Took my eldest granddaughter(age 20) on a 290 mile ride today on some pretty neat back roads north of Tampa. Yes, decent riding does exist in FLA iff'n you know where to go. I won't say what the top speed was but it was over ton. She loved it.
She wants to get here own bike but is quite petite, 5'0". I showed her pics of a Grom(sp?) and a Ruckus. She lives in Boulder, CO and wants something she can also play with in the dirt. Ideas?
As one of the few ladies on the forum, I think I can chime in. First and foremost? Being petite doesn't always mean a lot. One of my riding buddies is her height, is a Rider Coach, and was riding a Honda ST1100 when I met her. She is now on a BMW F700 GS. It was lowered by the PO, and is the first bike she can flat foot. Full disclosure on myself, I'm on Bike #3. Bike #1 was a 750 cc cruiser that I easily flat footed, and that I gained a TON of confidence with in the years I had it. Bike #2 was a mid-sized sport tourer that I could mostly flat foot, and it was great. Now I'm on the Versys 650, which is the tallest of the three. I can ONLY flat foot it if I soften the rear suspension. With the suspension accurately set, the best I can do is lean just a little to one side and flatfoot one foot. Otherwise, I'm on the balls of both feet. Most of my riding is workday commuting, which means I'm in traffic. I was nervous about being on a taller bike in stop and go traffic, but it turns out that the nerves were for nothing. If I was a newer rider, though, it might be tough until I learned good low-speed maneuvering skills.
I don't have to tell you that the more serious she is about playing in the dirt means a taller bike. At 20, she has time to get a street bike (like a cruiser she can flatfoot) that she can learn riding skills with, and then move to taller bikes and playing in the dirt when she's a more proficient rider with the confidence to do so. Not many people have that kind of patience.
So that said? There are a few videos by women who ride tall bikes. This video I have below, in particular, was one I found useful. While the rider is 5'3" (and slightly taller than your granddaughter), one of the bikes she demos with (Yamaha WR250R) does not allow her to flat foot it at all, and she provides some fairly decent tips. You'll see this at ~4:18.
Your granddaughter can totally do this. Tell her to take the BRC at a location that includes dual sport or standard bikes. They'll be taller bikes that would also be awesome beginner bikes. She'd have a weekend-long test ride of the type of bike she'd want, PLUS she'd have professional instruction for that bike in a controlled situation. But really? We all know choosing a bike is a personal thing. She should swing her leg over a few to see which she feels best on.