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Thread: So our daughter wants to ride a motorcycle....

  1. #16
    The Big Red One sgtbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    I would opt for a bike with ABS. In addition, it is important that she be able to easily flat foot the bike; I think that greatly aids in building confidence. The F650/G650 series of single cylinder bikes (lowered if needed) are great machines to learn on, yet they are not bikes that she will quickly out grow or tire of.

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    AK - Thanks for the advice. We looked at F650 singles and thought they were too buzzy back when they first came out. Not sure that is still the case. One factor we are considering is that we would "like" to get something my wife and I would also enjoy riding, hence the airhead idea.

    Several people we have discussed this with have suggested a recent Honda CBR250R with ABS would be a good starter bike. They are cheap and even have a positive write-up on Consumer Reports.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...ders/index.htm

    The "problem" with this bike is my wife and I wouldn't likely ride it which may be beside the point. We would also have to carry Faye's gear to rallies as there appears to be no option for bags either.
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  2. #17
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbill View Post
    AK - Thanks for the advice. We looked at F650 singles and thought they were too buzzy back when they first came out. Not sure that is still the case. One factor we are considering is that we would "like" to get something my wife and I would also enjoy riding, hence the airhead idea.
    ..

    I find the F650 singles as smooth as the boxers up to about 70 mph. Even then they get busy, but really do not shake that much. They tour very well on back roads, and many ride them across the country to Alaska, and they are even popular for world travelers. The problem with many smaller bikes is lack of integrated luggage. And IMHO ABS imperative, one can still practice threshold braking, only with the safety net on electronics.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbill View Post
    AK - Thanks for the advice. We looked at F650 singles and thought they were too buzzy back when they first came out. Not sure that is still the case. One factor we are considering is that we would "like" to get something my wife and I would also enjoy riding, hence the airhead idea.

    Several people we have discussed this with have suggested a recent Honda CBR250R with ABS would be a good starter bike. They are cheap and even have a positive write-up on Consumer Reports.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...ders/index.htm

    The "problem" with this bike is my wife and I wouldn't likely ride it which may be beside the point. We would also have to carry Faye's gear to rallies as there appears to be no option for bags either.
    CBR250's are a hoot, I'd recommend looking into a TU250, the Suzuki beginner bike. A 250, fuel-injected single with a very impressive brake and suspension package for a beginner bike. As for "touring", the aftermarket has a plethora of products which can be made to fit any machine. And if you're daughter makes the choice, then she also learns how to make something fit, on her own.

    And like what's been posted, it may be easier to give her an idea of how to construct a budget to purchase the bike, and then work through the requirements; licensing, registration, insurance. This will give a better picture for any future purchases in total cost outlays. Being military, I've seen this basic life skill NOT taught to many of the Generation Y & Millenial's coming in.

    Anyways, good luck!

  4. #19
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    I am surprised no one mentioned a Weestrom or a Versys. She'd probably never grow out of it, both I think come with ABS and they have Japanese reliability.
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  5. #20
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    One of the great things about the F/G650GS bikes is all the extra kit available for them. Multiple options for side cases. My wife learned to ride on this 07 GS and still has it. It is her bike of choice for dirt roads. She had 600 miles on it when she rode it from Alaska to Montana the first time, as shown in the picture. The bike will carry all you need. She's been to Prudhoe and just about every other dirt road in AK. I added a tooth to the sprocket which allows here to cruise at 70MPH at about 500 RPM less than stock.
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  6. #21
    . AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Hi Bill!

    I give a big NO vote to Airheads. Heavy, slow, tall, obsolete brakes. She doesn't need to learn to work on her bike; she needs to learn to ride it. You want a simple, light, reliable, fun and easy-to-ride bike that she can grow out of (that might take longer than you think). A bike that she needs to grow into is a recipe for failure and I have seen that over and over.

    For most people I encounter in that position, a BMW is not the best option. Some kind of 500~650 twin with ABS, that she can stand comfortably over, with bars that are not too far forward is IMO great.

    The main thing is that while she is in the beginning stages of learning, you don't want bike management (weight, height, etc) to be a distraction. She can learn to manage a heavier, taller bike once she has some muscle memory about traffic and intersections.
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  7. #22
    Registered User ItsPhilD's Avatar
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    So as I follow this thread there seems to me that most agree, BMW has a lack of a machine suitable as a beginners bike.

  8. #23
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    We have a son who will be old enough to get his license in a few more years. He is already dirt riding, which is IMO the best place to learn. He'll most likely start out on the street on a dual sport, such as Kawasaki Super Sherpa (250cc). I'm betting he'll move from there to a smaller street machine such as a Ninja 300 or 500 (or similar Honda). He'd like a BMW someday, but I think he'll be content to let that wait a few years.
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  9. #24
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbill View Post
    AK - Thanks for the advice. We looked at F650 singles and thought they were too buzzy back when they first came out. Not sure that is still the case. One factor we are considering is that we would "like" to get something my wife and I would also enjoy riding, hence the airhead idea.

    Several people we have discussed this with have suggested a recent Honda CBR250R with ABS would be a good starter bike. They are cheap and even have a positive write-up on Consumer Reports.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...ders/index.htm

    The "problem" with this bike is my wife and I wouldn't likely ride it which may be beside the point. We would also have to carry Faye's gear to rallies as there appears to be no option for bags either.
    Since many of responses are worried about height, how tall is your daughter?
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  10. #25
    The Big Red One sgtbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Since many of responses are worried about height, how tall is your daughter?
    Faye is about 5' 5" and she has a 30" inseam. At 16 years she is a wee bit shorter than my wife Karla (and gaining fast!)
    sgtbill
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  11. #26
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Hi Bill!

    I give a big NO vote to Airheads. Heavy, slow, tall, obsolete brakes. She doesn't need to learn to work on her bike; she needs to learn to ride it. You want a simple, light, reliable, fun and easy-to-ride bike that she can grow out of (that might take longer than you think). A bike that she needs to grow into is a recipe for failure and I have seen that over and over.

    For most people I encounter in that position, a BMW is not the best option. Some kind of 500~650 twin with ABS, that she can stand comfortably over, with bars that are not too far forward is IMO great.

    The main thing is that while she is in the beginning stages of learning, you don't want bike management (weight, height, etc) to be a distraction. She can learn to manage a heavier, taller bike once she has some muscle memory about traffic and intersections.
    Exactly the points I would like to make as well. She needs to learn to ride a motorcycle first and foremost. She should learn on a motorcycle with brakes that are much more modern than even the best /6 or /7 could provide. If you must stay in the BMW family the 650 single is good, albeit maybe a little tall.
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  12. #27
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Slightly off topic but... 'If" you have the location, space, time and etc etc...I would STRONGLY suggest she start out riding a dirt bike in a field or at some sort of off road facility. (not a motocross track though.) and the bike I would highly recomend is a Yamaha TTr 125 with the 'big wheel' option and electric start. Let her go out and trash this bike. Learn the clutch, learn the brakes, learn how to wheelie, learn how to power slide, learn how to skid steer, learn how to do a stoppie, learn what it feels like in mud, in gravel, in dirt, on asphalt. Let her crash about 100 times on that bike. Remembering how much it hurt to whack a tree at 20 mph goes a long way towards teaching safe riding on the street. Let her know how it feels to run it to the redline. Then...turn her loose on the street with any bike 'she wants'. She will have the respect of a crash, be confident with the clutch, be grateful for powerful brakes, and will have alot of her hotdogging out of her system. Then sell the TTr for just about what you paid for it!

    If not an option, I recomend the maxi scooters, 400cc from Yamaha or Suzuki. My son has one and loves it. The advantage is no clutch work to worry about while 'learning' how to ride a street bike. My kid had already cut his teeth on the whole series of Honda mini bikes and had raced an RM65, and played around on Honda 100's and TTrs, so he had plenty of crashes and experience under his belt, but he wanted the maxi scooter for easy riding! I ride it often and it is a wonderful machine. (Yamaha Majesty400)

    In my opinion, the whole 'too much power' for a beginner thing is slightly over rated. A bike needs to have enough power to get out of its own way. Under powered can be just as much of a problem as too much power. I'm not advocatinf buying a 'Busa as the first bike you have ever ridden, but neither is a Yamaha Exciter 125 cruiser a good choice either!
    Mike Davis
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  13. #28
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    +1

    nothing like watching your daughter drop a brand new motorcycle. And she will.... we all have.

    Better to start on something smaller and lighter.......... and used!

    IMHO


    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    I'm in the retirement stage of my life but the lady I want to be with is in her 50's. She enjoyed being a passenger but got a bit of a taste of two wheels from a scooter that I used for stuff like beer runs and groceries. First year she had it, barely touched it. Second year, she turned into a fiend. She drove it everyday.
    We did the basic motorcycle course together. My reasoning to do it together was it was better than dance lessons.
    She failed the first time. Her confidence took a beating when she dumped the program bike in the hard braking skill through a turn, on wet pavement.
    She took the course again and passed.
    I have a love of my life in a Kawasaki 440 LTD. She's a sweet little ride and very forgiving. Disc on the front, drum for rear and a big wet clutch and best, she can be flat footed and it only weighs 300 lbs wet.
    I gave it to the lady I want to build a future with. It took her about the first ride to drop it. She has dropped it four times this summer. She can pick it up by herself, dust it off and carry on.
    There are no pads left, the shoes must be toast and the clutch is cooked.
    Still though, I will fix it and she will get another season from it and burn it out again if need be. It's fast enough to have fun but not powerful enough to loose it if you pop the clutch. You can't lock the front brakes above 20 mph and you can't break the back tire loose with the throttle.
    When she's ready, the Kawasaki will come back to me for some TLC and she will choose her ride.
    In my opinion, a nice under 500CC that doesn't have a lot of technology and requires daily care, tire pressure, oil level and is simple enough for anybody to learn to repair is the start of beginning to appreciate the sophisticated equipment available.
    Please don't misunderstand me. I will probably never ride a bike any serious distance without ABS again. I also don't want my lady trying to keep up with me at 100 mph until she is comfortable with 5 mph in crazy traffic.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  14. #29
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Hi Sgtbill

    This is exciting news! I sincerely hope your daughter enjoys motorcycling for her whole lifetime without mishap.

    I encourage you, first & foremost, to find out what SHE wants, or sees herself on. We all know the "apple don't fall too far from the tree"...
    But who's to say that little apple won't roll out from under the shade of said tree into the light of a different day?

    You might be surprised at what she yearns for, or what her vision for herself on a bike is. You might not agree with her choice of bike, even. But try not to superimpose your and your wife's ideas about motorcycles on her- let her choose her own path- but definitely help her see the necessity and sense of beginning with a good "learner" bike (heck- let her pick the learner for herself), then work up to the bike she wants most to ride, after she gains some valuable experience.
    I encourage you to encourage her to work up to whatever it is, and have her start small, smaller maybe than she'd like in a bike. Perhaps work out a two year plan, where she begins on a compromise machine, and works up to her "dream bike" by, say, her 18th birthday.

    Beginning on one bike, then working up to her ideal will provide great lessons in planning and achieving goals. She may gain some sense of discipline and an ability to realize her visions for her own future thru it all as well.

    Just a few thoughts.
    Best of luck with this- to you & the Mrs, and to your daughter as well!
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 11-04-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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  15. #30
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
    If not an option, I recomend the maxi scooters, 400cc from Yamaha or Suzuki. My son has one and loves it. The advantage is no clutch work to worry about while 'learning' how to ride a street bike. My kid had already cut his teeth on the whole series of Honda mini bikes and had raced an RM65, and played around on Honda 100's and TTrs, so he had plenty of crashes and experience under his belt, but he wanted the maxi scooter for easy riding! I ride it often and it is a wonderful machine. (Yamaha Majesty400)

    In my opinion, the whole 'too much power' for a beginner thing is slightly over rated. A bike needs to have enough power to get out of its own way. Under powered can be just as much of a problem as too much power. I'm not advocatinf buying a 'Busa as the first bike you have ever ridden, but neither is a Yamaha Exciter 125 cruiser a good choice either!
    I had a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter and it is the easiest 2 wheeled vehicle I have ever ridden. The only problem I had with it was I had to force myself to ride my BMWs to keep the batteries charged. The 400 is a good choice for a beginner but the 650 scooters are heavier and taller and not a good choice.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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