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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. My name's Andrew. This is my first time here. As well as being only the third time I've ever posted anything on a forum. I'm in need of help looking for a perfect fit for me to begin looking at options, financing, etc.Now I know that what I'm about to say next will confuse the **** out of you is that I haven't even begun motorcycle ed yet, so you're probably wondering what the **** am I doing here now, asking questions? Well....just testing out the water as the saying goes. I know some useful things to know about me would be: preference of possible ride style? Cruising/torque in the low to mid end. Height? 5'6". One thing I've never been able to discern through watching YT Channels like MC Commute, chaseontwowheels, DukeofDC, SRK Cycles, Moto Chooch is what kinds of bikes or a specific bike would compliment my short stature or at the very least make it manageable through things like different seat, 1-2in heel boots. Things like that. Certain companies? Open to all. As for certain sub-specfics, I'd wouldn't even have a clue as to know which style of bike would be great for two passengers. Hope this info can help begin my addiction and look forward to talking to the community!
 

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American Legion Rider
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WELCOME ON BOARD, and...

Our regular members do like to know they are welcoming a real person.
I'm sure you now have noticed that there is a language filter so be careful.
This is a PG13 site. But thanks for your introduction.
We are friendly site here. Well, most of us


Be sure to look around the site as you are not the first that has wanted
this kind of information. Especially First Bike / New Rider.
A few suggestions...

Don't even think about a passenger or what bike you'll need to
carry one at this time. It may turn out not to be for you in the end.

Search out and take a basic riding course. There are numerous
advantages to taking said course. Not to mention learning the
proper techniques.

After the class, sit on as many bikes that fit you based on seat
height that you can. Todays bikes are all good so don't have a
closed mind when it comes to your ultimate bike.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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15,670 Posts
Welcome, at 5'6" you are going to have to find a bike that fits you. Are there dealers in your area? If so go and sit on as many different bikes as you can find.

Also follow the Hog's advice.
 

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Gidday from a small Island in the Salish Sea.
I am 5' 6" and ride an 83 XS400. It works fine, no hi heals. My larger 79 XS1100 is also manageable at my extreme height. On two other bikes I cut some foam from the seat, and lowered the forks. Too many of the newer bikes, are too tall. Even if you were 4 inches taller. Some of the newer bikes can be lowered, and many of the newer bikes are low enough. I would suggest you find something cheap to ride that fits you, and learn to ride first. You have got plenty of time to fine tune your riding style, and change your mind.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Unkle Krusty. I greatly appreciate your reply. Before I continue, I had to look up where the Salish Sea is located, and may I say it must be extremely beautiful around there! I've always have an affinity for that part of the US/Canada. Pacific Northwest. Anyways, I actually have been shopping around and I've come to see that a possibly pretty good starter bike may be a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400. What say you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WELCOME ON BOARD, and...

Our regular members do like to know they are welcoming a real person.
I'm sure you now have noticed that there is a language filter so be careful.
This is a PG13 site. But thanks for your introduction.
We are friendly site here. Well, most of us


Be sure to look around the site as you are not the first that has wanted
this kind of information. Especially First Bike / New Rider.
A few suggestions...

Don't even think about a passenger or what bike you'll need to
carry one at this time. It may turn out not to be for you in the end.

Search out and take a basic riding course. There are numerous
advantages to taking said course. Not to mention learning the
proper techniques.

After the class, sit on as many bikes that fit you based on seat
height that you can. Todays bikes are all good so don't have a
closed mind when it comes to your ultimate bike.
WELCOME ON BOARD, and...

Our regular members do like to know they are welcoming a real person.
I'm sure you now have noticed that there is a language filter so be careful.
This is a PG13 site. But thanks for your introduction.
We are friendly site here. Well, most of us


Be sure to look around the site as you are not the first that has wanted
this kind of information. Especially First Bike / New Rider.
A few suggestions...

Don't even think about a passenger or what bike you'll need to
carry one at this time. It may turn out not to be for you in the end.

Search out and take a basic riding course. There are numerous
advantages to taking said course. Not to mention learning the
proper techniques.

After the class, sit on as many bikes that fit you based on seat
height that you can. Todays bikes are all good so don't have a
closed mind when it comes to your ultimate bike.
Thank you for your reply. And will do about the language.
 

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Premium Member
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10,063 Posts
Hello Unkle Krusty. I greatly appreciate your reply. Before I continue, I had to look up where the Salish Sea is located, and may I say it must be extremely beautiful around there! I've always have an affinity for that part of the US/Canada. Pacific Northwest. Anyways, I actually have been shopping around and I've come to see that a possibly pretty good starter bike may be a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400. What say you?
I like them. Small bike of the year for 019. I seriously thought about getting one, but decided to just run my old 400. They are very similar bikes. I think a decent, fairly quick, good handling 400 is the way to go. A friend of mine, age about 77, excellent expert road race rider, rides an older 500 Ninja. Keeps him happy, and he goes faster around the corners than all the younger locals.

We have been all over the Salish Sea in our sailboat. Thousands of Islands.

UK
 

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Welcome to both you and your questions! Very rarely are questions looked down on from anyone, whether you've started riding or not! Now, repeatedly asking the same question or whining about the answers you are given? Eh, not so much.... :LOL:

As for seat height, riding position, etc., this might be a useful tool for you - Cycle-Ergo FAQ

And, as UK noted, the Ninja 400 shouldn't be a problem for you although body position and comfortableness can be highly subjective!

Good luck in your search and pics of new purchases are always welcome!
 
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Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
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Welcome!!! I'm 5'6" as well! I find I fit just fine on most bikes. The only ones that give me trouble are tall offroad oriented machines. As for your first? I'd say keep it under a liter. Don't get something like a Grom unless you intend on sticking with small displacement bikes. Groms are neat for learning the basics but fall flat as soon as you need to go faster than 45 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome!!! I'm 5'6" as well! I find I fit just fine on most bikes. The only ones that give me trouble are tall offroad oriented machines. As for your first? I'd say keep it under a liter. Don't get something like a Grom unless you intend on sticking with small displacement bikes. Groms are neat for learning the basics but fall flat as soon as you need to go faster than 45 mph.
Hello Mercedes. I definitely wasn't thinking of going down the Grom route. Too short distance-oriented for me. I was thinking of either a Ninja 400, SV650 or Z650. I was wondering if you have even a clue as to either from experience yourself or others you know that have the N400, sv650 or z650 the comfort level, as well as if it'd fit me properly and how it'd be with two people on it.
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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Honda's CB500F is a good choice as well.
 

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Don't get a new bike. Chances are you'll be kicking yourself within the first 1000 miles. I'd stay away from anything with a bunch of plastic I'm a new rider (a little more than 700 miles) and have the same model 400 that Krusty has. Today I went out (40 degrees F and a little rainy) to practice and go for a ride. The lot I normally practice in was just placed a few months ago and offers some great traction when it's dry. Today I found out that same traction is not there when it's wet and cold and low sided doing circles (15-20 mph) in the lot because I was using my previous experience of my lean angles on the dry pavement. Had my bike had full fairings I'd probably have kicked and screamed a lot more. Instead I was able to easily slide my leg out and stand the bike up and laugh it off. It only weighs a little more than 400 . I'm probably slightly stronger than the average person and had a little bit of adrenaline going so the bike was easier to pick up than I had expected. Anyway lesson learned. I practiced a little bit more being A LOT more cautious, after checking the bike out.... It was fine, and proceeded to go on a 50 mile ride using a lot more caution on the corners. I had just put new tires on not too long ago and only have about 150-200 miles racked up on them. The sides aren't yet worn down so that most likely contributed to the slide. If you do get a bike with lots of plastic, get some frame sliders or crash bars to avoid any headaches.

As so many others have said before, learn to ride a slow bike fast before you jump on anything thats less forgiving. You may limit yourself if you're terrified of the machine. I'd love to get a 650 in the future but I know that my current skill doesn't warrant it.

Anyway, just my two cents. Whatever you get you'll have fun. Stay safe, wear your gear and practice.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I agree with what DR45701 says above.
Get something lightweight, and cheap to learn on.
That way you won't be so pissed when you drop it....and you will!
 

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Must be something in the air. I almost dropped my XS400 yesterday. Went around the end of a speed bump where there was lots of damp vegetation, and a slight downward slope. Front end slid out rather quickly. Got a leg out which hit the peg, but did not drop it. If it was a heavier bike, it would be on the ground.

UK
 

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On The Road Again!
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Yup, it can happen.
See that red Goldwing in my photo below?
I have been riding motorcycles for over 50 years, and that
900 pound beast still gets away from me occasionally.
Just a couple of months ago, it fell over in my shed while
I was parking it. I am SOOO glad that it didn't hit anything
else in there when it fell, so no damage was done.
Yup, get something light weight and cheap to learn on.
Then work your way up to a bigger bike.
 

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I know some useful things to know about me would be: preference of possible ride style? Cruising/torque in the low to mid end.

Height? 5'6". One thing I've never been able to discern through watching YT Channels like MC Commute, chaseontwowheels, DukeofDC, SRK Cycles, Moto Chooch is what kinds of bikes or a specific bike would compliment my short stature or at the very least make it manageable through things like different seat, 1-2in heel boots.
@Flying Dutchman welcome to the forum.

If you think you would like "Cruising/torque in the low to mid end", that is not a Ninja 400. I agree that the Ninja 400 is a good starter bike for some. It's also a bit anemic for carry a passenger or bags if you have that interest. Not to say you wouldn't be pleased with it, just wanted to point out, for most it's not consider a cruiser or having a lot of torque.

I'm 5'7" so about your stature, although height isn't the factor rather inseam. I cannot double heel on most bikes. I can double toe and that is all that is needed, actually there are riders shorter than us both who can handle bikes with only reaching one toe/ball of foot. I think when you start it is more comfortable if you get get both balls of the feet on the ground, but not necessary for both heels. I agree with others a starter bike in the 400-650 cc range in around the 400-500 pound curb weight is a bit easier to handle until we have built up a certain amount of skill and confidence before taking on more power and/or heavier weight beast. We are all a bit different, so there is a large margin to consider. Some are challenged starting on a 250cc and others are good to start with a 750-900cc. Good Luck to you in your search, but I wouldn't be disappointed if you find your first bike ends up not the perfect bike. Consider the first as exactly that, not the last or only you will own.
 

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Must be something in the air.
Glad you didn't lose it! I'm going to take it out tomorrow if I end up with time and conditions should be MUCH better.

I have been riding motorcycles for over 50 years, and that
900 pound beast still gets away from me occasionally.
Glad you didn't mess anything up looks like a sweet ride! That's a heavy bike! I couldn't imagine trying to fanagle that thing around. What are the side cases made out of?
 

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On The Road Again!
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Glad you didn't lose it! I'm going to take it out tomorrow if I end up with time and conditions should be MUCH better.



Glad you didn't mess anything up looks like a sweet ride! That's a heavy bike! I couldn't imagine trying to fanagle that thing around. What are the side cases made out of?
Yup, that bike is well over 900 pounds. Rides like a dream!!
ALL of the plastic on that bike, fairing, bags, trunk, side covers,
is made of ABS plastic. Very tough and
easy to repair with ABS plumbing cement.
 

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Welcome to the world of motorcycling! I am about your height too. My first bike was an inline-two cylinder 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500R (EX500R). Its pretty balanced and very much a fun bike to ride on. Served me well as a first bike. Its such a great bike that my father now owns it, and even he enjoys it a lot.

Eventually you will get a second bike, I started riding in 2014 and it took me 2 years to decide that it was time for something new. At that point I acquired my current bike, a 2004 Honda Hornet 599 (CB600F) four cylinder. That is a fun bike, but not a first bike. Easing into motorcycling is the best job for the Ninja 500, which is more powerful than a Ninja 250.

There are the newer options, though, if you are looking for a prettier motorcycle. There is the Kawasaki Ninja 650, which is an inline-two. There is the Kawasaki Ninja 300, also an inline-two. There is the Honda CBR500, an inline-two (a buddy of mine just bought a 2018). The Honda CBR500 has a nice paint scheme too.

Best bet is to research and find something you like. Craigslist is a beautiful thing also. Some bikes are in decent shape, while some just need some simple fixing (carb cleaning or chain replacement). Happy Hunting!

,Alan
 
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