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She has a VN500 now that she has learned to ride this year. It's a great bike but she's already getting an itch for a bigger bike. The VN500 is just about a perfect fit for her height at 5'4".

I'd like it to be water-cooled and shaft drive. I'm sure she could care less. :) She's expressed interest in a Honda shadow 650 but I'd like to see her make a bigger jump.

What are some good bikes we should be looking at?
 

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BIKESw/Shaft drive

Kawasaki, Suzuki have some...If she is looking for a great bike put her on a Ducati, or a BMW. The Kawasaki shaft drives are virtualy maintenance free. I haven't heard a single peep out of any of the shaft drive people, If I had the money to get serious about another bike after my Kawasaki it would be a BMW. Lots of money in the name, but they are serious bikes that go for miles and miles...The best thig to do is to make a visit to the shops ourself and look at the models that you want to consider, get the salesmans name and hours and take her back so that he knows what to show her...that you prefer...you can do this with all of the dealers...
 

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In my area, the BMW dealer is the only shop in town that will allow you to take their bikes for a spin too. I've taken advantage of this a few times when I want to dream :)

As for the wife, comfort and looks are probably going to reign supreme. I'd show her the new Kawasaki 2005 Vulcan 750. It's liquid cooled, shaft driven, weighs in at a respectable 483 lbs, and has a low seat height of just 28.9 inches. Base price is $6,199. And I bet she loves the look of it. It's a really pretty bike.
 

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Take a look at the new Honda Shadow Aero. It sports a 750 displacement which looks bigger (could be mistaken for the 1100), and has a smooth shaft-drive. Very well balanced for smaller drivers and has recieved very favorable reviews. Saw one at the gas pump just the other day and I was very impressed with it's looks.
 

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Check this out

http://www.powersportsnetwork.com/

The Kawa 750 is always a good choice. The basic design has been around a long time and is well sorted.

The Honda 750 has gobs of accesorries available and has gotten good reviews.

For larger you have the Yamaha 1100's which have gotten great reviews. The downside is to change the oil filter you have to remove some of the exhaust. Bone head design. A relocation kit is avaiable for a few hundred dollars.

Kawasaki has pretty much abandoned the 1100 to 1300 range. Suzuki has the new Boulevard Line. The S83 looks good.

If low maintenance is important to you look for hydraulic valve lifters, which the Suzuki and Kawa 750 have.

There is the Honda 1300 series, but valves need adjusting periodically.

There are many to chose from. Have fun. :wink:
 

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Rebel Rider
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plevniak said:
She has a VN500 now that she has learned to ride this year. It's a great bike but she's already getting an itch for a bigger bike. The VN500 is just about a perfect fit for her height at 5'4".

I'd like it to be water-cooled and shaft drive. I'm sure she could care less. :) She's expressed interest in a Honda shadow 650 but I'd like to see her make a bigger jump.

What are some good bikes we should be looking at?


I would say the 800A or 800B (classic). The seat height is about the same as the 500 or maybe even lower. Although it's not shaft drive, it has an 0-ring chain like the 500, which requires very little maintenance. I'll be moving up to it in a few weeks.

bluestringer
 

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The Suzuki C50 ( ex-Volusia ) or Vulan 750 in the ex middle weight range would be good choices.

I wouldn't bother with any 1100's ( not that they're bad bikes and the V-Star is probably the easiest bike to get add ons for ) But the price is near the same as a 1500 with performance nearer 800's.

Vulcan 1500 or 1600 would be good choices if you want bigger.
 

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I haven't heard a single peep out of any of the shaft drive people,
I had a seal go bad in the final drive of my 98 Vulcan Classic 1500 at 6,900 miles. Spit gear lube on the spokes and tire. The Clymer Manual was no help, said "If there are traces of oil leakage, take the unit to a Kawasaki dealership for seal replacement." It took two hours labor @ $72/hour and $8.95 for the seal. All in all I like the shaft drive and if that is the only repair I will be happy.

I would recommend the Vulcan 1500 if your wife likes big bikes. The seat is very low, she should be able to put both feet down and it is very well balanced.
 

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I've got a few years of experience, and the Mean Streak was easy to ride. I'm at 5'4" too and I flat foot it. Pushing it is another whole story :)

Update: Oops, just saw that she's a new rider, in which case I recommend the Honda Aero 750, Volusia, and V-Star 650.
 

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I just got a 2001 Vulcan 800A. I've been riding my son's Honda Shadow 750 and my husband's BMW F650GS. I like the Vulcan the best. I'm 5'5" and I really love this bike. It feels really stable; I can't feel the bike's weight at all. It has a lot of power, and it nice and low (I can flatfoot it with a slight bend in my knee). I'd highly recommend this bike.

Julie
 
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