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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding for two years, took the MSF thinking I'd get a scooter, but realized I wanted a clutch. 39, been commuting into Boston on it. Looking for something with ABS that I can take on major roads. Somewhat skeptical of both cruiser and sport seating positions. Eager to sit on the rebel and see how easy it is to get my weight off the saddle, potholes are a major part of my life. Probably looking at the 300, Long freeway rides don't interest me, just want to be able to keep up on Storrow Drive and NH state roads. Worried that doubling the size of my bike will take some of the joy out of the proceedings.
 

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Welcome! A 300cc is still small enough to give you that 'ridin the piss out of it' feeling.
 

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You sound like the ideal candidate for a small dual sport bike. I have no idea what the used market is like on the east coast. but, you could look in Cycle Trader, https://www.cycletrader.com/, and look for Suzuki DR200. Here is a NJ bike: https://www.cycletrader.com/dealers/Muller-Suzuki-3016708/listing/2016-Suzuki-DR200S-119532784.

Alternatively, Honda made a light (271 pound) CRF230L, but the last bike was 2009 (I have one), and the current CRF250L, which is water cooled, uses the basic CBR250R engine, and is about 50 pounds heavier..

Yamaha's XT250 is another option.

All of these bikes will have longer front fork suspensions, and better handling on really crappy pavement. Top speed will be in the 60-75 mph range. Fuel economy should be about 65-70 mpg. They all have a seat height of about 32 inches, which should be fine for anyone with a 30-inch inseam. If you are a lot longer legged, you need to look at taller seat heights, but usually those are closer to off road bikes. Yamaha's WR250 comes to mind.
 

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I agree! Manufacturers need to get with it and make a dual sport with ABS for the 5' 3" crowd. Until that day, though...
The problem with that is if they made a dual sport for the 5' 3" crowd it likely wouldn't be a dual sport at all. Lowering the bike that much would pretty much eliminate any ground clerance the bike had. And you would also have to greatly limit the suspension.

I am 5' 8" and learned to ride on a chinese enduro. I think of you got a normal size enduro lowered slightly you would probably be able to ride it even being shorter. The bikes are quite a bit lighter than other motorcycles. You won't be able to put both feet on the ground but you can probably make one comfortable enough to be able to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am 5' 8" and learned to ride on a chinese enduro. I think of you got a normal size enduro lowered slightly you would probably be able to ride it even being shorter. The bikes are quite a bit lighter than other motorcycles. You won't be able to put both feet on the ground but you can probably make one comfortable enough to be able to ride.
My concern there is that much of my bike time is spent at walking speed, so just about manageable seems like it would get irritating fast: not sure, though. Also, being able to reverse is useful periodically in city traffic. Is getting your butt off the seat over train tracks feasible on your new Rebel?
 

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My concern there is that much of my bike time is spent at walking speed, so just about manageable seems like it would get irritating fast: not sure, though. Also, being able to reverse is useful periodically in city traffic. Is getting your butt off the seat over train tracks feasible on your new Rebel?
I can stand on mine, and I'm 5'10" with bad knees. You should have no problem lifting off the seat for bumps.
 

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My concern there is that much of my bike time is spent at walking speed, so just about manageable seems like it would get irritating fast: not sure, though. Also, being able to reverse is useful periodically in city traffic. Is getting your butt off the seat over train tracks feasible on your new Rebel?
For that very same reason I bought a cage. Rather ride in situations with not nearly as much traffic. Now the worst case scenario is riding in situations 20-30% slower than city speed.
 

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BoringCommenter, what is your inseam? That, not your height is the basic limiting factor. My inseam is 28 or 29 inches, depending upon the cut of the pants. At least try sitting on a DR200. Dual sports have a thinner seat at the front to let you get your legs down at a stop. And the seat can usually be shaved about an inch.
 

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If most of your time is spent crawling around at near walking speed; I would hate to have anything that require manual gear shifts, car or motorcycle... I have a Honda Ruckus that I love to ride in busy slow traffic because I don't have to keep my hand on the clutch the whole time. Id recommend a Honda Grom like your thread title suggest if you "need" to have a clutch for your slow commutes. Plus they only have 4 gears so, less shifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Managed to find a new Honda Rebel it sit on today, but only for 15 seconds, before they chased me off because it had already been sold. I'm definitely not sure about this whole cruiser thing. Maybe if I wait a couple years something like the TU250x will come out with ABS.
 

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Is getting your butt off the seat over train tracks feasible on your new Rebel?
Getting your butt off of any seat is a simple matter on any bike. Simply put, if you can't stand on the pegs then you pull yourself up via the handlebars.

Case in point, apehangers and forward controls, a combination many a professional MC author --- up to and including David Hough --- has made the mistake of claiming impossibility when it comes to getting up off the seat:

 

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...and something more mild, albeit still with pegs much further forward than the new 300/500 models:

 
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