Adventure Bikes for shorter people - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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Other Motorcycles Forum for you to discuss anything about any other motorcycles. Good place for former (and soon to be) V-Strom owners to keep on the site even though they are without a strom.

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  #1  
Old 10-17-2012, 11:44 AM
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Default Adventure Bikes for shorter people

My GF loves her Gladius, but thought that in the future she woud get an adventure bike. She had sat on the BMW GS650 (the twin cylinder 800 cc whatever the model is) and felt comfy but too many of her friends (that own BMW's) are telling her the maintainance cost is crazy on them.

So what other choices are there for less tall people? To give you an idea of the height requirements her Gladius was lowered an inch or so. She got her license in May and since then has put on about 22,000 km on it so is getting more comfy but still wants to be able to comfortably put her feet on the ground when stopped.

Suggestions?

..Tom
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2012, 01:50 PM
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A lot of people are whiny sobs when it comes to maintenance costs. If she likes the bike instead of getting stories from people who probably heard it from a friend, who heard it from another friend she should go to the dealership, talk to the service guys and find out what services really cost. It may be better or worse than she thinks but at least its hard numbers.
I did this a couple of weeks ago out of curiousity and truthfully, if you really do the maintenances as they are prescribed through a dealer I don't think its that big a difference.
Its also an important question to ask if you can do any of it yourself. Some folks can and some can't, just a factor.
Finally, if you really want a bike and that happens to be the one that fits best it seems to me you're better off with that than trying to reengineer another bike which may work out or may be an unmitigated disaster from a handling point of view. If it costs some more in maintenance so what? If you can't afford it maybe its the wrong hobby.
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'14 HD FLHR
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2012, 02:54 PM
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Joe,

This isn't friends of frends, but rather owners telling her. She has several new friends that have BMW's. They marvel at how little her Gladius has cost to maintain over the 22,000 km she has had it (it is an 09 that she bought with 8,000 km or so this past May) and how her bike has been totally reliable with no issues whatsoever. I was looking to find a GS650 for her but she said no way she is not putting up with that nonsense.

I can't argue with her on it.

BTW, a good friend of mine has an RT with no issues a far as I know; but her friends have had problems and spent lots of money.

..Tom
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2012, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe S. View Post
... If you can't afford it maybe its the wrong hobby.


She can happily afford the maintainence on her Gladius and really why the hell would that matter to you? She doesn't want to throw money away when she doesn't have to.

I really take exception with the elitist attitude that is implied in your quote above.. people don't have to be have a certain income bracket to ride and maybe, just maybe they don't enjoy getting hosed down by people that think they have to spend X amount of dollars to enjoy a sport.

..Tom
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This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2012, 04:13 PM
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My suggestion? Keep the gladius for a full year. She'll get more and more comfortable learning to put down one foot at stops and leaning the bike instead of putting down both feet and trying to keep the bike upright. Then next year, a whole world of bikes will open up to her that she previously would have been uncomfortable on.

Alexi
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Tom View Post


She can happily afford the maintainence on her Gladius and really why the hell would that matter to you? She doesn't want to throw money away when she doesn't have to.

I really take exception with the elitist attitude that is implied in your quote above.. people don't have to be have a certain income bracket to ride and maybe, just maybe they don't enjoy getting hosed down by people that think they have to spend X amount of dollars to enjoy a sport.

..Tom
\


In your first post I would point out that it is important to seperate out reliability (repair) costs from maintenace costs. They are two different things. Not knowing which is which it hard to comment on. BMW has typically had a 3 year warranty so if buying new repair shouldn't be an issue for at least that long. Of course not having a problem is even better.
Its not elitist, its reality. Motorcycles cost money to run. Tires for example do not last a long time and they are expensive compared to say cars. The Gear we use, helmets, jackets, gloves, cost money, more than they should in my opinion, but they do because they are specialized to our hobby. In fact you do need to have a certain income level to ride just as you do for anything else. It can certainly vary from the guy who has a mid 80s rat bike to the guy who has a K1600 BMW but its stone reality.
So the reason why the hell it matters to me are two fold; your original post made it sound like cost is a big object although it was not clear why. You have now clarified that its because she simply doesn't want to pay what she perceives as too high a cost for the bike involved. Fine.
Two, is that I see a lot of people come into this hobby and then complain about the costs of it when its clear that it simply isn't affordable for them. If thats not her issue, fine, it is for a lot of people and those most commonly taken by surprise are those new to the hobby and were simply not aware of what it can cost. Or as my wife would put it "they should just give you the bike and make it up on parts and accessories".
Certainly there are ways to trim costs in some areas and what they do with their money is their business but I see it as pointing out a reality. I've been doing this for over 40 years and have a pretty good idea of the varying costs involved and think its worth pointing out. I have seen it with all levels of bikes, I used to own a GL1800 and would constantly see people bitch about the costs of this and that. Well, lets see, I spent in excess of $20k for this bike and now I can't afford this or that farkle, tires or maintenance. Seems a little strange to me. If thats elitist to you well, sorry.
So, to answer your original question, if the BMW that fits well is off the table to her then you're pretty much stuck with modifying something else. The VStrom is probably the closest thing to that bike I know of although Suzuki did at one time make a factory lowering kit for the DR650 and as far as I know still doesn. I had one, its a good bike, not as good a street bike as a Strom but defintely a better dirt bike. Tank is really too small, seat is an abomination to mankind.
A Strom can probably easily be lowered an inch by tinkering with the seat and sliding the fork tubes up, either a shorter shock or some type of linkage lowering kit. Probably also need to change the sidestand. I don't like doing stuff like that because I feel it gets into geometry changes which I feel are things I like to be factory tested. That said, people do it all the time.
For the rear end lowering you might google Norm Kouba, he makes a variety of links for different bikes, one purpose being lowering.
As for the current bike she might also try something simple like a taller boot or having a boot maker add some height to existing boots if possible.
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'14 HD FLHR
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'11 DL650
'01 HD FXD
'09 HD XR1200
'79 BMW R100

Last edited by Joe S.; 10-17-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2012, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe S. View Post
\


In your first post I would point out that it is important to seperate out reliability (repair) costs from maintenace costs. They are two different things. Not knowing which is which it hard to comment on. BMW has typically had a 3 year warranty so if buying new repair shouldn't be an issue for at least that long. Of course not having a problem is even better.
Its not elitist, its reality. Motorcycles cost money to run. Tires for example do not last a long time and they are expensive compared to say cars.
...


Your message:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe S.;
A lot of people are whiny sobs..
sure sounded like a typical elistist comment that I'd expect from someone that tries to rationalize spending way too much money just to have a particular brand name in the garage.

Since she got the bike in May she has bought two new jackets, three sets of riding gloves gloves, a heated jacket and heated gloves, two pairs of riding pants, a helmet and boots. She has bought two tires (front and rear) and will need another rear shortly. She signed herself up for a two-day track session and completed it. She has had her bike's valves checked and I have done oil changes for her. She has had to repave her driveway and will have to modify her garage by putting in a new garage door and partitioning it (it is currently essentially an extra room in her house) so that she can park her bike inside in the winter.

I don't think that you could even remotely imply she is a "whiney sob."


I suggested the BMW since she had sat on it and was quite comfy. She researched into the BMW and neither wants the crazy costs her friends (owners of BMW's) tell her plus, and likely more importantly, doesn't want the worry about the thing leaving her stuck in the middle of no-where as her friends have expressed concerns that way as well.

She doesn't like to throw money away, but will spend it if she needs to do so.

..Tom
__________________
Road Toads Charter Member 2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, 2012 DL650 New March 2012 115,000+ km, 72,000+ miles.


This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2012, 05:28 PM
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If anything, the BMW 650 single is going to be the most affordable BMW.....They're pretty crude (much simpler and less costly to maintain), compared to BMW's more spendy models, and should be relatively "cheaper" to maintain.

She should go for it.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2012, 05:31 PM
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Hey V-Tom, how about a DL650?

Too tall, you say?

I say, naw...

AND

recommend that you have a quick discussion with a fellow by the name of CBRXXCESS, likely via PM relative to a DL1000 that he knows about for a less than average height person.

DO NOT, however, think that Mr. CBRXXCESS is of slight stature . . .

Have a great day!
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Tom View Post
Your message:



sure sounded like a typical elistist comment that I'd expect from someone that tries to rationalize spending way too much money just to have a particular brand name in the garage.

Since she got the bike in May she has bought two new jackets, three sets of riding gloves gloves, a heated jacket and heated gloves, two pairs of riding pants, a helmet and boots. She has bought two tires (front and rear) and will need another rear shortly. She signed herself up for a two-day track session and completed it. She has had her bike's valves checked and I have done oil changes for her. She has had to repave her driveway and will have to modify her garage by putting in a new garage door and partitioning it (it is currently essentially an extra room in her house) so that she can park her bike inside in the winter.

I don't think that you could even remotely imply she is a "whiney sob."


I suggested the BMW since she had sat on it and was quite comfy. She researched into the BMW and neither wants the crazy costs her friends (owners of BMW's) tell her plus, and likely more importantly, doesn't want the worry about the thing leaving her stuck in the middle of no-where as her friends have expressed concerns that way as well.

She doesn't like to throw money away, but will spend it if she needs to do so.

..Tom
At least quote all of what I said.
"A lot of people are whiny sobs when it comes to maintenance costs. If she likes the bike instead of getting stories from people who probably heard it from a friend, who heard it from another friend she should go [b]to the dealership, talk to the service guys and find out what services really cost. It may be better or worse than she thinks but at least its hard numbers.[/B]" You now say she did research this and finds it unacceptable, we would have saved some time had you said that to start with. Bottom line I'm pretty sick of people that go on about costs and base it on annecdotal bullshit they heard from whoever. I see a lot of it and when I think thats what I'm seeing I point it out. If thats not the case, good on her because it means she's sharp enough to think for herself which i respect a lot.
Whatever, think what you want. I'm an elitist snob if thats what you want to think, I don't give a rats ass.
The whiny sob comment was actually directed at whoever she is getting her information from. And the truth is there are a lot of whiny sobs. The fact that these people are owners of said bike may go towards proving the point. I don't know about you, I don't like to throw money away either, so I research what I am going to buy which includes running costs. If they are taken by surprise by what their bikes cost them to run, well, sounds like poor research.
But whatever, I'm not going to spend time trying to justify myself to you. I gave the best information I can, especially now that you've clarified the situation. Take it for what its worth, probably not much coming from an elitist I guess.
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Joe S.
'14 HD FLHR
'12 Concours
'11 DL650
'01 HD FXD
'09 HD XR1200
'79 BMW R100

Last edited by Joe S.; 10-17-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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