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Thread: Which BMW do you suggest for a vertically challenged lady?

  1. #1
    lovetotravel
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    Which BMW do you suggest for a vertically challenged lady?

    Hey ladies,
    I am female, 5'2" and want to move up to a 650 next year. I am new to riding and got my 250 "starter" bike in July. I would like to have a BMW. Which models do you suggest that have a standard low seat height? Did any of you lower your bikes? If so, how did that work for you? Suggestions/tips are welcome. Thanks!
    Safe and happy riding to you.

  2. #2
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Wife is 5' 1-1/4" tall. she rides an 02 F650GS, custom seat (which helped a lot) Front forks slid up about an inch, and rear lowered 1-1/2"

    She can ride a standard height, but feels more confident when she can get both feet on the ground firmly. She loves the bike, and we do a lot of sport touring on back roads. A well ridden one will stay with the big boys on most back twisty roads.

  3. #3
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    A well ridden one will stay with the big boys on most back twisty roads.
    Or lead them . . .



    Voni
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  4. #4
    Registered User 85138's Avatar
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    Also consider the F800ST

    You mentioned 650 but I'd suggest also looking at the F800ST with factory lowered suspension and low seat (or extra low seat) or F800S similarly modified.

  5. #5
    cbck1200s
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    Low Rider

    Quote Originally Posted by lovetotravel View Post
    Hey ladies,
    I am female, 5'2" and want to move up to a 650 next year. I am new to riding and got my 250 "starter" bike in July. I would like to have a BMW. Which models do you suggest that have a standard low seat height? Did any of you lower your bikes? If so, how did that work for you? Suggestions/tips are welcome. Thanks!
    Safe and happy riding to you.
    My wife and I have been looking for a bike for her for a few months now. We test drove a Ducati 696 Monster and she liked it but it was gutless and ran out of gears at 5. We tried a Moto Guzzi Breva 750 but had the same results. We then tried the 800 and what a difference. The bike has tons of power, great feel and the ride position is very comfortable.

    Andrea, my wife, is around 5'5" or so and while the regular height bike fit her Ok we ended up getting a lower suspension bike and swapped out the low seat for a regular height seat. She was on the cusp, so to speak, height wise and could have gone either way. We'd highly recommend taking the bike for a spin and compare the two supsension models. I have a feeling the low model would probably do the trick. A big mistake a lot of new riders make is they insist that their feet must be firmly planted on the ground. When you consider how much time you really spend in that position if becomes a moot point. As long as you can touch with the balls of your feet and jockey the bike around that's all that matters.

    I don't think you can find a better all around bike out there.
    Regards,
    Colin & Andrea

  6. #6
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    F65gs

    Don't overlook the BMW F650GS with the 798cc. My wife has a 2009 with the factory lowered suspension and she loves it. I ride the standard and we go everywhere. The additional horsepower adds little or no weight and is there when you want it on the hiway etc. The lowered suspension can be combined with a lower seat to really get it down there. You will find a low center of gravity that makes the bike feel much lighter than it truly is. FYI...You have to be 2008 or newer to get the 789cc F650 however...She told me to add...its a scream when the ABS kicks in on a really hard stop too....

  7. #7
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I shake my head in wonderment when I read advice to buy a new 800 cc motorcycle offered to a person who has about 5 months riding experience and is coming off a 250.

    These are all fine bikes - I may buy one - but they are not my idea of a good next-step bike for a new rider.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  8. #8
    From MARS
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbcK1200S View Post

    Andrea, my wife, is around 5'5" or so and while the regular height bike fit her Ok we ended up getting a lower suspension bike and swapped out the low seat for a regular height seat. She was on the cusp, so to speak, height wise and could have gone either way. We'd highly recommend taking the bike for a spin and compare the two supsension models. I have a feeling the low model would probably do the trick. A big mistake a lot of new riders make is they insist that their feet must be firmly planted on the ground. When you consider how much time you really spend in that position if becomes a moot point. As long as you can touch with the balls of your feet and jockey the bike around that's all that matters.

    Regards,
    Colin & Andrea
    I avoided buying a GS for years because I thought they were too tall for my 30" inseam! After a couple of weeks on one, I didn't even notice the added height since the balance is soooo good. Of much greater importance are the ergonomics of the bike while underway. In a ten hour ride, my feet may be in contact with the ground for a total of 15 minutes. Overall weight, balance, and fit is more important than being able to plant my feet, IMO. I dropped mine a few times during the learning process, but I can pick it up.

    Paul has a point. I've managed to control bikes who's specs were way beyond my capabilities. That is not to say I didn't scare the heck out of myself a few times while learning to control my throttle hand, but I survived and "grew" into them.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    My first bike was my F650GS. I jumped from that to the 1200 Norge, then traded the Norge for a 1200 GS.

    I love my 650GS and still can't bring myself to part with it even though I rarely ride it anymore.

    More to the point, i have a friend who is vertically challenged. I believe she is 5'. She loved her 650GS with a lowered seat and just jumped to the new 650/800 GS with a lowered seat. (sorry, I can never remember the proper name for it.) At 5'2", you should definately give it a try.

  10. #10
    Registered User 85138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I shake my head in wonderment when I read advice to buy a new 800 cc motorcycle offered to a person who has about 5 months riding experience and is coming off a 250.

    These are all fine bikes - I may buy one - but they are not my idea of a good next-step bike for a new rider.
    My first bike was a 700cc. Bought after taking the MSF and one afternoon of road test practice (w/ a 250cc). I'm not that unique in such an experience. Some moments but never dropped it. Ideal? Perhaps not, but with requisite care and practice ...

    A 600cc I-4 would be more of a challenge IMHO.

  11. #11
    Georgia SUNRIDER711's Avatar
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    My first bike was a Honda Shadow 600cc, rode that one for about 2-1/2 months... bought a BMWR1200C. I think I put on about 15,000 miles that first year riding all over the country.

  12. #12
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    I am with Paul on this one.
    An F800 has 85HP on a light package. One could easily go from zero to trouble in about 1.1 seconds.

    May I suggest that you consider riding a bit longer as a newer rider on 250 and really getting your skills down. There is always a used bike deal out there somewhere, used (with lowered suspension) 2001-2007 F650's do regularly come to market.

    By the way, your insurance company may rate you differently if you are a newer rider on a bike above a certain engine displacement.

    Keep the rubber side down.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Currently bikeless, but looking hard! "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  13. #13
    Almost famous firebird's Avatar
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    I took the MSF course and my first bike is the BMW F650CS. Because I didn't take into account of the difference from the 250 and 650, there were a total of 4 drops involved. Those drops were at extremely low to no speed coming to a stop on a incline hill in a parking lot. But I was happy with my purchase and still happy with my choice in bikes. I called those drops, birthmarks. The forth drop couldn't be helped due to the area, weather and how I was stopped in order to make a turn. Let's just say, I wasn't about to walk over to the back gate of Camp David to ask for help.

    Check out the the models of BMW that can be lowered for you. I chose my 650 because I felt I wasn't ready for the 800 yet. Chose your bike with care and remember that the power displacement will be totally different then that of the Honda Nighthawks or Rebels. Be prepared. Good luck on your choice and have fun.

    I now teach MSF.
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  14. #14
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    650st

    I have a 74 R90/6 which when I ride the balls of my feet touch. Two years ago I bought a 97 650ST and love the ride! At 5'3", I can almost flat foot when stopped, but as so many others have said, how long are your feet on the ground anyway. The 97 has a factory lowered suspension and some foam was removed from the seat by the prior owner. The bike handles wonderfully, whether for travelling and loaded or just out enjoying....Terry

  15. #15
    Jack Herbst
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    Paul, what would you suggest after the 250? My wife went from a 200cc provided by MSF and her first bike was a Harley Dyna Low rider. She has been riding it with few problems for six years now but would love to see her on a lowered, low seat R1200RT. I have a new RT and a new F650GS (twin). I can't get her to even try the 650.

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