Poll
Question: In your opinion, what's the best used newbie sport bike for short inseams?  (no cruisers)
Kawasaki Ninja 250 - 23 (46%)
Honda CBR 250 - 9 (18%)
Suzuki SV 650 - 4 (8%)
Honda 599 - 1 (2%)
Yamaha FZ6 - 1 (2%)
Ducati Monster (small one) - 1 (2%)
Kawasaki Ninja 650 - 9 (18%)
Choose your own and post reasons below please. - 2 (4%)
Total Voters: 50

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Topic: Best bike for short folk (new to riding)  (Read 8082 times)

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veefer800canuck
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 04:20:32 PM »


You / he might also want to look for a Nighthawk 250 or 450.


Not a sportbike. Reread poll question.

I voted Ninjette because it's a twin cylinder. Better on the highway for longer distances than a single like the CBR250.

Sounds like your friend will need it lowered anyway.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 04:24:49 PM by veefer800canuck » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2012, 01:01:32 AM »

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I'm compiling a shopping list for the dude to use after he completes his MSF course... at least I talked him into that.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2012, 07:10:45 PM »

How short are you talkin? I'm thinking a Gurney Alligator!   Bigsmile I'd say any  smaller bore bike would do--- narrow engine means as much as the height of the seat . I'd lean more towards a small standard than a sportbike, though. Fewer expensive parts to replace.  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2012, 01:37:29 AM »

@ Gnigma-

I'd say he's all of maybe 5'5"...

Yeah, a thinner chassis might help, I don't think he'd be really opposed to a standard, but he just can't get behind a cruiser.  He wants something he feels more "on top" of, and I've convinced him that in the metro where we live, better handling > looking like a pirate. Lol

Thanks for all the input guys, I've printed all this out for his perusal.  Good info all around. Smile
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2012, 07:30:55 PM »

Older Suzuki GS500 (i.e. not the current faired version).

Not a cruiser.  Not a sportbike, so no fairings to crack when your friend drops it.  And s/he will.  Can be found for  $1-2K.  Low maintenance.  Cheap insurance.  And after 6 months of learning on it, your friend can easily dump it off on CL or a neighbor.  It's the perfect beginner motorcycle.  
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« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2012, 07:50:59 PM »

Whatever bike your buddy gets, my suggestion is to learn to support it with only one foot down--usually the left (right stays on the rear brake pedal when stopped).  This is much more comfortable for a short-ass than trying to tippy-toe the bike, and will allow him to ride a taller-seated bike that he expects.  The desire to "flat-foot" a bike when learning can limit one's choices; my opinion is that short beginners should learn the one-foot-down method right off the bat, so they don't become dependent on having both feet down.  Being comfortable on bikes you can't "flat-foot" will really expand the field when it comes time to purchase the next bike.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2012, 12:35:02 AM »

Ninja 650.  Easy, cheap, comfortable.

30k on mine and I still love it.
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2012, 02:01:15 AM »


Ninja 650.  Easy, cheap, comfortable.

30k on mine and I still love it.


Kid you not, true story here...

Friends @ work are selling a 650 ninja... My buddy tried it out WITH a lowering link... had to see-saw it to keep it upright.  

I'm pushing him to the 250 ninja or 250 CBR. Smile
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2012, 05:11:48 PM »


Kid you not, true story here...

Friends @ work are selling a 650 ninja... My buddy tried it out WITH a lowering link... had to see-saw it to keep it upright.  


So what?

I'm shorter than your buddy (all of 5'4"), and I'd ride a regular 650 Ninja without even thinking about it.  He's gotta get out of the mental rut of needing both feet flat on the ground, or he'll be stuck with cruisers (I know at least one rider, almost exactly my height, who refuses to ride sport bikes because they're "too tall"--meanwhile, I've never owned a bike I could flatfoot since I started riding around 1977, and it has never been an issue for me).

His legs aren't gonna get any longer, he's gotta just suck it up.  Once in motion, he'll actually have an advantage over many taller riders on sport bikes because he won't have the same degree of knee bend (although he may need to move the bars back too compensate for shorter arms).

BTW, at one point before I bought my Firebolt, I did demo a Buell Lightning Low (factory lowered, 28 1/2" seat height)--I preferred the regular height Lightning, and indeed the Firebolt I ended up with was taller yet--and even taller with the harder, thicker "touring" seat I've added.  My point is, you can be perfectly comfortable with a bike you can't flatfoot.
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2012, 05:40:53 PM »

Just tell him to get some boots with lift.  Nothing wrong with that - it's a safety thing.  Will make whatever bike he buys much more comfortable.

-Dan
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2012, 08:04:18 PM »


Just tell him to get some boots with lift.  Nothing wrong with that - it's a safety thing.  Will make whatever bike he buys much more comfortable.

-Dan


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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2012, 09:43:34 PM »

Now, Poof has a valid complaint--I've never met her, but AFAIK she really IS short (I have a sister her height, just shy of 5' tall)--so yeah, seat height is a concern for her.  Lowering links, all that stuff (and she still probably can't flatfoot her bikes).  But at 5'5", your buddy should be able to comfortably deal with the majority of bikes on the market.

I know there is a psychological advantage to being able to get both feet down, but--it's a crutch, and as I said earlier, the earlier done away with, the better.

(BTW, you mentioned he had to "see-saw" the Ninja 650--that indicates to me that he's trying to get both feet down.  Tell him to put his right foot up on the peg and cover the brake pedal, and only keep his left foot on the ground--he can kinda scootch his butt over to the left if he has to.  There are advantages to this beyond making it easier to balance the bike; for example, hill starts are MUCH easier for a beginner if he's holding the bike with the rear brake and can concentrate on the throttle only with his right hand.  It's the method I taught when I was an instructor, and I do it myself to this day.)
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2012, 10:35:32 PM »


Now, Poof has a valid complaint--I've never met her, but AFAIK she really IS short (I have a sister her height, just shy of 5' tall)--so yeah, seat height is a concern for her.  Lowering links, all that stuff (and she still probably can't flatfoot her bikes).  But at 5'5", your buddy should be able to comfortably deal with the majority of bikes on the market.


Yay, I'm validated!  Bigsmile  Yeah, I've never flatfoot a bike in my life (even my Ninja 250).  I'm 5'1", 27" inseam.  

I can see the point for wanting more foot down as a brand new rider, though.  My first "real" bike was the SV650S, which I never lowered (I've only ever lowered one bike) and, while I was obviously certainly capable of riding it, I never really stopped being intimidated by it.  Some of it is that the SVS was pretty top-heavy, so once it started tipping over, it was going over -- and it went over at 0mph a LOT -- but I can see wanting the crutch of being close to flatfooting for one's first bike.

You're totally right though, of course, that it's not necessary.  And I completely agree with the cover-the-right-brake-and-keep-the-left-foot-on-the-ground method.  That's absolutely the way to go.

I'm a way better rider on the Ninjette than I ever was on the SVS -- in part because of the extra years of riding, but also because the bike just fits me better.  I wonder whether I would have been a much better rider had I started on something like a Ninjette that was less intimidating (physical size of the bike only; I'm not referring to displacement).

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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2012, 01:35:55 AM »

I voted for the Ninja 250, because that is what my first bike was. (brand new off the show room floor in 1989!)  Cool
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« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2012, 01:51:16 AM »




Yay, I'm validated!  Bigsmile  Yeah, I've never flatfoot a bike in my life (even my Ninja 250).  I'm 5'1", 27" inseam.  

I'm a way better rider on the Ninjette than I ever was on the SVS -- in part because of the extra years of riding, but also because the bike just fits me better.  I wonder whether I would have been a much better rider had I started on something like a Ninjette that was less intimidating (physical size of the bike only; I'm not referring to displacement).

Yes, you're validated Smile and quite pregnant  Bigsmile (only two weeks to go, eh? Bigok )

Intimidation...yeah, it's a factor, I'd say more of a factor than many riders (especially young guys) will ever admit.  The thing is, Poof, you were kinda forced into riding bikes you couldn't flatfoot, and you just learned how--it was that, or don't ride at all (at least, so I assume--that's how it was for me, anyway).  A guy who's 5'5" or so, though, is on the crux--he has a choice, there may be some bikes he can flatfoot, or at least nearly so, especially if he considers a cruiser.  My issue is that if he goes that route, he may get "locked in" to that mindset, like the cruiser rider I mentioned above, who's convinced she can't ride a sport bike due to seat height.  I think that crutch is best thrown out early, because once a person depends on it, they can have trouble giving it up.
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« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2012, 02:00:51 AM »

Hmm...

Maybe it's my thinking that needs to change.  I'm a 6-footer and can flat-foot pretty much anything (probably my fat ass squashing the springs helps too).  I've always kinda treated the feet as a landing gear, they only touch at a dead stop and don't move again until I start feathering the clutch, then it's immediately back to the pegs.  I'm a feet down snob if you will, and secretly snicker at the pirates on their cruisers who have to waddle away from an intersection and then it takes them 10 minutes to get their feet on the floorboards.

Anyway, for ME, I drop both and I'm set.  It's a habit I learned with the good Oklahoma pickup trucks that bleed 10w30 all over the damn roads around here.  Today on my commute I did the one foot covering brake, one on the ground, and I was really pretty surprised.  Found myself paying closer attention to where I was stopping, where my foot would be planting at and it just felt more natural.

I sense a technique change.
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« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2012, 02:09:23 AM »


A guy who's 5'5" or so, though, is on the crux--he has a choice, there may be some bikes he can flatfoot, or at least nearly so, especially if he considers a cruiser.  


True, but Yokel's first post said that the friend has a very short inseam, like 26".  That's even shorter than mine.  He would have some advantage in the height department because the reach to the bars would presumably be easier for him (I'm guessing his extra inches would be made up in torso), but inseam seems more relevant than strict height.
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« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2012, 02:15:45 AM »


I've always kinda treated the feet as a landing gear, they only touch at a dead stop and don't move again until I start feathering the clutch, then it's immediately back to the pegs.  I'm a feet down snob if you will, and secretly snicker at the pirates on their cruisers who have to waddle away from an intersection and then it takes them 10 minutes to get their feet on the floorboards.


That's absolutely true, but when you don't have a lot of inseam, you have to really pay attention to putting your feet down at a dead stop.  Lol If you're tiptoeing your bike as opposed to flatfooting (or even having the balls of your feet firmly on the ground), you can get into trouble if your dead stop has even the slightest bit of sand/oil/gravel, or if it's at a camber -- I always put my left foot down, for example, and if the road tilts down to the left, I can lose my balance really quickly.  With a lightweight bike, that's less of a problem, but if you're tiptoeing a top-heavy bike and the ground isn't where you expect it to be...

Also, parking fun.  My husband is 6'4", bless his heart, and he still doesn't understand why I have to circle the parking lot before choosing a spot to park in.  Even though I don't "duck waddle" the bike while sitting on it -- I get off and push the bike from the side, always -- I have to make sure I'm not parking at a decline or on a camber.  
 
BTW, I totally make fun of those guys too that take half a block to put their feet back up on the pegs.  I call it hoverfooting and I always yell about it when I see it, even if I'm in the car.  This is potentially one reason why I have few friends.  Lol  But seriously, I see people do it all the time (sport bikes, too) and it's just stupid. I have no problem being a Judgey McJudgeyFace about hoverfeet.
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« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2012, 02:16:14 AM »

Sadly, today it looks like all this may be a moot point... the guy's got the house-bug now and is actively shopping.

A bike may be back-burnered for a while, and wisely, he's not looking until he's got the MSF course done.
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« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2012, 02:18:54 AM »


 I call it hoverfooting and I always yell about it when I see it, even if I'm in the car.  This is potentially one reason why I have few friends.  Lol  But seriously, I see people do it all the time (sport bikes, too) and it's just stupid. I have no problem being a Judgey McJudgeyFace about hoverfeet.


/thieving hoverfooting.

That's too funny.  *hi-five to the other judgemental jerk*  

Hahaha!
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