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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 21 Jun 2006
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Location: West Virginia
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5'9" 176cm rider on R11xxGS ??

I'm 5'9" (176cm) and considering a R11xxGS to ride two up. Is this bike too tall for me?

We ride a mix of highway, twisty West Virginia back roads, and forest service roads. No real rough stuff. Might consider some travels if the bike is comfortable. My wife's back side is of great concern. This bike sounds like it gets consistant approval for two up riding. Other options?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 21 Jun 2006
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Location: Oxford, UK
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My girlfriend is 5'5" tall max & rides an 1150GS. Only mods are a seat with some of the foam removed & a pair of Daytona Ladystar boots that have a 1" lift built in to the heel. I've also bolted a 1/2" thick of aluminium to the underside of the sidestand to prevent sinking in soft ground & to make the bike a little easier to lift upright when fully fueled & loaded up.
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
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Old 22 Jun 2006
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Location: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
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Here's my two cents. Never underestimate the potential for minor and major aggravation that comes with a bike which is tall for the rider, particularly if its also large and top heavy and more particularly if its carrying a passenger.

Try backing up even a very slight incline for even a metre if both feet can't get good contact with the ground. If you're in a tight spot you may not have room to get off and walk it backwards. Try stopping on a surface which has a significant angle to it. You may have to on occasion and its a recipie for dropping the thing. There are all kinds of tight and awkward situations out there, particularly in crowded urban environments, waiting to cause you grief. Slippery, rounded cobblestones, deep curbside gutters and who knows what else.

During a recent trip down the Baja it quickly became apparent that getting off the essentially shoulderless highway, to take a photograph for example, could present a problem. The occasional spot that looked suitable (not too big a drop off the pavement onto a reasonably flat patch of solid looking dirt) could be deceptively unsuitable soft stuff as one of my travelling companions learned when he dropped his BMW. The ability to get both feet flat on the ground in such situations can keep you upright. Once a high bike is moving everything is fine but the slow speed sticky issues can trip you up.

One of my two bikes lets me get flat footed and the other taller and significantly top heavy beast doesn't. I can cope with the latter but the former is really much more pleasant to ride.

Good luck with your decision.

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