Ladies - Women's first bike choice

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#21 Unread post by Skier » Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:20 am

sleepychicken wrote:My wife and I recently got a 250 Ninja and she loves it. She's 5'6" and can ride it and flat-foot it easily. She used to ride cruisers because that's what all of her family had, and she much prefers the little ninja. Here's my intro post with more of the info on our experience with the bike.

viewtopic.php?t=1296
I'm going to have my GF sit on one of those in a dealer after she gets her endorsement. Might have to borrow it for a few jaunts if we end up getting one for her. ;)
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#22 Unread post by strtchick » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:40 pm

Went shopping again, and saw a new 2005 blue and white yamaha R6 so nice!:-) i also looked at the Ninja but i think i really want to stay with the R6 the thing is the used bikes are almost the same as the new biked the R6 was like maybe 9 somthing out the door, so i think i will just get a new one :-) .,. the more i go look at them the less intimidating they look
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#23 Unread post by chickenhawk » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:59 pm

Which Ninja were you considering? ZX6R?

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#24 Unread post by strtchick » Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:51 am

yes the ZX6R it was like a lime green
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#25 Unread post by chickenhawk » Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:54 pm

I'd have a tough time choosing- it'd probably come down to fit and feel of the bike I guess.

Have fun whichever you choose!

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#26 Unread post by Scott58 » Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:38 am

I would recommend the Honda Rebel to anyone. Very light and a good seat height for shorter riders. Excellent local commuter and not bad on the highway with a flyscreen.
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#27 Unread post by blues2cruise » Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:26 pm

For my first bike I chose a Yamaha V-Star 650. I looked at all the smaller bikes, but because I am tall, I felt squished. As soon as I sat on the V-Star I knew it was for me. The forward controls and the floorboards made it very comfortable for me.
I hired an instructor (who very kindly transported the bike home from the dealer) to learn how to ride my bike.
Once I got past the initial "heaviness" compared to the 250cc's used in classes, I had no problem riding the 650 V-Star.

I think the smartest thing anyone can do is hire an instructor when you are new to riding.
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#28 Unread post by amstaffmom » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:43 pm

I just bought my first bike today!!! I looked and research till I was blue in the face. Went to several shops, several times, and sat on many bikes. I finally fell in love with the a White Suzuki S40. It just felt right! The weight of it and the fact that I can put my feet flat on the ground, being only 5'3" I had to find something for short people. lol! It gets delivered on Wednesday! Can't wait to get it. Even though it will be a little bit before I hit the big roads. Since the only time I've been on a bike was at the MSF course.

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#29 Unread post by Mennis » Mon May 09, 2005 6:05 pm

Hi
Just a thought - have you tried a Harley 883 or 1200 Sportster - they do a special Lowrider version! And boy is that seat low! I think it is about 25" inside leg! And don't listen or read the crap they say and write - they handle really well and go like stink!!!!!! And do you really want to ride the same as everyone else? I have had custom bikes, sports bikes, and a Harley guess which one I have still got?

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#30 Unread post by Rebeccaatthewell » Fri May 13, 2005 7:23 pm

I am curious about something. I realize that the majority of riders on this forum are in Canada and overseas where there are different laws to getting a licence apparently. What I was wondering is that everyone always advised me to start no smaller than a 650 minimum because to get out on the highway with less horsepower than that is like trying to commit suicide. I live in the south in the US and the one thing that southerners do fast is drive like bats out of hell. In fact the only people driving slow down here are the Canadians and Yankees :) So I was just wondering why most people on the forum tell new riders to get "small" bikes like 250s. I have only seen 1 250 on the road in all the time I have been riding and it was in town. not out on the highway. I started riding from no motorcycle background at all and no one here to help me (I did take the MSF course, I'm not stupid :)) on an 800. I had a few nerveracking moments, but I love me bike and I am only 5'3 It is a perfect fit hight wise. Not really giving an opinion really, just curious as to why all the recommendations for smaller bikes because you HAVE to have the power to hang with traffic here and a small bike will get you killed just as fast as a more powerfull one, just in a different way.

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#31 Unread post by bmwmotowoman » Thu May 19, 2005 9:50 pm

I took the MSF course on a 250 Honda Rebel. A month later I got a BMW F650 GSAL. It is a great bike if you plan on riding long distances. It is also the only 650 that ABS is available on(excluding scooters).

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#32 Unread post by karlyn » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:22 pm

i think riding a small bike, more like a scooter is the first thing women shoud start driving as beginners. its more handy and you can adjust balance well. :wink:

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#33 Unread post by Buelligan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:44 am

My first bike was a 500 cc single cylinder Buell Blast, which I bought shortly after taking a Motorcycle Course. It was close enough to the ground that I could get my feet down flat (I'm 5'6"), light weight, enough power to keep up with the bigger bikes, but not so much as to get me into trouble. I did 3500 km then traded it in for a 900cc XB9S, which I still have. For me the Blast was an excellent choice as it allowed me to improve my skills without being over biked, with enough power to travel safely on the freeway.

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#34 Unread post by Loonette » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:02 pm

karlyn wrote:i think riding a small bike, more like a scooter is the first thing women shoud start driving as beginners. its more handy and you can adjust balance well. :wink:
Knowing how to ride a scooter (moped) before getting on a motorcycle is about as useful as riding a bicycle before a motorcycle. They ride very differently than a motorcycle. And why would you say this only for women? Men and women alike should start on small c.c. motorcycles with good instruction and practice as well as a good sense of the road and safety. If anything, I can see getting used to a moped as a hindrance to learning the finer points of motorcycling. This is all just my opinion though, and I may just be talking out of my back end... :wink:

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#35 Unread post by Blexcroid » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:41 am

I agree with Loonette as far as the ride of a scooter being different from the ride of a motorcycle. Most scooters have the engine under your bottom, whereas the motor (and majority of the weight) is centred between your legs and arms on a standard motorcycle, allowing both to control the weight of the bike. Having the CG shifted so far aft completely changes the ride and manageability of the bike. Large scooters such as the Burgman or Yamaha Majesty are advertised as being "highway-worthy", however the front end develops lift at highway speeds, due to this shift in CG and the scoop design of the front end. The vibration in the handlebars also is tremendous at highway speeds. These big scooters also fall over more easily since the weight is not as controllable by just the legs. When scooters were small (80-125cc) smaller women could still control the weight between their legs, even with the motor shifted to the rear. Trying to control a 400+ pound bike with the majority of weight behind you requires significantly more upper body strength than most women OR men have. I have seen many of these scooters "jacknife" around the legs of both men and women, tearing the heck out of their knees. Finally, the seat height of these scooters is often higher than some manual bikes, making the woman stand on tip-toes, further reducing her control of the bike. Bottom line: If a rider really needs an automatic bike due to disability or such, look into a Ridley or a custom automatic. Otherwise, get a small manual tranny bike and grow larger as your capabilities improve. Just my 3 cents.

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#36 Unread post by High_Side » Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:17 am

Blexcroid wrote:I agree with Loonette as far as the ride of a scooter being different from the ride of a motorcycle. Most scooters have the engine under your bottom, whereas the motor (and majority of the weight) is centred between your legs and arms on a standard motorcycle, allowing both to control the weight of the bike. Having the CG shifted so far aft completely changes the ride and manageability of the bike. Large scooters such as the Burgman or Yamaha Majesty are advertised as being "highway-worthy", however the front end develops lift at highway speeds, due to this shift in CG and the scoop design of the front end. The vibration in the handlebars also is tremendous at highway speeds. These big scooters also fall over more easily since the weight is not as controllable by just the legs. When scooters were small (80-125cc) smaller women could still control the weight between their legs, even with the motor shifted to the rear. Trying to control a 400+ pound bike with the majority of weight behind you requires significantly more upper body strength than most women OR men have. I have seen many of these scooters "jacknife" around the legs of both men and women, tearing the heck out of their knees. Finally, the seat height of these scooters is often higher than some manual bikes, making the woman stand on tip-toes, further reducing her control of the bike. Bottom line: If a rider really needs an automatic bike due to disability or such, look into a Ridley or a custom automatic. Otherwise, get a small manual tranny bike and grow larger as your capabilities improve. Just my 3 cents.
Wow, that is completly opposite of my impressions from having a Burgman out for an hour ride. It was completely stable, remarkably so. Totally neutral and stable handling, and it was so balanced that you had to remind yourself to put your feet down at a stop sign. I also put it to the far side of 160km/hr and it was remarkably powerful and stable for a scooter. I found that the engine placement was the greatest contributor to the stability of the bike.
Blexcroid wrote: I have seen many of these scooters "jacknife" around the legs of both men and women, tearing the heck out of their knees. .
Do you ride with a gang of scooter riders with week knees(I know: Is there any other kind)???? :laughing: A slight exaggeration perhaps?????? :P

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#37 Unread post by Blexcroid » Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:57 am

High_Side wrote:Wow, that is completly opposite of my impressions from having a Burgman out for an hour ride. It was completely stable, remarkably so. Totally neutral and stable handling, and it was so balanced that you had to remind yourself to put your feet down at a stop sign. I also put it to the far side of 160km/hr and it was remarkably powerful and stable for a scooter. I found that the engine placement was the greatest contributor to the stability of the bike.
Having any bike out for 1 hour in optimal conditions will not allow you to experience the full range of problems. Wind, riding speed, and body size will change the experience anyone has. Also, most women also carry their CG in their bottoms, adding to the aft CG (no pun intended). Men carry their CG in their upper bodies and tend to place more weight over the front fork, thus balancing the CG better.
Blexcroid wrote: I have seen many of these scooters "jacknife" around the legs of both men and women, tearing the heck out of their knees. .
Do you ride with a gang of scooter riders with week knees(I know: Is there any other kind)???? :laughing: A slight exaggeration perhaps?????? :P[/quote]
Please take note that I was discussing SMALLER women as they tend to migrate to the scooters. A 100 pound woman or one who is 5'4" or less will still find the 400/650cc scooters more difficult to control because of the wide seat and wider stance required from the running boards. The strongest knees won't help if the rider's feet do not completely touch the ground. At 5'6" even I could not completely reach the ground on a Yamaha Majesty. Scooters are common where I live and I have seen my share of men and women have difficulty with them.
I would prefer to respectfully disagree with you as a Moderator than to make a rude response in kind.

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#38 Unread post by Loonette » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:14 am

Slow down folks! While I don't necessarily agree with High-Side (and we've gone around on stuff before, haven't we? :wink: ), he's not acting as "moderator" in this post, and he wasn't being that rude. He's acting as a "member" in this post, voicing his opinion. Don't worry too much about his tone - try to remember how hard it is to read into things which are in print.

I do agree that if you're of a shorter stature, as I am (5'2"), a scooter isn't really practical. I see shorter folks on scooters have to lean them at stops. The only bikes that should have to be leaned on one foot are dirt bikes. A road bike should be flat-footed with both feet.

My basic opinion is, if you want to learn how to ride a motorcycle, then learn on a motorcycle. If you're into scooters for the long haul, then that's what you should learn on.

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#39 Unread post by Loonette » Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:20 am

Rebeccaatthewell wrote:In fact the only people driving slow down here are the Canadians and Yankees :) So I was just wondering why most people on the forum tell new riders to get "small" bikes like 250s. I have only seen 1 250 on the road in all the time I have been riding and it was in town. not out on the highway.
What about Yankees!! Just kidding. Ride around downtown Detroit sometime and tell me how slow we drive. :wink: It's crazy around here. However, folks in rural Ohio drive extremely slow - I do lots of passing around here.

I think we see so few of the 250's because people trade out of them quickly. I started on a 250, and within two months I was on a 600 sports bike (which was really too much at the time - oops.). If your time is used wisely on a 250, even though brief, it just helps prepare you a bit more for the larger bike. But an 800 cruiser for a first bike is probably "okay", if you're the sort of person who can focus on early riding skills as well as on the weight and mass of a larger bike.

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#40 Unread post by Cruzergirl » Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:15 pm

My .02

As a 5'3" woman of ~120lbs I say start on whatever bike you are comfortable with. If that is a 250 Rebel, terrific. If it's a Ninja 250, great too. Even if you decide to get a Honda VTX or a Yamaha V-star 1100 (my bike) then good for you! Sit on a bunch of bikes, get the salesman/woman to hold the front tire and you sit and move the bike around. It is an okay way, aside from test driving, to find out if you are comfortable. When I was looking for my bike my friends all told me to start with the Honda Aero 750 which is a great bike. It just didn't do the trick for me. Good luck! :D
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