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Know this has been beat to death but.... Looking for beginner bike for wife

Joined
Nov 29, 2017
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Archer City
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Zachary
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Bagley
So, just took the wife for a ride on the 01 sprint st 955i that I just traded a Kawasaki voyager xii for, and needless to say, she for sure wants to get her MC license now, so now we are on the lookout for a cheap beginner bike, she doesn’t plan on riding on any dirt roads for any length of time, mainly street, doesn’t have to be pretty or anything, looking to stay under 1k or so, if you have any ideas or bikes even, let me know, thanks!! Also, she weighs about 110 lbs, only 5’3-1/2” tall, benches about 75 just to get some numbers for y’all that know a little more about short bikes and Thanks!!

Thank you again,
—Zach
 

Tourmeister

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Whatever you get, buy used and make sure it is not a bike she will get upset about dropping. Once she gets good, you will have a better idea what she can handle, then you can buy a nice bike.
 
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Whatever you get, buy used and make sure it is not a bike she will get upset about dropping. Once she gets good, you will have a better idea what she can handle, then you can buy a nice bike.
Exactly my thought on a cheap used bike, that’s why looking to stay under 1k
 
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I recognize you set a $1k budget, but bikes like that will need a few hundred dollars to clean up the carburetors and get into good shape. And it is important to have the machine in good running condition for a novice else there will be too many distractions and possible frustration which takes away from the experience. This is based on some of my experience getting my wife started on her own ride.
Try to find a bike that has been kept running in good condition. You may spend a bit more but it will be a better investment in terms of building her enthusiasm and enjoyment of motorcycling.
 

Tourmeister

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I recognize you set a $1k budget, but bikes like that will need a few hundred dollars to clean up the carburetors and get into good shape. And it is important to have the machine in good running condition for a novice else there will be too many distractions and possible frustration which takes away from the experience. This is based on some of my experience getting my wife started on her own ride.
Try to find a bike that has been kept running in good condition. You may spend a bit more but it will be a better investment in terms of building her enthusiasm and enjoyment of motorcycling.
Yeah, TOTALLY agree. I have been down that road with other new riders. For one, I took her around and showed her several $1K bikes. It did not take long to convince her it would be better to spend more to get a good bike that did not need work before she could ride it. However, that will usually push you into the $2.5-3.5K range. The up side of that is that most of those bikes can then be turned around and sold for about what you pay for them unless you tear them up or put crazy miles on them. For most new riders, it generally takes around 5K miles of riding before they really "get it" and become decent riders.

I would avoid ANY bike with fairings, like the Ninja 250/500. She will be very upset if she drops it and damages or scuff up her "new" bike, even if it is not new. Naked bikes or cruisers are a better way to go. You may end up replacing a few clutch/brake levers ;-) That is MUCH cheaper than worrying about trying to fix/replace fairings.
 
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Hmmm, thank you and thanks for the heads up of how to increase the limit with her
 
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Awesome, any bikes you would suggest then? She prefers the sport bike feel, I have had a wee strom, a voyager xii, and then this triumph sprint, and so far the sprint is what she prefers the most, thanks again so much
 

Lucydad

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Look around for a Kawasaki EX 500 Ninja: low to ground, decent brakes and power, and reliable with fuel injection... there has to be one around
 

Tourmeister

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The BIG issue is to get her to understand that her first bike is her learner bike, not her dream bike. You don't want her getting too emotionally invested in the first bike, trust me ;-)
 
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Hmm, how do they do on the highway though? We live in a smaller town so most riding would be to another town over and carbs don’t bother me, just means teacher her how to start it, most of her first rides will be with me following and such, just to make sure she isn’t doing anything that could later on lead to bad/dangerous habits
 
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Tourmeister

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If she hasn't already done so, I would really recommend she take the MSF course. It is not hard and it will do wonders for her confidence before she ever throws a leg over a bike of her own.

I suspect the Rebel 300 would have no problem running 70-75mph. I would be more concerned with whether or not you can put some kind of saddle bags or tail bag on it. Otherwise, she'd always be looking at carrying everything in a backpack even if you just did a short weekend trip somewhere.
 
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Bought my 17 year old daughter a Gen-1 2000 (naked) SV650 from a TWT member. She's been riding two wheels on Texas roads since she's been legal (age 15 for scooters in TX), and has taken the MSF course (I don't ride Harley's, but I highly recommend the Harley MSF course). Her Birthday is in a couple of weeks, so we'll see how it goes. She'll be getting a gift certificate for an advanced rider course as well. ;)

Got it for a good price... but it definitely needed work. Hadn't ran in almost 10 years. 2WheelNut has been a big help, and we've rebuilt the carbs & brakes, replaced the fluids, cleaned the heck out of it, new tires, grips, & mirrors, a couple of sliders in case it (most likely will) gets dropped. I didn't want to buy new or anything with fairings like folks have mentioned here...

I had considered the Rebel or the CB300, but I wanted her to have a bit of power in reserve for highway riding, and I want her to go on rides with me where she would have no problems keeping up with the Tenere or Goldwing. The 2000 SV650 is super cheap to insure as well, plus it's easy to tear down and work on. Yeah... it's carb'd and she'll have to warm it up a bit before she rides, but... hey... I think she'll enjoy it. ;)
 
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I believe she is, she’s into the martial arts, goes 3-4 times a week and before that she worked out 6 days a week, a mixture of cardio and weightlifting at least an hour each day for the past 1.5 years
 
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That Rebel 300 may be the ticket but it isn't in the budget range and used will be limited given it is a new model. It is light years ahead of the old Rebel 250 (which is a fine starter bike) and will handle the highway just fine. It has the CBR300 engine and will pull much longer than the 250 rebel. One thing to consider is the controls - the Rebel 250 had forward controls and the new 300 looks to be closer to a mid-control. Personally, I don't like forward controls for a beginner but most low seat heights are on cruisers and forward controls are the norm. Also, with a really low seat height, you have to move the controls forward some to avoid cramped leg position. Outside of that, the Ninja 250s (prior gen) are among the most common starter bikes
 

Tourmeister

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If you can find a decent used one, an SV650 or SV650S would be good. The only difference is the partial fairing around the headlight cluster on the S model. These are fantastic bikes and she would never outgrow it. My wife had one for a while, then she got a VFR 800. A friend of ours had one and she put just over 70K miles on it before an accident scuffed it and the insurance totaled it (but gave her a BIG check for it!). She was 5' 2-1/4" tall. It had been lowered a bit and that worked great for her. You can put frame sliders on them that really help prevent damage from tip overs. You can put luggage on them and go touring. They get good gas mileage. They have plenty of power. Around 2002/3, or somewhere in there, they got fuel injection I think. But the carbed ones were still just fine.

Stock image of 2001 SV 650S
sv650s.jpg


My wife's bike on a week long trip through Colorado
GIVI2.JPG


Our friend on a trip through East Texas
DSC03470.JPG


More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_SV650
 
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Whatever you get, buy used and make sure it is not a bike she will get upset about dropping. Once she gets good, you will have a better idea what she can handle, then you can buy a nice bike.
Agree. I should have clarified my recommendation for the new Rebel 500. I meant the newest generation.
 
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