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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I spent a couple hours off and on the scooter Sunday. She seemed a little annoyed by the "getting in and out of gear" ritual at each stop. But monday I swear hearing her say "After spending Sunday riding on the scooter, I think I might like having one of my own."

If she expresses that desire more often and with certainty, I'll get her one. She has NO motorcycle driving experience, however, and my gut instinct is to get her a 50cc-ish scooter to start learning on. But I know her, and her need for speed will surface if she can't keep up with me on the 650.

So I'm curious. Who of you have ended up getting a scooter for your significant other once they saw how much fun you were having on yours?

In your opinion, should I start her small (like I did) or jump right to a 400 or 500cc model? My 650 is too big for her to handle (her words).

Dave B.
 

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Dave,

Don't overlook 250cc options. A used Helix or Reflex might be just the thing. The problem with many of the brand new 250's is that they cost almost the same as a 400. The investment in a used 250cc would be minimal, and you should be able to get most of it back when she is ready to upgrade.
 

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Dave

I was in the market for a used Honda Reflex 250 for a while now. (They aren't available in Canada), until I chose to invest in a Burgman 400 instead of investing in shipping of a Reflex 250 (around $900 US to ship).
What I found was Reflexes seemed to lose $1000 off the MSRP within a couple of months off the lot. You can get an '02 or '03 with less than 3000 miles for less than $3500 US. This, to me, is a good investment. I don't see the reason to spend $5300 US for a Reflex new when you can get a Burgman 400 new for just a little more. I've always been a fan of Honda over all others, but really, it's a scooter....
I don't see any real difficulty in having any beginner learn on a Burgman 400 rather than a Reflex, though. If you can't handle either to perform a smooth, controlled start, then you'll have probs with either and the power isn't going to be a factor. Best to start on a grass surface, I taught my girlfriend that way on my Elite 250. She wiped out, but there was just a little grass and dirt mess. She got the hang of it, though.
Good luck.
 

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Darcy, Paul, Dave etal.,

No "significant other" here but a really really special good friend - and a helluva great person. She wants one too.

Also I've had to "deal" with my young - and wonderful - GS3 buddy (Jay for short) at work (all of 21 yo!) that wants the same thing. I am bamboozled. He just "got approved" through the honda credit ppl to "buy" a CBR600fi. :( Here's a cut and paste from what I told him...he is a great young man as is my lil lady freind is a wonderfully seasoned woman. I and her have already agreed about size, model etc....A nice 250.
__________

I know that this doesn't satisfy the mail but....
_____________________________________________________

Javelga,

You are a great guy. I do not want anything to happen to you while I am working here with you. I know I ain't your momma.

If you do not take this course, offered locally, before you even swing a leg over a motorcycle, I will kick your ass. I swear to God.

http://www.learn2ride.biz/start.html

I've always thought that you were a pretty smart guy, and the rest of us do too. But you will prove otherwise if you buy a crotch rocket, "figure out" how to ride it in the dealers parking lot, and then get hurt (or worse) on the way home.

This is serious Jay. I cannot even begin to re-iterate how friggin dangerous MC riding is in an area like this. I have over 20 thousand miles of motorcycling experience and these dumb ####### never cease to scare me.

I just wish you'd forget about the MC thing all together, however, if that isn't possible, !!----- please, please, please -----!! look into the website listed above, and schedule yourself in - it can't hurt, and they provide all the info - soup to nuts - and they have their own bikes that you can drop and scratch and look like an idiot on their bikes, rather than your very own brand new Honda.

Classes are designed to teach the person who has never operated a motorcycle before. It's MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) - approved, and you'll automatically get your motorcycle endorcement when you graduate 2.5 days later. Glen's wife Bev just graduated yesterday.

Be safe J. Do the right ###### thing...... you ###### Wally.

YB,
Pete

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Soap - I feel ya'llz pain...dunno what im gonna do or say....sigh.

I - at this point of mileage, cringe (sp) when I hear about new riders. I hate anybody getting hurt. I just guess I hate hurt. Call me a puss. it's just that its easy for me like others to think that motorcycle piloting is something thats as easy as bicycle riding. it isnt. its about as "easy" as learning how to snow ski. and have taught a grunch of ppl "how" to "do" that.

ergh.

sigh - msf - with thier crummy bikes, a freind/confedant, a modecum of luck, and the correct conveyance.

oh2
me
 

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Good way to put it.

I'm 35 and have been riding low-to-mid-speed bikes since I was ten. I swung my leg over a friend's Hyabusa last summer, and KNEW I would die if I rode it. I've got the experience, but I don't have the common sense. The bike has 170 HP and will go almost 200 mph. I would HAVE to discover what that's about and would die.

Today's 600's are every bit as fast as the 900's built 10 years ago. Urge anyone beginning, to use a beginner bike. I've gained respect from my Suzuki GS400 when redlining it for a few hours. IMO, I think any dealer selling any bike has the duty of asking how experienced a rider is and requiring they take a course that involves them seeing gruesome pics of bike accidents, etc.
 

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For what it's worth, I learned on an Aprilia Scarabeo 150, and wouldn't have it any other way. I still miss it sometimes; the scoot was light as a feather, easy to hold upright, inexpensive ($2500 US with 2K miles), more comfortable than my Burgman, and I sold it for what I paid for it after putting 600 miles on it. Plus, it was a pretty little thing. In my mind, a 250 would do the job but a 150 in a traditional Italian package is the better beginner setup.

Top speed with my fat self on it was about 60 MPH. 55 was quite easily done.
 

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Start small...

I started on a 50 cc and quickly decided it was too small, however I rode it for a year until I felt confident enough to trade up. A Reflex is a good choice as well and will keep up at least around town.

BUT I agree with everyone else...make her take the Motorcycle Safety Course before you buy her anything...actually the sooner the better. Knowledge is power and she will know after taking the course if it is something she really wants to do. If she still is interested in riding which she probably will be :D then go shopping. She can test ride everything with a MC endorsement so she can see what fits...

Oh yeah...hubby is now saying he "might" like to get a Burgman so we can ride together...LOL. This from a man that didn't want me to even get the 50cc! So I might be shopping too! He has prior dirt bike experience at least so he knows what he is in for.

Dee
 

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You might also want to look into the licensing restrictions. I've been told that, in Pennsylvania, if you test on a 50cc or smaller cycle, your motorcycle license is restricted to 50cc or less. On the other hand, if you test with something greater than 50cc, then you're licensed for everything. You don't want to accidentally get stuck with a more restrictive license.
 

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Reflex

2001 Red Reflex for sale in Classifieds...Illinois isn't too far from Kansas!
 

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My wife fell never rode before, fell in love with an Aprilia Scarabeo 150 and currently has one. She didn't want to learn on a Helix because of the foot brake, a reasonable opinion.

I took her to a parking lot and for two-three evenings taught her the basics and had her do some manuvers, emergency braking, etc...and she took right to it.

Personaly, if you could get her on a used Reflex, I would go for it. My wife is a bit "different" (look who she married) and went for the Italian look. Oh, and after a year of riding she wants for nothing more...so I am stuck with the Italian in my garage beside the B400.
 

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The first step for me was going to the MSR class...my hubby and I agreed that he will not teach me to ski or to ride a motorcycle. They provide the bikes (mostly 250s) and helmets, you provide the clothes, gloves and boots.

Before going to the class, I had only riden on the back seat. I knew you shifted gears with your foot and the clutch was in your hand, but not much more. The class was great for beginners. Plus in CO and FL, passing the class and getting the MSR card means that you don't have to test at the license exam center - you simply go in the short line and get your endorsement.

I practiced with my hubby's V-Star (he is a brave man!) and finally got my Sophie last month. He watches over me like a mother hen and worries when I go out alone, but we both agree the class was the smartest move I made.

Get her enrolled in the class and after she passes, talk about what cc she would be interested in. Before I went to the class, I simply wanted a 50cc or 150cc...after the class, I was looking at Burgy's. It took a year, but she's in my garage :lol:
 

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4D, you've probably seen enough of my posts to know my opinion of the 400 by now. It is my first bike, and I am glad I started there. I'd make a couple of comments...
1. A new 400 requires 500-600 miles of going 4000 rpm or less, which gave me plenty of time going 40 or so to get used to the controls and handling before trying to speed up.
2. Would you rather be worried about her learning to ride a sufficient machine, or would you rather worry about her getting run over on something that is too small to have enough power to get out of someone's way?
3. A new 400 will keep her happy for a long time, so you won't need to worry about trading up as soon as she has more skill and is bored with a putter.
4. Anything smaller than a 400 isn't going to have decent enough brakes for me to be comfortable putting my wife on them.
5. Anything smaller than a 400 isn't going to be practical enough for her to use on errands due to lack of storage space, clothing/wind protection, etc.

In short, I'm sure a 400 would suit her fine, if she ends up wanting one at all.
 

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4DThinker said:
In your opinion, should I start her small (like I did) or jump right to a 400 or 500cc model? My 650 is too big for her to handle (her words).

Dave B.
I have not bought my SO one yet but it's only because of finaces.
She rides my 400 some when we ride together (I also have a 150cc Bajaj) and she loves it! And she can handle it very well, and since it's automatic she has not trouble at all and she has not ridden very much.

I say get her the 400, she learn on it as easy as the 50cc maybe even easier. As soon as I can that's what I'm gonna get mine. I'll either buy her a 400 or me a 650 and give her my 400. And as much as I think about maybe getting a 650 I love this 400 and there are several things about the 400 that I like better than the 650.

Steve
 

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hrdillender said:
...4. Anything smaller than a 400 isn't going to have decent enough brakes for me to be comfortable putting my wife on them. ...
Non sequiter. That does not compute. :?
 

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:D I bought my 400 in 03 brand new off the show room floor. The only thing i had riden before was a 250cc honda elite. And that was back in 1988. Boy when i got my 400 I thought i was cock of the walk. :eek: So much power and good looks to go with it. It wasn't long before my son wanted one of he's own. But the law here in Arkansas won't let a 14 year old ride any thing more the a 250cc. So he ended up with a Refex. A great scoot a little under powered when used to something bigger. Anyway the point of the whole stroy is my wife seen how much fun my son & i were haveing. So she went and got her learners permit. Two weeks later she went and got her license. Six month down the road I bought my 650 and let my wife have the 400. The rest is histroy in the makeing. :D You will see on my signature of this site. We are a scooter family. We have each put a about 10,000 miles on each scoot. My son is now getting close to his 17th birthday. And wants a car really bad. He can aford the car but not the insurance. So i guess he'll rideing that scoot for a while longer. Like it or not.
 

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4DThinker,
In my case, it was the other way around. I was a Gold Wing rider for lots of years, thought they were the best thing on two wheels. Anyway, my wife to be at the time, got a used 125cc for herself back in 1999. We had so much fun riding that thing, and she quickly decided that scootering was for her, and so did I. When we found out that Honda was going to bring the Reflex into the U.S., we ordered two of them, and the Gold Wing became a thing of the past. We've riden the Reflex to parts of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Now the lady is my wife, and she has gotten herself a Silverwing. So we've both progressed. She went from a 125, to a 250, to a 600. I went from a 1500, to a 250, to a 650 Burgman. Oh, we still have the 125, and probbly won't part with it. (And, the Reflex in the classifieds is my wife's. That price is just the asking to start the conversation.)
 

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btw - my apologies to all for the inclusion of the "whole letter" to my lil buddy on my previous post - it was edited (thankfully) by a moderator. I guess that just sometimes I am asleep at the switch and i should have realized that the strong language included should have been modified before the cut and paste. my bad. :oops:

again - my apologies.

pete
 

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I'd recommend 250 or smaller for the first bike/scooter, and make it a used one. Get her a good helmet and riding gloves though. She'll probably have a low speed fall in the first year - and you want her to be protected. If she's wanting to ride alongside your 650 - then I'd suggest a minimum of 150cc. There are a lot of 150-250cc scooters, and they are all relatively light. Maybe you could find a friend with a small "beater" that they can loan her for a while - and then she could decide if she wants a 400 or a 250...?

The Aprilia Atlantic 200cc might appeal to her. http://www.apriliausa.com/models03/scoo ... html?id=16
It's style much like the Burgman 400, an while my wife loves her Burgman 400 - she somewhat wishes she'd have bought the 200 Atlantic instead.

Piaggio and Vespa also make nice 200's...
http://www.piaggiousa.com/pscooters/bv200.cfm
http://www.vespausa.com/products/gt.cfm

FWIW: In Texas the riding test is the same - if you take it on a 50cc then you're limited to a moped license. In some states mopeds are also not supposed to go over 25mph - so you could get a ticket on a 50cc for doing 30mph in a 45mph zone...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you, everyone. In Kansas you didn't need a specific license to ride a 50cc or smaller scooter. But since the manufacturers have increased the power output of their 50cc machines, the law was changed to a HP rating instead of a displacement rating. So some 50cc's are legal with no license, and others aren't. The dealers know which.

I started on a 49cc moped, then a 150, then a 250, then my 650, so I've got a good idea of what performance she could expect from any of those. She earns her own money so I'll let her decide in the end, but I'm going to sign her up for the MSF course a week before her birthday, then buy her whatever she wants, assuming she passes, on her birthday. She will of course know my opinion, and that will be to get a 150 or 250cc anything, with the promise that she can upgrade to a 400 or 500 after a year if she feels she needs it.

Dave B.
 

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Hi: Get the 650. I was riding on the back of my husband's goldwing when I decided to go it alone. The 650 keeps up with him. I also put insta trike wheels on mine as I had no riding experience either. It is wonderful. I know I can't dump it. I never worry going around turns or riding in wet weather. She will really love the 650. Why waste time on the smaller bike. I took the motorcycle class as I had to, to get the endorsement on my license.
 
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