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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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My wife did the same thing and ended up with the Virago 250. Unfortunately, she lost interest in riding so I've got a pretty mint 250 with 500 miles on it sitting in the garage. Maybe we can work a deal :0)
 

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Let us cut to the chase (reality) Get her a small used bike, that way the learning curve will be less steep, the chances of her becoming one of "us" (perish the thought) will be much better, the initial investment small, and the inevitable crashes cheap to fix (it will happen) and if she gets the hang of it and decides that she wants a newer, bigger bike, the initial experience will be the deciding factor rather than a premature hare-brained one.

There, I knew I should have been a marriage counselor :)

 

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I met a guy who owned a Road King that tore some ligaments in his ankle pretty badly that required surgery. During his recovery he wanted to ride but was afraid of all the weight of the dressed Road King. He picked up an S40 to ride till his ankle was 100%. Now 2 years later the Road King stays parked more often than not. He loves the thing.

Not sure i would feel the same but...
 

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I highly recommend the Kawasaki Super Sherpa, 250cc dual purpose bike. She will probably learn on something similar. I thought I would outgrow mine, but I still love it. 80mpg, go anywhere, great low speed manuverability, low seat height... like a mountain bike with a motor.
 

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Re: starter bikes

I started riding on a 800 intruder, CC's doesn't mean its not appropriate for a beginner, other factors can mean more. before I got the 800 I almost bought a Savage, but being that wherever I want to ride here mens at least 20 mins of 70mph speeds (or you get ran off the road), I went with something capable of that speed.

That said, I'd look at the 500 ninja or 500 Vulcan, depending if she likes the Cruiser or Sportbike style better, either would be great for starting out.
 

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Congratulations cool to hear about spouses getting into motorcycling. I think I am going to go out and buy a bike for my wife. She is too frugal to buy it for herself. If I was going to do that I would seriously look at used bike. My wife is natural athlete and is 5'9" so I think she would think the Rebel to be too small and she would grow out of it quickly I would probably look at bigger bike with a friendly power delivery the SV 650 Suzuki comes to mind even a HD Sportster 883.
 

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If your wife is tall enough, why not consider some type of dual sport? Really, I don't know why more people don't start out on dual sports. Yeah, they're ugly, but there's a certain beauty in that. If you drop a dual sport, as long as it still functions, a few scratches or dings don't make it look any worse. I started out on an EX500 then upraded to a Triumph Sprint ST, which I still have. Last year, I got a used KLR650 for pocket change and have loved every minute of it. I ride it as often, if not more than, the Triumph. And there's been practically no limit to where I ride it, too. From the interstate to forest trails to a motocross track (a bit of an ask, but do-able for an idiot like me). If your wife wouldn't find the size of the KLR intimidating, it's really a decent bike to start on and one that could keep her happy for years. If it's too big, there are some smaller dual sports that would share many of the positive qualities of the KLR.
 

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Re: starter bikes

Excellent Post. I agree...
 

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Buy a small used bike to start. My wife took the MSF safety course with the intention of getting her own bike.When all was said and done she decied that she was content being a passenger. She didn't think she had what it takes to pay attention 110% of the time which is what it take to ride a motorcycle on the street aroun the cage driving morons.Please make sure she understands this before you buy her a bike.A dumb ass That I know bought his wife a brand new shadow 600. She wrecked it in a solo accident within 5 miles' doing severe bodily injuries to herself. She took the same MSF course as my wife. My wife was "hell on wheels" on a dirt bike when we were young.
 

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What......? Another, "What Starter Bike Should I Buy" thread? I mean, is that all this site is worth, letting people debate if Joe Newbie should buy an R1 or a Honda 250?



Or is this just some cheap way to divert subscribers from realizing that there's not much content on this site anymore?



Oh yeah, and how much longer are we going to have to stare at the "featured" BMW every time we log on?
 

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I had my Kawasaki KLR650 in for service at the local dealer one day. Parked out back, waiting alongside a bunch of other bikes for service was a suzuki savage. I asked one of the mechanics what he thought about the Savage and he didn't have anything good to say about it.



I still like the looks of it, but it'd be way too small for me.
 

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rbrewer, You provided no other info about your wife other than she is a newbie. Age, physical dimensions, and conditions, likes (sport, cruiser, dual sport, etc...) and dislikes would help narrow down a bike appropriate for your wife. That said all I can tell you is don't buy a new Virago, or Rebel, as there are too many barely used, low mileage ones out there, you could easily save a grand on one. I disagree with the recommenced SV650, as while they are light weight, they are just too responsive for a newbie.
 

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Yamaha Virago 250. V twin, low seat, decent power. Used in the MSF courses here in north Florida and inexpensive to boot.
 

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The only problem with the S40 is the clutch. My friend purchased one for his wife after taking the safety course and she was intimidated by the torque and being a single lunger how it was not as smooth as a twin. Kymco and Hyosung also produce decent 250's although they are not made from the big four. Of the big four , I believe the yamaha virago and the kawasaki ninja are the best choices. I would consider used because she will outgrow it but it will start her on a good footing.

 
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