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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at bringing back my wife to rider status (she is a qualified rider) and beginning research to find a nice smaller, lighter ride for her.

Presently thinking of a GPZ550 OR a KZ550 OR a Zephyr 550.

Would the forum members be kind enough to share their opinions based on experience with either of these models ??

Thank you,
Rick
 

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I think that's a good idea. I don't really know those bikes but i think they are 4cylinder? My 85 ZN700 being a 4 cyl the carb passages are necessarily very small and they plug up easily if it isn't ridden a lot. That's the only negative thing perhaps that I can think of. But, the bike is easy to work on compared to my Ventures.
 

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Though a very nice motorcycle the GPZ550 is no lightweight. Motorcycles of that era tended to be rather heavy. The 1981 Yamaha 550 Seca was the first to make extensive use of computer aided design and was reasonably light. I currently own an 81 GPZ550 and in the past have owned an 82 Suzuki GS550 Katana and the Yamaha Seca. GPZ and GS both quite heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
RoadRunner332 and 1981 GPZ550--THANK YOU for your time and the courtesy of the input.

I was under the impression with the selected models that they would be lighter. Lack of knowledge on my part which is why your comments have helped.

I did forget to mention and I'm sure it is of major importance--she is 5'4" tall so saddle HEIGHT is going to be an issue as well.

Although there are various Kawasaki choices is maybe an SV650 Suzuki one to consider as well?

Look forward to additional recommendations.

Kind regards,
Rick
 

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Well, I also owned a first gen SV650S which I converted to standard SV handlebars and a corbin seat. Of the approxamitly 35 motorcycles I have owned it is one of the few I truly regret selling. Would be an excellent choice, much better than an old tall, heavy 550.
 

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Not sure why you want a vintage bike for your wife. There are many 2010's era bikes that would work for her. With a vintage bike you have to make a commitment to added maintenance that you may have to do yourself. Many bike shops do not want to or have the skills to work on vintage bikes. My vertically challenged friend got a mid 2000's Ninja 650 and I am 5' 6" with a 30 in inseam and have a Versys 650 with a lowering link installed. The Vulcan 650 comes with adjustable pegs seat and bars for different size riders. These are just in the Kawasaki 650 line. I am sure other manufactures have similar models. Most would also have upgraded features (ABS, fuel injection) and performance to a vintage bike.

I had a 80 and 82 kz 550 with over 100,000 miles combined on them much 2 up. They were great bikes in their day. I now own a 82 550 gpz along with the Versys and 2 c-10 concours. The gpz is my fun, around town bike not a serious ride every were bike. I got it mostly because I had owned the kz's 30 years ago.
 

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465 is not really light for a small or short person. Also it is not just total weight but distribution. This was long before mass centralization. I am always surprised how heavy my GPZ is to raise off the side stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looking around for ideas I came across the Suzuki "Gladius". Anyone have an idea on weight and seat height and experience?

Thank you again for all the Helpful information--APPRECIATED.
 

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.... Also it is not just total weight but distribution. This was long before mass centralization. I am always surprised how heavy my GPZ is to raise off the side stand.
Totally agree. My 432 pound (wet) KLR 650 is tall and top heavy with a huge 22 litre gas tank mounted high on the frame. You feel that weight every time you have to push the bike or ride at slow speeds. If it tips over, well you really feel the weight then when you pick it up.

Presumably the OP's wife will not ride alone and will have the OP to help her pick the bike up, but a bike with a low seat height and low centre of gravity as 1981GPZ550 points out, is far less likely to ever end up on its side. I prefer bikes that put the fuel tank under the seat for a nice low centre of gravity. The single cylinder BMW g650GS is one such bike and they managed to do that a 31.4" seat height.
 

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Honda Rebel?

I used to work with a rider from SC. He rode a Honda ST1100 and his wife rode a Honda Rebel 250. He said they rode to Key West, FL and she held the Rebel wide open at 80mph all the way on the interstate highways and it did just fine.
 

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Honda Rebel?
I used to work with a rider from SC. He rode a Honda ST1100 and his wife rode a Honda Rebel 250. He said they rode to Key West, FL and she held the Rebel wide open at 80mph all the way on the interstate highways and it did just fine.
And the Rebel is now available in a 500 cc with 27.2" seat height and a wet weight of 421 lbs.
 

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Looking at bringing back my wife to rider status (she is a qualified rider) and beginning research to find a nice smaller, lighter ride for her.

Presently thinking of a GPZ550 OR a KZ550 OR a Zephyr 550.

Would the forum members be kind enough to share their opinions based on experience with either of these models ??

Thank you,
Rick
I am in the exact some boat, I bought a non runner (1981 GPZ550..the best year) and have been restoring for the wife to ride. My problem is she says I'm making it to good for her, because she might drop it. But it was only $230.00 bucks to buy.
 

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RoadRunner332 and 1981 GPZ550--THANK YOU for your time and the courtesy of the input.

I was under the impression with the selected models that they would be lighter. Lack of knowledge on my part which is why your comments have helped.

I did forget to mention and I'm sure it is of major importance--she is 5'4" tall so saddle HEIGHT is going to be an issue as well.

Although there are various Kawasaki choices is maybe an SV650 Suzuki one to consider as well?

Look forward to additional recommendations.

Kind regards,
Rick
Looking at bringing back my wife to rider status (she is a qualified rider) and beginning research to find a nice smaller, lighter ride for her.

Presently thinking of a GPZ550 OR a KZ550 OR a Zephyr 550.

Would the forum members be kind enough to share their opinions based on experience with either of these models ??

Thank you,
Rick
The new Kawasaki 250 Ninja. Four cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The new Kawasaki 250 Ninja. Four cylinder.
HA!!!! IF ONLY Kawasaki would bring it in to the USA. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN though (and I wish I were wrong).
The cost of that bike would EXCEED the ZX6R due to technology and newness (read costs not yet amortized).

How many USA riders can you think of that would buy the bike?? 100, 200?? Even the "new" ZX6R isn't flying out of dealer showrooms (at least in my area) and it is a relative bargain when compared to a Yamaha R6.

Will continue to scour the used bike market for something suitable.
 
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