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Old 02-19-2013, 07:38 AM   #1
andyc740
 
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Talking Found - WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

My daughter in Austin just bid a tearful farewell to her beloved and battered 1991 Toyota Corolla that she's been driving for years. She decided she wants/needs a motorcycle for her daily transportation. In Austin?

So we're looking for something that would be a good starter bike for a short person (5' 1" if she's not standing on her tiptoes, which she usually is if you're taking a picture) who doesn't have deep pockets.

Any candidates out there? Any suggestions?
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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Originally Posted by andyc740 View Post
My daughter in Austin just bid a tearful farewell to her beloved and battered 1991 Toyota Corolla that she's been driving for years. She decided she wants/needs a motorcycle for her daily transportation. In Austin?

So we're looking for something that would be a good starter bike for a short person (5' 1" if she's not standing on her tiptoes, which she usually is if you're taking a picture) who doesn't have deep pockets.

Any candidates out there? Any suggestions?
I think she will need a cruiser to fit her 5'1" height......but underpowered can be dangerous....I would suggest an S40 Suzuki or a Kawasaki Vulcan 500. These are cheap bulletproof transportation that have more get up and go in traffic than a 250 cc machine. The Suzuki is belt drive and air-cooled....very easy to maintain.
Andy, I ride in Austin traffic several days a week....it is tough, man....not uncommon to have one near miss per week. One has to ride UBER-defensive!
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:15 AM   #3
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

andy C740,
woods fun center has a honda vlx600 shadow that looks new. I think $3995
whiteside motors on koenig lane always has clean bikes.

If she needs someone to take her different locations my wife and I are retired and my wife can no longer ride a bike but she could help her find a good ride.

We recently bought a Piaggio scooter 330cc we can ride two up.A careful attentive person could ride a 200cc anywhere solo.

Eddi O.


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Old 02-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

Wow, into the frying pan as least. What part of town is she and will she be commuting in normal traffic or just down by the University? If she is available on Thursday for lunch, point her at our lunch meet up. We have a bunch of fatherly figures that would be glad to help her get started and be emergency backups if she has troubles.

As far as bikes, what has she ridden so far? I kind of went through this recently for my daughter, but not for a commuting bike. Just one for riding in general. My daughter isn't as short as yours, but we wanted a bike she could flat foot and wasn't too heavy. Ended up with a DR200. Which is fine for the streets, but no way I'd even hit I-35 in Austin on it.

If she doesn't have much experience then something like a Honda Rebel 250 is good. Low and not too heavy.

I'm giving more advice than leads, sorry. Looks like Whiteside has an 2009 Rebel (and others) for 3195. Seems a bit high. I'll keep an eye out for starter bikes and lower mid pack. A lowered Versys would actually be an excellent choices.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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Originally Posted by Gravel Guy View Post
I think she will need a cruiser to fit her 5'1" height......but underpowered can be dangerous....I would suggest an S40 Suzuki or a Kawasaki Vulcan 500.
Sound advice, I'm just such an anti-cruiser sort of person it would pain me to see her on one. I'm currently drooling over the Ninja 250 that Blue Rider just listed: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82079

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andy C740,
If she needs someone to take her different locations my wife and I are retired and my wife can no longer ride a bike but she could help her find a good ride.

We recently bought a Piaggio scooter 330cc we can ride two up.A careful attentive person could ride a 200cc anywhere solo.

Eddi O.


,
Maybe I could talk her into an MP3?

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Wow, into the frying pan as least. What part of town is she and will she be commuting in normal traffic or just down by the University? If she is available on Thursday for lunch, point her at our lunch meet up. We have a bunch of fatherly figures that would be glad to help her get started and be emergency backups if she has troubles.

As far as bikes, what has she ridden so far? I kind of went through this recently for my daughter, but not for a commuting bike. Just one for riding in general. My daughter isn't as short as yours, but we wanted a bike she could flat foot and wasn't too heavy. Ended up with a DR200. Which is fine for the streets, but no way I'd even hit I-35 in Austin on it.

If she doesn't have much experience then something like a Honda Rebel 250 is good. Low and not too heavy.

I'm giving more advice than leads, sorry. Looks like Whiteside has an 2009 Rebel (and others) for 3195. Seems a bit high. I'll keep an eye out for starter bikes and lower mid pack. A lowered Versys would actually be an excellent choices.
Wood Butcher, Eddie O, thanks for the offers of help.

She lives opposite UT on the other side of I35, not sure where her job is. This will be her first motorcycle, which is what has me concerned. She does know how to drive a standard transmission, so that's a step in the right direction.

I agree with the lowered Versys. My re-entry bike was an SV650 and I had a ton of fun on that. The Versys is pretty similar.

I'm just not sure how this will play out...but I would love to see my kids on bikes, all of them.

I'm trying to flush her out of the weeds and onto the forum, though if she does join, twtex may need a while to recover.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

+1 on the Ninja 250!
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

I got this TW200 for my daughter and wife to learn on. Of course, my town isn't Austin.

Low seat height and upright position, seems great for a starter. But interstate compatible it is not. Honestly, I think I'd get her something that keeps her off the interstate for a while, at least until she's got some more experience.

Here's a link, if you're interested.

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthre...ighlight=Tw200
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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Old skool Ninja 500? Freeway capable, relatively low seat, bulletproof design, easy to find used models at a decent price?
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

Honda Rebel? She would like the mpg.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

Hey y'all - i'm the aforementioned daughter of andyc740. Thanks for the many suggestions and offers of help! I still have no idea what I'm doing quite yet, that's what my dad is for. I'm feeling like the headless chicken at the moment, but boy, is it exciting!

I won't be able to make any Thursday meetups b/c i'm stuck at work in West Lake all day, hopefully I'll be able to make contact fairly soon!
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

Well, welcome to the site. All of us here know that the first bike is just the first step towards the "right" bike, but it needs to work for you. Take us up on offers to sit on bikes to get a feel for the size and weight.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:10 PM   #12
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

If you haven't taken the MSF course yet, start there.
(1) It counts as the road test for the M endorsement, handy if you want the license.
(2) They usually have trainer bikes with low seat heights. (AKA demo ride!)
(3) Find out whether you want to become a rider, without having to lay out cash for a bike.
(4) It's important and fundamental training.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #13
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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Originally Posted by DancesWithCurves View Post
If you haven't taken the MSF course yet, start there.
(1) It counts as the road test for the M endorsement, handy if you want the license.
(2) They usually have trainer bikes with low seat heights. (AKA demo ride!)
(3) Find out whether you want to become a rider, without having to lay out cash for a bike.
(4) It's important and fundamental training.
+1
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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Originally Posted by DancesWithCurves View Post
If you haven't taken the MSF course yet, start there.
(1) It counts as the road test for the M endorsement, handy if you want the license.
(2) They usually have trainer bikes with low seat heights. (AKA demo ride!)
(3) Find out whether you want to become a rider, without having to lay out cash for a bike.
(4) It's important and fundamental training.

+2
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:50 PM   #15
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My wife is 5' tall I got her a Suzuki S40 (LS650) she likes it and rides it well. They will go down the interstate with no problems, easy to work on,and some what bullet proof. It is a small framed cruiser. There are a lot of conversion kits for it so when she's ready to change bikes you can build a cafe' racer or chopper. She may like the cafe' racer.


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Old 02-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #16
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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Originally Posted by DancesWithCurves View Post
If you haven't taken the MSF course yet, start there.
(1) It counts as the road test for the M endorsement, handy if you want the license.
(2) They usually have trainer bikes with low seat heights. (AKA demo ride!)
(3) Find out whether you want to become a rider, without having to lay out cash for a bike.
(4) It's important and fundamental training.
+3

Also, please do a bit of a reality check if planning on a daily commute to work from East of 35 across S Austin into Westlake (a route I did for years and traffic's only gotten worse since then) .... its an easy time of year to be seduced by riding in Austin. In a few short months that will be a very hot ride in stop and go traffic even in the morning. More likely than not you'll want a shower and change on arrival at work and any sort of lunchtime errands, even short ones, will soon be foregone. And jaunts to after work activities with friends at 5PM ... well gee. BTDT

I sure don't want to discourage you from becoming a TWT, but I'd rather you not be wishing you had the first bike money for the down payment on something with AC a few months down the road. Bikes as primary transportation can be a real test at times in this town.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:54 PM   #17
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

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+3

Also, please do a bit of a reality check if planning on a daily commute to work from East of 35 across S Austin into Westlake (a route I did for years and traffic's only gotten worse since then) .... its an easy time of year to be seduced by riding in Austin. In a few short months that will be a very hot ride in stop and go traffic even in the morning. More likely than not you'll want a shower and change on arrival at work and any sort of lunchtime errands, even short ones, will soon be foregone. And jaunts to after work activities with friends at 5PM ... well gee. BTDT

I sure don't want to discourage you from becoming a TWT, but I'd rather you not be wishing you had the first bike money for the down payment on something with AC a few months down the road. Bikes as primary transportation can be a real test at times in this town.
+4 Perfect days are few. It's hot or cold or wet or cold and wet. Lots of bikes for sale by folks that fell in love with the idea of riding and then found out the reality.The last two bikes I bought were 4 years old and had less than 400 miles on them. You have to love the ride more than you hate the weather. I do.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:48 PM   #18
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

My wife learned to ride on the previous generation Ninja 250. I lowered it one inch and she is only 5'2". The nice thing about the Ninja is it is so light in addition to it being thin so the little extra seat height can be manged easily. I agree with staying away form the cruiser 250's as they don't do well at highway speeds.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #19
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

The ninja 250 would offer a little fairing protection, it will be a difficult choice. Msf is a great option my brother-in-law and I rode together as children but when my wife decided to learn we chose for her to take the course so we would not teach here any bad habits or forget to teach her something. She forbid either of us coming and watching so we were all so proud when she finished and got her license at age 50. She had a bmw R850R and really enjoyed it,but we grew a little older and I have to ride a scooter and she is only a passenger. But we still enjoy riding and we've had several bikes including HD & goldwings. So as long as when can go legal highway speeds two up we don't care about names or brands. Our 10 yr old grandson thinks its cool HIS grandma had a Harley!


I can surely understand how enjoyable it would be to have all your children enjoy the same things in life that has given us happiness.



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Old 02-19-2013, 11:26 PM   #20
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Re: WTB - Starter Bike for short person - Austin area

Not to discourage you....But just for commuting, you are buying a bike for a young girl new to biking is taking a big risk...Especially someone familiar with that route has said its not the
best route for newbie riders..

Taking MSF course is like putting a diaper on....it prepares you for putting motorcycle on the street and going straight...that's it..
It doesn't prepare you for not getting caught on target fixation, emergency manuevers, decisive life saving decisions made on real streets dangers... Or lots of potenital hazards on the roads or canyons... like unseen oil spots, radiator fluid, potholes, grooves, sandy areas.....all risk factors that even experirenced riders have problems dealing with..

Truthfully...if you are buying bike just for commuting then its wrong vechile...The bike cost more in long run...tires, chains, maintenance...riding msf and advanced course, full leather riding gears, helmet, gloves and then dealing with hot/cold weathers....and the crazy drivers....

I would say,,,,just buy another used toyota and drive that for another long time...safer and less costly in the long run....

Just my 02cents.... Now if you are passionate about riding...then yeah,,,start learning and ease into commuting....practice and self control....

I recently read about a 19yr old girl who died on a new bike in the road on a long wide turn...the motorcycle still had dealer new tags.... What a shame...and sad thing to happen.. Its real out there.... you can ride 99% perfect and the 1% that you didn't can be your last ride....
Motorcycling is not a forgiving sport or hobby....
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