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trent,

as for you getting back into riding, with the riding experience you mentioned above you'll do just fine. especially since you are going to get back into riding with a "smaller" bike. not that the 4 cylinder honda is all that small, but it weighs LOTS less than a goldwing or ultra-glide and will be lots more agile. it's typically the idiots who have more ca$h than common sense that hurt themselves (and all too often others, too) on big bikes that they aren't ready for yet. i don't think you're the type of person to fit into that category. at least that's the impression i've gotten from the times i've been around you.

as for carla, i've never met her, so i don't know how tall she is. a lady friend of mine started riding about 3 years ago at the age of about 34 or so. marie is pretty short and had never ridden before. she took a riding course and the instructor recommended a couple of bikes for her to look for that are close enough to the ground for her short little legs to reach the ground from. one was the honda rebel and she bought a 600 (650?) rebel. she's ridden the wheels off of it and loves it. the other recommendation was one of the other japanese makes, but i don't remember which one. marie sat on both of my harleys and couldn't reach the ground from either one.

like i said, i've never met/seen carla, so maybe she's 5'-11" with loooong legs for all i know. if so it'll be much easier for her, but if she's of average height then one of the bikes that have the seat closer to the ground or a custom made (by tman) scoot that's stretched & lowered might make her more comfortable. that 500/4 would make a great bike for her engine size wise. and if she can reach the ground as it sits then all the better. but i seem to remember that the seat on those is pretty far up off of the ground. so, in the vein of "two birds with one stone", you could get in some fab time and she could get a really cool scoot if you stretch & lower the 500/4 for her.

'course you'll have to have another bike ready for yourself if you give her the 500, but, hey, build one for you too and viola!, you've built two bikes.

but whatever you do, here's to you and carla and your upcoming riding adventures.
 
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