Bike for the wife

So I’m trying to find a bike for my wife. She is 5’6’’ and weighs 125lbs. I only started riding when I was 18 so have no experience with smaller bikes. She will be starting off trail riding but may look into doing some mx riding a little later as she has grown up on racing (4 wheeled versions). She is athletic and picks things up extremely fast. I have read and been told everything from a Yamaha TTR 230 to a Honda 150R as well as some 125’s. I don’t know that there is a bike that can cross both worlds easily but figured I would get some advice. If you don’t think there is a bike that can cross into both worlds can you provide the best option for both trail riding and mx for a rider of her size. As far as size I just want to find something that would be a good fit for her height  and had plenty of power. Don’t want to by an under powered bike she will grow bored with in a month. I appreciate all the help. 

A ttr 230 is as heavy as a suburban with the power of a bicycle with trash suspension components and drum rear brakes, it's leagues behind even a 1990 xr250

 

Get her something light, anything light.

There is no crossover bike in her size.  I would be reluctant to start her on a KX 100 or CRF150RB as they have a lot of HP...but would make a good size for her on MX track.  They can be tweaked a bit to make them more usable for trail duty.

Might just want to buy a cheaper used trail bike to get her started and once she is outriding the motor, brakes and suspension move her up to the bike suggested above.  Possible places to start = CRF100F, CRF150F, CRF125L, TTR125LE, KLX140L, DRZ125L.  Maybe shop for best price/year/condition combination.  Let her learn to ride it and become good with clutch, braking, starting, etc and then turn that bike after one riding season or whenever she wants to move up to another bike.

You could also look at the Husky TE125 and KTM 150XC/XCW with the suspension lowered when she is ready to move up (these are full sized and powerful bikes).

p.s. daughter is just under 5' 5".  Started on CRF100F --> KX100 --> KDX200 (lowered).  Pretty aggressive for a girl/woman, fairly athletic and KDX200 is probably the most she will ever handle.  Even lowered full size watercooled 2 and 4 stroke bikes are still a lot to handle for someone 5' 6" 125 lbs and a woman.

Edited by SilvFx
1 hour ago, rdaviemt said:

So I’m trying to find a bike for my wife. She is 5’6’’ and weighs 125lbs. I only started riding when I was 18 so have no experience with smaller bikes. She will be starting off trail riding but may look into doing some mx riding a little later as she has grown up on racing (4 wheeled versions). She is athletic and picks things up extremely fast. I have read and been told everything from a Yamaha TTR 230 to a Honda 150R as well as some 125’s. I don’t know that there is a bike that can cross both worlds easily but figured I would get some advice. If you don’t think there is a bike that can cross into both worlds can you provide the best option for both trail riding and mx for a rider of her size. As far as size I just want to find something that would be a good fit for her height  and had plenty of power. Don’t want to by an under powered bike she will grow bored with in a month. I appreciate all the help. 

I would think a KLX250S would be a decent option.

If she's willing to learn how to ride it, a lowered and re geared 125 MX bike might be the way to go. It'll take some practice to learn to use but she won't get bored with it. Just have to set it up to do what she wants.

Started my S O on a modded KX 125 after one ride. As in she had only ridden anything once before, and that was a TTR125. She has since graduated to a KDX220, which is actually the bike I wanted to get for her. I have lowered it and restrung the suspension. And that’s it on this one.

Before I got her, her first bike I asked what made her uncomfortable. Power? Height? Weight? She chose weight as the top issue, so KX125. After 2 years of riding that bike she was asking for a bike with more power.... KDX220! I don’t think she will ever outgrow this bike.

Just remember when looking at Trail vs MX that most people,even those racing, don’t use a fraction of the power of a MX bike.... really not until you’re racing A class.

Hope that helps and my suggestion would be a KDX200 or KTM 200.

Oh she’s also 5’6”

I'd buy a used clean CRF230 or TTR230.  If she's bored of it after 3 months or a year you can sell it for nearly what you paid for it and consider the difference to be cheap rent.  Just tell her to let you know when she feels like it's holding her back so you can sell and move up.

I'd rather risk her being bored than risk her being scared.  In my opinion a bored rider chomping at the bit to move up to the next bigger bike is way better than the rider who gets scared because they were put on too much bike too early.  All it takes is one bad experience for a lot of people to shut down mentally and never want to ride again.  

Two years ago a friend's wife was dying to ride with us.  My friend brought her out one day and put her on a 250.  She did really well for about an hour and was having a lot of fun.  She went over s log, whiskey throttled, went for a ride and crashed.  She has never ridden again since then and in my estimation never will.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

I vote for letting her pick a bike. She can decide seat height and weight, and pick suitable power/delivery.
Short, old lady, currently ride TW200, and lowered DRZ400. The DRZ is first bike I've lowered.
And that KAw weights in at more than my DRZ.

I’m the same exact height and weight as your wife. I race road bikes and mountain bikes but hadn’t been on a dirt bike before I was 28, so I learned how to ride on a klx140l, i outgrew it pretty quickly, but it was the perfect bike to learn on. I now ride a crf150rb and love it. I was on a kx100 for a while and hated it, even with a flywheel I felt like I was going to go over the bars on the trail. Rode my stepsons ktm 125 for a while and it felt okay, but not nearly as comfortable as my crf150rb. If you think the mx bikes may be too much, what about the Beta xtrainer? I heard they are pretty tame and have the shorter seat height. Good luck!

Thanks for all the help and info from everyone. We will probably go back out this weekend and let her look at some bikes. We have our anniversary coming up so I may just put her on a 450 and let her and the good lord sort out of I should still have a wife lol. 

4 minutes ago, rdaviemt said:

Thanks for all the help and info from everyone. We will probably go back out this weekend and let her look at some bikes. We have our anniversary coming up so I may just put her on a 450 and let her and the good lord sort out of I should still have a wife lol. 

Always the smart call to let the wife choose, wise words. Not sure where you live but I see older KTM 200exc's for sale here in WV quite often. I own one and can't imagine a more friendly/light bike to learn on when set up properly. Mine is kickstart only which might be of concern but when she is warm, it is one or two kicks and away we go.

6 hours ago, rdaviemt said:

Thanks for all the help and info from everyone. We will probably go back out this weekend and let her look at some bikes. We have our anniversary coming up so I may just put her on a 450 and let her and the good lord sort out of I should still have a wife lol. 

make sure to take out a very large life insurance policy in her name before you do....and we need to see the video of the first ride.

 

Look at the TTR-125L, DRZ-125L, KLX140L and the G model, and the CRF150F. Even if she masters one of these in a week and is ready for something bigger and better you'll easily get your money back. Far better off learning to ride a slow bike fast instead of learning to ride a fast bike slow. My wife is a good 5-6" shorter and loves her KLX140L. She's had a TTR230 (heavy like someone said above), TTR-125L (gutless according to her, but to me I can't tell much difference between it and the 140), and she still has a KTM 105 that's all set up for woods. It's smooth but I could see that with the power that little thing has that she was just along for the ride. We may go back to it eventually, but at her height she really doesn't want to mess with a kickstarter, and a small bore two stroke is probably the toughest thing to learn on.  Good luck! 

I have couple KLX 140L's for wife and kid lighter and better suspension than TTR's worth extra money for sure. We use them for woods riding. Wife likes KLX better than previous TTR125 big wheel. One bike has pro circuit pipe makes noticeable difference power. Resale is easy on these KLX140's in our area for what its worth.

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