Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?
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.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



Like Tree7Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 Feb 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London UK
Posts: 5
New Rider short on legs small on budget :)

HI all

After 4 years of CBT I am doing my DAS course next month and I have encountered the same old problem of what to buy when i pass budget is limited so i had my sights on maybe the old funduro for around £1500(probably less) but have read reviews that state it struggles with serious offroad. As a new rider I dont really know what that means but as I want to start doing some greenlaning etc.. I was thinking about upping the budget to the old africa twin which seems from my reading to be able to do pretty much anything so (with a good rider I mean) my concern with the africa twin is that it is heavy and tall and im only 5'7 maybe 5'9 with me boots on.

so the question is this. considering im just starting out and at this stage im not planning to ride the deepest part of Mongolia would the F650 be more than enough for say a year or should i just not bother and save an extra month or so to get the more capable AT? or something else? budget is £2500 max if I want to be on the road this summer and seeing as i AM going to drop it at some point.

Its also worth mentioning that i would be doing maybe 30/70 offroad/road I would like to be able to keep up with motorway traffic which is why i've not really considered a smaller cc dual sport +plus the short legs but I think ive mentioned those

I know this sort of question is asked a lot but i would really like some advice
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15 Feb 2017
maria41's Avatar
The franglais-riders
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 1,175
hi,

If you are planning to ride green lanes in the UK, you could do much worse than joining the TRF, or at least check their website:

http://www.trf.org.uk/ full of good info.

As you are located in London you could drop at one of their monthly meetings and copy their maps if you prefer going solo. Finding legal by ways around London is not that simple. The Surrey Branch meets in Riplay: http://www.surreytrf.org.uk/club-night/

Regarding which bike, for green lane riding I recommend a light bike.

You could start with a 250cc. Most greenlane riders ride about that size. If you want bigger, a DRZ400 is very good but may be a bit tall for you?

Lots of choice around for small endure bikes.

By the way, I used to own n F650GS, I would not recommend it for green laning.

As a beginner, weight will make it harder so definitely make your teeth on a light bike, you will understand once you start.

If you stick to tarmac and easy gravel roads, any bike would do. But the very muddy and slippery lanes of Surrey and Sussex may be a bit too much for that.

And above all, try and get a day off road experience. Few companies going round London doing those. I met those guys on a couple of occasions while riding the lanes:http://offthekerbtrailriding.com/ not sure they are still in business. Few more companies around. That could give an idea what you need and what you want?
__________________
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15 Feb 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London UK
Posts: 5
Hi maria41

thanks for the reply

I am trying to find something that is middle ground as I can only afford one bike (for now at least) and want to be able to do long road trips wales Scotland etc.. I tried a long trip once on a MZ125sm and it felt like it was trying to push my spine out of the top of my head after an hours riding I know this means compromise on the bikes dirt ability but as I live in Buckinghamshire now and despite all these farms, woods and interesting places on my door step I cant ride on any of them so will need to travel

Thanks for the link to Off The Kerb Trail Riding - Green Lane, Adventure Riding in Dorking Surrey ill check it out now

I plan to join the TRF once i'm up and going btw
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15 Feb 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London UK
Posts: 5
Just started Reading about the DRZ400 not sure why i hadn't considered this bike before.

Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 15 Feb 2017
Nuff Said's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 258
Hi Carrison
Having short legs is not a problem when riding a bike?
It is only a problem when you stop when many riders with short legs learn how to slide off the side of the seat when stopping?

Good luck with the bike hunt.










If the above videos don't give you confidence then the last resort are these......


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 27 Feb 2017
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Skelmersdale, Lancs, UK
Posts: 56
UK motorcycles for shorties 2015

Something i picked up from somewhere:

MARQUE/MODEL SEAT Height
F650GS 2007 780
F800GT GT 780
F800R 2009 800
G650GS 800
F650GS 2008 820
F700GS 2013 820
NC700X 2012 790
NT700V Deauville 2006 805
CB500X 2013 810
NC750X 2014 830
Crossrunner 800 2011-14 816
RX3 795
Versys 845
ER-6n or f (to 2012) 800
Duke 690 2012 835
SV650N 800
GSF650 Bandit 780
Gladius 2009 785
GSF600 Bandit 805
V-Strom 650 2007 820
Street Triple 2007-12 800
Street Triple 2013 805
Tiger 800 2010 810
Tiger 800XC 2011 845
650TR 795
XJ6 Diversion F 2010 785
XJ6 Diversion 2010 785
FZ6 Fazer 2007 795
MT-07 2014 805
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28 Feb 2017
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calgary AB
Posts: 1,028
Does green laning still exist? I thought that was killed off years ago?

Don't stress too much about a bike. No one knows what they really like (off road, on road) until they do a bit properly. Green laning isn't one of those options as a reference either way.Get something that fits your current purpose and be setup to get rid of it when you discover which side of the coin suits your interests best. If you are already planning something off the beaten path then light is might. 650's are heavy and suck off road. No 2 ways about it. The DR650 might be the only exception. But they need a lot of mods to be any good to learn as well. Don't fall over the common mistake of thinking learning on an old beater with shit suspension is going to be helpful. That's how injuries happen that throw your confidence a big curve ball. Better equipment make the learning curve shorter and flatter. Weight and suspension. Power after that. Those are the priorities.
__________________
Tacos Tyring Travels.com

Last edited by tmotten; 2 Mar 2017 at 19:48.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2 Mar 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London UK
Posts: 5
Thank you all for your replies something to consider indeed
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 3 Mar 2017
mollydog's Avatar
R.I.P.
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 3,822
You're far from short at 5'7". Maria41 is short at 5' or so!
I'm just 5' 6" and have got along fine on the 50 bikes I've owned, including TALL dirt bikes. Just sold my Tiger 1050 (huge, heavy, fast) and ride my DR650
daily. Looking to buy a Yamaha WR250R. (out of your budget)

To start off ... get any bike. As tmotten says, in a year you'll know a lot more about what works for you, what does not. Don't stress too much on which bike.

The BMW Funduro would be good if you get a good one ... a not so good one can cost you a lot of time and money! The old AT's were great ... most now 20 years old, hard to find a good one, overpriced. Also, very HEAVY ... not a beginners bike, not good value for a Noob. (you will fall down!)

Be sure to factor in LUGGAGE WEIGHT. Once you load your bike up for travel ... it gets a LOT heavier. Can you lift it when it's laying flat on it's side ... solo?

Learning dirt riding is best done on a 250 (400 at most). But since only 30% of your riding is off road, maybe a street bike would be OK.

I ride a Suzuki DR650. Hard to find in UK (the SE model, post '96).
Suzuki DRZ400S would work if set up. Also consider on older Suzuki V-Strom DL650. A great travel bike ... better than AT in every category. (I put 90K miles on one)

You will get used to seat height. Just slide your butt over a bit at a stop. Not a problem for you at 5'7". You can also install LOWERING LINKS into shock linkage to lower bike 2 inches. (works for many bikes, not all)

Get a bike, get out and ride. Load it up and go. First thing you'll learn is that you've got too much crap on board ... so learn how to edit it all down like a French backpacker. After a year and a couple long trips ... you'll learn a lot.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Mar 2017
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 2,105
It's not so much your height as your leg length that matters on a bike. You can be 6' 2" with "stumps" for legs and struggle or 5' 6" with long legs and find the same bike easy. I'm at the short leg end of the spectrum and for all the "dual sport" (trail bikes in the UK) stuff I've owned I've had to perfect the slide off the seat and perch on tip-toe technique. Believe me it gets very tiring after a while and those boots above will look like a good idea. Short legs and a high seat doesn't make getting on the bike easy either, particularly if you're wearing cold/wet weather clothing.

If you can only just about touch down you'll struggle (read more likely to fall off) on adverse cambers, slippery surfaces (diesel in a filling station for example) and muddy tracks (typical UK "green lane" for most of the year), and unless you're particularly athletic you'll look like an accident waiting to happen every time you try to get off.

There is a kind of upside which is that you're less likely to suffer from folded up legs fatigue on a long run but that's about it. Oh, and while we're talking about comfort, most trail bike seats are designed to feel like they're splitting you in half after an hour or so. Most cheap fixes (padding on top etc) make the height issue worse.

However - quite a few tall trail bikes can be lowered by buying aftermarket suspension links so it might be worth looking to see if they're available for anything you short list. Google DRZ400 dog bones to see what I mean. It can affect the balance of the bike a little but that's a small price to pay if it prevents you from ending up in a ditch because you couldn't reach the ground when the traffic in front stopped on a slope.

Lastly - IMHO anything over about 400cc and about 170kg (such as the AT) is overkill for any trails you're likely to encounter around the London area. My most enjoyable "off road" rides have been on a 125. The 2 600cc bikes I have I'd never use on any of the tracks round here; far too powerful and far too heavy.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 3 Mar 2017
mollydog's Avatar
R.I.P.
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 3,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Believe me it gets very tiring after a while and those boots above will look like a good idea. Short legs and a high seat doesn't make getting on the bike easy either, particularly if you're wearing cold/wet weather clothing.
Yes, a bit tiring until you perfect your technique. Getting ON/OFF the bike is all a matter of correct technique. I always mount up Cowboy style ... same for dismount. Left foot on left peg, grab front brake lever and bars. Lean in and push up on left peg and swing your right leg up and over the seat. (easy even with top box or tail bag on)

Use same technique for dismount. Still, it's better if bike is not TOO TALL ... although both feet on tippy toes is not so bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Oh, and while we're talking about comfort, most trail bike seats are designed to feel like they're splitting you in half after an hour or so. Most cheap fixes (padding on top etc) make the height issue worse.
True, cheap seat fixes won't work. Best buy a real, quality, wider seat with better foam without too much height. Use a PRO company if you want to be able to ride all day in comfort and still have a LOW seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
However - quite a few tall trail bikes can be lowered by buying aftermarket suspension links so it might be worth looking to see if they're available for anything you short list. Google DRZ400 dog bones to see what I mean. It can affect the balance of the bike a little but that's a small price to pay if it prevents you from ending up in a ditch because you couldn't reach the ground when the traffic in front stopped on a slope.
Yes!

Lowering links are the best!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10 Mar 2017
redsnapper's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrison View Post
HI all

After 4 years of CBT I am doing my DAS course next month and I have encountered the same old problem of what to buy when i pass budget is limited so i had my sights on maybe the old funduro for around £1500(probably less) but have read reviews that state it struggles with serious offroad. As a new rider I dont really know what that means but as I want to start doing some greenlaning etc.. I was thinking about upping the budget to the old africa twin which seems from my reading to be able to do pretty much anything so (with a good rider I mean) my concern with the africa twin is that it is heavy and tall and im only 5'7 maybe 5'9 with me boots on.

so the question is this. considering im just starting out and at this stage im not planning to ride the deepest part of Mongolia would the F650 be more than enough for say a year or should i just not bother and save an extra month or so to get the more capable AT? or something else? budget is £2500 max if I want to be on the road this summer and seeing as i AM going to drop it at some point.

Its also worth mentioning that i would be doing maybe 30/70 offroad/road I would like to be able to keep up with motorway traffic which is why i've not really considered a smaller cc dual sport +plus the short legs but I think ive mentioned those

I know this sort of question is asked a lot but i would really like some advice


Van Van with a supercharger
__________________
'Peaches are better than Tanks'
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10 Mar 2017
maria41's Avatar
The franglais-riders
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 1,175
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
You're far from short at 5'7". Maria41 is short at 5' or so!


Yes I'm a hobbit about 1.63m on a very very good day! And I have small feet too, so even worse to reach the ground, and I have very little leverage.... but when there is a will there is a way .
But as Backofbeyond said, it also depend on leg length (and feet size!).

As a newbie on a motorbike I think being able to put both feet on the ground will helps with confidence. As time goes it becomes less important.
Although to be fair I always get my seats scooped out... but it is also for comfort.

Visit bike shops and ask to sit on the bikes. Get the bike straight and see how it feels. Does it feel well balanced? Heavy?

I was surprised at how heavy the Ducati Scrambler felt to me (160 kg?) compared to the Honda CB500X (180kg?) which felt like a feather.

IF you are in London, go to Metropolis in Vauxhall. They have lots of bikes and it can give you an idea about position, seat, etc... It is free to go and sit on the bikes

Other than that, it is really about how you feel and your preferences (and your budget!).

Maybe get a "starter bike" now and upgrade in a year time, when you have a better idea of what you want? Bikes don't depreciate much.

Whatever you get you will have fun!
__________________
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2 Jan 2018
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
I know its a bit old this thread but I use a beta xtrainer for endur0 and green laning , yes it has a 900mm seat height but its very thin and at 100kgs the bike is light with an amazing torquey 300 2 stroke motor the bike is a peach

@5'2 I'm as short as they come, I've raced mx ,endur0 and ridden road bikes albeit badly all my adult life ,I usually mount and dismount my bikes like you would a horse I get a lot of comments and I'm sure I surprize a lot of folk ,I know I surprized 5 germans that I met on a days endur0 trail whilst on a recent trip to Fuerteventura, they were falling off left right and centre , riding trials bike also helps with balance then adapt to bigger bikes .
pfft I dream of 5'7 and a 30" inseam , make the best with what you have
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 13 May 2018
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Best bike for short riders?

I am not very tall and this limit bikes i can ride. I ride Yamaha XJ6N and Kawasaki Z650 - both bikes are my max for height but i cant take any of this two for around the world adventure.

So what bike would you recommend - not going above 31inch or 79cm seat height...also i am happy i guess with 250cc up to 650cc more or less - i dont think i need a lots of power, i am more after reliable bike that i can manage.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Big rider, small bike TexasMoon The HUBB PUB 2 17 Oct 2013 01:03
Leaving for RTW in 4-5 months! Short rider. fuzzybabybunny Which Bike? 9 16 Feb 2013 18:16
Cape Town to Nairobi on a small budget, small bikes and little prep time! kfukuda87 Trip Paperwork 3 9 Sep 2012 22:05
Cape Town to Nairobi on a small budget, small bikes, and small experience/prep time! kfukuda87 sub-Saharan Africa 0 28 Jul 2012 10:24

 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 15:33.