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Thread: R1150R : Any women riders on this bike?

  1. #1
    UFObuster
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    R1150R : Any women riders on this bike?

    My GF wants to get a bike. She has ridden small bikes (250ish) but it was
    12-15 years ago. Recently did the MSF and passed first try. She rides
    often with me two-up on a GS Adventure.

    Have looked a lot at BMW 'F' and 'G' bikes and like the size and weight.
    Recently found a great deal on a 2003 R1150R in great condition well equipped with seat at about 30.3".

    She is 5'6" and weighs around 130#. Is it unreasonable to skip over the smaller bikes? Any women's opinion on this.

    It may be too much about how much I like it. It's a classic...and I want her to easily cruise with me on the 1200GSA....but too big for limited experience?

    Comments very much appreciated in advance
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  2. #2
    . AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    If she isn't really comfortable on it, let go of wanting it and move on. Trust me, you will be happier. With the slightly forward position, and height advantage you have with the R1150R will be lost when it comes to stability. No stability, no comfort. Tension, apprehension when stopping, dropped bike, doesn't want to ride it, etc. The R1150R is not particularly low or light. If you want a heavy tall bike for a new rider, it had better have a bolt-upright riding position for better stability when she has to put her foot down quickly. The farther forward she is leaned (and the R isn't that far forward, it's just not upright) the less she can use her upper body to stabilize the bike.

    It's WAY better for a new rider to grow out of a bike than it is to have to grow into one. I don't think the R1150R is a good starter bike, due to the geometry. It's a great bike, just not a great beginner bike for someone who isn't totally comfortable on it. I've seen it.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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  3. #3
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    having no knowledge of your g/f's skill set, I would advise starting smaller, although you would know better than I can how well she can handle the size and weight of the 1150. Some can manage a larger bike right away, some never can.
    Something a bit lighter is just easier to learn on. Having passed the class on the first try is not a ringing endorsement of her mad skilz. Remember- after completing the BRC, she now has ridden about 20 miles total, at speeds up to 20 mph, in an enclosed parking lot, under highly controlled conditions, with trained supervisor's observing her every move, and virtually no opposing traffic at all to contend with. She still has a TON of learning to do before she is a "motorcyclist".
    If the bike is such a killer deal that you just can't pass it up... buy it, then put it under a trap in the garage (or ride it yourself to keep it happy), and get her a smaller starter bike for this season. Consider that one to be a temporary investment in her education, which you will turn around at the end of this year (or next) and sell to some other beginner.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
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    As a short legged guy I ride that bike(in fact same year & model & mines for sale!) & mine has the low seat option which is the height you mention-the 'regular & tall" are higher yet. It is still a little tall for me but consider that I've ridden MC's for many yrs too. I have a 29" inseam & also use a sheepskin for longer,non-errand type trips. W/o the sheepskin my toes touch when upright but I can only flat foot it when tipped. Take my word, not many MC's fit me.
    Great MC, but comments above are on the spot, not a starter MC. As an aging rider I'm looking in the scoot direction for senior years-we'll see as I'm still wanting to get my /5 together as I'm healthy now. Very few low MC's out there as many cruisers(not my type of ride!!!) have wide seats that make the seats higher than will seem in specs.. The new Honda 700 MC's have low seats but also low power-maybe start there? Many Japanese vintage bikes that offer a narrower seat & lighter weight if not doing real long tours.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  5. #5
    Registered User Bumblebee's Avatar
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    Women on an R1150R

    [QUOTE=UFObuster;875453]My GF wants to get a bike. She has ridden small bikes (250ish) but it was
    12-15 years ago. Recently did the MSF and passed first try. She rides
    often with me two-up on a GS Adventure.

    Have looked a lot at BMW 'F' and 'G' bikes and like the size and weight.
    Recently found a great deal on a 2003 R1150R in great condition well equipped with seat at about 30.3".

    She is 5'6" and weighs around 130#. Is it unreasonable to skip over the smaller bikes? Any women's opinion on this.

    It may be too much about how much I like it. It's a classic...and I want her to easily cruise with me on the 1200GSA....but too big for limited experience?

    Comments very much appreciated in advance

    You seem to be pretty self-aware and that is always a good thing. What does your girlfriend think she needs for her first bike? She definitely needs to feel comfortable or it will be difficult to develop confidence. I can only tell you my experience. I began riding a Yamaha 350RD at age 54 in the Spring of 2003 and took the MSF course in the summer of 2003. Shortly after that I bought a new F650 Scarver which I really liked and rode it for about a year. It was a great bike for me as a beginning rider because it was quite light. In the fall of 2004 I bought a used 2002 R1150R and it has been my ride ever since. So, in my opinion, it would probably be a good idea to start on something smaller and work up to a bike more suitable to long distance touring.
    Well behaved women seldom make history.
    Kathryn_________________________________________
    2002 R1150R yellow

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Guy's opinion:
    It's not only how "big" it is and how she fits on it, but also how does the bike "behave" and respond to rider inputs.
    An engine with a "wide flat" powerband is going to be easier to handle than a "peaky" one.
    A wide clutch friction (engagement) band is going to be easier.
    A heavier flywheel (crank thru clutch) will be easier to ride.
    This is why many girls like Harleys (besides lack of experience with other brands) - they're not only low, but easy to ride.
    The last girlfriend I taught to ride couldn't handle my K75S (with the C bars), because the flywheel effect was so light and the throttle was so quick; but she had NO problem with my FLH. A girlfriend before that did well on a Honda CB360. Another girlfriend got a Sportster with ape-hanger handlebars, and was afraid to lean it over at all; she never learned how to ride properly.

  7. #7
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
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    In addition to what the others have said, I wouldn't worry about a smaller bike keeping up with your bigger one. My F650CS keeps up with my husband's R1200RT just fine. We've done several multi-day trips, and we're usually on the road for 8-10 hours a day when we travel. I'm considering selling my big bike because I'm just so comfortable on the smaller one, and I've been riding for a long time.

  8. #8
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    I'm thinking F800 ST. A buddy's wife has one and keeps up with him on his 1200RT no problem. She loves the lower height and ease of maneuverability it offers. Worth a look.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  9. #9
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    Touring style may matter too

    If you like to have lots of 700-800 mile days on the Interstates go for a big and comfortable bike and get a lower seat that is a bit narrower at the front and shorter shocks. Sometimes lower profile tires and even smaller diameter wheels are available. An inch here, an inch there and another 1/2 inch somewhere else and you drop it 2 1/2 inches. An extra 1/2 inch on the bottom of good boots helps too.

    I like shorter riding days of 350 to 450 miles and even shorter than that in really interesting areas. In 43 years I've done 600 mile days less than 10times so that probably shows some bias. I don't think you need as much bike for this type of touring. In about 1981 my wife, 5ft5, and I did 2500 miles in 10 days through Wisconsin, into the Door County area, Milwaukee, over to Galena, and along the Mississippi River. I was on an R75/5 with most of the luggage and she was on a Honda 400 Four with a windshield and higher bars. That was the perfect bike for her and we had a wonderful trip.

    Back in the day friends toured pretty long distances on Honda CB 450 twins, Suzuki 500s, RD 350s, etc. I even met a guy who was 2,000 miles from home on a Yamaha 250 enduro. He had 2 front sprockets, one for the highway, one for the logging roads and trails.

    If you go for shorter daily distances there are a lot of great bikes on the market now. I'd love a 250 Ninja or any of a number of current mid-size bikes (maybe with handle bar risers!) on the Blue Ridge or the No.1 down the west coast.

    PS. If the lady drops a bike because shes always on tip toe at lights etc. she might never get back on again. And the R bikes of the last 20 years do tend to be top heavy and the G bikes even more so for obvious reasons.

  10. #10
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
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    I moved from an f650CS to the R1150R Rockster, after almost 2 years. The transition wasn't always "pretty" and an in between sized bike would have made things a lot easier. And I'm 5'8" with a 34" inseam.

    The R bike is probably not a good "re-entry" bike for her.

    P
    Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.
    R1150R Rockster, Limited Edition!

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Rode with a woman this past weekend, she on an R1150R, lowered a bit.

    Woman in our club does fine on an R1200R, rode it to Alaska couple years ago and was a strong competitor in MOA mileage contest. She has thicker boot soles is all.

    I have a good friend (a male, under 6 ft) whose first bike ever was (still is) an R1100RT. I don't buy starting small.

    I buy starting smart, in shape, and motivated. I think the general discomfort and crappiness of smaller bikes is a demotivator.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    I Like My Bike
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    Don't make the mistake of buying what you think will be a good bike for your wife.

    She needs to be the one to decide without any input or risk of disappointing you.

    In my opinion, The F 650 GS Twin Or new F 700 GS Twin is probably the single best bike for women with shorter inseams. The seat is narrower than the comparable G650 GS. With the factory lowered suspension most can confidently get their feet on the ground at stops.

    It's light, Nimble, fun, smooth, powerful but not uncontrollable.

    In fact, If I could only have just one Motorcycle. That would be my choice.

    Lots of options and cross compatibility with F800GS accessories.

    Stock bike with factory lowered suspension, comfort seat or aftermarket seat (don't go with the low seat. It's only good for a 100 miles or so before the cursing starts).

    Let her test ride one at your local dealership. See what she thinks.

    Another option may be the new Honda CTX700N. She probably won't be able to test ride it though.

    While I know of many women with similar dimensions who did 'start' on an R1100R or R1150R, none of them continue to ride that bike.

    I'd pass.

    Jim

  13. #13
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    Let her choose it! With your input.....

    You have a of knowledge that she doesn't have, offer you opinion but let her choose it. I am a woman rider who came back to riding after a 25 year break, some of that as a passenger (MSF instructor pointed out my excellent balance - a passenger learned skill). I started back on a Moto Guzzi 750 Breva - light and comfortable and easy to pick up. It required thought and planning to keep up with the big guys. I suspect it helped me learn needed skills - looking ahead, planning and watching conditions. All are valuable skills I used on the 1150R that I choose as my second bike. Like a previous poster said, the first year was not pretty, it is a wonderful bike but the weight is high and if you load it with luggage..... I learned more and loved the 1150 R but I adore the R1200R - it is lower and lighter and better balanced weight distribution for me. I have no problem keeping up with my husbands R1200RT or even passing him! I also considered the F800 but found a deal on the R1200R - I think a used bike takes some of the pressure off.
    LJB

  14. #14
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    An excellent point! With a used bike, you probably don't have to worry about being the first one to, shall we say, "initiate" it...

  15. #15
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    Not an 1150 but...

    I bought this schweet '99 R1100R last summer for my SO. She's 5-5, the bike came with a factory low seat option and she loves it, I mean REALLY loves the bike. Good luck with your decision. Full disclosure: I started her out on a Yamaha XJ550 (which she quickly outgrew) then she went to a XJ700 before the R1100
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

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