Are you a motor enthusiast who has been told that motorcycling riding isn’t for you just because you’re not tall enough?
Are you looking into cruisers or adventure bikes but thinking that being 5’6, they aren’t for you?
Well, if there is anything that will up your street cred, it’s breaking stereotypes!
Motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you are tall or short, you will find a bike that accommodates your physique.
This requires a bit of research and a little trial and error, but ultimately you’ll get to the finish line if you have the passion and drive.
Seat height is a helpful way to gauge if a motorcycle is appropriate for you.
As a general rule of thumb, lower seat heights are short and guy-friendly.
But first, let’s go through the basics.
What is seat height?
If you calculate the distance between the lowest point of the motorcycle’s seat to the ground, you will determine the seat height.
Note that it should be measured when the bike is positioned upright.
Why are seat heights critical?
Seat height affects the rider’s ability to reach the ground.
If a bike seat is too high, it will be difficult to land on your feet in case the bike falls over.
The seat height is crucial to finding the right bike for you.
It can prevent pain, injury, and unnecessary hassle.
For most people, it is a decent guide to estimate if a bike’s proportions fit your physique.
What is the usual seat height on bikes?
There are five types of bikes that have varying styles, functions, and also seat heights.
Cruisers, like Harleys, have seats closest to the ground.
The seat height is as low as 26 inches.
However, they are elongated vertically, which allows for a relaxed riding position, tall ape hangers, and extended footholds.
These are designed for long-distance road travel.
If you are looking for a variety in size and style that suit your preferences, you will find most luck with standards.
They are designed with aesthetics, practicality, and road competence in mind.
The seat height ranges from 28 to 30 inches.
A sport bike is aerodynamic for high-power short-distance rides, a perfect match for adrenaline junkies.
Touring bikes is a perfect choice if comfort and long rides are your focus.
Dual sport motorcycles, as the name implies, can do it all. They are nimble off-road and on tarmac.
They have the highest seats available from 31.5 inches and up.
What is a comfortable seat height for someone 5’6?
The simplest way to correlate the seat to your size is through your inseam length.
Usually removing an inch or two from your inseam gives you the perfect seat height.
Therefore, a seat height of 24 to 28 inches is suitable for a height of 5’6.
Anything over 30 inches or 800 mm will be too difficult to handle without at least an intermediate to advanced skill level.
Can I modify my bike to have a good fit?
There are many ways to lower the height of a motorcycle.
Adjusting the suspension can make a big difference since most bikes are fitted with too much preload more suitable for a heavier person.
Customizing seat height and the extension of handlebars, brakes, gears, and swapping out footholds for mid-length ones are all modifications that can improve control and make riding more comfortable.
What are some good motorcycle options for a short person to buy?
Here are the top motorcycles shorter riders appreciate.
Indian Scout Bobber
If the relaxed riding position of a cruiser is more your style, the Indian Scout Bobber is popular for its low seats of 25 inches.
With its sleek looks and double exhausts, it will up your street cred while being well suited for your physique.
Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The 2020 upgrade of the Tiger 800 has improved performance with a 94 bhp, Euro 5 compliance engine, and most of all, a low adjustable seat between 740 to 760 m.
With a seat height 50 mm lower than the standard, the Tiger 900 breaks the stigma that adventure bikes are not for shorter riders.
Most roadsters are known for their aggressive style featuring their bumped-up rears.
But in recent years, companies have shifted to creating more novice designs to gain popularity and sales.
The Suzuki SV650 is a brilliant choice for short riders with its Euro 5 compliant, slim V-twin motor manageable weight, and its quality to not break the bank.
All this makes it a very attractive choice if you have a shorter height.
Honda Rebel 500
A timeless decision, the Japanese Honda Rebel 500 has been a fan favorite across all ages.
It has seats lowered to about 27 inches, giving a relaxed riding position.
It has reliable and consistent performance, fancy looks, and an affordable price. What’s not to like?
What are some signs of a poor fit?
When you take out different bikes for trial runs, you’ll realize that some might be too high or too low and leave you feeling more unsettled than the normal nervous jitters.
Below are a few points to keep in mind while trying out your bike.
-You should be able to sit on the bike with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
-The ability to reach all the controls and have a secure grip on the handlebars and footholds without straining your limbs.
-While standing, you should have a stable stance and not be on your tippy-toes.
-You should be able to sit comfortably therefore wide seats and extended footholds are discouraged.
Remember, balance is key when riding a motorcycle.
Finally, motorcycle riding is all about feeling and comfort.
Going out and trying out bikes is the best way to find the right match.
If it feels right, it is right.
Happy riding, folks!