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Topic: Bikes for short people  (Read 44417 times)

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« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2012, 08:32:38 pm »

My wife used to ride.  She had a 1981 Honda CB 450 at first, which she could handle relatively well, but was too tall for her.  The next bike was a Honda NT650, a beautiful bike with a 30.5" seat height.  Despite being one of the shorter bikes available without going to a cruiser, it was still to tall for her to feel comfortable.  She hasn't ridden for a number of years, mainly due to low speed confidence.  She's thinking about getting back into it, so we're looking for a shorter bike again.  Very hard to find without going into the cruiser market.  The GS 650 is too tall at 30.5"  It is too bad that there aren't shorter offerings from manufacturers.  Not all girls want a harley.  
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« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2012, 09:48:46 pm »


My wife used to ride.  She had a 1981 Honda CB 450 at first, which she could handle relatively well, but was too tall for her.  The next bike was a Honda NT650, a beautiful bike with a 30.5" seat height.  Despite being one of the shorter bikes available without going to a cruiser, it was still to tall for her to feel comfortable.  She hasn't ridden for a number of years, mainly due to low speed confidence.  She's thinking about getting back into it, so we're looking for a shorter bike again.  Very hard to find without going into the cruiser market.  The GS 650 is too tall at 30.5"  It is too bad that there aren't shorter offerings from manufacturers.  Not all girls want a harley.  


What's her height/inseam?  Remember too that thin/narrow bikes are easier to get a foot down (not to mention a low center of gravity is WAY important) so don't only look at seat height.  Sadly, we shorties really have to "try on" every bike we're considering instead of just looking at a spec sheet. Sad   Also, is she insisting on flatfooting?  If she's OK with having the ball of her foot down, that opens up a lot of possibilities.
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« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2012, 11:02:57 pm »

A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.

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« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2012, 11:34:15 pm »


A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.


Lol  True! I've failed that one a couple of times.   Embarassment
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« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2012, 11:54:42 am »

I'm 5'8", but have shorty legs (29" inseam).  I easily flatfoot my unmodded Ninja 650R.  Even though the seat height is 31.5", the seat is very narrow, so it's easier to get your feet down.

Sorry to hear about your get-off.  It's scary getting back on after a crash.  I'm glad to hear you got back on again after.
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« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2012, 12:37:06 pm »


A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.


I hadn't thought of that... I'll keep that in mind once I'm back into the bike-finding biz. Smile


I'm 5'8", but have shorty legs (29" inseam).  I easily flatfoot my unmodded Ninja 650R.  Even though the seat height is 31.5", the seat is very narrow, so it's easier to get your feet down.

Sorry to hear about your get-off.  It's scary getting back on after a crash.  I'm glad to hear you got back on again after.


I sat on the 650R. In my current riding boots, I can't quite get the balls of my feet down Sad Once I get serious about finding the next bike, again, I think those Ladystars that bluepoof suggested will be in my future. It'll help keep me from being SO limited.

And thanks. Smile The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. Bigsmile I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.
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« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2012, 12:46:43 pm »


And thanks. Smile The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. Bigsmile I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.


I did not learn to ride through the MSF, but rather a for-profit company.  This meant that I had to take the IL state test.  I think I practiced for at least 3 months after taking the class before I got up the gumption to go to the DMV and take the test.  I did it on a Suzuki Burgman 400, which was my husband's bike at the time.  We would ride out to a deserted church parking lot and I'd tool around until I was tired and we would ride home.

BTW, if you need something with a low seat height, you may want to look at the maxi-scooters.  They are comfy and fun as hell to ride.
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« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2012, 01:21:20 pm »


And thanks. Smile The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. Bigsmile I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.


Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. Lol  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   Bigok
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« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2012, 02:00:13 pm »


I did not learn to ride through the MSF, but rather a for-profit company.  This meant that I had to take the IL state test.  I think I practiced for at least 3 months after taking the class before I got up the gumption to go to the DMV and take the test.  I did it on a Suzuki Burgman 400, which was my husband's bike at the time.  We would ride out to a deserted church parking lot and I'd tool around until I was tired and we would ride home.

BTW, if you need something with a low seat height, you may want to look at the maxi-scooters.  They are comfy and fun as hell to ride.


That sounds like my plan for the foreseeable future. Empty parking lots will be my friend.

My husband keeps trying to nudge me toward scooters, but much like my parents made me learn to drive stick shift when I was learning to drive, I feel like I should solidify my skills on a "motorcycle" rather than a "scooter." They do look fun, though.

Or something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYGMJbBcYjk looks like it would be a hoot!


Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. Lol  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   Bigok


Aww, thanks! Bigsmile
I knew if I didn't go right back out (once I decided not to quit entirely) that it would become a "thing" and I'd have even more trouble. And, the more I practice, the sooner I improve and gain confidence and can get out on the road for real. Smile
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« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2012, 02:18:07 pm »




Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. Lol  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   Bigok


It's SO true! It may seem silly, but what I've found helps me a ton is listening to music or podcasts while I ride. It doesn't distract me from what I'm doing, but it does keep any nagging thoughts out of my head.
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« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2012, 06:07:29 pm »




What's her height/inseam?  Remember too that thin/narrow bikes are easier to get a foot down (not to mention a low center of gravity is WAY important) so don't only look at seat height.  Sadly, we shorties really have to "try on" every bike we're considering instead of just looking at a spec sheet. Sad   Also, is she insisting on flatfooting?  If she's OK with having the ball of her foot down, that opens up a lot of possibilities.


True.  But her NT 650 was a narrow bike (V-Twin) and she still had trouble with the 30" height.  She does like to flat foot.  She really has some confidence issues with low speeds despite many many parking lot hours.  And yes, trying it on is key.  
We're trying not to go the cruiser route, but the only non-cruiser I can find with a seat height lower than about 30" is the Buell Blast (25").  
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« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2012, 06:31:41 pm »


the only non-cruiser I can find with a seat height lower than about 30" is the Buell Blast (25").  


G650GS with low chassis:  29.5"
1989-2008 Ninja 250:  29.3"
Honda CBR400RR: 30"
Bandit 400 (admittedly hard to find): 30.3"
Honda CBR250: 30.5"

etc etc. Smile

I've ridden a Buell Blast and didn't really find it any more comfortable than, say, the Ninjette.  I think center of gravity makes a huge impact (I sound like a broken record, sorry), so things like the Beemer with the gas tank under the seat are way easier at low speed.

Again, I really recommend the Daytona Ladystar boots to get a little bit of rise.  If she insists on flatfooting, that extra inch of inseam can make a huge difference.
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« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2012, 06:36:12 pm »


(I sound like a broken record, sorry)



But your song sounds so nice!
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« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2012, 07:46:34 pm »


My husband keeps trying to nudge me toward scooters, but much like my parents made me learn to drive stick shift when I was learning to drive, I feel like I should solidify my skills on a "motorcycle" rather than a "scooter."
As a man, there's about a 50% chance that the reason he's steering you that direction is with the hope that he'll get to ride it.

Alexi - whose "wife's ride" is a honda cbr250r.....and i swear i NEVER ride it.....
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« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2012, 11:35:13 pm »



1989-2008 Ninja 250:  29.3"


Another inch or two can be shaved off the seat easily.  That thing has a massive amount of padding on it.
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« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2012, 06:28:05 am »


As a man, there's about a 50% chance that the reason he's steering you that direction is with the hope that he'll get to ride it.

Alexi - whose "wife's ride" is a honda cbr250r.....and i swear i NEVER ride it.....


I'm sure in his case it's closer to a 75% chance. Smile

Can't complain, though. He's turning into my own personal riding coach. Another hour of practice last night to work on turning/leaning and he worked up a progression of drills that was quite useful (and fun!).
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« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2012, 02:02:02 pm »




.  She does like to flat foot.  She really has some confidence issues with low speeds despite many many parking lot hours.


Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.
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« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2012, 02:11:06 pm »




Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


This--my experience starting out is forced somewhat by needing to break in fresh rings on my bike, but it's a bunch more fun out and about.  I do have easy access to very quiet county roads, though.  When I'm confident the bike is not going to blow up, I'll visit the MSF range and do the low speed stuff.  Looking forward to trying the figure 8 in the box on the Airhead.
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« Reply #58 on: July 11, 2012, 05:54:00 pm »




Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


I'd agree there.  The dirt bike idea especially.  Keep in mind that this is a woman who did ride for several years and whose only initial confidence issue was low speed stuff.  She dropped her first two bikes on oh so many occasions just coming to a stop.  Much of it was poor planning, not picking her spot to stop, or finding herself in a spot that she just couldn't support the bike.  So, we tried low speed work in addition to just miles on the road.  After she recovered from her back injury and wanted to get riding again though, the confidence just wasn't there.  Maybe never will be.  But, if I could find a bike with a low centre of gravity and reasonable seat height, with some wind protection.  I guess she'll have to get a Shadow.  
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« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2012, 05:56:10 pm »



Maybe never will be.  But, if I could find a bike with a low centre of gravity and reasonable seat height, with some wind protection.


Find a bike made to drop.  Bigsmile  Get a small dual sport and put guards on it.  Bigok

Actually it does require a lot of planning on their part (short riders). My wife has to plan every single start and stop as well as where and how to park.  Never park or stop in a way that requires a turn as soon as you start forward motion. Never park in a parking spot requiring you back out uphill. Always use the back brake to stabilize the bike at slow speeds (never the front). Yada yada yada.......

For a person with an inseam around 26 inches she has done really well. She has only dropped her SV once (that I know of) in over 3 years of riding it. Funny the drop was because the kickstand wasn't fully deployed when she stopped for gas. When she realized the problem it was to late. The bike was past the point of no return and over it went on her leg. She crawled out from under the bike and looked around to notice several guys in BMWs and Mercedes just staring and giving her the WTF look. There was a huge lifted truck of some sort covered with dirt bike stickers with two MX bikes in the back. The three guys inside jumped out and came running over asking if she was OK and they picked her bike up for her. She got lucky, neither the bike or her had a scratch. She purchased her gas and was on her way.  Bigok
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