These bikes will serve you well if you're a little short in the inseam

Height is a major problem for motorcycles. Tall seats and wide saddles are the enemies of the short-legged and many bikes require an above average height simply to swing a leg over. Here are 11 great bikes that are great to ride, these are truly the best motorcycles for short riders.


What To Look For

Accessibility for the shorter rider isn’t merely a case of seat height. The width of the seat and the angle at which it splays your legs is a major factor too. With reduced leverage, both outright weight and center of gravity are going to be issues too. So, you want a bike that’s short, thin, light and carries its weight low and centralized.

Some manufacturers, BMW foremost among them, offer low seat heights as no or low-cost options. Aftermarket companies like Corbin and Sargent also specialize in custom saddles and can tailor them to your individual requirements.

Modifying a motorcycle’s suspension (beyond the provided adjusters) to lower the height is a bad idea because it reduces both a bike’s performance and ground clearance. By reducing the height of the suspension you increase the likelihood of bottoming out or dragging parts in corners. Often, poorly-designed lowering kits alter a bike’s suspension geometry too.

You can also learn to support a motorcycle in such a way that height becomes less of an issue. Scoot one butt cheek off the seat in the direction you plan on putting a foot down and you’ll gain some reach with your leg by reducing that splay. Avoid parking with the motorcycle facing down an incline, such as that created by the crown of the roadway. On lighter bikes, you’ll simply be able to support the bike leaned over at 10 degrees or so. Practice off the road in a safe, quiet environment and you might be surprised by what bikes you’re able to manage.

Are you on the south side of 6 feet tall? What bike works best for you?