426 Pilot

Member
Apr 27, 2000
53
0
What's a good bike for my wife. She has never ridden a 2 wheeler but she is ok at riding a mountain bike. This past weekend we went to pismo dunes and rented her a four wheeler and I was amazed at how aggressive she was riding (even hitting little jumps). She said she would rather have a two wheeler. She is only 5'1" . I was thinking a used XR 100 or a XR 200 and lowering the suspension.

The way I see it is that if I get her a bike I will catch less flack for always wanting to go riding.

Thanks,
Jon
 

SUnruh

Member
Aug 24, 1999
49
0
look no further than the Yamaha TTR125L.
it is an AWESOME bike for the wife.
nice four stroke mellow power,
good suspension.
a front disc brake.
the shock actually has a preload collar that you can adjust.
large wheels with easy to find tire sizes.

a much MUCH better bike than the xr100.
my wife is 5'2" and rides it just fine.

------------------
Steve Unruh - Texas Championship Hare Scramble Series V29
98yz250, 81yz125, 77yz80, 00ttr125l (wifes)
 

Buell

Member
Dec 1, 1999
69
0
I'd second the vote for the TTR125. It's better than the 10 year old design of the XR100. I had an XR100 that my boy and Wife learned on but if the TTR would have been around I'd have bought that!

OBTW- check "airastro's" YZ426 ad in the for sale forum. He's got a TTR-125 for sale as well.
 

creator8

Member
Jul 22, 2000
28
0
i got my wife an xr200 which i made street legal. we've done a few dual sport tours together and she loved it. the xr is easy to kick, lightweight, easy to ride and bullet proof. i don't think that the new tech vs old tech between a ttr and an xr is a major issue at beginner riding level. but i'm sure the ttr is cool also.

be careful introducing your wife to the dirt though cos she's gonna get hooked and you're not gonna be able to roost with your buddies all the time.
 

426 Pilot

Member
Apr 27, 2000
53
0
Hey sideways, How tall is your wife? I am concerned about the height of the bike. I want her to be able to easily touch the ground with both feet. What years are good for the 200?

Thanks,
Jon
 

Kramer

Member
Jan 19, 2000
112
0
426, Check out a Gas Gas Pampera 250. The size and power are comparable to the other bikes, but the weight is way better.

I went through this last year. Good advice?... give her all the information and help _her_ choose a bike, don't just pick one out for her.

here's a table I made up last year to compare some bikes.

model seat ht. wt. $$

xr100- 30.3 150 2199

xr200 33.5 223 3299

xr250 36 240 4699

GGpmpa 32 205 4849
250

dr200 32 249 3849

kdx200 36 223 ?

If money were no object the KDX + lowered suspension would have been best. The Pampera has turned out to be a great choice though.

Don't be mislead by the size of it's engine. It is a 250cc trials bike engine with a regular expansion chamber. Very mellow power, but can rev enough to run at 60mph with stock gearing. Hydraulic clutch and disk brakes front and rear are other good points.

[This message has been edited by Kramer (edited 08-31-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Kramer (edited 08-31-2000).]
 

DualSportr

Member
Aug 22, 2000
527
0
Since she's "vertically challenged" like I am, I'll tell you what I did.

I started out on an XR250. It was tall, but had good suspension, and was pretty easy to start, so I thought I'd be okay. Wrong-o! I rode it around gently (crashing frequently) for a year or so and sold it and got into quad riding (which I still love).

A few years later, I wanted to get back into 2 wheelers, but this time I bought a cheap-o used XR 100. I only rode it for about four months, but I really got aggressive on it because I had no fear of falling over! Heck, I could just stand up and it would drive out from under me if I got into trouble.

From there I stepped up to an XR 200. I rode it for about 2 years -- LOTS -- went through about 3 back tires every season. I did everything possible to it, Dual Sport kit, bored and stroked, ported, Works shock, etc. Loved the bike, hated how it handled at speed.

Finally stepped up to a new XR 250 this year. I do fall over more often (even after lowering it), but I go faster in the rough stuff (still miss the torque of that stroker XR200 though!).

Anyway, my point is, if she is comfortable on an XR 100, buy a used one and let her thrash it for a few months. Then when she's ready to step up, look at the TTR 125 or even something like the newer XR 200 (94 and later have a smaller chassis), CR100, or KX 80 big wheel.

At 5'1", she really will have trouble on even an XR 200. Of course, once she becomes an aggressive rider, height is less of an issue.

PJ
 

alstroker

Member
Jul 16, 2000
6
0
I really messed up trying to teach my wife how to ride. I borrowed my moms' XR100 and she did really well the first few outings. She picked up shifting and turning pretty well. She is only 5-2 and the bike fit her perfect. Then one day we were riding around. I was on my DRZ400 and she on the XR100 and she got bored with riding around the same old terrain. I suggest maybe she should practice climbing a small hill (about 3' high) which was a little bit steep. She went over it about 5 or 6 times without problem until.... She went up the last time and gave it too much throttle. The bike wheelied out from under her at the top of the hill and she fell down the other side on her hands and knees pretty hard. You would have thought that she had never felt pain before. I am used to falling like that and I just get up and shake it off but not her. That pretty much did it for her. Now she is afraid to ride and if she can never get over that she will never learn. I wanted her to be able to experience the joy that I get from riding but I guess it will never be. I have great respect for women riders. My mom is a good rider and I always took it for granted but I believe you are a rare breed.
 

LoriKTM

Super Power AssClown
Oct 4, 1999
2,220
6
New Mexico
alstroker,
When your wife fell, did she have gloves and kneepads on? This could make the difference whether she gets back on a bike. Was she seriously hurt, other that scrapes and bruises? Unfortunately, falling and crashing come with the territory, and it may be difficult for her to overcome her fear.

To 426 Pilot:
I wish the TTR125L was around when I started--would have snapped one up. Either way, find a model that she is comfortable on, height, levers, weight, etc. She will gain confidence faster if she feels like she is controlling the bike, and not vice-versa!

------------------
Lori K.
Y2K KTM200EXC
1995 KDX200
BRC, AMA D17
Falling doesn't hurt--it's the sudden stop at the end!
 

mx king

Member
Jun 17, 2000
1
0
My wife bought a TTR225. It is her first year riding and we went to Colorado and had a great time.

She had a 2000 CR 125 before the TTR and likes the TTR much better.

The electric start is just what she needed.

She went up some pretty knarly hills in Colorado and yes she fell a few times.

I don't think she would have had as much fun on a TTR 125.

------------------
 

jeffd

Naïve Texan
N. Texas SP
Jun 9, 2000
1,610
0
Dittos on the TTR-225. It is a great bike. Lots of mellow power, electric start, relatively low saddle height, disk brake, more ground clearance, suspension, power, and brakes than an XR200. It has plenty of tourqe for climbing hills so hopefuly she won't out-ride the bike for some time. My wife and I share a 225 now.

-Jeff
 

alstroker

Member
Jul 16, 2000
6
0
KTM Lorie, my wife was wearing gloves I think but no pads. She wasn't seriously hurt either. The fall wasn't really that big of a deal she just isn't used to it. I agree though if she had pads on it might not have banged her up as much.
I see you ride a KTM 200exc. That is a cool bike I considered that bike before I bought my DRZ400 but I also have a KTM 360SX so I just decided to buy the fourstroke and have the best of both worlds.
 

Peer Lovell

Member
Nov 25, 1999
601
0
I have been looking for a "Bike for The Wife" for quite some time.
I will consider almost any late model bike, 2 stroke or 4 stroke. She doesn't look too bad, and is an excellent cook. Please forward picture of bike first.
 

DualSportr

Member
Aug 22, 2000
527
0
ALstroker,

I think you've hit the nail on the head when it comes to most women and riding. I've always had this theory that women are not as used to pain from injury as men are. Guys typically do things that can cause injury --whether it's working around the house and hitting themselves with a hammer, or playing softball and attempting to slide into 2nd -- Women (especially after high school) normally don't participate in activities which have a high likelihood of injury.

Because of this, I think women tend to dwell on possible injury a little more. As a guy, you've probably broken your share of bones and had few stitches in the past 10 years, so even though you don't look forward to it happening again, you know it's not that big a deal. Your wife or significant other probably hasn't had any bad injuries, so when something does happen, the shock is sometimes worse than the actual injury.

Anyway, when a gal is riding a motorcycle, especially when she's just starting, most of her brain is taken up with "what if I hurt myself" -- "what if I... run into that tree, fall over in this turn, crash on those rocks..."

Women have to overcome those thoughts before they can react correctly to situations. If they don't overcome it, they make stupid mistakes -- like grabbing the brakes instead of the throttle. Guys get mad, because their brain works differently, and they can't understand why their girlfriend or wife just did something so monumentally stupid.

I started riding quads 15 years ago. After a pretty fast learning curve, I raced TT and flat track against the guys. I pretty much have a guys brain when I'm on a quad -- I never worry about crashing, and because of that, I can react correctly to bad situations.

I got on bikes later -- and I still have a girl brain for that sometimes. So I still make stupid mistakes. I know that until I can shut off that "what if" and not worry about crashing, I don't have a snowballs chance in hell of being a fast two-wheel rider.

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth, and give you guys an idea of why chicks act so dumb on bikes sometimes, and why our learning curve might be pretty flat!

PJ
 

Rooster

Today's Tom Sawyer
Damn Yankees
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Aug 24, 2000
3,300
1
My wife was a "what if" woman too. I said to her one day, when she was on hte what if mode "what if a four foot fireball shot outa my $#%?" I'm divorced now.

------------------
I love the smell of two stroke in the morning.....
 

alstroker

Member
Jul 16, 2000
6
0
Dualsporter,

I really appreciate the input. You mentioned rocks....that's another fear that my wife has. If the bike doesn't feel totally planted, she thinks she is going to fall. Rocky areas are a problem since the bike tends to skate around on them. She hasn't learned to feel the motion of the bike and become "one" with it. She is just perched on top and hanging on. It is so interesting to watch her ride. On the dirt she is timid and scared but once we head back home and get on a short stretch of pavement she is shifting up through the gears and speeding off like a pro. She feels secure on pavement.
 

creator8

Member
Jul 22, 2000
28
0
part of the problem is you are putting pressure on your wives/girlfriends and judging them by your own standards (i.e. years of experience and not really having to think about riding). my wife didn't even drive a stick shift before she got on a bike. i had one try at teaching her how to ride and then got a friend's wife who rode (very well!!) to teach her. she got it quick and loves riding now, mainly because i don't get on her case about it. once in a while i'll give her a pointer on something but usually only when asked. you have to just let them get on with it at their own pace and not get them in situations over their head. as they progress they will want the challenge of harder terrain and going faster, but have some patience and use good judgement as to where you take them. we all really have no idea how intimidating it is to learn to ride because its so natural for us now.
 

bbbom

~SPONSOR~
Aug 13, 1999
2,094
0
Yeah, you guys are right. Women don't do anything that would make us feel pain - how's about CHILDBIRTH!!!!! ;)

Just kidding dualsporter - I know what you mean!! :)

Seriously, creator 8 hit it on the head - experience helps. I was timid riding over rocks & tough spots when I first started with my KLX300 last season and pain was not something unfamiliar to me. Cracked ribs (3 times), sprained ankles, torn rotator cuff....... all since I turned 30 and only 2 rib crackers were from my bike. The thought of pain never slowed me down but, the lack of skill and experience sure did.

With some good coaching (my wonderful boyfriend) and some good riding experience, I am much more confident now in my riding - the power of my CR500 doesn't hurt either (until it tosses me down :)).

After you run over the rocks & roots a few times & see that you can go over them without crashing and learn that slower is not always (ever?) better, it builds your confidence and you are ready to move on.

Get her something she is comfortable with & be patient. Some of the women we ride with are very aggressive & continue to improve and some are happy just putting around (goes for guys too in some cases).

One thing I noticed, my riding improved dramatically when I started riding with my boyfriend (CR500, not KX500). The guy that got me started in riding (KX500) last season was so worried about me getting hurt (or maybe that I would out do him?) that he actually undermined my selfconfidence which kept me from improving. I was always worried that I couldn't do it because he was very negative - just walk it....be careful....

My boyfriend and riding partner CR500 on the otherhand, has really helped me because he has confidence in my ability (more than I do usually). But, you never know what you can do until you try. The first time I rode his CR500, I was nervous because everyone kept saying it was gonna kill me and I was crazy to ride the beast. Well, I rode it 3 or 4 times (along with as many other bikes as I could test out) & went & bought my own CR500 because I liked it so much (and he wouldn't let me have his :(). If it hadn't been for him telling me he knew I could do it after watching me ride the KLX, I wouldn't have even tried it. The negative response from others really has an affect on ones confidence. Even now the comment is "You mean YOU ride a CR500!!!" Of course it doesn't bother me now.

He has taken me on trails that some of the really good riders we ride with refuse to go on. His patience, coaching and confidence in my abilities has really helped me. If a section is really tough, he will stop & tell me how to approach it. In areas that there is a possiblity of me getting into real trouble, he always stops to wait & make sure I make it. He has had to get me unpinned more than once. He always offers to take it through for me - which I rarely will allow unless I am exhausted. This is when just he & I go.

On normal rides, he does not babysit me, he rides with his buddies at their pace and when they stop they listen for me. If he doesn't hear me he comes back for me which is rare anymore. I don't get stuck very often now and usually I can catch up with them as they are dragging one of the other guys' bikes back up on the trail!! :)

Be patient, encourage her & help her learn & you will both enjoy it!!
 

G. Gearloose

Pigment of ur imagination
Jul 24, 2000
709
0
bbom,
Sounds like you have something really special there..
You certainly know what your talking about.

My wonderful wife has enjoyed trail riding with me for 10 years now, but she's in kind of a slump lately and hasn't ridden this year. Its been difficult to now with our two-year old because we don't have a steadfast babysitter and she will only ride with me. Her friends don't do anything so adventurous to keep her inspired and I've lost my ability to inspire her lately, its just not the same hearing encouragement from me after 11 years.
She's considering selling her bike that she just loves, but hates to look at it because it reminds her of more carefree days when it was easier to not only get out riding, but also take it easy when you return home fatigued.
I'll support her either way but I'd rather see the girl have fun. I'd pull her bike out of sippi holes and rocks all day to see her out riding and grinnin' again. I organized a nice excursion last year for 1/2 day, but I guess it wasn't the same.

I suggested she log on and talk to you girls, I'm sure some of you have been there...

426 Pilot, you probably already made a purchase but,

I concur with DualSportr and vote for a xr100 for a beginner of 5'1", for the following reasons..

1)At 150 # its light enough to pick up by herself, even after some fatigue. The xr200 is another 70# (220), and the weight of the ttr225 is even higher.(260 lbs. dry)

2)You could get a used one so she can try the sport without feeling obligated by the investment of a new bike, taking the fun out of it.

3)Don't underestimate the confidence boost she'll get if she outgrows the capabilities of the xr and wants to upgrade to the ttr125l in a year or two.

My wife is 5-2.5" and finds the xr100 a touch small because when sitting, her upper legs are parallel to the ground making a less than ideal transition from sitting to standing on the pegs, but 5-1 will be a better fit. She thinks starting the bike with her hand is a cool feature; I'm not going to argue. I agree the ttr125l is much better and we once dabbled with the idea of getting one, but if it doesn't happen she'll still have fun on the 100.

We found the following made the xr100 more friendly:
Higher bars (almost an ATV-bend), wider tires because the stockers are bicycle -width and wash out in any sand, and 20 weight oil in the forks to get some damping out of them, and real hand guards.

Remember she may want to ride for different reasons than you. Some aggressive riders aspire to *conquer* a bike that has the potential to spank them, my wife would rather trust her gentile bike despite its shortcomings, and hone her ability in the mud, sand, rocks or hopping trees.
You'll have to determine which she is, and talk to her about it.
Good luck,
Tom
 

bbbom

~SPONSOR~
Aug 13, 1999
2,094
0
Hey Tom,

Tell Mrs Gearloose to come in & visit with us ladies. I can relate to the problem of being able to really enjoy riding when there are little ones to worry about and all kinds of stuff that you should be doing.

I doubt if her reluctance to ride is because she's bored riding with you - I love riding with my boyfriend. I know I used to feel guilty going riding even when my kids were having a good time playing at my brother's house with his girlfriend watching them. Then there are all the things that I should have been doing instead of enjoying my day off!!! I finally realized that, going on a good ride made everything else much more tolerable - work, kids, house, obnoxious neighbors....That was the end of the guilt trip. Everything goes a little smoother it seems, when you can get out & do something you enjoy with someone you enjoy - especially, if you can forget about all the things that gotta be done while you are out.

Help her find a good babysitter (or a few), get the stuff that needs to be done before the next workday done. Then take her on a nice ride. She might resist but once she gets into it she'll probably want to keep her bike. Sometimes it takes a little effort to get back into something but, if she enjoys it its worth it!

Good luck, sounds like she's a lucky lady too!!
 

gospeedracer

Chat Mom
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Feb 8, 2000
3,136
0
Bbbom, you are indeed fortunate. Can I borrow your “CR500” for a while? ;)

I know he tries but my boyfriend and I just can’t ride together without it turning into WWIII! We went into the woods together at the spodefest and let me just say we did not come out together. :p

I can tell when he gets impatient and it just gets me more flustered. It is a real confidence buster. It is to my own detriment that I let it bother me so much. I wish I could ignore it and just focus on myself but it’s tough. Encouragement, patience, encouragement and oh ya, did I say patience, are the key, for me at least.

I have a hard time listening to him and he has a hard time keeping his cool when I don’t want to tackle an obstacle I don’t think I am ready for. I think it is important to encourage someone to try something they think will be difficult but I don’t think you should try and force them or get upset when they don’t.

I find that it is easier for me to ride with and take advise from people that I am not as “close” to. When I went into the woods for the first time ever with wrench, at first he went off some tough stuff that I avoided but then he apologized when he saw me struggling. He took me on a loop over and over again, I assume so that I could get comfortable and familiarize myself with the woods (at least that’s what I like to think). There was an uphill and a downhill that I was reluctant to try but he was very encouraging and supportive and talked me through it. I didn’t really want to do it but he made me feel comfortable enough to try it and I made it through both of them! I have had similar experiences with other DRN members. I had a blast following Duner around when I was first learning to ride. He is very encouraging and supportive especially with his girlfriend which I believe has been a contributing factor in why she has excelled in her riding. Desertracer another wonderful guy to ride with from what I have seen he is a wonderful riding partner for his wife.

Anyway I am rambling on as usual but to help with the original question I would not have known what to say a few weeks ago but since then I have seen and test ridden the TTR125 and I would have to agree with most everyone else that it is a great bike to learn on. Very forgiving and perfect for the shorter rider (like Rich from what I hear :p )

G. Gearloose, definitely have your wife come check out this site and chat with the other ladies of DRN. I think she would find it very beneficial.


------------------
Aimee
RM125
AMA Member
Blue Ribbon Coalition Member
gospeedracer’s Picture Page
 

Rooster

Today's Tom Sawyer
Damn Yankees
LIFETIME SPONSOR
Aug 24, 2000
3,300
1
I would love to be able to take the time to teach my girlfriend how to ride and help her all along the way. I have taught several begginer guys and waited when necessary and helped them build their skills and confidence. Now most of them outride me on a regular basis. Doh. I just can't seem to get her to give it that first try. She seems so frightened by dirt bikes. What to do?

------------------
I love the smell of two stroke in the morning.....
 

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