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The American Stig!
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, here's a Q from a pretty experienced rider. My wife is getting into an MSF course with me. I'm retaking it for a good refresher course before I take the new Advanced course offered in my area in Wisconsin. Besides, everyone could use a refresher once in a while.

Anyways, we got her on a small starter bike, but were never able to title it because, well, we could never get the title from the owner. They couldnt find it. It was an old GS400 sh rode around the yard for a couple months.

I'm looking for a bike for her. I'm getting another CBR900rr, and am going to sell my VFR700F2 to get something for her. She doesn't like sportbikes, but I can't help thinking a GS500 or Ninja 250/500 would be perfect! Maybe even one of the old VFR500's. She actually wants something more cruiser-style with more upright bars. The problem is everything around here seems to be 600cc or b***** in that catagory. That scares me a bit. She's 5'4" and 135lbs, so she isn't big at all. The GS400 fit her, but I can't seem to find anything like it.

So, knowing that, I know a 600cc sportbike is not a good starter, but what about a 600cc cruiser? I'd honestly say too big, but never really spending any time on one nesides a quick ride, I honestly can't say from experience.
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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600cc cruisers i don't have a prob. recommending them. they don't have nearly the hp as 600SS bikes......just find 1 she's comfortable on
 

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A bike like the Savage 650 (the Boulevard S40 now) is an ideal beginner cruiser. Cruisers and sportbikes in the 600cc range are totally different beasts which is why strict displacement comparisons don't work. A cruiser in the 500-750cc range is equal to a Ninja 500R in terms of suitability to start on.

As long as the bike fits and isn't too heavy or top-heavy (the Harley Sportster in the pre-2005 models is a good example of a smallish cruiser with good beginner power but being top-heavy and tough to handle at low speeds where it really matters), she should be fine with it.
 

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The American Stig!
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317 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Linux, she actually wanted a Sporty, being a Harley buff and all. But I've rode a quite a few and you are correct, VERY top heavy! Havent riden an '05 yet. But now that you make the comment about the '05, are they better balanced? If so, maybe an 883 Sporty wouldn't be so bad, and at the discount we get it might be worth it.
 

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My 5ft wife rides a Vulcan 500. Little bit heavy (435lbs. wet), but the seat height works out fine and no funny running boards or fake oil coolers to make the bike wider, so flat-footing it is not an issue.

The engine is the same as on the Ninja 500, so it has enough power for most anything.
 

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MichiganScott said:
My 5ft wife rides a Vulcan 500. Little bit heavy (435lbs. wet), but the seat height works out fine and no funny running boards or fake oil coolers to make the bike wider, so flat-footing it is not an issue.

The engine is the same as on the Ninja 500, so it has enough power for most anything.
+1 on the Vulcan 500. Great bike - was my wife's first bike. Plenty of power but beginner-friendly, probably one of the sportiest cruisers out there thanks to that Ninja 500 mill.

It's good prep for a sportbike - my wife now rides a Yamaha YZF600R (that's her in my avatar).
 
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