Looking for my second bike.

by Lisa Boissonneault

I'd be interested in hearing opinions from your readers. I'm betting that there are a lot of women who currently ride and are looking to purchase a bigger bike. I'm hoping I can get some information that will help me narrow down some good options.

Comments for Looking for my second bike.

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Aug 20, 2012
Well, that's better, BUT
by: Second Bike

..rather than mentioning your height, your inseam length will be a much better determinant of what bike(s) will fit you and provide confidence. Most people want to be able to flatfoot on at least one side, so the seat height vs. your inseam length will have a lot of input on your ability to feel at ease in low speed situations. A little more information about exactly what style of riding, and what types of roads you desire to ride, would be additionally helpful.

Many women choose the Cruiser style (Harley look) for a first and subsequent bikes because they are inseam challenged and that type have very low seat heights. The problem is, in most cases that attribute is the ONLY valid part of the equation for a new rider...the fork rake (angle), long wheelbase, sometimes lack of state of the art suspension and chassis, and relatively heavy weight are the downsides to this type...low speed manuevering isn't optimal, although most are well balanced once fully underway.

Saddlebags, both hard and soft, are available for ALL types of bikes, including "Adventure(dirt oriented streetbikes)," "Standards" and Sport oriented bikes. Almost any bike can be made suitable for short term touring with the addition of bags, tank bags, luggage racks, etc.

Have you decided the types of roads you want to travel on? Some people detest "slabbing" on the Freeways and seek out canyon roads or twisty routes along rivers or in mountains. Some don't mind long straight roads. Your choice of bike type should reflect the type of roads and riding you want to do.

You need to try out all types of configurations and bike genres to see what will appeal to you in terms of ergonomics. Footpegs below you, like on a standard? Forward controls, like on a Cruiser?

Only you can decide what fits you and feels comfortable.

If you're concerned about heft you may want to consider a "standard" over a Cruiser due to differences in weight. Even the smallest Cruisers typically weigh around 500+ lbs., and the largest ones tend to be almost as heavy as full-dress touring bikes, from 650 to 800+ pounds.

Go sit on (off the side or center stand) as many bikes as possible to get a feel for what fits and how much weight you feel comfortable with.

My personal preference for a 2nd bike, would be a Kawasaki 650R twin. Don't let the "Ninja" name scare you. It is designed for somewhat inseam challenged folks with a seat height of only about 30". Although it's styled like a sport bike it has mostly standard ergonomics, so you aren't hunched over like a superbike. Another good one is the BMW F800, which has a factory-lowered option. Buying a bike that doesn't start out low can be problematic...finding a COMPETENT person to lower it after the fact may compromise the bike's chassis and handling, so tread carefully there.

Aug 19, 2012
second bike
by: Jeanette

I have a Suzuki s50 boulevard 800. I love it but have already (just been riding two weeks) been checking out what I want next. My husband suggested going to dealerships when they have demo days to try out various options. That's what I'm going to do as many times as I can until I find the right fit. I want to love my next bike as much as I do my first one.
I can't agree more about a bigger tank and bags. Its like they are minis. Lol
Good luck!

Aug 17, 2012
This should be more like it....
by: Anonymous

When I supplied the previous information, I didn't know that that was going to be my post. It appeared to be a justification on why my post is appropriate.

I currently drive a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard 650. I've been driving for only two years. I'd like to have a bike with a bigger gas tank and saddle bags. Those are a must seeing as my current bike has a three gallon tank and saddle bags that are the size of a 8x10 sheet of paper and only a few inches deep.

I'm only 5'1" and concerned about getting on a bike that is too heavy for me. One that I can't handle. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Aug 16, 2012
What kind of riding & how much experience??
by: Judy

There's not even the slightest amount of information provided by you to help us understand where you're at now, what kind of riding you've done so far, and what kind of riding you want to do.

There are both many, many brands and several difference genres (types) of bikes, some of which are only best for certain types of riding, others that are more versatile...so tell us what your experience to date has been, and on what model.

Do you want to tour? Commute? Rail through the twisty roads? Do track days or aspire to race? Just putt around town? Weekend trips on all types of roads? Also, your inseam length (NOT height) and overall strength must be taken into account in your choice of bike(s).

Tell us more and we can try to give you some ideas.....

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