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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Husbands out there. Most of us have done this. We acquire or build a bike for the wife in the hopes of spending more time together.
She rides the bike a little, maybe even some, then it sits. Yea, sometimes we "borrow" it, to verify performance, but it's never the first choice.
I've done this twice before and since I'm a creature of habit, I'm about to do it again.
I have a 22 KLR650 and a 03DRZ400e that I love. Both are wonderful motorcycles.
She has been riding the DRZ lately, and she's fine with it but it's a little rough around the edges due to how much it's been enjoyed.
I'd like something a little nicer, and maybe smaller scale, preferably EFI for her.
I was thinking KLX300 or CRF300 might work nicely, they both look real good on paper.
Yesterday I sat on the CRF at a dealership. No Limit Powersports in Nebraska City, NE if you're in the neighborhood.
Didn't care for it at all.
It seemed dimensionally too small, like undersized. I'm 6' so not huge, but the reach to everything just seemed too compact. Kinda like a Grom with bigger wheels.
And the seat is absolutely awful. Oh my gosh. Indescribable discomfort even after 0 miles on the dealership floor.
Didn't ride it, but I can't buy a bike I don't like sitting on. I guess I was hoping for a smoother, sleeker DRZ with EFI and range to match the KLR. But no, and I know there's a Rally version, but there's still too many negatives.
So, DRZ wins again for her, so far has been a great alternative to the KLR when conditions are just a little more challenging and in the top 5 for my favorite bikes ever.

Just my .02 worth.

Any suggestions out there for smaller, slightly more ladylike version of the big KLR? prefer EFI and good range.
thoughts?
 

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Please don't be offended, but my first thought is if the bike is really for your wife, you should take her along shopping. My wife only rides pillion, but if she did want to ride her own, I would get her involved in the selection. At 6' and 220 lbs, my KLR fits me better & is more comfortable (vibration aside) than the other bikes in the stable. My wife is petite, so a KLR 650 would not be the bike for her. Personally, I think the CRF 300 Rally would be a great bike if my wife wanted to ride, but I would want her "buy in" before I would get one for her. Letting her watch a couple of "Itchy Boots" episodes on YouTube should do the trick.
 

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Yesterday I sat on the CRF at a dealership. No Limit Powersports in Nebraska City, NE if you're in the neighborhood.
Didn't care for it at all.
It seemed dimensionally too small, like undersized. I'm 6' so not huge, but the reach to everything just seemed too compact. Kinda like a Grom with bigger wheels.
But I thought the bike was supposed to be for the wife?! She should be sitting on it. Never sat on one myself. They are rare as hen’s teeth around here. If you follow Itchy Boots on You Tube she is currently on a Rally version and seems to do very well on it.

Edit: I see @Art W. and I hit reply at the same time. Sorry about the echo.
 

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I owned a CRF250L, even though I‘m 6’2” and not a wife . . . Seat is terrible on both versions of the bike, like many dual sports, and would need to be replaced. The bike is so popular that isn’t an issue, nor are any other accessory you can think of. Really, your wife needs to sit on the bikes and make the choices since she’s going to be the one riding it. Had a DRZ too. I can’t meatiness using that as a “little“ bike. That thing is a mean riding machine.
 

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I don't know what kind of riding you would do with your wife, but the Versys X-300 might be a contender (if you are not into dirt trails).
Ps - The "fit" of a bike is really a personal thing. I believe Ïtchy Boots" is running the stock seat on her little trek from South America to Alaska.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the comments.
Good point the wife not being there, but if I hate the seat I'm sure she will too, but she may like the shorter reach.
Riding application would be country roads, unmaintained roads, some asphalt, state parks, and trail riding.
I'll check out the videos
 

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All bikes are a compromise so the answer is impossible to give from here without info on your wife's size, experience and riding style......what kind of riding do you guys do? I would suggest that you buy the best bike for her and stop worrying about how it feels or works for you or the compromise will be even more flawed. You could be looking at a KLX230, KLX300, CRF300, CRF250L, a CRF230L or even a TW200. I've taught dozens of people how to ride including a half dozen women....in fact I taught my ex-wife how to ride and she went on to win the PNWMA Women's offroad championship for 4 years in a row; she road a ZX6R on the street and a KTM200XC offroad but she was an aggressive rider with lots of experience. I know women that ride DRZ's, DR650S's and even a KTM350EXC but they aren't beginners by any stretch. One thing I have learned over time is that often the best bike for someone isn't the fastest, lightest bike with the best suspension, but the one that is most comfortable and makes them feel in control - if they are scared or not having fun, it isn't going to end up being a shared hobby for long. I've watched many guys buy their wives matching KTM's (or whatever) because that's the bike THEY want their wives to ride.....it doesn't usually end well.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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[QUOTE="Rocketmancycle, post: 751727, member: 79555"
I was thinking KLX300 or CRF300 might work

Any suggestions out there for smaller, slightly more ladylike version of the big KLR? prefer EFI and good range.
thoughts?
[/QUOTE]
I’d say the KLX is an awesome option. Both have horrible seat comfort. Are you thinking more off-road or would an adventure bike work? My daughter loves my Honda cb500x, it’s capable of anything highway and with proper tire selection can handle moderate off roading. Seat height is manageable. Power is in the sweet spot of fun but not getting you into trouble easily
 

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thanks for the comments.
Good point the wife not being there, but if I hate the seat I'm sure she will too, but she may like the shorter reach.
Riding application would be country roads, unmaintained roads, some asphalt, state parks, and trail riding.
I'll check out the videos
If that’s your riding style, I’d think ALL of the 250-300 bikes would be good candidates and decide which way she wants the bike to lean - more dirt or more street. Don’t discount the mini-adv bikes like the versys, KTM 390, and BMW 310 gs. A little more street focused, a lot more comfortable, and easily capable of what you list. And remember, most of us farkle our Bikes in some way to make them fit “just right,” so if you find a bike that fits well, you can almost always tweak the bits she doesn’t like to make it perfect. And don’t you discount them for your occasional ride either. Those little bikes are a hoot on the street and off tarmac. And so much easier to handle off of the pavement than even our KLRs - all generations.
 

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If that’s your riding style, I’d think ALL of the 250-300 bikes would be good candidates and decide which way she wants the bike to lean - more dirt or more street. Don’t discount the mini-adv bikes like the versys, KTM 390, and BMW 310 gs. A little more street focused, a lot more comfortable, and easily capable of what you list. And remember, most of us farkle our Bikes in some way to make them fit “just right,” so if you find a bike that fits well, you can almost always tweak the bits she doesn’t like to make it perfect. And don’t you discount them for your occasional ride either. Those little bikes are a hoot on the street and off tarmac. And so much easier to handle off of the pavement than even our KLRs - all generations.
I agree with your thoughts though it all depends on what is meant by "trail riding" - that can encompass some fairly significant extremes. As the owner of a Versys 650, I'd suggest it offers no advantage vs. a KLR off pavement.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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My lil lady is vertically challenged. We happened apon a used KLX300SM that someone changed things over to be more dirt friendly. Even to the point to change up the fork tubes and front suspension to make them a bit more flexy, as the SM models come with that super stiff front end for... well, super moto stuff. What sucks is this bike has more go than my pig. Its probably because it weighs less than I do, has the dynajet kit, exhaust and air box mod, and not stock sprockets. plus the trex skid and crashbars, and fender delete, etc etc on this 2021 All for 4500 bucks out the door.
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besides the previously mentioned, i'll ad the xt225. although not fuel injected, mine's been fine with lengthy storage (just drain the carb). a bit cold blooded but, runs fine once warmed. i added a clark tank but, there's well over 100 miles of off-road range with the stock tank.

capable of 75 on the freeway and one of the lightest dual sports out there, mine's a keeper!
 

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I agree with your thoughts though it all depends on what is meant by "trail riding" - that can encompass some fairly significant extremes. As the owner of a Versys 650, I'd suggest it offers no advantage vs. a KLR off pavement.

2 cents,
Dave
I was thinking Versys 300, not the 650.
 

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Noraly Shomaker, of "Itchy Boots" Youtube fame is currently riding a Honda CRF300 Rally up to Alaska from South America and previously had a similar CRF250 in South Africa, She kicked a__ with her 250 in the 2021 Kalahari Rally. Remember it has to fit her, not you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, that's a great point, it does have to fit her.
And thanks for the tip on itchy boots. I've watched on youtube a couple times. Great shop time background entertainment!
 
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