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Re: starter bikes

I had a Silverwing for 2 and half years. Easiest to ride bike I ever owned. Extremely comfortable, plenty of storage (if she carries a purse, she'll love it), good mileage, better handling and braking than most cruisers, and plenty quick enough for n00b. The CVT will let her focus on taking the right lines and paying attention to traffic and obstacles instead of picking the right gear. It's extremely easy to handle at low speeds and has an incredible low center of gravity. It'll hold 75 to 80 mph on the freeway without sweating and still has plenty enough pull at those speeds to keep you out of trouble. It can handle twisties better than a cruiser - if I had to guess, you have about 40 degrees of lean before you start dragging the exhaust on the right side and probably 45 before you scrape the floor board on the left. Tires last about 15000 miles in the front and about 12000 on the rear and are quite a bit cheaper than most motorcycle tires.

It also tours very well. Excellent comfort and weather protection. In 05, I did a 6500 mile road trip in 8 days and wasn't too sore when I got back. Never had a mechanical problem and I didn't even change the oil. It seems to run happily on neglect. Highly recommended for a newbie.

The only real downside are a 150 mile range. After about 700 miles in a day, the seat starts to feel like an overstuffed marshmellow and creates a few pressure points. The suspension tends to wallow at higher speeds, and it can feel a little nervous north of 85-90 mph. It's also only adjustable for preload, and that, only in the rear.
 
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