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I am 55. I've had a motorcycle license since I was 15. My wife has ridden on the back of numerous motorcycles I've owned over the years. She has talked for YEARS about getting her own. Now she is finally serious. Problem is she is 5'5" with a long torso and short legs. I have a 2019 V650LT and absolutely love it, but am not willing to spend the money on a new V650 or X300 and having it lowered only to discover she isn't confident enough to ride her own bike.

I need suggestions on a used model that she could easily flat foot while stopped.
 

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Typically, cruiser style bikes are the best options out there. Many low seat height options to choose from that won’t break the bank. Most do a great job of keeping the weight low as well. Let your fingers do the walking on the internet. Tons of information out there. Will your wife enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Course? Good luck to you both!
 

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Will your wife enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Course? Good luck to you both!
She was enrolled in on this past April, but the company teaching it stopped ALL classes for the entire year because of this ridiculous plandemic (yes, I spelled it correctly).
 

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Look at the Vulcan s 650. For several years it came with 3 different size options. Low seat and the same engine as your versys 650. Enough bike that it will last a while in a low seat package. A HD 883 is also a low seat option in bigger looking bike.

Please have her take a rider safety course. A buddy got his wife a bike and on one of their first rides she ran wide in a left turn onto an entrance ramp hit the curb then the guardrail. Not a good result.
 

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Please have her take a rider safety course. A buddy got his wife a bike and on one of their first rides she ran wide in a left turn onto an entrance ramp hit the curb then the guardrail. Not a good result.
I strongly support this suggestion. If the OP has never taken it, he would benefit as well.

I started riding when I was 15 back in the early 60’s. I stopped after graduating from HS but picked it back up in the 90’s. The first thing I did before buying my first modern bike was to take the basic MSF course. I was stunned at what I didn’t know, not just about safety but about skills that allow you to have more fun on 2 wheels.
 

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The Virago 250 is low and super easy to ride. But it is lightweight and thus not suited to highway riding. It is a good platform to learn on and to just bop around on around town.

After getting some experience, trade up for something she chooses. There are a lot of choices out there for someone her size.
 

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I strongly support this suggestion. If the OP has never taken it, he would benefit as well.

I started riding when I was 15 back in the early 60’s. I stopped after graduating from HS but picked it back up in the 90’s. The first thing I did before buying my first modern bike was to take the basic MSF course. I was stunned at what I didn’t know, not just about safety but about skills that allow you to have more fun on 2 wheels.
My story is very similar to yours. I started riding at age 13. Graduated HS in 1983 and rode maybe three times after that until 1999. I took the beginner's course and the advanced course. I was also amazed at what I didn't know. I'm on my 6th bike since then

Rest assured everyone. My wife WILL take the course before we get her a bike.
 

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Kawasaki Vulcan 650
 

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Burgman 400 is a good choice. I actually bought a 2019 for my wife (5'5") but oddly enough, I ride it more. Seat height is about ≈29.5". It is a blast in the twisties and with CVT, it is throttle and go...
bike.jpg
 

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I'd second the suggestion of looking at a scooter like the Burgman. I have one and it is way, way easier to ride than my Versys, or probably any motorcycle that doesn't have a DCT. The vertical center of gravity is much lower, rear brake control on the handlebars means that both feet are free to steady the bike at stops and on hill starts. Get one with ABS and you also remove safety issues that could arise from mis-use of the brakes causing a front wheel tuck. The first time you see her have to do a hill start into a right hand turn you'll appreciate it. Also works great for grocery store runs!
 

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this is interesting. First I'm only 70 and my wife is 68 ( and also short). We used to ride dirt bikes in Utah and Colorado, some pretty technical stuff, even if I say so myself. About 25 years ago, we both took the msc with the intention of her riding on the back. At the end of the 2 1/2 day class, she told me she would ride her own. So some years later (we are still riding dirt bikes) a friend says let go to the Panama Canal on motos. Say what? We bought KRL650's ( we are both vertically challenged) and lowered them. Short story, 2007 and 2012 we rode from Tucson into Central America, for 3 months each time, never making it to the Panama Canal but we did make it to El Salvador both times.
A few years ago, I bought her a v650, and just like the KLR, it took a ladder for inseam challenged people to get on. I lowered her bike with motowerks lowering links. She still rides like a banshee and we live in the mountains with lots of fun twisties ( I ride a lowered v1000 now).
After she got the v650, the first ride ( we use communicators which are very important to us), she radios and says 'where are you, I can't see you' in a long stretch of twisties not to far from our house.
Be careful what you wish for. My wife knows how to ride and she will lead us sometimes going at a pretty good pace.
I'm setting up a blog for her ' Grandmas over 65 with a need for speed'
 

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I am 55. I've had a motorcycle license since I was 15. My wife has ridden on the back of numerous motorcycles I've owned over the years. She has talked for YEARS about getting her own. Now she is finally serious. Problem is she is 5'5" with a long torso and short legs. I have a 2019 V650LT and absolutely love it, but am not willing to spend the money on a new V650 or X300 and having it lowered only to discover she isn't confident enough to ride her own bike.

I need suggestions on a used model that she could easily flat foot while stopped.
I am a 55 year old woman who never rode a motorcycle in my life until about a year and a half ago. Granted, I am not short, but if you want this to be successful with your wife I recommend biting the bullet and getting the x300. It is without doubt the best beginner bike out there. It is lightweight and within just a few months I was riding on and off road with confidence. The clutch is light and forgiving and the low power is super important as she won't risk having that back wheel grab on the downshift, which is still scary for me when I ride a bigger bike. Its not a forever bike- the brick seat will take care of that and I cannot find a replacement that is much better than the original. But I am totally sure that I would not have become passionate about riding like I have if I had started on a different bike. I dropped it probable 10 times at least in the beginning, always coming to a stop on a hill. But after you've dropped it once, its scratched so who cares? The beating gives it a little cred. Since then, I've ridden my husbands Versys 650 and also rented a 750 BMW for a long weekend. I did take the safety course in the beginning, which I would highly recommend when this craziness or over. Just do it. What else is there to do nowadays anyway but go for a ride?
 

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Typically, cruiser style bikes are the best options out there. Many low seat height options to choose from that won’t break the bank. Most do a great job of keeping the weight low as well. Let your fingers do the walking on the internet. Tons of information out there. Will your wife enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Course? Good luck to you both!
....agree with this. And women have always tended to like the cruiser style rider triangle (feet forward) style of riding better than the rearset peg style.
 

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I am 55. I've had a motorcycle license since I was 15. My wife has ridden on the back of numerous motorcycles I've owned over the years. She has talked for YEARS about getting her own. Now she is finally serious. Problem is she is 5'5" with a long torso and short legs. I have a 2019 V650LT and absolutely love it, but am not willing to spend the money on a new V650 or X300 and having it lowered only to discover she isn't confident enough to ride her own bike.

I need suggestions on a used model that she could easily flat foot while stopped.
I'd like to chime in, as one of the few women on this forum.

For one, while I admire you asking on her behalf, I really hope you're sharing this answers with her. I'd also really encourage her to sign up on this (or any other) forum and ask questions on her own. There's also a FB group called "Motorcycle Confidence & Exploration" that I'd encourage her to join. There are years and years of experience, on a variety of motorcycles, in that group. If your wife would be more comfortable asking questions to other women, it's a great resource. I apologize if she's already being proactive. Your original post didn't mention it, so I thought I'd just say that her active involvement in the process could really help her stay excited and get answers to questions she might have along the way, rather than wait for you to be able to ask questions for her.

That said, this is my female POV speaking:

If she's just starting out, she should think about bikes on which she can feel comfortable and in control while she builds confidence -- bikes she can flatfoot and bikes that are forgiving of newb mistakes. As others have mentioned, this likely means a cruiser (but could also mean a standard), and there are a number of great beginner cruisers in the 250 - 650 cc range that are great for building confidence and allowing her to grow into the sport. I am the opposite of your wife -- gifted with a generous inseam, but even so, a tall bike like the Versys does require my experience, control, and confidence for low-speed maneuvers.

She should absolutely sign up for the BRC which, among other things, will give her a chance to sit on a few styles of bikes. That would allow your wife to start getting comfortable with a particular style (or styles) of bike in a controlled, safe environment.

Have her shop online to see which bikes she likes, and then go and have her swing a leg over one and "try it on." The seat test has helped me narrow my choices for every bike I own. I've been in love with some bikes on sight, and then sat on them and knew they weren't for me.

Finally, if she signs up here, she's totally free to ask me anything on this thread or in PMs.

Good luck!
 

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I’d suggest having her check out the Suzuki Savage 650 thumper. They calling it the boulevard s40 nowadays. Low seat easy handing bike that’s been around forever. Can probably find a nice price on a lightly used one in good shape. Good looking bike that can handle the road without being too much for a new rider, but enough to hold her interest.
 

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Kawi Z400 or maybe Honda Rebel? Just throwing it out there
The new updated Rebel was my first bike 3 years ago. Great 1st bike. Easy to ride/learn, light and it's seat is low to the ground. However, skip the 300 version. It feels like it's going to vibrate apart at high rpm. Hands, butt, feet were always numb after a trip on country roads. And my private parts would hurt for a few days after. Bike had to go. Great for in-town hoppin' around....but NOT for over 55mph. I will never own a thumper again.
 
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