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Getting the girlfriend into bikes - advice from the ladies please?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by ngalbrai, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Another what bike thread, sort of - but one for the girls.

    My relatively new girlfriend is currently a fully licensed scooter rider who has toyed with getting into motorbikes.

    She has never ridden a manual bike but can drive a manual car. I am encouraging her to do her L's course on a manual bike and to see how she feels. Obviously I am very keen for her to get a bike as it opens up lots of weekend riding fun (and she can trade in the yellow vespa [cough]). And yes, shes hot…

    Not being under any restrictions she doesn’t need to stick to LAMS bikes.

    I have talked to her about a few options and she sees the sense in what many of us have learnt the expensive way that a 250 isn't necessarily less intimidating than a bigger bike as a bit more weight and grunt is actually more reassuring.

    Having said that, I ingored the sage advice that bigger is better and went 250 (virago) to cb400 to striple myself, she trusts that I am being honest in my appraisal and not just egging her on to get something stupid.

    She is about 5'7" and pretty strong (a nurse, so used to hefting unruly patients around) - I would say being able to flat foot it as a new rider is essential so seat height must be under 30".

    She likes my striple (sensible girl) and goes for the sporty naked look.

    So, to the relatively newbie ladies:
    What do you ride now that you are off restrictions?
    What do you particularly like about it?
    What else did you try and why didn’t you like it?

    Also, with the end goal of encouraging her towards the sensible choice of getting into proper bikes could you share any stories about initial trepedation and then getting hooked, or, being talked into it by your other half?

    Finally and most importantly, am I being blasé about not getting a 250? I remember finding the CB400 far easier to ride than the virago, but I had the experience of those first tentative months getting used to something really low and gutless.

  2. Virago and cb400 are insanely different bikes...not really worthy of a comparison....you'd be better off comparing a vtr and a cb first...
  3. This thread will be relevant to my interests, as I'm in this exact situation

    I'm encouraging mine to come dirtbiking with me and practice shifting on one of the multitude of pit bikes that are usually hanging around. (ditto on trading in the vespa, perl white)

    About the same specs (albeit yoga instead of nursing ;-) and I haven't made any bike recommendations yet, but you've got me thinking a CB400 would be "perfect".
    It also just happens to be LAMS, my mate's wife rides one on her Ls, so should be perfectly manageable for someone off restrictions and used to riding a 200cc vespa
  4. I know that now, I ignored biker mates advice at the time, to my cost! I wanted something really low for my little legs, but, as you rightly say a world apart and didnt equate to ease of riding or confidence funnily enough.
  5. My GF rides a 750 Ducati.
    Its a poisoned challice,they get the shits on if you dont ride at their speed.
    One way or the other,your ride is ruined.
  6. For a LAMS bike I would heartily recommend the CB400, but, without restrictions to consider you can get a lot more for your money with other bikes.

    As to getting the sh1ts about riding to her pace, if she rides like she drives she will be leaving me behind...!
  7. Not sure what you mean by "relative newbie". I've been riding nearly 2 years and upgraded from a VTR250 to a Z1000 in July.

    I'm 5'6" aprox and had the bike lowered so I could flat foot it, which increased the stability a lot, and made the bike - a heavy one - a lot easier to push around.

    I didn't test ride it before I bought it; I was still on restrictions and streetmaster ran the bike in for me for the first 800km in the 1.5 months I had left before I could ride. Was a bit intimidated to start with, but a few goes following streetmaster around the block soon put paid to that. I love it - I love the look of it, I love the constant power; she'll do pretty much anything in any gear, commutes well etc etc.

    I was also looking at the Striple, but the more I looked, the less I liked the appearance of it. It would probably have been a good bike for me too, but being a big girl, I'm glad I've got the thou. I'm not getting sick of this bike any time soon.

    I'm not necessarily suggesting this for your lady - you asked what we rode.

    If she's a bit iffy about gear changing (I was b/c I didn't really know anyone who rode), I suggest googling some vids. Easy peasy.
  8. Your gf is a hot nurse. I'm sure someone can find something of a suitable size for her to ride. Something sporty and naked.

    Sorry, got sidetracked.

    Suzuki gs500?

    Or for something different since you mentioned the virago, Honda shadow vt400, or even Yamaha vstar 650.

    I know she's not restricted but going from scooter to motorbike I'd still start on a lams bike I think.
  9. You have a Trumpy-yes.
    She needs something half decent,forget the 250/Lams crap.
    Look at an Aprilia Shiver---under $14K brand new.
  10. Maybe "mention" some of the other girls so they see this thread and reply for you. At the moment you're getting a lot of guy opinions when you specifically asked for female opinions
  11. Why does she need to do her L's course? If she is on an unrestricted license the auto only should be off her license. I had a scooter, got my P's on it and when P's finished I could go maunal with no further training (NSW). I would just take her down to the parking lot and just take baby steps with her. Get her to ride your bike around, she will pick it up pretty quickly. If she's been on a scooter for a while and can drive a manual she will be all over it in no time.
  12. Not sure where you're situated , but I do know that at HART you can do lessons on their bikes to get the gear change confidence thing happening ..

    I'm vertically challenged ( 5ft 2 ) both my bikes after LAMS have been the big girls (1000 cc ) and have been lowered for me ...

    In saying that ,get your girl to go sit on and test ride numerous bikes ,
    Let her choose , it'll be her ride after all :D
  13. I'm only a little taller than your gf and I ride a cb400. I picked this bike as I felt stable and comfortable on it. I could also handle it easily on the ground so it was a perfect first road bike for me. I started on a klx250 and although the cb is heavier I find it much easier to handle than the 250 because of the seat height. For me this was important and imo it makes for a good confidence builder.

    I'm looking at moving to something bigger soon but I still want to make sure I can get my feet on the ground and feel stable at a standstill. Good luck.
  14. Another vote for the CB400 from Mrs Messy.
    "Ill probably be getting another one when i want to get back on my own bike again."

    Shes 5'3". She had the seat modified a little so she sat a tad lower in it but that was apparently a comfort thing rather than a necessary thing.
  15. An Aprillia Mana, It's a bike, but it's also a scooter so no clutch or gears to learn
  16. My BF had a bike but didn't have a lot of riding friends in the area so he kept begging me to get my L's and get a bike. I was like 'yeah yeah one day' and then for a Christmas present he booked me in at HART so that was it.

    Was very nervous as had only ever been on a bike once and a long time ago. Found the course fun and thought it was fast doing 25km lol.

    My first bike I got to choose and of course all girls are different, I wanted something good looking and sporty as wasn't a cruiser type fan. So when I saw the Ninja 250 I liked it and that is what I got. It was easy to hold up, and i could just touch the ground. Am 5'4.

    For my upgrade I was dead set on the Ninja 1000, as have fallen in love with the Ninjas and had the deposit on the green one until I saw a White 650 in the store and fell in love with the bike. Wasn't too fussed about the power side of things really just wanted something nice and comfy to ride. Also sat on both and found I was more comfortable on the 650, 1000 was a little too tall.

    So got the 1000 for the OH and I got the 650. Now he has to sell his Blackbird.

    I would say let your girl choose what she likes and don't push too hard, she will find what she likes as she has to be happy with it.

    Make it fun for her, let her choose some places to ride and if she is slower than you, slow down a bit, am very used to the OH hooning off and am pretty much left to ride by myself.

    And if you can, try and get one of her girlfriends into bikes, thats what we did and now me and my friend go riding probably more than the OH lol.
  17. I ride a CB400 2010, which I inherited when hubby got another bike. I really love it. It is smooth, seems to be really nicely balanced with a comfortable seated position. I'm tall (5'11") and can flat foot it a bit too easily, which is why I'm interested in a physically bigger bike.
    I hear from so many people that the CB is a GREAT bike to learn on, and even stay on, even though it's a LAM's.
    As for riding speed, let her ride at her pace and develop her smooth throttle control if she needs to. Before you know it, she'll probably be passing you. If she can ride a bike, and drive a manual, it's a cinch to put it together on a motorbike. I started going slowly around the block, and practiced a little bit in a carpark to build confidence with gear changes.
    Hubby and I ride together, and use the F4 Inter-phone system. We can chat, talk through what we're doing, risks on the road, warnings about what's on the road further up etc. It's really fun, and neither of us would want to ride without the other. We also have 5 kids, so getting out and having time for a conversation is awesome.
    Please let your GF know I'm happy to chat if she wants to. Send me a PM. Happy to help :)
    • Like Like x 2
  18. imo rent a learner bike for a couple of weekends from a mbike rental company, there are many around, one i know is like sydneymotorcyclenetwork or something, they advertise on here.

    Anyway rent a lams bike for a few days and that should get her up to speed on gears. Then buy her a big bike, thats if she wants a big bike, otherwise buy her a lams bike, CB400 should be great, its got a very low seat.

    Anyway i would also get her to watch twist of the wrist II, just becasue im guessing scooters dont really need throttle control and cant highside you if your a hamfisted idiot. I would explain to her that she needs to take it easy and treat everything as if it were made of glass.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. She gets the shits because you cant keep up? :p

    Off restrictions a couple of months ago and went from a hyo gt250r to the gsxr750. Im 5'8 can easily reach the ground, comfort wise, getting home I ususally "chuck a lap round the block" a few times because I dont want to get off. Turn the key and he starts with a snarling smile, if you want trouble, this bikes it, it just encourages bad behaviour ](*,) (sorry was getting distracted again) Sharp, responsive, does require a little respect and certainly has a knack of reminding you who the boss is.

    But the GF is the one, like others have said, who needs to decide. Take her shopping, sit on them, spend some time on the bikes, ride them if she can..wont take long for her to find where she belongs.
  20. Also go for a ride with her on the scooter. They can handle twisties and it's still fun. See if she enjoys it. Also be aware of having her on both at the same time. The rear brake is where the clutch is and you don't want her to mix it up on the scooter.