year olds throw around dirt bikes that I thought were outrageously too big for them, they could hardly keep the bike upright at a full stop, but rolling through corners on dirt tracks, they flew. Looking at the Adventure riders forum I have seen photos of women who could not make it through some of the sand pits because they could not paddle the bike with their feet to help keep it upright, and they ate sand everytime, but they go back up and kept at it. soon enough some of them get good enough to not have to rely on their feet.
Just my 2 cents.
...Your advice is perfect. :D However, guys (and some women) say that such and such a bike is perfect for learning on. (BS, but that's another thread.) A lot of women have rode pillion and now want the controls in their own hands. But a 250cc won't keep up with their husband's larger bike, so they feel hurt and confused.
It should be the experienced rider's responsibility to ride at the "learners" skill/confidence level. A 250 will keep up with anything else. It justs take a bit longer to get to the same cruising speed.

I think that too many folks make the assumption that the first bike has to be the ONE. You've been riding so long, Rye, that you probably never had the chance to dream of riding and "the perfect" bike until you were ALREADY an able-handed rider. It makes a big difference. Many fall in love with the image of themselves on a particular machine. Be it one like their friends (or significant other) has or just one they find appealing.

The thing is, not all bikes are suited to all kinds of riding. Just as you wouldn't try to take a thoroughbred on a trail ride, or a plow horse to the Kentucky Derby, choosing a sportbike for commuting or a cruiser for long distances doesn't usually work out well.

The key is to start out on something small and 'generic' to hone the newly learned skills. Something that isn't so heavy that it is scary. I tend to discourage folks from choosing a motorcycle solely on whether or not they can get both feet flat on the ground. It limits your options too much and "flat footing" is over-rated. Learning to manage a bike that you can get only one foot on the ground builds confidence... so long as the bike isn't too HEAVY to manage this way.

A rider spends more time with feet on the pegs than on the ground anyhow, once they've got their basic bike handling skills built in...

THAT should be the first 'comfort' option. How comfortable is the RIDING position?
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#14 Unread post by Ryethil » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Lion_Lady wrote:
Ryethil wrote:
mazer wrote:I think fit is important, but subjectve. If you like the bike and it feels good to you, it does not really matter if someone else thinks it is too big for you or not. If you can ride it safely, stop it safely feel the fit is right for them I say go for it. I have seen 10 to 12 year olds throw around dirt bikes that I thought were outrageously too big for them, they could hardly keep the bike upright at a full stop, but rolling through corners on dirt tracks, they flew. Looking at the Adventure riders forum I have seen photos of women who could not make it through some of the sand pits because they could not paddle the bike with their feet to help keep it upright, and they ate sand everytime, but they go back up and kept at it. soon enough some of them get good enough to not have to rely on their feet.
Just my 2 cents.
...Your advice is perfect. :D However, guys (and some women) say that such and such a bike is perfect for learning on. (BS, but that's another thread.) A lot of women have rode pillion and now want the controls in their own hands. But a 250cc won't keep up with their husband's larger bike, so they feel hurt and confused.
It should be the experienced rider's responsibility to ride at the "learners" skill/confidence level. A 250 will keep up with anything else. It justs take a bit longer to get to the same cruising speed.

I think that too many folks make the assumption that the first bike has to be the ONE. You've been riding so long, Rye, that you probably never had the chance to dream of riding and "the perfect" bike until you were ALREADY an able-handed rider. It makes a big difference. Many fall in love with the image of themselves on a particular machine. Be it one like their friends (or significant other) has or just one they find appealing.

The thing is, not all bikes are suited to all kinds of riding. Just as you wouldn't try to take a thoroughbred on a trail ride, or a plow horse to the Kentucky Derby, choosing a sportbike for commuting or a cruiser for long distances doesn't usually work out well.

The key is to start out on something small and 'generic' to hone the newly learned skills. Something that isn't so heavy that it is scary. I tend to discourage folks from choosing a motorcycle solely on whether or not they can get both feet flat on the ground. It limits your options too much and "flat footing" is over-rated. Learning to manage a bike that you can get only one foot on the ground builds confidence... so long as the bike isn't too HEAVY to manage this way.

A rider spends more time with feet on the pegs than on the ground anyhow, once they've got their basic bike handling skills built in...

THAT should be the first 'comfort' option. How comfortable is the RIDING position?
So like you're relling me I have this problem with sporbikes. :laughing:

Actually, some things you said earlier that I probably have twisted in my little mind. A dream isn't reality. Reality here is the tried and true facts of confidence, learning the basics an developing skills and experience. To do that, one must be comfortable and (my words) dedicated further to gain this, one must have a bike that promotes all of this. (My words) A man is not much of a husband if he'd not willing to help his wife with her quest. The same goes for all that she rides with. Choose your companions carefully.

However, after a period of time, she should be able to make a choice as to what she wants to ride as a moderatedly experienced rider. And what contortions she does to be able to ride that bike is her resposibility. This last is probably more my idea as yours for I'm thinking of some women who try and ride hawgs for what ever reason for it looks like comfort isn't one of them. The same for those who try to ride sport bikes which can be uncomfortable this side of legal speed limits and are possibly dangerous due to road and traffic conditions if the pace is too high. :?

I preach motorcycling as a lifestyle of freedom. And yet I'm ready to steer people from their dream bike becase "I" feel they're unsafe. That is something they should learn for themselves and if so, fail for themselves. My partner is learning on a Sportster and I think it may be too much for her at first. But that's not my job. She's big girl and I need to let her live out her dream rather than be a protective mother hen.

I'm finally okay with all of this and realize that squids on 600cc sportbikes are really responcible for their own situation. And no matter how unsafe their situation is, it's not my place to take them to task for anything "I" deem irresponcible. (People who suggest sport bikes to newbies are another matter :twisted: ) And what everyone is saying that person's dream is theirs to fullfil unless I'm asked.

So in the end, no bike is too big for any person as long as they are able to live with the level of comfort they accept to ride their dream bike. And comfort is the leveling factor, for a person should be comfortable and having fun. And if they aren't, then it's their choice.

Correct... :D


:rockon:
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It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. WtPooh

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#15 Unread post by mazer » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:33 pm

Alex, My suggestion. Get the butt in question on as many bikes as possible to take demo rides. Dont limit those rides to any one specific brand or CC. Start at 300 and work your way up in one brand, then do it again and again and again with each bike, each dealership - hell whats more fun than a free ride on a new bike?
I have seen more and more (especially in this economy) where people have bought a high CC hawg and turned it in for a mid range cruiser or sport bike and have realized they bought the hawg only because of peer pressure and did not realize the fit was not for them...
I have also seen sport riders get off their bikes for cruisers as well, mostly due to comfort issues. Those sport bikes can be hard on the back and wrists.
I use to be a long distance bicycle rider and I can tell within seconds if someone is riding a bike too large for them or not measured to their body. They expended huge amounts of energy riding their bikes. I see the same thing with new motorcyclists, those who have too much power or weight (of the bike) to deal with and can not loosen up for fear they will loose control etc.
Spend a week, play on the new bikes and figure it out that way.
As for help in a less experienced person riding a larger CC bike, if it was me, and I had the positive cash flow - I would purchase some motorcycle safety classes, experienced rider courses or sport bike courses on a track because no matter what bike you have, the more you are taught the more comfortable you are going to be with making the right decision about the bike that will fit you. All sorts of goodies coming from those teaching schools aside from more confidence.
My best to you Alex.

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#16 Unread post by kawgurl » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:02 pm

[quote="Ryethil"][quote="mazer"]
So what do I tell a woman who is convinced that nothing smaller than a VStar 950 is too small. Mostly they're not true newbies and this their first medium to large bike.
At what point should I caution someone that they maybe going a bit too fast or you really can't do that and be truly safe? [quote]

Ryethil - interesting thread. You can't tell a woman anything - don't you know that?? :laughing: Seriously though - at 34 years of age, I took a MC course and bought a brand spankin' new Suzuki C50 (800cc) Boulevard right out the chute and my husband and different friends said I was buying "too small". I agree there is a LOT of peer pressure out there - bigger, faster, smoother, etc. I had to choose MY OWN RIDE and I had no problem telling the guys that! And when I straddled that 800 the first time, I was terrified. :shock: I had ridden minimally when I was a kid, had never been around bikes - never even been a passenger on a bike. But - the terror didn't last very long. I rode that bike and accumulated about 2000 miles on it in 2 months and decided ON MY OWN at that time that I needed a bigger bike for the highway miles we were doing (and being able to keep up to my husband on his BMW K1200RS)! But....starting at an 800 was not too big for me physically - I'm 6' tall and have a 36" inseam and am 'athletically' built (haha) - so throwing that bike around was not a problem for me. I moved up to a 1500 Meanstreak which was 725lbs dry weight and had a beautiful low center of gravity, low seat and taught me a LOT without being big and heavy. The 1700 Nomad that I have now is 830lbs and it actually feels heavy to me - it's heavy off the stand and is just a powerful bike - but I love it. :P

So I guess that's just my 2 cents - I'm not of average stature, so it works to my advantage with the bigger bike being tall. When it comes to other women and bike sizes and where to start - they have to decide for themselves and that comes with lots of research! Doesn't matter what they are riding, just that they are riding.
[b]~Robyn~[/b]
'09 Kawi Nomad 1700

[i]"Sometimes the best communication happens when you're on separate bikes."[/i] ~Author Unknown

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#17 Unread post by Ryethil » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:27 pm

kawgurl wrote: Ryethil - interesting thread. You can't tell a woman anything - don't you know that?? :laughing: Seriously though - at 34 years of age, I took a MC course and bought a brand spankin' new Suzuki C50 (800cc) Boulevard right out the chute and my husband and different friends said I was buying "too small". I agree there is a LOT of peer pressure out there - bigger, faster, smoother, etc. I had to choose MY OWN RIDE and I had no problem telling the guys that! And when I straddled that 800 the first time, I was terrified. :shock: I had ridden minimally when I was a kid, had never been around bikes - never even been a passenger on a bike. But - the terror didn't last very long. I rode that bike and accumulated about 2000 miles on it in 2 months and decided ON MY OWN at that time that I needed a bigger bike for the highway miles we were doing (and being able to keep up to my husband on his BMW K1200RS)! But....starting at an 800 was not too big for me physically - I'm 6' tall and have a 36" inseam and am 'athletically' built (haha) - so throwing that bike around was not a problem for me. I moved up to a 1500 Meanstreak which was 725lbs dry weight and had a beautiful low center of gravity, low seat and taught me a LOT without being big and heavy. The 1700 Nomad that I have now is 830lbs and it actually feels heavy to me - it's heavy off the stand and is just a powerful bike - but I love it. :P

So I guess that's just my 2 cents - I'm not of average stature, so it works to my advantage with the bigger bike being tall. When it comes to other women and bike sizes and where to start - they have to decide for themselves and that comes with lots of research! Doesn't matter what they are riding, just that they are riding.
No you can't tell a woman what to do, not if her mind's set on something but like most woman I know, I want iit to be a perfect world too. :D

The Nomad is a near perfect bike for a lot of women I know. One of the women that stayed over at our house during Christmas rode one. She had the same complaint that it was heavy eps. when taking off from a standstill. When I tried it and think I found out why. It's power band seems raised a bit up the RPM scale. So it doesn't come off a stand still as agile as most V-Twins. But the power makes it a more bearable bike from 10 -70 mph. It seems to have unlimitless powerd but some of the heaviest low speed handleing characteristics that I've seen. Neat bike! :D
Alex
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#18 Unread post by kawgurl » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:03 am

Ryethil wrote: She had the same complaint that it was heavy eps. when taking off from a standstill. When I tried it and think I found out why. It's power band seems raised a bit up the RPM scale. So it doesn't come off a stand still as agile as most V-Twins. But the power makes it a more bearable bike from 10 -70 mph. It seems to have unlimitless powerd but some of the heaviest low speed handleing characteristics that I've seen. Neat bike! :D
Glad you like the bike, Ryethil - but when I said it was "heavy" off the stand I meant PHYSICALLY heavy pulling it up off the side stand. As for power, the Nomad has power to burn and I don't find it handles heavy at low speed at all - in fact it's fairly nimble for its size. Cheers!
[b]~Robyn~[/b]
'09 Kawi Nomad 1700

[i]"Sometimes the best communication happens when you're on separate bikes."[/i] ~Author Unknown

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#19 Unread post by Lion_Lady » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:30 pm

When folks ask for a "first bike" recommendation, I always suggest: Used, small, light. Just something to gain confidence on. I will also vehemently suggest folks who seem to be dead set on a big, brand new anything. Mainly for the "tear factor" of the inevitable newbie drop. I'll suggest folks check out the cost to insure their dream bike before making the decision.

Beyond that, it is up to them, and folks are gonna do what they're gonna do.

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#20 Unread post by IcyHound » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:50 am

Convincing someone about what to ride is about your personal eloquence then anything else if they are already 'set'.

I don't ride cruisers. I don't care for them so i can't help. I'd suggest a sport bike or a street bike because that is what I like.

I'm 5'7 with a 33 inch inseam. I can flatfoot my FZ6. I don't feel the need. I can also pick it up.

There is no 'fairer' sex in my opinion. Proper training and a proper motorcycle. Most of these people need to sit on bikes. They will be surprised that the proper bike size for them is often the one they are most comfortable on as well.
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