Wife's bike!


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WingAdmin
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Wife's bike!

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:03 pm



So my wife is now a fully-licensed motorcyclist! After a couple months of my tutelage, a lot of back road and parking lot practice, and the MSF BRC course (she came second in a class of 15), she now has her full license. She's been riding the Virago 250 that I got her:

My wife's Virago 250
My wife's Virago 250

I've done a little bit of work to it - I replaced the ridiculous, useless, anemic headlight with a Sylvania Silverstar, I replaced the tiny mirrors with a set of convex mirrors that actually show what's going on behind (and beside) you - both of those at my request. I also added a rear trunk (she complained that it had zero storage, and she wanted to be able to go to the store on it), and fabricated a driver's seat back, both at her request. It also took a bit of work to get the bike set up to her size - she's a diminutive 5'1", so I had to work to get the handlebars close enough, clutch and brake levers within her reach, and so on.

She spends every waking moment out riding the thing now. She's already talking about a larger bike, with more storage, that could actually be used for some longer-distance travel (the 250 is pretty buzzy at anything over about 50 mph, and really doesn't want to be ridden faster than 60-65). I told her I'd look around and try to come up with an idea for her. Now this is not going to happen for a year likely, she just needs some more experience, I think. That said, she is an excellent rider, I'm very impressed. When I go out with her, I'll ride behind her and make note of anything she might do wrong (or right!) as she always wants to know afterward what I think. Lately I'm not coming up with very much on which to criticize her. Technically she's quite good.

So that said, I did a quick search for some bikes last night. What she wants:

- Something more powerful. Probably a 650 would be about right, I think.
- Something with storage space - i.e. bags/trunk, or capable of accepting same
- An upright seating position, as in a Goldwing. She dislikes the forward controls on the Virago, and does not want a leaning-forward sport style bike.
- Something small enough that she can actually touch the ground with both feet

She was describing what she wanted, and I said, "sounds to me like you want a Goldwing!" :) She agreed, but then said there's no way she could handle a Goldwing.

I was thinking that one of the mid-80's Silverwings might fit the bill, but from what I recall, they also sit fairly high up, similar to the Goldwing.

The only other bike I could think up that sort of fit the bill above was a Suzuki 650 V-Strom. I don't know just how tall they are, I know they have substantial suspension travel, which worries me a bit. Looking at pictures it doesn't seem TOO tall - but a bit top-heavy.

So...does anyone else have any suggestions?



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jobe05
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby jobe05 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:50 pm

Get the girl a GoldWing!

In a year or so......

I have short legs (29") and I can sit flat footed on mine. My son has a Honda Shadow 750 ACE and it seems taller than my wing. Weight would be the concern, they are heavy, but the whole object of learning to ride a bike is learning to not drop one........ However it's going to happen, it's going to happen to me also, like you wife though..... I just hope there will be help available to get it back up....

Although, based on what you did to that little 250, I'm quite sure what ever you get her, you can modify it beautifully to fit her and her taste, good job!

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby HALBUDD » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:55 pm

I just knew shed be looking for a bigger bike after you got her this one. I dont know but I have seen the 650 silverwings looks like it might work out for her. You might see if you can find one around you and have her try it out,its still a wing and should be more easier for you to work on plus Im sure there will be more how tos that you will want to post up for the guys and gals here. But it will always come down to what MOMA whats good luck and hope you find her a good bike . Hal
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby trike lady » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:22 pm

Even if you could find a Honda Pacific Coast, it too looks like a 'Baby' Goldwing.
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby maestro319 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:48 pm

Ya know, TrikeLady< I actually kind-of like the looks of a Pacific Coast bike. When did Honda make them and about how many were made? I ask that 'cuz you said 'If you can find one." And, what's the biggest engine size they made for that? And #4: Do you think would that be a good bike to "trike"??

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby trike lady » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Here's the history of the Honda Pacific Coast (AKA Baby Goldwing).
http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/ ... 0%2093.htm
It seems to be an 800cc engine from the specs.
It may be a little under powered for a trike, but it would be different. The conversion would have to be made special and you'd have to contact http://www.torbleautrikes.com/about_us.html because they'd make a professional looking trike. Cannot see why it couldn't be done, companies turn anemic cruisers into trikes.
Don't know how many were made, they seem to be collectible bikes from what I understand.
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HALBUDD
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby HALBUDD » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:39 pm

I have seen a couple on e-bay and some others they are 800cc and do look nice,And they do look like a baby wing !!! Hal
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby macka » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:41 pm

What about a shadow 650? It has some oomph, cruises nicely, can be modded to fit bags, and best of all short people can comfortably ride it.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby Harp » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:00 am

Very cool! Tried to get my Mrs. started on my Virago 700, but the MSF class turned in to a disaster( due to poor instruction/impatient instructors and some other issues)and she didn't finish. She believed the Virago to be a bit too powerful, as she loved the 250 Suzuki Marauder, she had in class. When I wanted to get her a 250 she said to drop the idea. I think a bad instructor really took the wind out of her sails. Regardless, I hope to restart her next season on a Virago 250. I re-learned after a 20 year hiatus on the 700. I found the controls on the 700 to be more upright than the 250 Virago that I rode in class. Maybe the larger Virago would work well for your Mrs. Just a suggestion - Then again mine is an 85, the newer models might be more of a forward control. Good Luck and Thanks for all your efforts on this forum!!!!! :D :D :D

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby HALBUDD » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:30 pm

Ok WingAdmin so what does the wife think of your options on her new bike,or are ya not going to let her see the posts haha Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:02 pm

HALBUDD wrote:Ok WingAdmin so what does the wife think of your options on her new bike,or are ya not going to let her see the posts haha Hal


There was a Silverwing nearby for sale, we went and had a look at it tonight. She could fit on it - a little on the toes to hold it up, and there's a good few inches of foam on the seat that could be cut down a bit - but it's quite top-heavy for her. If it started to go over on her, she'd have no hope of keeping it up.

Back to the drawing board.

That said, I had a picture of a white Pacific Coast on my computer when she walked in last night, and she squealed: "ooooh! What's THAT?? I want one of THOSE!!!" I like the Pacific Coast, but it's not a lightweight either.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby HALBUDD » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:14 pm

Now your really in trouble, shes found the bike she wants so you better start looking now she has the fever !!! And it wont go away until you get her one. I have been looking for a 1500 lately and just wont be happy until I get one. I wonder how the pacific is as far as top heavy or what height seat is? With it being an 800cc she should not have any problem keeping up with your bike and should be good on the highway at speed. Hope she gets the one just right for her Hal
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:37 pm

Congratulation's :D

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby wally » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:19 am

Check out cycletrader.com they show some Pacific Coast bikes for sale, and one in Illinois.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby wally » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:46 am

There's also a Pacific Coast in Ohio and Michigan on Cycletrader.com You can check out!

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:20 am

Hmmm. Her choice of the day, after spending hours looking at bike pictures, is a GL1100 STANDARD. She doesn't like the fairings. We'll see what tomorrow brings. :)

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:54 am

I have seen women handling big Harley's, if she can handle it I say cool deal.. She will then have herself her very own personal Goldwing mechanic... :D Hey I know where she can read up on these bike's too... :lol: Personally... I would have her look at one of my old favorites and boy is this a looker, 82 kawasaki LTD 750 if you can find one these bikes, they have it all..Perfect fit for her, styling, weight, height...The perfect bike for my wife, if I were to get her one and she can keep up with you on it with no problem...ha ha...
Here's my old bike, I think she might just go for..
Here's my old bike, I think she might just go for..

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby wdbarnes1955 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:58 pm

Very nice. My wife is thinking if going the same way yours did.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby Gold Feaver » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:41 pm

Have you thought about an 83 SilverWing??

Very Nice 500cc loads of storage and looks good! Match the color and you'll be a matched set!!
Side note: A set of roll bars will stop the full fall on these just like your 1100 Aspencade.
OR


Very Classy and loads of power low rider and has a good center of gravity. Some Saddle Bags and Voila!!!
Might be a tad heavy if it tips over but that holds for just about any bike over 500 cc's.
If she's pretty she'll have no trouble finding volunteers!!! :lol:
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:28 am

NICE rides you have there... :D

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby scratcho » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:53 am

There is a nice looking Suzuki Savage 650 on Craig`s list today. It is located in Strongsville. $2000.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby achowler1 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:32 pm

My girly has a honda 600 vlx shadow.... she rode my 2001 shadow spirit home this week for me.... she does not want a 750. she is in love with her 600!?!???
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my aspencade and 01 shadow... and the girly's 600vlx
my aspencade and 01 shadow... and the girly's 600vlx

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:35 am

We actually went and looked at a Silverwing last week - even with a cut down seat, it would be a bit of a stretch for her, and I think she was a bit intimidated by it. We'll see...still looking.

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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby Coder » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:00 am

With regard to the Pacific Coast, it is a nice looking bike, but may be too high for your wife. The standard seat height is 30", compared to 31.5 on the ST1100 and is not adjustable for height without changing the seat out entirely - like the wings, the fuel tank is under the seat!

The ST is comfortable for me at 6'4 with a 36" inseam since I can flat foot both sides of it simultaneously, but anyone with a 30" (or less) inseam is going to have difficulty! Bear in mind also that both the PC and the ST are sport/tourer styled - sporty look, but a broader saddle for comfort, and that will reduce the leg reach slightly too
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Re: Wife's bike!

Postby blackbird » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:38 am

Congrats to the wife. My wife entered the world of riding her own bike some years back, but was not remotely interested in 2-wheels. So, having purchased a '95 Pacific Coast (on the recommendation of a friend that has owned 2) she passed the safety course on a three wheeler, and we attached a Voyager kit. She has traveled many miles on the bike, and thoroughly enjoys being on her own. The bike is GREAT, easily keeps up with all the others ( Wings, Kawasaki's, Harley s , etc) on our rides, and we can take the kit off in about 5minutes and ride it on 2 wheels.
The PC makes a great intermediate bike, can be easily made into a stable platform with the Voyager kit, and has the performance of bigger bikes, with extra room in the trunk for the weekend junk.




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