Dang, to this day I miss my K75S, but the R1200GS is looking like a keeper.
I agree that whatever she is comfortable with is the right one. Your dealer can help with test and fit.
A lot depends on inseam and anticipated riding style, on- or off- road or a combination thereof.
I found my R1150R to be a good compromise, although I can't speak to the newer R1200R having not ridden one.
BMW MOA Ambassador
Sled Dog Touring Team | RSMaine | MOVermont
'08 R1200GS | '60 R60
You won't achieve anything if she thinks you are scheming to get her off her Harley.
Why don't you take her along to the dealer because you want to test ride something. Perhaps you can get the salesman to offer her a ride on one so that she can ride along.
It will have to be her decision and she will have to conclude that the bike is right for her.
Just be careful that you don't get sucked into buying a new bike for yourself.
'07 R1200RT (my favorite!); '12 Yamaha Super Tenere (El Gordo); '07 Suzuki DR650SE (!);
'59 R 26 (my first)
ask her what type of riding would excite her....I mean a cruiser to me is one dimensional and you can only ride one way....straight and on tar.
Seriously, if she is intersted in ADV riding then look at the GS family. Depends on money, interest and how adventurous she might be.
I absolutley love my R 1200 R! It took some getting used to. I had to work my way up from a Honda Hawk but I'm so glad I did! I feel like I'm flying!
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
I know several women with several different riding styles. I have a friend that is 5'2" and put 21K miles on her R1200GS before she ever lowered!! She could barely tip toe the thing but loved it. She lowered it and rode it in the 2009 Iron Butt rally, placing 20th. I have another friend that rode a R1200RS for years and recently switched to a F650GS and LOVES this bike. I am about the same size as your SO and I learned to ride on a K75S 5 years ago and now put 20K+ miles a year on my K1300GT. I love riding and everyone has different styles. For the first 2 bikes - I was "Told" this is the bike for you and I bought it. I really didn't have any problems, one of those things that you don't know what you're missing until you try it kind of thing. When I was rear ended on the R1200ST, I had to buy a new bike and then I was all on my own. No one to tell me which bike to buy. SEVERAL people told me because of my height and my LD riding, I should get the R1200GS; SEVERAL people told me that the GT was way too heavy and powerful for me. Soooo, I spent the day with my local dealer, Mortons BMW in Fredericksburg, and he picked out 4 bikes for me to test ride. I had thoughts about each bike and we discussed them together; but when I rode the GT, I just KNEW!!! I fell in love and we've been together for nearly 18 months and he's got 30K miles on him.
There's a lot of advice out there - Should be able to flat foot the bike, should be able to handle the power, should be able to ride fast, blah blah blah - I don't believe in any of it, I just believe that when you sit and ride the bike, you CONNECT with your machine. If you force a bike on yourself, it will never feel quite right and eventually, you'll hate riding.
I think SHE should RIDE several bikes and SHE should make her own decision. Coaching her and helping her talk through what she's feeling and how you can help is great, just don't push your own opinions on her.
That's my loooooooong .02!
Tina's RedHot ROCKET!- 2010 K1300GT I just love him!
2005 R1200ST totaled
BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington DC
"Jesus is coming!! LOOK BUSY"
Thank you all for your advice. Many good points were made and will be considered. She does not ever like any changes so this will be a hard one. The Dyna Low Rider is a good low seat bike but does not do corners well. It just does not feel right. It has very little rake and needs the tires at there full recomended PSI or it will be hard to steer.
She has put 11,000 miles on it so I guess it cannot be all that bad. It is a carry over from our many years of Harleys. At least BMW is starting to come out with low versions on some of their models.
Will let you know if a new BMW is in her future. Thanks to all again.
In my senile opinion, REDHOT nailed it.
As a point of thought, try completely removing the gender question from the equation. No matter who is riding, they will have their own comfort levels, preferences, etc, etc. Just look around you at everybody you see riding. Over there is the 5'4" rider on a GS (anybody remember John Martin trying to climb up to his Can Am?), next to them is the 6'4" rider putting on a helmet to climb onto a RD400 (yeah, that's me with my legs stuck out like a grasshopper).
After about 50 years of straddling these things, the only constant I can 100% verify is that there is no constant in what ANYBODY will develop that connection with that makes them want to throw a leg over and just ride.
I'll also echo the 'enjoy what you got' sentiment - or as it used to be referred to 'run what ya brung'. In the bench racing popular with us old and slow types, there are just as many fond memories of XR80's as there are of full-tilt-boogie hyper racers.
Yes, the above phrase says it all.
My friend, Terri, just (2 days ago) bought a beautiful white '94 R1100RS after riding Harleys for years and years, and had never ridden anything else. She's 5-6' and 120#, and fit. All she knew was that she was ready for a BMW, but not sure which model.
Tried sitting on a K1100RS, and she looked like a midget, somehow. It was just "too much bike" and "something" didn't look right. That one had suspension that was so shot as to make it unsafe, so she didn't ride it. Even sagged-out, it didn't fit her, and being able to flat-foot on both sides didn't help any.
FF to my letting her ride my pristine and beloved '94 R1100RS. . . a little "fear factor" for both of us due to the difference in the VERY LOW center of balance for her Dyna vs. much quicker steering and apparent higher center of balance for the RS. . . Also worried about the '94 gearbox, mui rapido throttle response, etc., etc., etc. Harleys, IMHO, are among the easiest bikes to master, even given their weight.
Well, she jumped on the RS in the big empty parking lot, snicked it in gear (is that even possible on a '94?), took off and ran through the gears like a champ, made tight turns where necessary as she ran out of room, and made it go real fast in the space available.
When she flipped up the shield, her smile said it all. This is IT! Moreover, as soon as she took off on the bike, everything "looked right," and I mean, immediately.
Ergo, +1 to the advice to keep looking/sitting/riding at the various possibilities and THE RIGHT RIDE IS GOING TO SHINE LIGHT AT YOU.
Editorial comment on "both feet, flat on the ground" idea. Uh, most rider classes teach us to slow down, come to a controlled stop, then slightly tip the bike to the LEFT (helps when engaging R foot on rear brake at slow speeds) and put only the L foot on the ground, hopefully not in a fresh patch of diesel fuel. To me, this is the mark of a competent rider, and the maneuver greatly benefits the vertically-challenged. The only time I put both feet down is when boarding a passenger, and just when touching down after pushing the bike off the C/S. Yeah, I know, a confidence-factor at work. . .but the above skill CAN BE LEARNED even by the shorter among us. Going fast is easy. Going SLOW w/o dumping that expensive plastic is a skill that must become second nature, especially for women, who tend to be shorter and have a little less upper-body strength, which makes a last-minute "save" more challenging.
Any day that you buy a new bike is a great day, and should be manifestly savored, yea, verily.
Editorial comment on "both feet, flat on the ground" idea. Uh, most ride classes teach us to slow down, come to a controlled stop, then slightly tip the bike to the LEFT (helps when engaging R foot on rear brake at slow speeds) and put only the L foot on the ground, hopefully not in a fresh patch of diesel fuel. To me, this is the mark of a competent rider, and the maneuver greatly benefits the vertically-challenged. The only time I put both feet down is when boarding a passenger, and just when touching down after pushing the bike off the C/S. Yeah, I know, a confidence-factor at work. . .but the above skill CAN BE LEARNED even by the shorter among us. Going fast is easy. Going SLOW w/o dumping that expensive plastic is a skill that must become second nature, especially for women, who tend to be shorter and have a little less upper-body strength, which makes a last-minute "save" more challenging.
Any day that you buy a new bike is a great day, and should be manifestly savored, yea, verily.
+1! I agree with your comment about stopping and putting the left foot down. I have learned this and it has helped me feel more confident when I come to a stop and I also don't have to be flat footed which I am not on either of my bikes. By using my right foot on the rear brake to aid in the stopping, at the last few feet of the stop you can use less of the front brake which usually makes the bike dive or can pull you down in a quick second. Using the rear brake more seems to stabilize the bike to bring it to an easy stop and then just your left toe or forefoot can hold that bike up because you have come to such a smooth stop with no weight shift or suspension upset! It can be learned and should be! I am only 5' 3" and I feel totally comfortable doing this on my R1100R and my F800ST.
I made the mistake of going on a road trip with a noob rider last summer, and he dumped a new GS twice at one stop sign, both times to the right. Oh, the humanity!