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Author Topic: Need Low Seat Height Bike - any suggestions?  (Read 14823 times)
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zephyr66
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« on: February 16, 2010, 03:55:46 PM »

Hi,

I currently have a '75 yamaha enduro 100 cc but want to get between 200 and 250cc so i can hop on highways to get to more trails.  I don't need vintage and would actually prefer a 4 stroke for the quiet, but I'm a 5'2" female and find the seat height on most bikes are way too high.  Any suggestions on a dual sport between 200 and 250cc that might work for me?  Thanks so much!

Sylvia
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 04:23:00 PM »

Hi Sylvia, thank you for joining the RideDualSport Forum!
This is a great question. Seat height is a always a challenge on dual sports - since they have so much suspension travel. I'd like to get back to you on this, once I have done a bit more research.
I am sure some of our members will have some good recommendations.
Cheers, Patrice
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zephyr66
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 04:24:54 PM »

thanks!  i appreciate you looking into it, and will hope some others also have some suggestions in the meantime.  enjoy!
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 05:50:02 PM »

Hi Sylvia,
A couple of our members have the Yamaha TW200 and it has made a good impression. It can do some short highway jaunts, and performs well on the trails. Seat height is 31.1 inches. I believe the electrical system is pretty good too, if you ever wanted to use and electric vest. I think they can be found used at a good price.
Here are the factory specifications



The Kawasaki Super Sherpa is my second choice, however the seat height is 32.7 inches.



There are a few tricks for lowering the seat height on bikes, but they vary and can involve some custom fabrication.

Cheers, Patrice

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zephyr66
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 07:53:36 PM »

thanks, patrice.  do you think the tw200 would do ok for 3 hour or so highway/backway rides?  mostly i want to do trails, but occassional trips to laughlin, quartzsite, az, etc would be nice.  i heard those bikes were originally designed for "big guys" in terms of weight, hence the fatty on the back.  are they pretty heavy?  if i'm asking too many questions, just let me know.  thanks!

sylvia
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 11:52:33 PM »

Howdy Sylvia,
Forums are the perfect place to ask all you want!  smile
I think the TW200 does fairly well at 55 mph, so it should handle the roads fine.
I bet Yamaha put the fatty tires on it to lower the seat height, and to make the bike more appealing to casual riders and family members. It looks a lot more friendly and easy to ride.
They claim the TW200 is 280 lbs, which is not bad. There are some special techniques you can learn to pick a bike up.

I'll send a personal message to ZigZag and Frostbit, both of them have owned a TW200 and would have excellent advice on the bikes pros/cons.

Cheers, Patrice
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 12:57:38 AM »

thanks!  i'll hold on till you get some responses from them!
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ZigZag
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 01:26:58 AM »

Hey Sylvia,

I had a TW200 for about six months and it was a lot of fun.  It kinda depends on the other bikes you ride with, if they are on bigger bikes you will have trouble keeping up.  I had no problem getting it up to 60 mph but it took a loooonnnngggg time to get there.

It is a great little "tractor" bike with some grin factor to it.

-Jay
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 01:48:17 AM »

Sylvia,

I have had two TW200's over the years.  Minuses are few but there are some.  The most blaring is the size of the rear tire and thus the expense of it.  It comes stock with Bridgestone 203 or 130/80-18 front and 204 180/80-14 rear.  You can also get a Bridgestone Rear Trail Wing 34 180/80-14.  The only other manufacturer for these sized tires (that I have found) is Chen Shin which is an inexpensive alternative.

Mileage is decent but not stellar and you will have close to 60-62 miles per gallon range which is good for dirt bike standards, see my comments about tank size below.

Since the bike has small displacement it also begs for highway power but you want torque in a dirt bike and it has that for sure. I would liken the pull/torque on this bike to be like that of a very low geared tractor.  You can climb trees with it.  I routinely took mine to 60mph (with proper countersprocket gearing) on the highway, but if you plan to make a super-moto of this bike my advice is to forget it.

The bike is low enough in height for your comfort level but with that lower profile comes a chance of bottoming out, but it still has 9" of fork travel which isn't bad if you are a small person.   As for seat height there are some mods you can do if stock is too high. Stock height is 31.1".  It was a little high for me but I soon learned to mount with the side stand down and then stepping onto the pegs, starting from that position and then kicking up the stand. As you sit you will feel the bike compress. Under my full weight the bike it measured 29" seat height and I could flat foot at stop signs easily.  You can also do the following mod.  You can see it at TWT.  I personally did this to both my bikes and it works beautifully and costs nothing but your time.

If you choose a TW then by all means put a HEAVIER bash plate over the bottom of the engine.

The biggest downfall of this bike is the size of the gas tank. It is 1.3 gallons? You do the math.  I carried two ROTOPACK gas tanks on my TW's. One on the front fender rack and one on the rear rack. It was inconvenient but necessary. Clarke Manufacturing as of the 1st of January 2010 was starting design of a 4 gallon tank for the bike.  If they produce it, get on the list early because they will be out of stock quick.

The bike is great in all regards. It's simplicity is it's forte. Easy to work on = inexpensive.  Center of gravity is low making it easy to steer at low speed lock to lock.  It is very nimble and quick in tight places.  The large rear tire makes it great on sand, loose dust but by the same token is sucks in slimy rock strewn gullies but it can be done.

Over all on a scale of 1-10 I would rate the bike a high 8.75.  I hope this helps you?

« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 02:22:29 PM by DRZ Charlie » Logged
Frostbit
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 04:13:22 AM »

Hi,

I currently have a '75 yamaha enduro 100 cc but want to get between 200 and 250cc so i can hop on highways to get to more trails.  I don't need vintage and would actually prefer a 4 stroke for the quiet, but I'm a 5'2" female and find the seat height on most bikes are way too high.  Any suggestions on a dual sport between 200 and 250cc that might work for me?  Thanks so much!

Sylvia

Hello Sylvia,

DRZ Charlie covered all the bases that I can think of and I agree with his assesment. I had a TW for a couple years and they are a simple and bombproof bike that is a hoot to ride. They really shine in the sand and loose gravel but they tend to have a limited amount of suspention.

A young lady that I know, who is 5'0", rode one from Anchorage to Dawson and back without any issues. She also rode it to Deadhorse and back this past summer so the little TW can definitely do long hauls.

Another bike worth looking at is the Yamaha XT250. It's basically the same unit as the TW with standard size tires. This has a little less roll resistance and a wee bit lighter.

Either way... you can't go wrong and Welcome to the forum!

Tracy

« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 04:21:46 AM by Frostbit » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 04:29:23 AM »

Thank for helping out guys! There you have it, Sylvia, from true experts. It sounds like the TW200 can to quite well, despite a few limitations, none of which have kept Frostbit from having a blast on it.  ricky ricky





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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 06:07:27 AM »

Oh that reminds me... Another virtue of the Yamaha 200 & 250 motor is that it fires right up at -10 degrees while my new $15000.00 bike wouldn't even grunt.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 02:54:14 PM by Frostbit » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 02:17:40 PM »

+1 on the cold morning start ups.

The real question comes when someone reports that they ride when it is -10 Huh?Huh??
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 02:23:09 PM by DRZ Charlie » Logged
Frostbit
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 04:30:03 PM »

+1 on the cold morning start ups.

The real question comes when someone reports that they ride when it is -10 Huh?Huh??

Sometimes that BURNING  desire to ride can keep a person just warm enough...

Just don't put your tongue on the handlebars. smile
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 10:04:36 PM »

Thanks everyone for all the info.  Helpful and I've been looking for one out here on craigslist.  Also, I have found a 1984 Honda XL 250 with under 4K miles for $1200.  it has a seat height of 33.7 inches - do you know if this could also be modified to drop it a couple inches or is that a big gamble? 

Hope you all are enjoying your day wherever you are.

Sylvia
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 10:25:45 PM »

Hi, does it look like this one?
It seems like the seat is fairly deep and broad, I would think there is enough foam to be able to remove an inch.
It depends on how flat seat pan is in the front of the seat. You have to be sure the nose of the seat does not get too wide when the foam is removed. That could actually make it harder to touch the ground.
Do you have some riding boots that can give you an inch or more of heel?
I looks like a sweet bike!
Cheers
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 03:46:29 AM »

yes, look just like that.  thanks for the info!  still waiting for the guy to call me back, so if he doesn't soon, it's probably sold.  i'll just keep looking!  hope a tw200 comes my way for a good price.  funny, before on craigslist i saw tons of them a few months ago when i wasn't looking, and now when i'm interested, they're not there.  ha ha.  lesson in patience.  have a great night!

sylvia
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 05:09:54 AM »

If this is in your price range, it might be worth checking out.

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/mcy/1605244351.html
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2010, 03:53:32 PM »

frostbit,

thanks so much for looking.  are you in san diego?  i'm in joshua tree but go to san diego once a week for work.  that's a great looking bike - unfortunately, it's a bit more than i'm able to pay right now.  i'd like to stay around $1500.  i know i'll have to go older, but i've seen some in the past.  just gotta stay patient!  appreciate you looking and passing the link along.

sylvia
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 05:07:11 AM »

frostbit,

thanks so much for looking.  are you in san diego?  i'm in joshua tree but go to san diego once a week for work.  that's a great looking bike - unfortunately, it's a bit more than i'm able to pay right now.  i'd like to stay around $1500.  i know i'll have to go older, but i've seen some in the past.  just gotta stay patient!  appreciate you looking and passing the link along.

sylvia

I'm far, far away from San Diego but I love to look for motorcycles. If your focusing on a TW200 you might want to check out this site... http://tw200forum.com/  Look in the classifieds of the forum and you just might find one close by.

Tracy
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2010, 04:52:51 PM »

thanks for the website!  i'm gonna have fun looking it over.  appreciate all the input.  have a good one everybody!  it's almost the weekend and time to go ride and have fun.

sylvia
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2010, 06:26:55 AM »

Here's another one that might be worth looking at...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=552541
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2010, 10:06:14 PM »

Although the TW200 is my first choice, you should also consider the Suzuki DR200. The XT225 ( which was replaced by the XT250 in 2008) is another good choice.
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2010, 01:22:49 AM »

i will look at those also.  found this one - missed it today cause had to take the dog to the emergency vet, but will look friday afternoon if still available.  dang, wish i could have gone today.  looks like a good deal.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant/mcy/1610391748.html

sylvia
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2010, 03:58:42 AM »

i will look at those also.  found this one - missed it today cause had to take the dog to the emergency vet, but will look friday afternoon if still available.  dang, wish i could have gone today.  looks like a good deal.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant/mcy/1610391748.html

sylvia

It appears to be a very good deal. On the plus side of that year TW is that is has front disk brakes but on the down side they eliminated the kick start. It is easy to bump start in 2nd when the battery isn't cooperating. It might be worth trying to work out something with the owner to hold it for you till next week... worth a try anyway.
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2010, 08:57:16 AM »

Hi Sylvia,

The Honda XL250 is a fantastic motorcycle, I have owned 3 XL's over the years. An XL70 when I was a little one, and XL185, and an XL350. Not to offned anyone here, but I believe that Honda builds one of the most reliable motors of anyone out there. I still have the XL 185 I purchased new in 1979 and it to this day starts on the 1st or second kick. My son who is 12 now rides the 185 and is not much taller than you, he is 5'4", and handles the bike like a pro.

I can't say how much taller the 250 is, if any, but I am pretty sure that it has the same wheel size as my 185, so it should be similar in height. As far as being able to ride at Hwy speeds on a 250, you should be able to do it, I grew up in Cambria '69-'89 and spent many weekends riding the 185 up Hwy 1 and was able to get to 55 to 60 when the Hwy straightened out at points.

All the other bikes mentioned seem to be good bikes, but I have no personal experience with them. I did look at an XT225 one time and decided against it as it seemed way too small for me, but it might be good for you, the guy who had it rode it all over the place, and rode some very extended trips, 400+ miles according to him. He said that he could maintain 60-65 MPH so it should be close to what you are looking for.

Good luck in your quest for a bike, there are alot of good deals out there right now.

Mark
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 01:05:49 AM »

Hey Sylvia.  Do you still ride?  Check out the CSC RX3.  It is a single-cylinder water cooled 250cc adventure bike.  I am 5' 4" and by adding the available lowering link I have the seat height down below 30".  It is a great motorcycle because it is truly adventure-ready but it is light (at around 375 pounds).

I've attached a pic.
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2017, 06:08:50 PM »

Howdy Talk2debra, thank you for joining RDS! I've always thought the CSC was a really great bike and a fantastic deal. Its really great to see one on RDS, and I look forward to hearing of your adventures.
Cheers, Kosmic
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« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2018, 01:25:12 AM »

A few more CSC RX3 pics.
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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2018, 02:34:20 PM »

She got the TW.

http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?topic=905.msg8599#msg8599

Then bailed on us.
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