Wifey got motorcycle license... now what bike?

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by readski, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. readski

    readski Member

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    Hey... Wifey took motorcycle training course at local Community college:ap... 3 days intensive(?) training...she had never driven a bike before...she is short 5'1 and could barely sit up and feet down on the 04 Heritage ... besides it is a little to heavy for her.... so I couldn't give her any practice...course trained on suzuki 250 but really (she) don't want a jap bike... any suggestions for a good beginners HD (883 ok)??? Not likely to do much long distance stuff (she still loves back of the heritage and I don't mind)...but she will do some short around town touring...
     
  2. The Bad Man's Angel

    The Bad Man's Angel Active Member

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    XL883L!! Love mine! I'm 5'2 and it fit's me with room to spare. Rides great and is not overly powerful. Gets 60mpg and will do 100mph, 70mph on the interstate is no problem.
    I put a Mustang Vintage Solo seat with finder bib on it along with HD engine guard and windshield. I'll post a new pic of it for you in a few min.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  3. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

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    You got a couple of different ways to go here....

    You can get her something new, or fairly new (Harley or otherwise). You can get her something a little older or something that she can ride for a year and then sell...

    I'd opt for something a little older (Harley or otherwise) that she can make her mistakes on and then sell. At some point she may forget to put the jiffystand down. Or do one of the many thing that causes a bike to be on it's side when new riders are learning....

    It would be terrible for her to drop the "bike of her dreams" when she's first learning. Having that type of bike puts alot of pressure on a new rider not to make mistakes.

    My wife's first ride was a 5 y/o Sporty. Once she got all of the new rider oops worked out and was confident about her riding skills, she purchased the Harley she really wanted.

    Good luck!
     
  4. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't know.... I gave my wife the choice of whatever she wanted, with in reason. I was even willing to let her have my 77 FXE as a first bike. She wanted a Sporty. It took about a year for her to tell me she had outgrown it. By then she had gotten all the new rider mistakes out of her system.

    If may have something to do with the physical size of the bike and motor. An 883 is a lot less intimidating than a Big Twin
     
  5. Animal

    Animal Active Member

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    As a former motorcycle instructor please do not get a Sportster for a beginning rider. My personal opinion, and I've ridden most of the H.D. models is the Sportster is a top heavy, poorly balanced pig of a bike. I find you need a lot of upper body strength to ride them and I've fought the idea that they are a ladies bike for years. Please check out the Softail Deluxe, it is a very user friendly machine with a low centre of gravity, low seat height, narrower seat, and wide handle bars. Easiest bike to ride I've ever got on. I would be riding one but I'm addicted to the cruise and tunes on my Ultra. The Softail Deluxe is being ridden by more women every year and I ask everyone I can how they like it, all of them love it and most are ex-sporster riders.
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I'll add to this with the Dyna low rider and the Dyna super glide is a hard package to beat.
     
  7. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

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    As the old saying goes, opinions are like coffee cups, everyone's got one....

    I have seen women start on Sportster and have never wanted to ride anything else. I have seen women start on X brand 250's, move on to a Sporty, then to a Road King.

    I have seen women start on Road King, or a BMW and go to a Sporty..

    Not that a Sporty is the best or the worst, is just a choice. And that choice has to be made by the person riding the bike.

    I'm sure their are people on this forum that will disagree with your statement..

    I don't think they are a pig. I don't think they require a lot of upper body strength to ride. My 18 y/o grand daughter who is 4'11' and weighs 100 lbs has no problem riding one. She has even used her Sporty for a couple of track day outings. Riding a Sporty requires more technique than upper body strength. I've ridden a few and I did initially find the higher center of gravity different at first. But the feeling disappeared after the first couple of tight turns. You just need to sort out what the bike is doing vs your riding style. And adjust the suspension as needed. I find I can hustle a Sporty thru tight corners faster than my Road King, Dyna or my FXE.

    As for them being a ladies bike, I don't think they are. But some people have the mind set that guys should be riding a big twin.

    Either way, it needs to be a personal choice. No more, no less.
     
  8. The Bad Man's Angel

    The Bad Man's Angel Active Member

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    I'm 5'2 104lb and have ridden most current HDs, My Bad Man has a SE 110ci Ultra that I can ride, but when I got my own bike it was/is a XL883L and I love it.
    If MEN would stop trying to stick us ladies on this bike or that bike or on the back of their bike we'd be much happier!! When we're happy you will be to.
    Just let us pick the bike WE want!!
    Did someone pick your bike for you? THEN LET US CHOSE AS WELL!!!!
     
  9. readski

    readski Member

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    Thank one and all for your comments.... love that white 883L.... never thought about a dyna:27:...will follow up with what ever 'she' decides is best for her:rofl....
     
  10. whatyardwork

    whatyardwork Banned

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    Alot of good suggestions here.As suggested in a previous post"opinions are like coffee"..Heres my cup.Four years ago my wife got her liscence and we went through this very issue.We put money down on a sporty and thought we were all set.After our 3rd visit to the dealer I noticed the look on her face as she strattled the sporty.It was a look of feer.The sporty was too top heavy and even at 5 7" her legs were fully extended.She felt far more cumfortable on my softail as it simply sits much lower.Topping out at nearly 700lbs. I had a big problem with putting her on a softail for her first bike.Realizing how many close calls I have had simply parking my scoot due to loose gravle,wet grass,oily pavement etc..I knew a softy was simply not a smart choice.I have no doubt she can ride my 08 streetglide,that dosent meen I wish to be present when her knee snapps because her foot slid 3 inches on sandy pavement when trying to put the kickstand down.In the end we took a trip to a motorcycle show offering her the chance to sit on every bike imaginable.When she sat on the Honda Shadow ACE I was quick to recognize another look on her face..happyness.Still a big bike the Shadow 750 at 200lbs. lighter fit her perfectly.Here it is 4 years later with 14000 miles of comfortable confident riding under her belt she's ready to step up to a Harley.Im not saying new riders should go out and buy a Honda.Simply make sure whatever you put her on, make sure she's got that look of confidence when she's sitting on it.