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Thread: Bikes for shorter folks.

  1. #1
    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    Bikes for shorter folks.

    I saw a post of Two Wheels Two Feet that she was looking for a highway bike. Mentioned that she was looking at a CB400 Honda. Seat height of 30 inches.

    I sent a short note about the 650 Suzuki Savage. Seat height 26 I believe. I have rode one of these and it was fun. A bit small for my bones, but for someone her size it would be a good fit I think. Has anyone had much experience or owned one of these bikes? They are a single cyl, belt drive unit and like any single you need to keep a few rpm's up to keep them smooth.

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    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumbstraight View Post
    I saw a post of Two Wheels Two Feet that she was looking for a highway bike. Mentioned that she was looking at a CB400 Honda. Seat height of 30 inches.

    I sent a short note about the 650 Suzuki Savage. Seat height 26 I believe. I have rode one of these and it was fun. A bit small for my bones, but for someone her size it would be a good fit I think. Has anyone had much experience or owned one of these bikes? They are a single cyl, belt drive unit and like any single you need to keep a few rpm's up to keep them smooth.
    Those are nice little bikes..
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    Senior Member Tinybear's Avatar
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    My mums 5' nothing and been riding since I was wee. There's very few bikes she can ride at her height. The three that worked for her are a savage 650 that she owned for 8 years and 50,000kms. A Vstar 650 she still ownes but is looking to sell as its too heavy for her now (she wants a 250 or another savage/s40). And she had a Vulcan 500 that I bought her for a bit. This was the best bike of the bunch in my opinion (so much so I kept it when she no longer wanted it until a crash totalled it :-( ) but she found it top heavy and without enuff steering lock

    The savage though she feels was the best fit for her and she did many LONG trips and even a saddle sore 1000 on that bike. It was a finicky bike especially when my older brother got and installed for her a pipe. Never could get the jetting properly sorted after that. Other wise is had a bit of a base gasket leak and the clutch actuation folk broke once requiring me loading into my truck and bringing it h,e to swap it out. Other than that it was a great bike on par for power with the V-Star 650 (aka good with a bit to spare but can feel a bit busy at higher speeds) but not even on the same page as the power from the Vulcan 500 (much smoother at speed thanks to being a sporting twin from the ninja and having a 6speed trams).
    Last edited by Tinybear; 12-19-2015 at 02:49 AM.
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    Senior Member Hoot Gibson's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents..."Height of Body" is not really what it's all about, it's those damn short legs and inseam....for somebody like me, long body, short legs{29 inch inseam} The TW is perfect and that Yamaha SR400 retro Gina pictured on her last blog post, peaked my interest: Stock Seat Height is 30.9 inches

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    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    The SR500 Yamaha from the past is one of my favorites, though I've never ridden one. The SR400 didn't get the best review from Cafe Racer Magazine, but they are going to do a build with one. They are both kick start only. I have gotten accustomed to both kick and electric start, and like having both on my bikes, even though my Guzzi's are electric start only. Like everyone on this forum, I like the simplicity of the thumpers.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really don't understand the fascination of people on here with being able to touch the ground.
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    Senior Member Michael Bryce Winnick's Avatar
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    With a street bike that is much too big for you, when a heavy and short passenger gets on and off, the weight shift can be an issue (especially after a long ride with your feet on the pegs). I used to ride with larger women so I would have something soft to land on if I crashed. A heavier woman also compressed the shocks once on the bike which was also a positive aspect about the relationships for the riding season. A taller woman can just climb onto the bike or kick her leg over the seat without incident. One was so tall for me that I had to go up on her. Another positive aspect of larger women is it acts as a deterrent to domestic violence. Usually after one hit I just stay on the ground. While I may be able to answer about the fascination of getting both feet on the ground, the question as to what is better; a tall thin girl with her legs wrapped around you or a short fat one trying to will always be debated. On a serious note the TW deal for me was locked up because of this forum and the seat height. There is no safe way to ride a motorcycle. Safe means absence of risk. If there is a way to diminish any part of the risk why shouldn't you. I am 5'6 and my street bike of choice was the CB750. The TW the lightest and lowest bike I have ever owned. After 10 years of riding on 4 wheels, I am looking forward to this. As more candles go on my cake, I can live with 55 mph for a 100 mile trek down US-2 now and then. I am sure I can get used to a bike I like that is not 600lbs and 4 inches too high for me.

    For anyone who does desire a street bike with a low seat height that will live forever, the Savage 650 is the last word. I must have 50 trips to Detroit on one of them. Bullet proof-one lung-fun-cheap.
    Last edited by Michael Bryce Winnick; 12-19-2015 at 11:07 AM.

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    Senior Member old w/??'s Avatar
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    Senior Member dette's Avatar
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    My two cents for what it's worth....

    I like to think I am still 5' - 2" but the nurse at my doctor's office begs to differ, she says I am now 5" - 1" so, it seems I will be limited more than previously if I decide to acquire any more motorcycles.

    What I have found is that even though I can reach the ground on most cruiser style motorcycles, some are too wide and heavy for me to consider owning. I was thinking about a V-Star 650 but ultimately went with the V-Star 950 Tourer which I fell in love with even though I was never expecting to. I never wanted a cruiser, I can't say I like the "cruiser styling" too much but for comfort and function I am beyond happy that I bought one. I did add a Mustang seat with backrest and I changed out the handlebars so that makes longer rides extremely comfy.
    I like a lot of motorcycles, "standards" are my preference because I love standing on the pegs. If Yamaha had been offering the SR400 when I bought my Triumph Bonneville T-100 back in 2010 I can tell you, I would have owned the SR400. When I was shopping for a motorcycle back then, I went in every dealer in my area asking what they had in a standard 400 - 600cc range. I was shocked to find out nobody except Royal Enfield had anything that fit my criteria. I actually liked the Royal Enfield but had two concerns that prevented me from purchasing one. One problem was there was something that my leg seemed to be hitting, can't remember what but my main concern was support. Royal Enfield is "the" bike if I lived in India but in the U.S., not so much.
    I test ride anything (except cruisers) that I can reach the ground on so, if I see something I might be remotely interested in I ride it. Here is my opinion on a few.... Ducati Dieval...if I wanted a lot of power and a fun bike, this is one I love and can ride just fine although, a bit top heavy. I was really considering a Suzuki Gladius back in 2010 but I chose the Bonneville. Something new that I haven't ridden yet but would love to try is the Ducati Scrambler, I love the look but it's too similar to my Bonneville for me to buy one right now. Oh, I rode a Honda CTX 500 a couple years ago but it had a rev limiter that annoyed the heck out of me because if I want to accelerate and over rev my motorcycle, I don't want Honda cutting me off with technology....I can blow up my bike if I want to. I also liked the Yamaha FZ-07 and FZ-09 and was hoping the FJ-09 would be my next bike a couple of years ago but when I sat on it at the IMS I discovered they had raised it up way too high for me. I was close to buying a low suspension BMW F700gs but the dealer wouldn't budge on price and the 2014 V-Star 950 Tourer was on sale since it was May 2015. The V-Star fit all my criteria except being able to hop off the highway and ride a forest road but, I do a lot of road riding with my Star group so I knew the V-Star would be fine for all my riding with the two Star Chapters I am active in. Plus, I could buy more than two V-Stars for the price of that one BMW so if I feel I need something with more power than my little TW to seek out forest roads I can buy something used to fit the bill.
    I know all that sounds like a lot of rambling and I could probably go on and on but I will stop myself....I can get a little carried away but, I'm short and I love riding so I want everyone who thinks they might be limited to realize that if there's a will, there's a way.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Gulfrider's Avatar
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    The Yamaha Virago's are pretty popular, 750 n 1100, and the Honda shadows, both good low seat heights, Ive had both Yamaha 750 n 1100 virago's and they are great bikes. Low seat height, light weight, and air cooled, easy maint imo, Honda use to make a 450 rebel also I believe?
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