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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter is looking for her first bike.

She is 5'6" and about 200 lbs.

She was thinking about a 250, but we are afraid it might not have enough pep to cruise at highway speed. We then thought about a Suzuki S40 (600cc), but have been told it is a little light (wobbly) for highway speeds above 65.

I want something for her that is not too heavy, handles the interstate well, and capable of going on long distance rides.

I was thinking about the Vulcan 750, but I am open to other suggestions. I also want a bike that is relatively easy to maintain.

I know the 750 used to have problems with the stator going out. Do the later models still have this problem? Does it require you to remove the motor to replace it? I would have had to on my 85 Vulcan 700.

Thanks for any input.

Preach
 

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I have recently went played this game with my wife. She was a bit afraid of riding and did not have a lot of confidence in herself but really wanted to ride. I found her a Kawasaki Eliminator 125. Now this bike is not suited for anything other than backwoods and in town riding. Actuality a bit on the dangerous side because of the lack of power. But it was worth getting since she had never rode any motorcycle before. After a few months of that bike she wanted to move up. We found a 1995 Honda Shadow 600 VLX Deluxe. That bike can go 65 or so easily but it gets buzzy and only has 4 gears. But was a great bike for her to really learn on and the seat height is LOW, which was not an issue for us since my wife can sit on my V2k and flat foot with knees bent. I have no experience with the Kawasaki 750 or Suzuki Savage but I might not would count out the Vulcan 500, never road one but with the parallel twin it might surprise ya.
 

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i always tell people, think of the bike that you really want, then buy the one that is 2 notches down. you can always work your way up later, i see alot of guys, not so much girls, buy what they think they want usually based on their egos and find out that riding isn't that much fun/it scares the sh!t out of them, OR they end up getting hurt. girls don't seem to worry as much about rockin the 250. also, highway stability is something important enough that the factory engineers ensure on EVERY bike, not just the big cruisers.

on a personal note, i've been thinking alot about the new kawi baby ninja... why not a lil 250 just to zip around town in?
 

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i always tell people, think of the bike that you really want, then buy the one that is 2 notches down. you can always work your way up later, i see alot of guys, not so much girls, buy what they think they want usually based on their egos and find out that riding isn't that much fun/it scares the sh!t out of them, OR they end up getting hurt. girls don't seem to worry as much about rockin the 250. also, highway stability is something important enough that the factory engineers ensure on EVERY bike, not just the big cruisers.

on a personal note, i've been thinking alot about the new kawi baby ninja... why not a lil 250 just to zip around town in?
Also keep in mind a 250 ninja or 250 Honda CBR is worlds different than a 250 rebel or nighthawk. A 250 ninja is a fun little bike to zip around on.
 

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A women's perspective

I am an inch shorter than your daughter and a tad big heavier and I have been riding the Vulcan 1600 classic for about 6 months. I started with a "scooter style" 250 that I rode around for two weeks and took and passed by endorsement test. I continued to ride the 250 for about another 6 months getting my confidence and skill level to a place where I felt comfortable test driving other bikes.

I know some other women riders and they all advised me to get something bigger than I think. Unlike what crazy88 said, I think with women you need to think what you want and then get the next step higher. We women tend to be a little more reserved. I was thinking that I would want 900ish. Then the deal of the century fell into my lap for my Vulcan 1600 Classic and even though I was a little hesitant I jumped on it. I had riden my husband's Electra Glide and the power was fine, it was just WAY TOO BIG!

Here I am 6 months later and have riden with big groups of both women and men and have no problem keeping up and/or riding 200+ miles in a day. It cruises right along at 75 with no issues.

My advice? Start on something small and easy to gain confidence and skill, then get something larger than SHE thinks she wants, not you. (Big difference between what I thought I wanted and what my hubby thought I should get).

Good luck and Safe Riding! I'd love to hear what you all settle on.
 

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My suggestion: Have her sit on several, as comfort is gonna be as important as anything else. The Yamaha bikes (900, 1100 sizes) are a bit lower, good bikes and highway capable. The Kawi 900 is nice too (about the same size as the older 750's and 800's), but it depends on her feeling when she's perched on it.

Main thing is, have her practice a LOT. That's the key. Slow, steady, out of the way, A LOT. She can get used to just about anything. :D

...and wish her luck from the Vulcan crowd!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My advice? Start on something small and easy to gain confidence and skill, then get something larger than SHE thinks she wants, not you. (Big difference between what I thought I wanted and what my hubby thought I should get).

Good luck and Safe Riding! I'd love to hear what you all settle on.
Ultimately it will be her choice, of course. I just want to make sure she is safe. If that means starting out on a used 250 to build her confidence and then selling it to get a bigger one for highway use, that could work as well.

Preach :)
 

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I know this is a Kawasaki form but I bought my wife a 250 Yamaha Virgo, now call a V-star. I installed a windshield and sissybar with a rack. 75 mph is about wide open on this bike. I think it weighs about 350 lbs., about 75 MPG. It is an in town and country road bike. Wife rides it all over God's creation. My oldest son used it to get his license. I have 5 different friends that own Harley's and every one of them used it to get there motorcycle driver’s license. I have pictures of them just in case I need something in the future. It’s like riding a bicycle. The best part is there is a line of people that want that bike if I ever sell it but I have a 14 year old wants it next.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know this is a Kawasaki form but I bought my wife a 250 Yamaha Virgo, now call a V-star. I installed a windshield and sissybar with a rack. 75 mph is about wide open on this bike. I think it weighs about 350 lbs., about 75 MPG. It is an in town and country road bike. Wife rides it all over God's creation. My oldest son used it to get his license. I have 5 different friends that own Harley's and every one of them used it to get there motorcycle driver’s license. I have pictures of them just in case I need something in the future. It’s like riding a bicycle. The best part is there is a line of people that want that bike if I ever sell it but I have a 14 year old wants it next.
I like the V-star 250. If she had little to no Highway riding, it would be great. May buy a used one and let her get her feet wet, then get a bigger one.

Preach
 

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Has she taken the MSF course yet?
My wife (5'2" 130 lbs) is taking it later this month, she wants to get a Rebel or a V Star 250 to have ready to ride as soon as she gets her endorsement. I'd like to get her on something a little bigger (VLX would be AWESOME since they make great looking bobbers, haha, or a V Star 650). I'm kinda holding out for after the class, hoping she gains enough confidence in the class that she can move beyond the 250's right away.
 

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An alternative MIGHT Be hyosung motors http://www.hyosungmotorsusa.com/
They DO have cruisers with a 27" seat height..liquid cooled FI triple DISC brakes...
Just a thought...
 

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Those are nice, but out of her price range right now.

Preach
Preach i was more interested in your daughter having a bike that would fit her. Motorcycles are designed for men, having a bike set up for her height, weight , arm and leg length make a huge difference ... Thats what this company does no matter what the bike is.. Actually if you dont do fancy paint the cost was very affordable..bd
 

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Here's two sites my wife used when she was seeing if there was any sort of bike she could ride.

http://www.vtwinmama.com/motorcycles_for_short_riders.htm
http://cycle-ergo.com/

I'd question a 250 if there's any highway involved. At 200 lbs I did not enjoy driving a 250 around anywhere. I was nervous and wind gusts and other vehicles were quite intimidating. I'd say something around the size of a 500-650, or even a 750 in a cruiser would be fine. The motorcycle safety course is a must, and she can learn on their bikes that way, and save herself the first drop on her own bike.
 

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The V-star 650 would be a great start. It is light, low, and easy to handle. It looks good and you can find a good used one in the neighborhood of $3K if you look around. She won't "outgrow" it inside a year like she will a 250 cruiser.
 

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I've got a 2007 Yamaha Virago 250 listed on Craigslist. I've got overdrive sprockets, 17 tooth / 40 tooth on this bike (stock is 16 / 46) and it's comfortable at highway speeds.
I weigh 230 pounds and it doesn't have any trouble at all carrying me on the highway, or up and down big hills. I've got a set of floorboards and a heel-and-toe shifter for it that I haven't installed but I'd throw in with the deal.
http://kansascity.craigslist.org/mcy/3058449679.html
 
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