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Discussion Starter #1
But I'm still just stuck here wondering whether the Wee is for me :confused:

Bit of info about me.. I'm 19 years old. 5'6, 28" inseam, 170lb. 3 months/~6k miles riding experience without MSF. Daily commute is ~2hr, rain or shine. First/current bike is a '12 Ninja 250R. It's "good enough" but that's about it. It lacks power on the highway, it handles very poorly on dirt roads (and there are a lot of them around here - I live in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts) to a point where I try to avoid them even if it means going 10 minutes out of my way, and it's not pleasant to ride around ~100 acres of mostly wooded property.

For upgrades, I started looking at dual sport/adventure bikes around 600cc, barring bikes like the KLR650, DR650, etc. I was looking for something that can handle light/moderate off-road (gravel, tall grass, soft/wet dirt, etc) and can sit comfortably at 75-80mph. The Wee popped up somewhere along the way and it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.

I just have a few questions about the bike. Maybe it'll put some of my worries to rest.

- How low can the seat go before comfort is noticeably affected? When I sat on the Wee at a dealership, I was on the tip of my toes and couldn't get one foot flat without having to shift my weight. I'd have to lower it enough to at least be on the balls of my feet and be able to comfortably have one foot flat on the ground. Is 1" off the seat too much? I could easily install lowering links and raise the forks, but I'd rather leave that as a last resort.

- How would handling feel coming from my 250R? I enjoy the flickability of my 250, but with the Wee being ~115 lbs heavier, I'm guessing it's quite different. No dealerships around here allow test rides nor do I know anyone that'll let me take theirs for a ride, so no matter what I end up buying, I'll be buying it blind.

- How easy are these bikes to work on? I'm willing to do some of the maintenance myself if I can. I've pulled the carburetor out of my current bike to clean it and shim the jets, but that's pretty much as far as my knowledge goes. I don't have a whole lot to work with.

- What about overall cost of ownership compared to other bikes (Tiger 800 XRx, Kawasaki Versys, BMW G650GS, etc)? Like I said, I'm able to do simple maintenance.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on, but those are just what's at the top of my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh another question if I do have to lower it. I'm sure it won't come to this, but I'm just curious: how much can the forks be raised? I haven't been able to find a clear picture, but it looks like the forks will make contact with the handlebars at a certain point.
 

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Okay. I can't answer your question; only you can do that. Some small women who've gotten into riding started out with big bikes, Harleys or similar, and they did just fine.

It's a personal matter.

You ARE doing something wrong. Do not, repeat NOT, buy new! You want to get a USED machine, because you will be going around awhile figuring out what works for you.

Get a used Wee. You can get seven year old machines with under 15,000 miles for under $3k. Sometimes way under.

If you like it, sell it and get a new one. But THE biggest mistake a riding n00b can make is buying new!
 

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A friend of mine who is shorter than you in the inseam recently bought a Wee, first thing we did was lift the fork tubes to just clear of the handlebar, about 15mm I guess, then after a couple of weeks he ordered lowering links, he is now very happy with it. I'd have tried lowering the seat first, then riding for a bit to get used to it before getting links.
You'll find it feels a lot heavier than the 250 at first, but you'll soon get used to it. From the sort of riding you describe its probably a very good compromise. They are very reliable and shouldn't need much work, but if need be there is lots of help available on this forum. You will likely find that getting the plastics off to work on it is a PITA, but shouldn't have to do it often.
I also think you would be better off with a second hand one initially, they are a lot of bike for the money and you won't be heartbroken if you drop it. Then if you really like it you can move up to one of the new 2017 models later.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay. I can't answer your question; only you can do that. Some small women who've gotten into riding started out with big bikes, Harleys or similar, and they did just fine.

It's a personal matter.

You ARE doing something wrong. Do not, repeat NOT, buy new! You want to get a USED machine, because you will be going around awhile figuring out what works for you.

Get a used Wee. You can get seven year old machines with under 15,000 miles for under $3k. Sometimes way under.

If you like it, sell it and get a new one. But THE biggest mistake a riding n00b can make is buying new!
Yeah, I get that it's a personal thing. No one can really tell me what works best for me - Only I can answer that. I guess I'm asking more in general if it's the right bike for my needs. Like, you shouldn't expect a super sport to handle the toughest off-road trails out there, right?

And I wasn't necessarily thinking of buying new right away, if at all. I'm mostly against buying new in general, especially when it comes to things that depreciate quickly such as cars and motorcycles. I just go to dealerships often because it's convenient and I have a few dealerships within 1-2 hours of me. They have used bikes there for me to check out as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A friend of mine who is shorter than you in the inseam recently bought a Wee, first thing we did was lift the fork tubes to just clear of the handlebar, about 15mm I guess, then after a couple of weeks he ordered lowering links, he is now very happy with it. I'd have tried lowering the seat first, then riding for a bit to get used to it before getting links.
You'll find it feels a lot heavier than the 250 at first, but you'll soon get used to it. From the sort of riding you describe its probably a very good compromise. They are very reliable and shouldn't need much work, but if need be there is lots of help available on this forum. You will likely find that getting the plastics off to work on it is a PITA, but shouldn't have to do it often.
I also think you would be better off with a second hand one initially, they are a lot of bike for the money and you won't be heartbroken if you drop it. Then if you really like it you can move up to one of the new 2017 models later.
That's good to know. You said he lowered entire bike, but do you know if he did anything with the seat? I know of a place I can go to get the seat shaved, so that's no biggie. I've also read on here about chopping the seat blocks or removing them entirely.
And yeah, I understand the pain with the plastic. I think I got all of my frustration out on my 250R since it's pretty much nothing but plastic... I hesitate to even put the fairings back on whenever I have to work on it. PITA, indeed.

Thanks for the info :D
 

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Agree with looking for a used one ideally with ABS. You may not need all the long distance touring farkels some may have, depending on your riding needs.

Lowering is reversible, so no big deal and lowering links are offered frequently on this side by someone wanting to reverse it on a used bike.

Also you can get the seat re-worked to make it a bit narrower and flatter, both may help.

Or consider a smaller lighter bike, like the Honda 500x. Not sure what the used market is like for those.

I would certainly not buy anything new, to much early depreciation and too costly to change your mind and to learn on.
 

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I'll answer part of the question.
I am roughly your height maybe 1/2 " taller. Same inseam. 64 yrs old with 48 yrs riding experience.
The DL 650 is getting up there with taller bikes but don't buy it if you want to flat foot. If that's your riding style then you will drop it.
I suggest you take a good course in slow bike handling.
I have the lowered seat, wear hiking boots with good tread and thicker sole for a bit of extra height.
Am comfortable with just toes touching and can easily just alter my position to flat foot one foot.
There shouldn't be a need to flat foot both feet, if you need this then get a smaller bike maybe a 500 cc.
You can lower the bike but I think this should be temporary until you get more experience, it can be lowered easily.
As others have suggested buy an older cheaper bike without worrying about damage if you drop it.
Again suggest you take a bike handling course of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agree with looking for a used one ideally with ABS. You may not need all the long distance touring farkels some may have, depending on your riding needs.

Lowering is reversible, so no big deal and lowering links are offered frequently on this side by someone wanting to reverse it on a used bike.

Also you can get the seat re-worked to make it a bit narrower and flatter, both may help.

Or consider a smaller lighter bike, like the Honda 500x. Not sure what the used market is like for those.

I would certainly not buy anything new, to much early depreciation and too costly to change your mind and to learn on.
ABS is pretty high on my list of priorities for my next bike, but not enough to necessarily be a deal breaker. For the farkles, if anything, I'd just go with a phone/GPS mount and auxiliary lights. Don't think I'll ever be out far enough to make use of something like a top case. My backpack carries whatever I need on a daily basis with room for more. The adventure model seems like it'd be overkill for me personally

The CB500X and NC700X were on my list when I originally started looking. I haven't seen any around eBay or Craigslist, but I likely won't be buying until around the end of spring next year, so there's still plenty of time to look around.

I'll answer part of the question.
I am roughly your height maybe 1/2 " taller. Same inseam. 64 yrs old with 48 yrs riding experience.
The DL 650 is getting up there with taller bikes but don't buy it if you want to flat foot. If that's your riding style then you will drop it.
I suggest you take a good course in slow bike handling.
I have the lowered seat, wear hiking boots with good tread and thicker sole for a bit of extra height.
Am comfortable with just toes touching and can easily just alter my position to flat foot one foot.
There shouldn't be a need to flat foot both feet, if you need this then get a smaller bike maybe a 500 cc.
You can lower the bike but I think this should be temporary until you get more experience, it can be lowered easily.
As others have suggested buy an older cheaper bike without worrying about damage if you drop it.
Again suggest you take a bike handling course of some sort.
Definitely don't need to flat foot, nor do I think I'll ever be able to with any bike I own in the future. I'm not even flat with both feet on my Ninja - with a seat height of ~30.5". Like I said, I'm completely comfortable on the balls of my feet, which is not far from being on my toes. At a stop, I like to put my left foot down, so being able to be flat with my left foot without maneuvering my body awkwardly would be a plus. I think that much is easily within reach even without changing the suspension.

And I do practice low-speed maneuvering all the time in my driveway (I get bored sometimes) but I don't really have anyone coaching me or anything. It's a loose gravel driveway and it's quite large, but I haven't really noticed a difference between that and, say, a paved parking lot. I'm not sure whether I'll take the full $345 BRC, but something like that is definitely on my to-do list.

Thicker boots are also on my list. I was thinking Daytona but maybe that's a bit out of my budget...... probably.
 

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Yeah, I get that it's a personal thing. No one can really tell me what works best for me - Only I can answer that. I guess I'm asking more in general if it's the right bike for my needs. Like, you shouldn't expect a super sport to handle the toughest off-road trails out there, right?

And I wasn't necessarily thinking of buying new right away, if at all. I'm mostly against buying new in general, especially when it comes to things that depreciate quickly such as cars and motorcycles. I just go to dealerships often because it's convenient and I have a few dealerships within 1-2 hours of me. They have used bikes there for me to check out as well.
Remember, an Adventure bike is a compromise. It'll handle some trail conditions - but it's not a dirt bike or a 250 dual-sport. Even a Wee is big and heavy and that works against easy riding on aggressive trails.

Think of it as an SUV motorcycle. Just as an SUV isn't a jeep, neither is a V-Strom or a GS really a dirt bike. But it'll get you into rougher territory, at least when it's set up right; and at the same time it'll gobble up the pavement miles. And carry all the gear you want.
 

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A KLR wouldn't be a bad choice. More power than ninja 250, Decent on highway, better on dirt/gravel than a Wee, and lighter than a Wee. Find a used one for $2G. My DR350 will do 70-75 pretty easily on the highway, but I don't like doing more than 20-30 mins on it, a KLR would be much better for your commute and still fun to hit the dirt roads on.

Also, once you have a bike with a top case, you'll never want to ride with a backpack again.
 

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Also, once you have a bike with a top case, you'll never want to ride with a backpack again.
I was just going to make the same comment. Room for spare gloves, additional layer, rain gear, backpack, groceries, other shopping ... . Mine always stays on. The side paniers are only on for trips.
 

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Excuse the ugly mug and dirty boots, recent return from a long bike ride full of bugs and insects.

These hiking boots give a bit of much needed length to my legs. Easy to flat foot one side, notice I move slightly to one side. Tiptoes when both feet out.
I only have the lowered seat and when I do LD rides also use an AirHawk which puts me further up.
If you the confidence with a bike like this then you can go most places paved and dirt with little problem.







 

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Discussion Starter #14
Remember, an Adventure bike is a compromise. It'll handle some trail conditions - but it's not a dirt bike or a 250 dual-sport. Even a Wee is big and heavy and that works against easy riding on aggressive trails.

Think of it as an SUV motorcycle. Just as an SUV isn't a jeep, neither is a V-Strom or a GS really a dirt bike. But it'll get you into rougher territory, at least when it's set up right; and at the same time it'll gobble up the pavement miles. And carry all the gear you want.
A KLR wouldn't be a bad choice. More power than ninja 250, Decent on highway, better on dirt/gravel than a Wee, and lighter than a Wee. Find a used one for $2G. My DR350 will do 70-75 pretty easily on the highway, but I don't like doing more than 20-30 mins on it, a KLR would be much better for your commute and still fun to hit the dirt roads on.

Also, once you have a bike with a top case, you'll never want to ride with a backpack again.
One of the reasons I shied away from the KLR is because I don't feel like I'd be using them to their full potential, y'know? They're more off-road oriented bikes, aren't they? Like the Tiger 800s, for example; the XR is geared more for on-road, whereas the XC is geared more for off-road. Between the two, I'd still go ahead and get the XR since most of my riding would be on-road with minimal off-road. The seat height on the KLR is a big turn-off as well, regardless of how much they sink down when you sit on them. Just getting my leg over would probably be a challenge

And even so with the top case, I like a backpack because I can actually carry it around with me, since I use most of what I carry on a daily basis. I have a Kriega R25, so it doesn't really bother me at all when it's on my back. Comfortable enough to carry around off the bike as well.
Though room for extra layers would be nice... hm. I'll see about it. I'm not sure exactly what to look for when buying things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
excuse the ugly mug and dirty boots, recent return from a long bike ride full of bugs and insects.

These hiking boots give a bit of much needed length to my legs. Easy to flat foot one side, notice i move slightly to one side. Tiptoes when both feet out.
I only have the lowered seat and when i do ld rides also use an airhawk which puts me further up.
If you the confidence with a bike like this then you can go most places paved and dirt with little problem.

<snip>
That looks about right to me. I could probably do with being slightly lower to the ground for a bit more confidence starting off since I won't be used to the added ~115 lb., but that looks pretty manageable. The boots I have right now have no thickness in the sole at all, so I'll definitely have to upgrade eventually. On the Wee I sat on at the dealership a few weeks ago, I could almost rock the bike from left to right because of how little contact I made with the ground..
 

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hiya, roswell, welcome to d'forum.

you mentioned your ninja's flickability.

i came to my 2015 wee from an 09 ninja 650. i find - and maybe it's just me - the wee to be slightly easier to handle, particularly through the curves. countersteering is more easily accomplished due to the wee's wide bars and taller frame (synonym for "topheavy"?}. others may think i'm nuts, but i'm confident i feel a difference between the two.

or, as my daughter recommends when i ask her how to fix something on my computer or phone: dad! just experiment!

have fun whatever you decide to buy!
 

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And even so with the top case, I like a backpack because I can actually carry it around with me, since I use most of what I carry on a daily basis. I have a Kriega R25, so it doesn't really bother me at all when it's on my back. Comfortable enough to carry around off the bike as well.
Though room for extra layers would be nice... hm. I'll see about it. I'm not sure exactly what to look for when buying things like that.
When you ride, you put the backpack in the top case. When you get to your destination, you lock your helmet and gear in the top case, and carry your backpack around. :thumbup:
You'll be more comfortable without it on, your back doesn't get all sweaty with a backpack on, and if you do go crash, you're most likely better off not having it strapped to your back.

KLR is a more road-oriented bike than other dualsports like the DR650, DRZ400, XR650L, etc - but more dirtroad-oriented than a Wee Strom, that's why I suggested it since you have so many in your area.
Go visit some dealers and sit on bikes, (they'll let you sit on them in the showroom). See how they feel and what you're comfortable on in regards to a seat height.
 

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CB500x would be my recommendation ....lighter, lower excellent second bike. I loved my demo ride on it.

https://rideapart.com/articles/suzuki-v-strom-650-adventure-vs-honda-cb500x-comparison-test

If looking used try a Scarver

BMW F650CS


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_F650CS

Gal I know is an instructor and rides one, she's shorter than you and loves it.

You CAN get used to a Strom .....buddy sort of did - same size as you - dropped on both sides first trip....once just on the street on an awkward camber.
But why ?? Get a bike that fits your stature.

Some here think it's okay to tip toe ....I tell you with a fully loaded Wee I want firm footing and I have a 30" inseam, lowered bike, raised boots and lowered seat and not entirely flat foot unless the bike is at full touring load.

It's got a big tank, add top case, tank bag....it's a handful ...I call mine the Mule as it carries a big load, goes a long way on a tank and bullet proof reliable but I sure as hell would not want to only have a single foot down.
 

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I'd lower the bike a little before shaving the seat. Some do just fine on the stock seat, but seems for most it doesn't work. With a 2 hr commute, you may need all the comfort, then again, at your age it may be fine. I could ride all day on a 2x4 at your age and be fine. Look at River Road double zipper field boots. Comfy and adds a lot of height at an affordable price. Lots easier than lowering. With the new '17 coming, there will be even more used on the market so it will be easier to get a great deal, and possibly already lowered and with the farkles you would want. Good Luck with whatever you get!
 
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