bike shopping with wife - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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bike shopping with wife

My wife is tiny, about 5'2" and 120lbs. She learned to ride 20 years ago on a honda cb250. She wants to get back into riding now that I'm learning (I just restored a 80 cb750) so we went to a local dealer to see what fits. She wants a new bike to take advantage of the stimulus tax break thing for 2009.

Sat on a Kawasaki Eliminator 125, Suzuki s40 and she felt they were a tad small. She didn't quite like the foot control placement. Yamaha VStar 650 was too heavy and the foot controls was weird for her. Dealer suggested a Vulcan 500 which was coming in later in the week.

I would love for her to like the er-6n, but she thinks it's ugly and felt it was a bit heavy for her (same for the Gladius). She seems to prefer the ergonomics of a standard bike but her size slots her well for a cruiser. Looking at the specs of the vulcan 500, it looks like a decent non fuel injected bike, but she likes to take turns and was scraping her foot pegs in the MSF course. I'm thinking she would prefer a sport bike if it wasn't for the looks which she hates. The suzuki tu250 would probably be a good one for her but this is supposed to be a hard bike to find.

question 1: will the vulcan get in the way of her sporting tendencies or should we keep looking? I don't want to insert myself too much into her decision making process because if I did, she would be buying the er-6n.

I sat on the same green Versys that I've been drooling over since winter and now that I actually have a motorcycle to ride around on, I find the ergonomics of the Versys are almost the same as my old cb750c..

question 2: would a dealer take a 30 year old motorcycle on trade for a versys? would that deal even make sense? lots of people own multiple bikes, but part of me (hmm, the wife?) won't let me have so many toys .
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:34 AM
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The 500 Vulcan is a nice bike, very dependable engine, (Same as 500 Ninja, and the base design for the 650). Yes it will drag the foot pegs very quickly.

I know the ER6-n looks good, but it is probably too top heavy for her as it can be a problem putting it up right on a sloping surface.

If she likes to corner, then I suggest a KLX 250S, Super Sherpa, KLR 250, or an XT250. All of these can be lowered more. They are light, and can be some fun. They may all be one lung dual sports, but you should see experienced riders on the Dragon give the 600 and 1000 sport bike riders shock.

If she wants something more sporty, the SV650 can be lowered as I ride with two ladies on occasion, and one is 5' 2" and the other is 5' 4". They can give me a workout trying to catch up sometimes.

Other than the above the 250 and 500 Ninjas are good bikes, but you will have to sell her on the looks. The 500 Ninja is better at cornering than the 500 Vulcan due to the configuration and riding position. Straight they are about the same. They are a good comparison in configuration and riding position being a factor in performance over the power plant.

As for the CB750, it depends upon the dealership. Some dealerships make a business out of older bikes and sell them on eBay. However, this type of dealership is far and few between. You would be better to find one of the CB forums, put it on Craigs list, or eBay your self. One other option is to do a search for a Vintage bike show/swap meet. The biggest one in the country was just this weekend at Mid-Ohio racetrack. A good CB can bring in over $2000 depending on the model and rarity. Not to mention the CB is a base for some vintage racers to start with.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:43 AM
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Ninja 250. Have a friend who has one. She is bigger than your wife, but a first time rider, and she absolutely loves it.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 10:58 AM
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Take her to check out a Buell Blast. I got a used one for my girlfriend and she likes it very much. It looks like a naked sport bike but you sit like a standard. It has belt drive which makes it much easier to maintain. Since it is a single, it has some vibes when idling but once you get up to speed it smooths out nicely.

Um, just checked Buell's website and 2009 is the last model year for the blast, so you might want to keep that in mind.


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 11:08 AM
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Ninja 250. Have a friend who has one. She is bigger than your wife, but a first time rider, and she absolutely loves it.
I agree
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 12:41 PM
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Um, just checked Buell's website and 2009 is the last model year for the blast, so you might want to keep that in mind.
You can get a 2010 but is crushed into a cube. Love the videos on their site.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 01:34 PM
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If she wants a cruiser, I wouldn't try talking her into anything else. She probably likes them because she can flat foot them easily. I would seriously look at a Hyosung GV650 - the power plant is similar to the Suzuki SV650 and it's a sharp looking bike. The Vulcan 500 might be okay too. She's smart to stay away from single cylinder cruisers like the S40. Any woman I have known with a single cylinder cruiser has sold it after a year because of lack of guts on the highway.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:53 PM
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+1 on the blast. It is a really fun scoot for the small in stature, and has an almost standard riding position.
All the cruisers are going to absolutely suck in the twisties. My wife is dragging hard parts on her 1200 sportster, and her Vstar 650 is WAY (dangerously) worse.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:54 PM
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Buying a used V seems like the best bang for the buck. You can get a farkled up 08 for 5 grand or so

if it were easy....everyone would do it!
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 06:24 PM
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Check out the Naked Suzuki Gladius! A very nice bike with 650cc.

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Previous bikes
07 Suzuki GSXR 1000
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90 Yamaha FZR 600
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 06:50 PM
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If she wants a cruiser, I wouldn't try talking her into anything else. She probably likes them because she can flat foot them easily. I would seriously look at a Hyosung GV650 - the power plant is similar to the Suzuki SV650 and it's a sharp looking bike. The Vulcan 500 might be okay too. She's smart to stay away from single cylinder cruisers like the S40. Any woman I have known with a single cylinder cruiser has sold it after a year because of lack of guts on the highway.
Stay away from the Hyosung. I saw one for sale after throwing a rod with less the 1,500 miles. I would stay away from the Buell Blast for that matter. There is a reason you see 1,000 of em for sale (cheap). Don't get a crotch rocket style bike where your wife is going to be bent over unless you only want her to ride with you max. 30 minutes before wanting to stop.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 07:42 PM
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I too recommend staying away from the Hyosung due to service issues and it is a cheap knock off of the SV650. With the used prices for a good SV between $2000 and $3200 I'd stick with the original Suzuki.

As for the Buell Blast, they are cheap because all Buells are crap in resale prices, and it is a gutless unit which is why they make good beginners bikes or a short range commuters. This is why I'm looking at them for my 16 year old nephew.

Maloy


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Stay away from the Hyosung. I saw one for sale after throwing a rod with less the 1,500 miles. I would stay away from the Buell Blast for that matter. There is a reason you see 1,000 of em for sale (cheap). Don't get a crotch rocket style bike where your wife is going to be bent over unless you only want her to ride with you max. 30 minutes before wanting to stop.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 07:48 PM
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google Buell Blast and you'll see many dis-gruntled owners. I was looking at one at one time just for the heck of it. After research, I thought it would be best to say away from them. Your call.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:24 PM
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My suggestion, and it has served me well in 20+ yrs of marriage...When she finds a bike she likes and asks what you think say "Its a great bike (insert hon, sweety, darlin etc)". DO NOT add any comments...And I will tell you why...If you steer her towards one bike or another and something, and that can be anything, goes wrong you are going to get the blame...And whatever you do, do not say a bunch of guys on the V forum thought that (insert bike name) would be good for her....Words to the wise

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:33 PM
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My suggestion, and it has served me well in 20+ yrs of marriage...When she finds a bike she likes and asks what you think say "Its a great bike (insert hon, sweety, darlin etc)". DO NOT add any comments...And I will tell you why...If you steer her towards one bike or another and something, and that can be anything, goes wrong you are going to get the blame...And whatever you do, do not say a bunch of guys on the V forum thought that (insert bike name) would be good for her....Words to the wise
Very wise words, however, you don't have to lead a horse to a bad pond to get a drink!!
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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I totally disagree with those who are banging on the Blast. My friend's wife bought a used 01, 3 years ago and they have gone on 3 long distance trips, her on her Blast and him on his Triumph. They haven't had to do a thing to that bike other than put on new tires. My wife and I bought a brand new Blast for her this summer, she absolutely loves that little bike. I've ridden it a few time, though I much prefer my V, I hafta admit, that little Blast is just like its name suggests, FUN!
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 10:35 PM
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My suggestion, and it has served me well in 20+ yrs of marriage...When she finds a bike she likes and asks what you think say "Its a great bike (insert hon, sweety, darlin etc)". DO NOT add any comments...And I will tell you why...If you steer her towards one bike or another and something, and that can be anything, goes wrong you are going to get the blame...And whatever you do, do not say a bunch of guys on the V forum thought that (insert bike name) would be good for her....Words to the wise
Very good idea!!! If she is not happy... You know the rest...

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07 Suzuki GSXR 1000
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06 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce
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05 Suzuki Vstrom 650
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 06:59 AM
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My suggestion, and it has served me well in 20+ yrs of marriage...When she finds a bike she likes and asks what you think say "Its a great bike (insert hon, sweety, darlin etc)". DO NOT add any comments...And I will tell you why...If you steer her towards one bike or another and something, and that can be anything, goes wrong you are going to get the blame...And whatever you do, do not say a bunch of guys on the V forum thought that (insert bike name) would be good for her....Words to the wise
This would have been best started with "If your wife is anything like mine"

All relationships are different

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 07:23 AM
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I totally disagree with those who are banging on the Blast. My friend's wife bought a used 01, 3 years ago and they have gone on 3 long distance trips, her on her Blast and him on his Triumph. They haven't had to do a thing to that bike other than put on new tires. My wife and I bought a brand new Blast for her this summer, she absolutely loves that little bike. I've ridden it a few time, though I much prefer my V, I hafta admit, that little Blast is just like its name suggests, FUN!
I was the first guy to suggest the Blast and all of the criticism of the bike was starting to get me down. I'm glad to see someone else come to it's defense. It appears to me those that quickly discount the bike have had no experience with it. Does the bike have issues? Yeah, but what bike doesn't? I think pickandpray should make his wife aware of the Blast. If she takes interest, then go check one out. The ergonomics of the bike and the type of riding it can handle should make it a strong contender. If she doesn't like it, move on and find something she does. The worst thing that could happen is she could end up with a bike she doesn't like. How could she enjoy riding if it's on a bike that doesn't suit her?


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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-27-2009, 07:41 AM
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I've been through this, the best advice I can give you is take your time and have fun shopping.

But if I was to make a crazy guess based on what you have told us. The fact that she learned on a 250 and THAT is going to be what she is going to expect from a bike (size/weight), plus her size/weight. Also taking into account she doesn't like the looks of sport bikes I would seriously look into the Suzuki tu250. I really don't think they are hard to find, I watched one being built and it really is a nice little bike for a good price.

Later on she might want something more but for now I don't think you could go wrong with the Suzuki or any of the smaller cc bikes (around 250) that have been suggested.

My 2 cents.

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