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Kim wants to get an adventure bike.
I need your input. She's 5'4". Currently she rides a Ducati 620 Monster and a Yamaha XT 225. She wants a bike that will do 600 miles of highway and still be able to do dirt roads and two tracks. Her concern is saddle height.
Help me out here folks.
 

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BMW F650GS or F800GS.
 

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Well, the single most important piece of information that you and she need to apply to the bike purchase and is lacking here is this: what is the length of her leg (inseam)?

I'm 6' tall with a 30" inseam. Women typically have longer legs than men, men are taller in the upper body than women. I've heard posted on this forum of female riders who are between 5' and 5'5" and have longer legs than 30".

If she has an inseam measurement of 28-30" or longer, she can do a VStrom. 30" or less she'd benefit from a pair of KB Lowering Links from Murph's Kits. They drop the rear end 3/4", and then you'll want to lower the front end by 3/4". Then she'll be in fine shape for the VStrom.

It's the seat-to-ground reach that is critical for the control of the bike at a stop, overall body height is not important in this regard. Handlebar modifications can always take care of the reach from seat to hand controls, sometimes as easily as up-and-back bar risers.

A Sargent saddle is likely going to be needed for her for long days. Gals have the wider pelvic bone than men, and the stock VStrom seat is a nightmare for most men due to the lack of support for your "butt bones". The Sarg will increase the seat-to-ground reach a bit (and provides a wider, more supportive sitting surface than the stocker), but it is offset by the rapid tapering of the seat shape at the front nose of the saddle, making the foot reach to the ground about the same as it is with the stock saddle.
 

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Kim wants to get an adventure bike.
I need your input. She's 5'4". Currently she rides a Ducati 620 Monster and a Yamaha XT 225. She wants a bike that will do 600 miles of highway and still be able to do dirt roads and two tracks. Her concern is saddle height.
Help me out here folks.
The 800cc BMW f650 GS Twin is a good choice, so is the Wee.

Then again, one can do a reverse-motard conversion on any bike.

I used to do quite a bit of gravel on a gsxr with no problems.

The way to tell is not to ask us but to get her sitting on some bikes (lots of them). Have her try out a 400cc suzuki drz type of thing, maybe she'll like the seat. (luggage mounts can be fabricated)

Strangely enough, I recommend looking at the ninja 500; it is really nice and light, fast enough to hang with the wee, has all-day fuel range, very comfy ergos (upright despite its name), and you can eaily swap in a klr front end.
I've had a ninja 500 on dirt roads, and it gave it less trouble than it does my wee. Don't laugh, there's some pictures on here of an sv-650 that's going where no streetbike should go.
 

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Then again, one can do a reverse-motard conversion on any bike.
I agree -- just stay away from belt drive. :mrgreen:

As many of us know, "dirt-worthy" is a relative term and the V-Strom has little to offer over a ninja 500 except for easier fitting of knobby tires, and better availability of crash guards and skid plates.

I vote KLR rather than V-Strom because I feel the Strom is too big for someone 5'4", however any similar bike that looks better when you put scratches on it would do. I've never sat on a BMW 650/800GS.

Are you sure she doesn't want a long-distance bike that she can take on gravel? I have a PC-800, which is a touring bike, and its low center of gravity makes it pretty stable on shifty gravel roads. I wouldn't be any more hesitant to take it on gravel than any other bike, except for the Suzuki S-40 I almost ruined last week by caking mud in the front belt sprocket thingie. That thing is allergic to dirt.
 

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I'd be looking at the BMW G650GS in the low model. Stevet is right, inseam is most important, but 5'4" is pretty short.

Who was it on the forum that always said his SV was far more dirt-capable than his DL? That may be something to consider. I suppose even a Gladius or Versys could be options with a little customization. I know that's way out there, but it's worth thinking about.
 

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Who was it on the forum that always said his SV was far more dirt-capable than his DL?
I believe that was the guy i've been arguing about engine braking with... whatever his name is. He (as anyone else, me included) can be an idiot (in the greek sense) about some things (engine braking comes to mind), but he's definitely right about the sv being more dirt-capable than the strom.

Any bike can be adventure-capable. The strom just happens to be more luggage-capable than the sv.

There's a guy who crossed the sahara on a Benelli TNT; on street tires please.
He didn't have a harder time than anyone else would have had on a bmw f650 dakar.
 
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