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Discussion Starter #1
My GF has expressed an interest in want to learn to ride. So ive signed her up for the training classes.

So wants a bike. Whats a good first bike?
 

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I think it depends on a lot of things, the woman's upper body strength, height, how confident she feels in learning new things.
My wife did this several years ago, she's fairly strong but only about 5'2". Like most of short height she had trouble finding something she could get her feet flat on the ground with. I finally bought a fairly low mileage Honda Twinstar, forerunner to the Rebel. After her classes and after getting some experience we found a very clean '82 Kawasaki 440 ltd and that bike served well for several years.
she says that even though she only had the twinstar for a few months that it was very key to building confidence in her riding skills and that if she had jumped into the 440 as a first bike she might have been more discouraged.
Whatever it is its nice if the bike is sufficently used that one wouldn't be heartbroken if it takes a drop or two.
 

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I bought my wife a Suzuki Savage / S-40. This is a bike with a low seat / center of gravity. She is still working on the confidence level.
 

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You could look for a Yamaha XT250s 225c, low seat height ( 710mm )
Electric start etc. I bought one last year for my wife & she loves it.

34 years since she rode, jumped on & off she went. I think they need to start small to get the idea.
 

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It really depends on the person, coordination, and fitness.

The MSF riding course for sure, and then plenty of time with easy maneuvering in a parking lot, then road rides with little or no traffic, like early Sunday mornings when no one is on the road.

My wife started out on a Honda 600RR sportbike and never had a problem.

Best choice bikes: The Yamaha XT-250, fun, light weight, low seat, and able to go off road to learn about sliding and balance. The Kawasaki Ninja 250, lots of them out there and one of the traditional first bikes.
 

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you have to consider the roads you will be on...a 250 is not going to build confidence if you are on big highways...I think a 400 is the minumum for longer rides and highways. But if you are just staying on local roads and/or backroads, a 250 is great.

I purchased an older GS250 for my wife who is 5'-3". She had little experience. Its a nice little twin with an 8 valve head and six speeds. If you can keep her on small roads, there are many advantages to this type of bike. I think the bike has saved her more than once because she does not yet have the judgement, skill and reflexes for real fast riding. Those extra seconds of time make a difference. If she had a bigger bike she might go faster. I don't even want to think about that....no way is she ready. After another year and some real instruction, then I might let her ride a 400.

My buddy bought a 800 lb 1600cc HD for his wife's first bike. She did the MSF and got a license in a parking lot on a 250...then hopped on a monster bike and just took off! That was very scary.....beyond scary. :eek:
 

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You need to look for a bike that
  • she likes! Don't set her on a Rebel 250 if she's been eying up 675s
  • is lightweight. If she's can't push it from one parking space to another, seek something smaller
  • is cheap. Chances are good that she'll drop it (most people do), and you don't want to pay the earth to fix it.
  • isn't too tall. This is really a matter of what's comfortable. It's possible to control a bike that leaves you on your toes at stoplights, but this makes some beginners uncomfortable
  • has good performance characteristics; smooth power, predictable handling, easily controllable brakes
So, what kind of bikes does she like?
 

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As a lady rider with over 40 years experience I would like to give my opinion for what I required when I started learning. First off don't be encouraged to ride something thats too big to begin with, or it will put you off, we can all ride big bikes when everything is in our favour, like smooth roads, but when you come to pot holes, and grids, and such like, you need something you can control easy, make sure you buy a bike where you can put both feet on the floor.

I started to ride on a 125 Honda then moved on gradualy through various bikes, and now I ride a Bonneville.

Don't rush things, get as much training as you can, and buy the best crash hat and gear you can afford.

Plasma
 

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I put my bride on a GZ250 for the first year last summer. She did great. A perfect bike to learn on. At the end of the season, I put her on a 883 and 1200 Sporty 'cause we had them in the shop-she liked those and was ready for a bit more bike. I'm waiting for a nice Bonnie to get traded this spring and that's what she'll ride-she's ready now.
 

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My wife's first and only bike is a Bonneville. She loves it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Everyone made good suggestions Thanks.

Though, i dont i'll be letting her lose on my bonnie...
 

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You need to look for a bike that
  • she likes! Don't set her on a Rebel 250 if she's been eying up 675s
All good sage advice IMHO especially HD's. My wife is getting to the stage where she is starting to like the idea of owning a bike.

Leonie is 5'1" and 50 kg but she has particular things that she really likes (and dislikes) so I would ask her and then suggest a few alternatives with that theme in mind. I would direct her to some of the safety issues - 2 feet down, not too top heavy, controllable powerband etc.

Having been married for 22 years now, I know not to tell her what she wants or needs. :rolleyes:

LoVel, your fooling yourself, she picked you for your good taste in motorbikes.. :D
 

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Great job getting her in a course. My wife really enjoyed the course she took.

Like what has been stated previously, it is most important that she is comfortable
with the bike she chooses and, of course that she likes the bike. Being comfortable
handling the bike instill confidence, and that is the most important thing when riding.

I was trying to look at smaller bikes for my wife at first, thinking like most people, that
she needs to start out small. However, my wife is 5'11" with a 36" inseam, so she was
not comfortable at all on smaller bikes. We ran across a Honda NightHawk 750 and she
just fell in love with it. It fit her right, was pretty light weight and had more than plenty
of power! In fact, I was against it at first, because I knew it was a very quick bike (severely under rated). But she was smart enough to know that the bike will only go as fast as you twist the throttle. So we got it.

I started her out with just riding up and down our drive way (pretty long) and then riding with me around our block and neighborhood. Then she took the beginner's course, on a Suzuki GZ250 with her knees in her chest.. hahaha. I told her if she can ride that little bike all day, 8 hour trips on her bike should be no problem!.. lol After she took the course and got her license and we started riding to town (about 8 mile round trip) and then venturing farther out.

She has since sold the NightHawk and now rides a Trophy 1200, which will eat my Rocket III for lunch.. lol I've created a monster.. so watch out!.. :)
 
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