Moto: BMW or otherwise; for vertically challenged person(s)
Flat feet on the ground=confidence...Low center of gravity/light weight=same...Power-output not so important for beginner or inexperienced, but power delivery more so,gentle tractable power better...
For the beginner/inexperienced/vertically challenged rider looking for a BMW, in my humble opinion; (40yrs/motorcycling,30+yrs/BMW's):
1979-1984 R65; (50HP), (will pull 90MPH all day if needed), but is very easy to handle for novice. Seat height is still kinda high though, for anyone under about 5'4"...
2001-2005 F650CS; (50HP/ABS/heated grips), see above, plus this bike with low seat is good to about 5'2' or lower...
I ride a 2009 F800ST, and yes it does have a very sensitive/twitchy throttle! The new F models with the low chassis option do have benefits;lower seat height; maybe good down to 5'2" or even less, but the power available; (65-85HP), is just another variable for the novice rider to have to learn how to handle.
Just remember in Europe, they have stepped-licenses; nothing over 250cc/27HP for beginners. When you suggest to a new/novice rider a USA-spec BMW motorcycle, you're already doubling that power output...Everyone's natural ability is different,(MSF/training etc...helps), but wouldn't you want any of your loved-ones to have a safe rewarding, introduction to motorcycling?
When I started riding, Paul's Yamaha RD250 looked HUGE to me!
So my first ride was on my sister's 185 dirt bike. In an alfalfa field!
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My favourite is my conversion: R69S frame and 75/5 engine. This gives the low seat height, low COG, nice handling etc. The reason for the engine change is the magic start button. Learning to kickstart not required.
Most of my miles (over 10,000 per year) however, are on my 250 Yamaha Virago. Light and low and easy to handle plus mechanically very reliable. Can keep up on a flat interstate, doing 70mph all day. I did 500 miles in 9 hours in the midwest last year. It was pathetic climbing a 12,000 ft. pass in CO last summer, so I'm looking for a 650 V-star to ride to Redmond this year.
My height is 5' 2" (if I stretch.)
The Kawasaki Ninja parallel twin family: 250, 500, and now 650, also the new ER6 "naked" roadster (based on the 650 Ninja). Nice, light, narrow bikes, with low seat heights (and optional seats, too), excellent footpeg and bar placement, and a well earned reputation for reliabilty, easy to buy, own & insure, and good looking too.
(Note the red "sold" tag hanging off the brake lever, my wife's gone green!)
Last edited by 108625; 02-05-2010 at 10:15 PM.