RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
What are the best bikes for short riders? It can be quiet a quest to find the right bike. That is, if you really want to touch the ground with two feet (flat). The chopper and cafe-racer fans among us will struggle less. But finding a lower sports bike or naked bike can be difficult.
And what about a tour or all-road model.. oh the struggle. But nothing is impossible! Mostly, motorcycles with less power are smaller and lower when it comes to seat height. When the seat height isn’t lower they are at least lighter in weight which can make a great contribution to your confidence on the bike.
Does that mean that short riders or shorter women can only ride lighter and smaller bikes? Certainly not! But it can help when you just started riding. Bigger isn’t always better. Consider, for example, the Kawasaki Ninja 400R with a seat height of 78.5 cm or a Honda CBR 300R with a height of 78 cm. Both bikes weigh between 170 and 180 kilos with a full tank and reach a topspeed of 160 to 170 kilometers per hour.
Are sport bikes not your thing and are you more of a fan of naked bikes? Then you’ve got a lot more options, also in terms of power. For instance; the Ducati Monster 696 with considerably more power than the sports bikes mentioned above. Despite all that power the Ducati has a seat height of only 77 cm and a wet weight of 185 kilos. Not bad for just a fast bike.
Let’s take a look at the three-cylinder list. The Triumph Street Triple 675 catches our eye with a seat height of 80 cm and a wet weight of 182 kilos. The Street Triple might be a bit higher in seat height, but it’s also a skinny motorcycle. Don’t be too fixated on the seat height. Also take the width of the bike in consideration. A skinny bike ensures that you touch the ground sooner! A big yay for short riders.
Several elements play a role in riding comfort and feeling confident on a motorcycle. The weight does too. We’ll surely control that powerful bike when riding. But building confidence when handling a bike also happens when you walk with the bike. In that case a bike that weighs less works in your advantage. A heavy bike is absolutely no problem, but then it’s convenient if you can touch the grond with your feet flat to turn the bike around. And in case of a crash with a heavier bike a bit of muscle strength will certainly come in handy.
Did you fall in love with that tall supersport or even higher adventure bike? Then just go for it. In the end it’s most important to feel comfortable on your bike. You might feel a bit anxious during the first test ride. Feel free to try a certain bike a few times.
Do you have the luxury of having friends with bigger motorcycles? Then ask them nicely and ride off! We’re all different. One might find it a big deal to barely touch the ground while sitting on the bike while others don’t mind at all.
I’m only 1.68 m tall. Most of that length is found in my upper body (#teamshortlegs). I bought my Suzuki GSXR 750 with a seat height of 82.5 cm and a wet weight of approximately 180 kilos as a first bike. So I tip toe my way around. I can’t turn the bike while sitting on top of it. In case I have to turn the bike while riding on narrow streets I have to get off the bike and turn it while walking with it. It did feel uncomfortable at first, but practice makes perfect.
There are women and shorter riders who ride the biggest and the heaviest motorcycles. Just have faith in yourself and give yourself some time to get used to the bike. Don’t be put off by a high seat height. Ultimately, you could also achieve lots with great footwear or with adjustments in the suspension and possibly with switching the seat. Take it from me (queen of clumsiness) ; you are capable of so much! That motorcycle will do what it’s told. You’ll get the hang of it quickly, I promise!