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The Open Road => Beginner's Garage => Topic started by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 12:00:47 pm



Title: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 12:00:47 pm
Just joined and am in the process of poking around.

Took my MSF BRC at the beginning of June and have been toodling around on an '86 Honda Rebel 250.

Been doing a lot of research on what the next bike will be and I'm thinking that sport-touring may be a good fit for me... aside from actually fitting on the bikes. :)

I'm <120 lbs, female and crotch-to-ground is only 29 inches (so maybe my actual inseam is ~28?)

I'm on the hunt for a low (or lower-able) bike in the sport-touring family and don't seem to be coming up with too many options...

Suzuki GS500F?
BMW F650?
Just get a Ninja 250 and say to hell with it?

I'd prefer if there were hard cases available that didn't involve fabricating my own parts and given my current experience level, would much prefer the ability to flatfoot (though getting "mostly" there would be okay). If there's a list that I missed in my search through the forum, I'd appreciate being pointed at it, or if you have a suggestion to add to the list or a strong opinion about one to stay away from, I'd appreciate hearing from you.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 05, 2012, 12:10:47 pm
Hi!  I don't have a ton of time to write right now as I'm late getting out the door with the baby (story of my life) but I wanted to stick a placeholder in here to come back and blather at you later.   :bigok:

I totally relate to your situation -- it sounds like you and I are about the same size (I'm 5'1", about 115 lbs, 28" inseam).

Again, more later, but off the top of my head:

Check out Daytona's LadyStar GTX boots (https://shop.helimot.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=70).  Worth every penny.  I've been wearing these exclusively since 2001 -- the first pair lasted 80k+ miles -- and they make a huge difference.  Really comfy, too.

For bikes, I had really good luck with the thumper F650GS.  It was very comfortable and had a low center of gravity.  Mine was the "normal" chassis; I've sat on the low chassis version and it was even better.  I'd totally buy one of those bikes again.

My current bike is the Ninja 250; honestly, it's one of my favorite bikes.  :D  I haven't done touring on it on the interstate, which I imagine will not be fun...but I don't like the interstate much even on my larger bikes.

Congrats on your BRC and on learning to ride!  :inlove: :inlove:

OK, I'm seriously running late now...will come back and spew more shorty nonsense later.  :D



Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: falcofred on July 05, 2012, 12:11:50 pm
Don't forget the Ducati Monster, the 695 has a prettly low seat. I may not be a sport touring bike, but it has style.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: naustin on July 05, 2012, 12:24:50 pm
Don't get all hung up on seat height.  When the bike is moving it doesn't matter.  After a week or two, you'll learn how to shift to one side and put one foot down when you stop.

You don't need to be able to get both feet (or tip toes even) down.  

I realize you are a new rider, and maybe nervous about dropping the bike. My advise is that you should buy used ( youll drop it a few times no matter what) and just learn how to adjust for height.

Have fun!


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: 919 on July 05, 2012, 12:26:25 pm
I would say ride as many different bikes as you can get your hands on and see what you like.  Just remember that you can sport-tour on anything, soft saddle bag setup are sufficient in most respects and are easily removable for commuting duty.  Tail bags and tank bags are great too.

I would suggest looking up The Pace Podcast, the latest episode was a ladies round table discussion and this topic came up.  http://thepacepodcast.com/archives/1942

I wish you the best of luck finding a bike that fits well! Welcome.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: sfalexi on July 05, 2012, 12:33:46 pm
I'm a dude, but a short one so I will tell you what limited experience I have.

For the record, I'm 5'4", with a 30" inseam.

Right now I own a Honda CBR250R.  It's a "little" taller than you would expect, but still very small.  BUT, as of now, it does NOT have hard sidebags, and if that's a dealbreaker for you, so be it.  Although I want to say, I have a topbox on mine, and that handles 99% of my commuting duties.  If I need extra space, I bungie cord a duffel back to the rear seat just in front of the topbox.

Here's the thoughts on the bikes I've tried/sat on.

The ninja 250 was extremely comfortable, been around forever, and can do pretty much any type of riding (commuting in city, running highway speeds, etc. etc.)  I just wanted ABS and fuel injection so I went with the Honda.

I sat on an F650GS with the lowering kit and that thing will let the smallest of the smallest completely flatfoot the bike (I'm pretty close to that, and it had me flatfooted with my knees bent).  That'd be a very good choice for allaround riding.

the 650R probably won't let you flatfoot both sides, but it's a great bike.  Rode a friend's, and it's REALLY nice.  Smooth and powerful enough.  GSF500F also a good call if you fit on it.

Thankfully, motorcycles seem to be at the point where all the ones you've mentioned are considered VERY reliably and fuel efficient.  Between all the ones you've mentioned, they've all got luggage options, and really you can just sit on them, and pick the one that makes you smile the most.  They'll all work great.

But for ULTRA-low (flatfooted), the F650GS with the lowering kit is probably the lowest 'sporty' bike I've ever seen/sat on.

And don't worry about "settling" for a ninja 250.  I bought my Honda CBR250R for my wife, and now I ride it every day.  There's something really fun about getting back to basics of riding, and having a bike that you can wind out to it's limits.  Plus, 75 mpg makes me feel great about taking the long way to EVERYWHERE.

Alexi


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 01:12:32 pm
Wow that was quick!

Thanks everyone :) Some really good info here.

bluepoof: I look forward to more shorty blathering :D Experience from those who have 'been there done that' is awesome. I've seen those Ladystar's recommended a few places in my research, I'm just hesitating pulling the $450 trigger :eek: How does the fit compare to the sizing? I'd have to order them blind and would like to minimize my chances of getting the wrong size.

falcofred: I'm not familiar with Ducati's much at all... I don't think there's many dealers anywhere near me, and they don't come up much on craigslist.

naustin: One of my MSF instructors told me the same thing and the other told me to get something I can flat foot. My husband urges me to get something I can flatfoot as well. :headscratch: I guess I'm the one that's doing the riding, so I'll have to see what I'm comfortable with. I'll just have to go sit on a bunch more stuff and see if I can finagle some test rides on some taller used bikes. Along with seat height goes weight and weight distribution. Short stems don't leave me much room for leverage. :)
I've already dropped the Rebel once, and I can flatfoot that with bent knees when I have my boots on, so I realize that seat height is no guarantee. Used is definitely my plan, if I can find something appropriate... I've been scouring craigslist in a three-city radius.

919: Thanks for the link! I will check that out once I'm home. My worry about soft bags is security. :o Ride to the movies, come out and all your stuff is gone! For commuting duty, that's less of an issue obviously, since I could bring the bags into the office.

Alexi: Really detailed input, thank you! Around here, Ninja 250s from about 2006 and newer seem to sell for just under $3k used, regardless of year/condition/mileage, so that's definitely part of the appeal. I was looking at the CBR250R, but no one around here seems to have them. I did have one dealer offer to order me one, but then I'd be a bit stuck... I really like the look of the BMWs, but the price point would take a little work, I think. Unless I went and rode one and it was THE bike...


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: sfalexi on July 05, 2012, 01:38:54 pm

Wow that was quick!
I'm off today, with nothing I need to get done, so I'm browsing internet forums like they're going out of style.

naustin: One of my MSF instructors told me the same thing and the other told me to get something I can flat foot. My husband urges me to get something I can flatfoot as well. :headscratch: I guess I'm the one that's doing the riding, so I'll have to see what I'm comfortable with. ....Used is definitely my plan, if I can find something appropriate... I've been scouring craigslist in a three-city radius.
Well, they're both right...in a way.  To a new rider, flatfooting inspires confidence.  And if you're a new rider, you may not be great at balancing and shifting the weight to the desired side when stopping (shifting to the side of the foot that you will be putting down).  So for a brand new rider, flat footing is a safe way to insure against a dropped bike.  BUT, as you become more comfortable, you'll find you'll be able to come to a stop and keep your right foot on the break and just lean the bike a little to the left putting your left foot down.  At this point, seat height becomes almost a moot point.  Cause you can create that tripod (two wheels and your left foot) with a seat height inches higher than your inseam.  That's why you'll see abunch of short folk like us talking about how they have no problem riding giant GS and adventure style bikes (seat heights of like 34 inches!!!  :eek: )

Buying used is a GREAT idea.  Get comfy with it, learn that balance point so you can lean to the left, and then you can decide whether you want to try out some taller bikes, different bikes, customize your used bike, or whatever.

Alexi


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: cultureslayer on July 05, 2012, 01:45:58 pm
I have a ninja 250 with a topbox.  If you get one I can send you pics of the rack I'm using and you could have a local shop weld up a similar one.  I've put over 40k miles on ninja 250s so I'm biased, but they are hard to beat for cheap fun.  I might get a 500 if this one gets run over in a parking lot (happened to the last 2, joys of grad school).


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: naustin on July 05, 2012, 02:01:37 pm

Well, they're both right...in a way.  To a new rider, flatfooting inspires confidence.  And if you're a new rider, you may not be great at balancing and shifting the weight to the desired side when stopping (shifting to the side of the foot that you will be putting down).  So for a brand new rider, flat footing is a safe way to insure against a dropped bike.  BUT, as you become more comfortable, you'll find you'll be able to come to a stop and keep your right foot on the break and just lean the bike a little to the left putting your left foot down.  At this point, seat height becomes almost a moot point.  Cause you can create that tripod (two wheels and your left foot) with a seat height inches higher than your inseam.  That's why you'll see abunch of short folk like us talking about how they have no problem riding giant GS and adventure style bikes (seat heights of like 34 inches!!!  :eek: )

Buying used is a GREAT idea.  Get comfy with it, learn that balance point so you can lean to the left, and then you can decide whether you want to try out some taller bikes, different bikes, customize your used bike, or whatever.

Alexi


 :thumbsup: Couldn't have said it better.  :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 05, 2012, 02:05:58 pm
This SV650S has a seat height that is 1 inch lower than a Ninja 250. Its ridden by a woman that is 4'11" with probably a 27 inch inseam. It has lowering links with a re-sprung GSXR shock and race-tech emulators and springs up front. It handles just fine but the ground clearance is limited. She is not a super aggressive rider so its not that big of a deal. The Convertibars probably contributed as much to the ride-ability as the lowering links. Now she is sitting more straight up and the reach to the ground is much easier not to mention she is not laying on the gas tank the entire time. Has she dropped it? Yeap once in four years but not a single scratch due to the sliders and spools.  :bigok:

Oh and I did purchase the LadyStar GTX for my wife at Poofs recommendation and she loves loves loves them.  :bigok:

(http://mike.chornbe.com/bikes/SV650S/sv6503.jpg)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: still kickin on July 05, 2012, 04:22:55 pm
One more option on the boots. Buy a nice pair of boots with a 1 inch sole. Take them to a good shoe cobler and have him add a 1 inch sole. I have done this twice with very good results. They look fine and no one knows when your scooting through the twisties! Good luck with your search. Bob


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: County Tar on July 05, 2012, 04:28:40 pm
If you want a 4 banger the Yamaha FZ6R has a low seat height adjustment.  My 5'3" spouse could flat foot it.  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 04:46:26 pm

I'm off today, with nothing I need to get done, so I'm browsing internet forums like they're going out of style.Well, they're both right...in a way.  To a new rider, flatfooting inspires confidence.  And if you're a new rider, you may not be great at balancing and shifting the weight to the desired side when stopping (shifting to the side of the foot that you will be putting down).  So for a brand new rider, flat footing is a safe way to insure against a dropped bike.  BUT, as you become more comfortable, you'll find you'll be able to come to a stop and keep your right foot on the break and just lean the bike a little to the left putting your left foot down.  At this point, seat height becomes almost a moot point.  Cause you can create that tripod (two wheels and your left foot) with a seat height inches higher than your inseam.  That's why you'll see abunch of short folk like us talking about how they have no problem riding giant GS and adventure style bikes (seat heights of like 34 inches!!!  :eek: )

Buying used is a GREAT idea.  Get comfy with it, learn that balance point so you can lean to the left, and then you can decide whether you want to try out some taller bikes, different bikes, customize your used bike, or whatever.

Alexi

Thanks for that explanation! From what I've been gathering, it sure seems like the NEXT bike is almost never the LAST bike so knowing that I might have some more options as I gain experience/confidence is good to know.


I have a ninja 250 with a topbox.  If you get one I can send you pics of the rack I'm using and you could have a local shop weld up a similar one.  I've put over 40k miles on ninja 250s so I'm biased, but they are hard to beat for cheap fun.  I might get a 500 if this one gets run over in a parking lot (happened to the last 2, joys of grad school).

If I wind up going the Ninja route, I will definitely shoot you a note. Lugging the laptop back and forth on the commute will require SOME kind of storage.


This SV650S has a seat height that is 1 inch lower than a Ninja 250. Its ridden by a woman that is 4'11" with probably a 27 inch inseam. It has lowering links with a re-sprung GSXR shock and race-tech emulators and springs up front. It handles just fine but the ground clearance is limited. She is not a super aggressive rider so its not that big of a deal. The Convertibars probably contributed as much to the ride-ability as the lowering links. Now she is sitting more straight up and the reach to the ground is much easier not to mention she is not laying on the gas tank the entire time. Has she dropped it? Yeap once in four years but not a single scratch due to the sliders and spools.  :bigok:

Oh and I did purchase the LadyStar GTX for my wife at Poofs recommendation and she loves loves loves them.  :bigok:


I'm guessing that's not a modification I could make in my garage?



One more option on the boots. Buy a nice pair of boots with a 1 inch sole. Take them to a good shoe cobler and have him add a 1 inch sole. I have done this twice with very good results. They look fine and no one knows when your scooting through the twisties! Good luck with your search. Bob

 :thumbsup: The Ladystar boots suggested by bluepoof and Giaka above add an additional 1.5" of height over their regular boots, but are expensive. Yours sounds like it could be a slightly more economical option.


If you want a 4 banger the Yamaha FZ6R has a low seat height adjustment.  My 5'3" spouse could flat foot it.  

Good to know! One more to keep an eye out for.



My local BMW dealer just got in a 2010 F650GS that was "lowered as low as they could lower a BMW" as so poetically put by the saleswoman. :) If the weekend weather is good, I'm going to have to go sit on it.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 05, 2012, 05:34:35 pm

My local BMW dealer just got in a 2010 F650GS that was "lowered as low as they could lower a BMW" as so poetically put by the saleswoman. :) If the weekend weather is good, I'm going to have to go sit on it.


If it's a 2010 F650GS, it'll be the twin model.  Definitely sit on it, but personally, I found the thumper version far more comfortable (confusingly also called the F650GS prior to '09, and renamed the G650GS post-'09).  I owned a low chassis '09 F650GS twin for about a year and while the seat height was great, I found the bars too wide and the ergos just generally less comfy than my standard height '01 F650GS.  If I were to get another 650cc, the low chassis G650GS would be top of my list.



Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 06:23:20 pm



If it's a 2010 F650GS, it'll be the twin model.  Definitely sit on it, but personally, I found the thumper version far more comfortable (confusingly also called the F650GS prior to '09, and renamed the G650GS post-'09).  I owned a low chassis '09 F650GS twin for about a year and while the seat height was great, I found the bars too wide and the ergos just generally less comfy than my standard height '01 F650GS.  If I were to get another 650cc, the low chassis G650GS would be top of my list.




People (well, some people) describe the thumper as too... uh... thumpy. :) Lots of vibration. Not your experience?


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 05, 2012, 06:36:27 pm

People (well, some people) describe the thumper as too... uh... thumpy. :) Lots of vibration. Not your experience?


Well, it's thumpier than, say, a V-twin. :D  But I prefer the thumpiness over the high vibration of an inline four.  Just personal preference.  It certainly wasn't too thumpy to tour on; I rode mine from California to Florida up the east coast to Ohio and back to California.  

It's all tradeoffs, of course.  I did like the smooth engine of the twin Beemer better...but it didn't physically fit me as well as the thumper did.  :shrug:  

The other thing I've noticed over the years is that Kawasaki makes really shorty-friendly bikes.  Besides the obvious Ninjette, I owned a Z750S for a while and that was the most comfortable bike I've ever owned.  







Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Mrs. DantesDame on July 05, 2012, 07:05:42 pm

 :thumbsup: The Ladystar boots suggested by bluepoof and Giaka above add an additional 1.5" of height over their regular boots, but are expensive. Yours sounds like it could be a slightly more economical option.


If you go the cobbler route and don't have someone local, let me know. I have a link to the Best Cobbler in the Nation  :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 10:21:35 pm



Well, it's thumpier than, say, a V-twin. :D  But I prefer the thumpiness over the high vibration of an inline four.  Just personal preference.  It certainly wasn't too thumpy to tour on; I rode mine from California to Florida up the east coast to Ohio and back to California.  

It's all tradeoffs, of course.  I did like the smooth engine of the twin Beemer better...but it didn't physically fit me as well as the thumper did.  :shrug:  

The other thing I've noticed over the years is that Kawasaki makes really shorty-friendly bikes.  Besides the obvious Ninjette, I owned a Z750S for a while and that was the most comfortable bike I've ever owned.  



I'll keep that in mind, if the ergos are off, that an earlier model year will fit differently (in case i run across another in the future)

There's a Z750S on my local CL for $3800, which doesn't seem too terrible.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 05, 2012, 10:22:30 pm



If you go the cobbler route and don't have someone local, let me know. I have a link to the Best Cobbler in the Nation  :bigok:


Good to know. :)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 06, 2012, 10:29:05 pm



People (well, some people) describe the thumper as too... uh... thumpy. :) Lots of vibration. Not your experience?


The thumpyness is way better and easier to tolerate than the high frequency vibrations my Versys has. I would take the thumper or a V-twin over a parallel twin any day.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 07, 2012, 01:19:32 am
I would take the thumper or a V-twin over a parallel twin any day.


Good thing I was around to take the parallel twin Ninjette off your hands!  'Course you ended up with my thumper and we all know how THAT turned out... :crazy: :pope:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 07, 2012, 05:30:26 pm
Went and sat on the F650GS today. It was low enough that I could get the balls of my feet firmly down on both sides :thumbsup: Didn't ride it, since the dealer is in the middle of a busy section of traffic, and (in all honesty) I don't think I have the experience to get much out of a test ride at this point. :D The previous owner had added a bunch of farkles that actually added to the appeal of the bike. Minimal miles and looked like it was straight out of the box. Price was super-reasonable, just not sure if I want to spend THAT much on my first-next bike.

Also went and sat on a GS500F. Approximately the same position seat hight-wise as the F650GS, at less than half the price.

Both bikes were a good weight, so I didn't mind the lack of flat-footedness. So, both are possibles. The GS500F is a lower price point, which is appealing, while I feel like the BMW could possibly be a longer-term bike... like, I'd maybe want to replace the Suzuki sooner. Hard to say at this point...

I also sat on a CBR250R and a little Ninja, just for comparison purposes, and was surprised that my "reach" wasn't any better. Balls of the feet and no better. Of the two, I liked the Honda a bit better, but if I can get a bit more power with similar fitment, I might keep the 250s lower on the list at this point.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: cultureslayer on July 07, 2012, 06:14:28 pm

Went and sat on the F650GS today. It was low enough that I could get the balls of my feet firmly down on both sides :thumbsup: Didn't ride it, since the dealer is in the middle of a busy section of traffic, and (in all honesty) I don't think I have the experience to get much out of a test ride at this point. :D The previous owner had added a bunch of farkles that actually added to the appeal of the bike. Minimal miles and looked like it was straight out of the box. Price was super-reasonable, just not sure if I want to spend THAT much on my first-next bike.

Also went and sat on a GS500F. Approximately the same position seat hight-wise as the F650GS, at less than half the price.

Both bikes were a good weight, so I didn't mind the lack of flat-footedness. So, both are possibles. The GS500F is a lower price point, which is appealing, while I feel like the BMW could possibly be a longer-term bike... like, I'd maybe want to replace the Suzuki sooner. Hard to say at this point...

I also sat on a CBR250R and a little Ninja, just for comparison purposes, and was surprised that my "reach" wasn't any better. Balls of the feet and no better. Of the two, I liked the Honda a bit better, but if I can get a bit more power with similar fitment, I might keep the 250s lower on the list at this point.


The seat was lower on the old ninja 250s.  Did you sit on a new one?  If you want something cheap to learn with and beat on the old 250s are great because you can buy one and sell it for almost what you paid a year later.  Same for the ninja 500s.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Mrs. DantesDame on July 07, 2012, 08:00:06 pm

Didn't ride it, since the dealer is in the middle of a busy section of traffic, and (in all honesty) I don't think I have the experience to get much out of a test ride at this point. :D

I know that I'm unique in this practice, but I have only test-ridden one bike out of the 10 that I've ever bought and never been unhappy with any of my choices. Hell, I bought the BMW 1150 GS after having only sat on it in the parking lot and not even started the engine  :D

Having said that, if you can get in a test ride, go for it!  :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: still kickin on July 07, 2012, 08:53:45 pm
Remember that BMW service and parts departments think $1000 is pocket change :facepalm:

One example-- a friend just bought the new BMW GTL1600. Got it home-next morning taking it off the centerstand and I bet you know what happened next! It fell over into his car and knocked the bikes rear view mirror off! Parts cost $2000!!!!!!!!!!!Damn


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: hovmaven on July 07, 2012, 08:57:39 pm



Good thing I was around to take the parallel twin Ninjette off your hands!  'Course you ended up with my thumper and we all know how THAT turned out... :crazy: :pope:



Yes, yes we do. . ..  In Iowa.    :facepalm:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b76/hovmaven/013-1.jpg)

 :pope: :pope: :pope:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 08, 2012, 02:34:11 am

I know that I'm unique in this practice, but I have only test-ridden one bike out of the 10 that I've ever bought and never been unhappy with any of my choices.


Yes, but you're 7000 feet tall and never have to worry about whether you'll actually be able to physically ride the bike once you've bought it.  :lol:

And hovmaven....you know better than to mention that bike without blessing your post!! :pope: :pope:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: hovmaven on July 08, 2012, 03:01:23 am

And hovmaven....you know better than to mention that bike without blessing your post!! :pope: :pope:


Fixed.   ;)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Papa Lazarou on July 08, 2012, 08:52:32 am
Another suggestion: Harley Sportster Low.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: naustin on July 08, 2012, 09:35:53 am
Ergos, prices, features, and lots of other details are all too easy to focus on and over analyze.  #1 best reason to buy a bike is because when you look at it, you just WANT to ride it!

Go with the one that gives you that feeling. :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 08, 2012, 02:55:52 pm
Thanks everyone, for your continued advice.

After a Very Scary Incident in traffic yesterday evening, from which I'm currently sporting a colorful collection of bruises, I'm putting the bike purchase on hold.

The Rebel and parking lots will make up my riding for the foreseeable future.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 08, 2012, 03:14:28 pm
Oh no!  I hope you're OK (I'm assuming so since you only mentioned bruises).  It sounds scary!  

Nothing wrong with parking lots.  I stuck to parking lots for nearly 6 months after getting my license before venturing out into the neighborhood streets.   :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 08, 2012, 03:36:01 pm

Oh no!  I hope you're OK (I'm assuming so since you only mentioned bruises).  It sounds scary!  

Nothing wrong with parking lots.  I stuck to parking lots for nearly 6 months after getting my license before venturing out into the neighborhood streets.   :bigok:


I'm fine. :) I have a huge bruise on my right thigh/hip and a couple on my left thigh/shin. The Rebel is a freaking tank, and despite being almost upside down in a ditch, seems none the worse for wear.

But yes, terrifying, since that ditch was on the wrong side of the road across two lanes of traffic. :o I misjudged an off-camber right handed turn, target-fixated on the minivan coming at me, and wound up on the ground on the shoulder. Eesh. I felt like I was going to throw up for a good portion of last night and scared the hell out of my husband who was riding out in front of me and must've had a heart attack when suddenly I wasn't behind him.

But, two hours of parking lot practice this morning went a long way to restoring my frayed nerves. The hubs is a patient man: he rode the Rebel to the lot and then spent some time devising MSF-esque drills to start shoring up my shaky spots.  :inlove:

I'm happy to hear that you spent 6 months in parking lots. I'm feeling a bit like I need to be riding the Motorcyclists' Short Bus. :P I'm not used to not being good at things right away and this is the first new "skill" I've tried to learn in what seems like forever.

It's a little frustrating, since here in Michigan our riding season is so short. But, I'll be happy with parking lots til I'm handling the bike like it's second nature and bored out of my mind if it means fewer near-death experiences. If I don't make it back to riding out in the Real World until next spring, so be it.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: sfalexi on July 08, 2012, 04:12:14 pm

But yes, terrifying, since that ditch was on the wrong side of the road across two lanes of traffic. :o I misjudged an off-camber right handed turn, target-fixated on the minivan coming at me, and wound up on the ground on the shoulder. Eesh. I felt like I was going to throw up for a good portion of last night and scared the hell out of my husband who was riding out in front of me and must've had a heart attack when suddenly I wasn't behind him.
Glad it only turned out to be bruises!  But much like anything else, do a little reflecting on what you did wrong, so you know what NOT to do again.  Don't be that person that makes the same mistake over and over.
Quote
I'm happy to hear that you spent 6 months in parking lots. I'm feeling a bit like I need to be riding the Motorcyclists' Short Bus. :P I'm not used to not being good at things right away and this is the first new "skill" I've tried to learn in what seems like forever.
Don't worry about taking the time to REALLY work up your skills.  I didn't spend 6 months, but if I remember correctly, I spent about 2 months of every day after work, going to a local bank parking lot (1/4 mile away, back entrance off the residential street I was on) after they were closed and working on u-turns, emergency stops, weaving through parking spaces, and circles (starting with a big circle and going tighter and tighter and tighter).  About 1 - 2 hours a day during the weekdays.  After doing that, taking 3 experienced rider courses (all on different bikes as I got new ones), one military sportbike rider course (have a second one coming up in August), and just riding my own ride, I feel safe saying I'm a better rider than your average joe that you'll see on the weekend.

Alexi


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 08, 2012, 05:21:09 pm

Glad it only turned out to be bruises!  But much like anything else, do a little reflecting on what you did wrong, so you know what NOT to do again.  Don't be that person that makes the same mistake over and over.


Oh, definitely quite a bit of reflecting, followed by a plan of attack to help address the weak points. I do NOT want to do anything like that ever again.



Ever.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 09, 2012, 12:39:30 am

Also went and sat on a GS500F. Approximately the same position seat hight-wise as the F650GS, at less than half the price.


A decent enough bike but heavy for what it is and underpowered for a 500 (not much more power than a Ninja 250).
Posted on: 08-07-2012, 21:38:14



Good thing I was around to take the parallel twin Ninjette off your hands!


250s don't count. The moving mass of parts is so small it cant vibrate.  :lol:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: HipGnosis on July 09, 2012, 11:37:22 am
The thumpyness is way better and easier to tolerate than the high frequency vibrations my Versys has. I would take the thumper or a V-twin over a parallel twin any day.
Different strokes for different folks as they say.  
Thumpers always feel like they're trying to shake themselves apart to me.
I'm rather amazed at how smooth my Ninja 650 is at highway speed.  As my other bike is a BMW K1200, I feel qualified to judge smoothness.
Oh, I do have aftermarket bars w/ bar-end weights on the Ninja...


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 09, 2012, 12:33:53 pm

I'm rather amazed at how smooth my Ninja 650 is at highway speed.  As my other bike is a BMW K1200, I feel qualified to judge smoothness.
Oh, I do have aftermarket bars w/ bar-end weights on the Ninja...



You can do about an hour and a half on the Versys and your hands will be numb from the high frequency vibs. I guess the newer V is better?? but the old one was plagued with high freq vib issues, noisy plastics and parts falling off or coming loose. I like my Versys but I wouldn't buy another one. Oh and yeah, I know what smoothness is, I mostly ride an ST1300.  ;)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Papa Lazarou on July 09, 2012, 03:09:03 pm



You can do about an hour and a half on the Versys and your hands will be numb from the high frequency vibs. I guess the newer V is better?? but the old one was plagued with high freq vib issues, noisy plastics and parts falling off or coming loose. I like my Versys but I wouldn't buy another one. Oh and yeah, I know what smoothness is, I mostly ride an ST1300.  ;)


Stuff smoothness. Get a Matchless 500 Jampot.  :D


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Scoop on July 09, 2012, 08:32:38 pm
My wife used to ride.  She had a 1981 Honda CB 450 at first, which she could handle relatively well, but was too tall for her.  The next bike was a Honda NT650, a beautiful bike with a 30.5" seat height.  Despite being one of the shorter bikes available without going to a cruiser, it was still to tall for her to feel comfortable.  She hasn't ridden for a number of years, mainly due to low speed confidence.  She's thinking about getting back into it, so we're looking for a shorter bike again.  Very hard to find without going into the cruiser market.  The GS 650 is too tall at 30.5"  It is too bad that there aren't shorter offerings from manufacturers.  Not all girls want a harley.  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 09, 2012, 09:48:46 pm

My wife used to ride.  She had a 1981 Honda CB 450 at first, which she could handle relatively well, but was too tall for her.  The next bike was a Honda NT650, a beautiful bike with a 30.5" seat height.  Despite being one of the shorter bikes available without going to a cruiser, it was still to tall for her to feel comfortable.  She hasn't ridden for a number of years, mainly due to low speed confidence.  She's thinking about getting back into it, so we're looking for a shorter bike again.  Very hard to find without going into the cruiser market.  The GS 650 is too tall at 30.5"  It is too bad that there aren't shorter offerings from manufacturers.  Not all girls want a harley.  


What's her height/inseam?  Remember too that thin/narrow bikes are easier to get a foot down (not to mention a low center of gravity is WAY important) so don't only look at seat height.  Sadly, we shorties really have to "try on" every bike we're considering instead of just looking at a spec sheet. :(   Also, is she insisting on flatfooting?  If she's OK with having the ball of her foot down, that opens up a lot of possibilities.


Title: Re: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 09, 2012, 11:02:57 pm
A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.

Sent from my Galaxy S 2 Skyrocket


Title: Re: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 09, 2012, 11:34:15 pm

A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.


:lol:  True! I've failed that one a couple of times.   :o


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: jadziadax8 on July 10, 2012, 11:54:42 am
I'm 5'8", but have shorty legs (29" inseam).  I easily flatfoot my unmodded Ninja 650R.  Even though the seat height is 31.5", the seat is very narrow, so it's easier to get your feet down.

Sorry to hear about your get-off.  It's scary getting back on after a crash.  I'm glad to hear you got back on again after.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 10, 2012, 12:37:06 pm

A true test to show if a bike is to tall is the riders ability to put the kickstand up and down. Sounds funny but its fact.


I hadn't thought of that... I'll keep that in mind once I'm back into the bike-finding biz. :)


I'm 5'8", but have shorty legs (29" inseam).  I easily flatfoot my unmodded Ninja 650R.  Even though the seat height is 31.5", the seat is very narrow, so it's easier to get your feet down.

Sorry to hear about your get-off.  It's scary getting back on after a crash.  I'm glad to hear you got back on again after.


I sat on the 650R. In my current riding boots, I can't quite get the balls of my feet down :( Once I get serious about finding the next bike, again, I think those Ladystars that bluepoof suggested will be in my future. It'll help keep me from being SO limited.

And thanks. :) The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. :D I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: jadziadax8 on July 10, 2012, 12:46:43 pm

And thanks. :) The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. :D I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.


I did not learn to ride through the MSF, but rather a for-profit company.  This meant that I had to take the IL state test.  I think I practiced for at least 3 months after taking the class before I got up the gumption to go to the DMV and take the test.  I did it on a Suzuki Burgman 400, which was my husband's bike at the time.  We would ride out to a deserted church parking lot and I'd tool around until I was tired and we would ride home.

BTW, if you need something with a low seat height, you may want to look at the maxi-scooters.  They are comfy and fun as hell to ride.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 10, 2012, 01:21:20 pm

And thanks. :) The plan is to do a bit of practice tonight if we can find a close, empty parking lot. I think I've convinced myself that I'm not a remedial biker. :D I know I CAN do it, I think I just need to get out of my own head and ride.


Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. :lol:  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 10, 2012, 02:00:13 pm

I did not learn to ride through the MSF, but rather a for-profit company.  This meant that I had to take the IL state test.  I think I practiced for at least 3 months after taking the class before I got up the gumption to go to the DMV and take the test.  I did it on a Suzuki Burgman 400, which was my husband's bike at the time.  We would ride out to a deserted church parking lot and I'd tool around until I was tired and we would ride home.

BTW, if you need something with a low seat height, you may want to look at the maxi-scooters.  They are comfy and fun as hell to ride.


That sounds like my plan for the foreseeable future. Empty parking lots will be my friend.

My husband keeps trying to nudge me toward scooters, but much like my parents made me learn to drive stick shift when I was learning to drive, I feel like I should solidify my skills on a "motorcycle" rather than a "scooter." They do look fun, though.

Or something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYGMJbBcYjk looks like it would be a hoot!


Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. :lol:  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   :bigok:


Aww, thanks! :D
I knew if I didn't go right back out (once I decided not to quit entirely) that it would become a "thing" and I'd have even more trouble. And, the more I practice, the sooner I improve and gain confidence and can get out on the road for real. :)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Hell's Bella on July 10, 2012, 02:18:07 pm



Getting out of your own head is SO hard sometimes.  I still do it and I've been riding for 13 years. :lol:  I'm so impressed that you've already gotten back on the bike and are practicing.   Go you!   :bigok:


It's SO true! It may seem silly, but what I've found helps me a ton is listening to music or podcasts while I ride. It doesn't distract me from what I'm doing, but it does keep any nagging thoughts out of my head.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Scoop on July 10, 2012, 06:07:29 pm



What's her height/inseam?  Remember too that thin/narrow bikes are easier to get a foot down (not to mention a low center of gravity is WAY important) so don't only look at seat height.  Sadly, we shorties really have to "try on" every bike we're considering instead of just looking at a spec sheet. :(   Also, is she insisting on flatfooting?  If she's OK with having the ball of her foot down, that opens up a lot of possibilities.


True.  But her NT 650 was a narrow bike (V-Twin) and she still had trouble with the 30" height.  She does like to flat foot.  She really has some confidence issues with low speeds despite many many parking lot hours.  And yes, trying it on is key.  
We're trying not to go the cruiser route, but the only non-cruiser I can find with a seat height lower than about 30" is the Buell Blast (25").  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 10, 2012, 06:31:41 pm

the only non-cruiser I can find with a seat height lower than about 30" is the Buell Blast (25").  


G650GS with low chassis:  29.5"
1989-2008 Ninja 250:  29.3"
Honda CBR400RR: 30"
Bandit 400 (admittedly hard to find): 30.3"
Honda CBR250: 30.5"

etc etc. :)

I've ridden a Buell Blast and didn't really find it any more comfortable than, say, the Ninjette.  I think center of gravity makes a huge impact (I sound like a broken record, sorry), so things like the Beemer with the gas tank under the seat are way easier at low speed.

Again, I really recommend the Daytona Ladystar boots to get a little bit of rise.  If she insists on flatfooting, that extra inch of inseam can make a huge difference.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Mrs. DantesDame on July 10, 2012, 06:36:12 pm

(I sound like a broken record, sorry)

(http://images2.dailykos.com/i/user/191280/brokenrecord.jpg)

But your song sounds so nice!


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: sfalexi on July 10, 2012, 07:46:34 pm

My husband keeps trying to nudge me toward scooters, but much like my parents made me learn to drive stick shift when I was learning to drive, I feel like I should solidify my skills on a "motorcycle" rather than a "scooter."
As a man, there's about a 50% chance that the reason he's steering you that direction is with the hope that he'll get to ride it.

Alexi - whose "wife's ride" is a honda cbr250r.....and i swear i NEVER ride it.....


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: cultureslayer on July 10, 2012, 11:35:13 pm


1989-2008 Ninja 250:  29.3"


Another inch or two can be shaved off the seat easily.  That thing has a massive amount of padding on it.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 11, 2012, 06:28:05 am

As a man, there's about a 50% chance that the reason he's steering you that direction is with the hope that he'll get to ride it.

Alexi - whose "wife's ride" is a honda cbr250r.....and i swear i NEVER ride it.....


I'm sure in his case it's closer to a 75% chance. :)

Can't complain, though. He's turning into my own personal riding coach. Another hour of practice last night to work on turning/leaning and he worked up a progression of drills that was quite useful (and fun!).


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 11, 2012, 02:02:02 pm



.  She does like to flat foot.  She really has some confidence issues with low speeds despite many many parking lot hours.


Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: melville on July 11, 2012, 02:11:06 pm



Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


This--my experience starting out is forced somewhat by needing to break in fresh rings on my bike, but it's a bunch more fun out and about.  I do have easy access to very quiet county roads, though.  When I'm confident the bike is not going to blow up, I'll visit the MSF range and do the low speed stuff.  Looking forward to trying the figure 8 in the box on the Airhead.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Scoop on July 11, 2012, 05:54:00 pm



Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


I'd agree there.  The dirt bike idea especially.  Keep in mind that this is a woman who did ride for several years and whose only initial confidence issue was low speed stuff.  She dropped her first two bikes on oh so many occasions just coming to a stop.  Much of it was poor planning, not picking her spot to stop, or finding herself in a spot that she just couldn't support the bike.  So, we tried low speed work in addition to just miles on the road.  After she recovered from her back injury and wanted to get riding again though, the confidence just wasn't there.  Maybe never will be.  But, if I could find a bike with a low centre of gravity and reasonable seat height, with some wind protection.  I guess she'll have to get a Shadow.  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Giaka on July 11, 2012, 05:56:10 pm


Maybe never will be.  But, if I could find a bike with a low centre of gravity and reasonable seat height, with some wind protection.


Find a bike made to drop.  :D  Get a small dual sport and put guards on it.  :bigok:

Actually it does require a lot of planning on their part (short riders). My wife has to plan every single start and stop as well as where and how to park.  Never park or stop in a way that requires a turn as soon as you start forward motion. Never park in a parking spot requiring you back out uphill. Always use the back brake to stabilize the bike at slow speeds (never the front). Yada yada yada.......

For a person with an inseam around 26 inches she has done really well. She has only dropped her SV once (that I know of) in over 3 years of riding it. Funny the drop was because the kickstand wasn't fully deployed when she stopped for gas. When she realized the problem it was to late. The bike was past the point of no return and over it went on her leg. She crawled out from under the bike and looked around to notice several guys in BMWs and Mercedes just staring and giving her the WTF look. There was a huge lifted truck of some sort covered with dirt bike stickers with two MX bikes in the back. The three guys inside jumped out and came running over asking if she was OK and they picked her bike up for her. She got lucky, neither the bike or her had a scratch. She purchased her gas and was on her way.  :bigok:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 11, 2012, 06:37:18 pm

, if I could find a bike with a low centre of gravity and reasonable seat height, with some wind protection.


Again, try a low chassis F650GS thumper or a low chassis G650GS.   :bigok:  Under 30" seat height, low CoG, windscreen, touring-capable, decent posture for post-back injuries (wish I couldn't relate to that too).  

Or, there really isn't anything wrong with a Shadow!  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Scoop on July 11, 2012, 08:24:06 pm
We'll have to go looking.  Not much to choose from in this neck of northern Canuckistan.  But, we will be in Indy in August for GP, so can do some looking' and a-sittin' then!


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 14, 2012, 03:46:42 pm



Quit spending so much time going slow in a parking lot. That is after all the hardest thing to do on a bike. Get out and ride and enjoy the motorcycle for what it is. Also convince her that flat footing is never needed by anyone. When teaching someone to ride never ever let them think they need to flat foot any bike. Buy, rent or borrow a dirt bike and take her to a field and tell her to go at it.


There's something to be said for a controlled environment, however. Going ~20 mph in a deserted school parking lot helped me a lot. (thank goodness for summer vacation) Coordination of hands and feet and getting a handle on how the bike...uh... handles (hehe) were very helpful as well as gaining confidence in stops and putting the bike where I wanted it to go.

I'm back on real roads as of yesterday evening (50 miles) and this morning (75 miles) and felt about 1000 times more comfortable than I did before my extra parking lot drills. :D


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: bluepoof on July 14, 2012, 04:15:44 pm
WOOHOOO!!!  :bigok: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: vulcanbill on July 14, 2012, 04:32:33 pm
The parking lot should always be your friend.  Kim and I just got back from a quick jaunt and the first high school we got to, we zipped in and did 15 - 20 minutes of braking, swerving, slalom drills just to get the cob webs off.

Don't let people push you off the parking lot before you're ready.  I did that with Kim and we both regret it to this day.  You need to know how to work the thing before you can work the thing successfully on the road.  

Good luck, be smart and ride well in whatever manner that means to you.  

And buy and read David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling.  Might help to understand more about what you're actually doing and he does a really good job of splainin it.  


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 14, 2012, 04:38:19 pm

WOOHOOO!!!  :bigok: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


:D :D :D It was amazing to me how quickly the miles clicked by... 40 miles went by in a flash!


The parking lot should always be your friend.  Kim and I just got back from a quick jaunt and the first high school we got to, we zipped in and did 15 - 20 minutes of braking, swerving, slalom drills just to get the cob webs off.

Don't let people push you off the parking lot before you're ready.  I did that with Kim and we both regret it to this day.  You need to know how to work the thing before you can work the thing successfully on the road.  

Good luck, be smart and ride well in whatever manner that means to you.  

And buy and read David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling.  Might help to understand more about what you're actually doing and he does a really good job of splainin it.  


"getting the cobwebs off" -- I think that's a great way to put it.
Hough's book landed on my porch two days after my get off. :) I found the cornering chapter particularly helpful. I finally understand WHY countersteering works. (It's hard for me to do things without knowing why I'm doing them.)


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: vulcanbill on July 14, 2012, 04:43:46 pm
And by the way, that little incident w/ Kim coming off the parking lot too early was nearly 20 years ago and she quickly became one of the best riders I know.  She's smooth, smart, fast and confident and she's logged a LOT of very successful miles over the years.  She doesn't suffer the inseam issue but regardless, don't let a couple minor issues discourage you.  Learn from it and move on to the next challenge.  :)



Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: medjen on July 14, 2012, 06:09:17 pm

And by the way, that little incident w/ Kim coming off the parking lot too early was nearly 20 years ago and she quickly became one of the best riders I know.  She's smooth, smart, fast and confident and she's logged a LOT of very successful miles over the years.  She doesn't suffer the inseam issue but regardless, don't let a couple minor issues discourage you.  Learn from it and move on to the next challenge.  :)




Thanks. :) I felt like a remedial motorcyclist for awhile, but that's pretty much passed. Just trying to keep improving every trip out.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Boosted Thrills on March 20, 2013, 10:30:51 pm
I'm about 5'7" with a 29.5" inseam. I have a 2002 Triumph Sprint RS which originally, I could touch with almost half my foot using both feet. I got a lowering link from Soupy's Performance and lowered it a half inch from stock in the rear, then slid the fork tubes up so the front was lowered three quarters of an inch. (For quicker turn-in.)

The whole install took me a little under two hours and I couldn't be happier with it. I can flat foot no problem and since it was so little I didn't need to cut and weld my OEM side stand or source an adjustable one, the latter of which Soupy's makes as well.

I definitely recommend their product if you find they have a link that fits the bike you end up with.

Good luck!


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Cheddarhead on July 19, 2013, 08:56:11 am

Well, they're both right...in a way.  

To a new rider, flatfooting inspires confidence.  And if you're a new rider, you may not be great at balancing and shifting the weight to the desired side when stopping (shifting to the side of the foot that you will be putting down).  So for a brand new rider, flat footing is a safe way to insure against a dropped bike.  

BUT, as you become more comfortable, you'll find you'll be able to come to a stop and keep your right foot on the break and just lean the bike a little to the left putting your left foot down.  At this point, seat height becomes almost a moot point.  Cause you can create that tripod (two wheels and your left foot) with a seat height inches higher than your inseam.


Quoted for truth...but this point needs a complementary element, as well.

You need to be "very conscious of what the ground looks like when you are approaching a stop sign...a red light...a parking space....or every situation where you will have to downship and perform low speed maneuvers.

Why?  Because roads / parking lots have wear patterns in the paved surfaces...and if you are not paying attention as you roll up to a stoplight, you may find yourself with your wheels on the crest of the crowned road surface while to attempt to find the ground with your left foot.  The ground may be an inch or two lower due to the rut created by tires compressing the asphalt.

So...Be very aware / deliberate in choosing where you will stop...and you will eliminate nearly all situations where you might otherwise find yourself in a low speed / no speed "drop" situation.  

One other point....if you find yourself in a situation where the 'cycle is "going to go over....", then let it go and move yourself out of the way.  Don't try to outmuscle a falling bike.  You'll likely end up with strained / torn muscles (or worse, ligaments) and a bike which , despite your best efforts / intentions, insisted on "napping" at that particular time.

Been there...done that.

BMW F650GS with a lowering kit is a "great" 'cycle...one you'll never outgrow / get bored with.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: djacobsen5116 on July 19, 2013, 12:49:38 pm


I know that I'm unique in this practice, but I have only test-ridden one bike out of the 10 that I've ever bought and never been unhappy with any of my choices. Hell, I bought the BMW 1150 GS after having only sat on it in the parking lot and not even started the engine  :D

Having said that, if you can get in a test ride, go for it!  :bigok:


I sat on sport touring offerings from Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Ducati (bit of a stretch to call any Ducati sport touring I think).   Didn't ride any of them, figured it had only been about 30 years since the last time I rode and everything would come right back.  Bought the FJR, had it delivered.  First time I rode it I was talking outloud to myself wondering what I had got myself into.  Took a while but now it all seems natural again.   Not sure if I would recommend that method but it worked for me.   A young Dental Tech at my Dentist's office wants a bike, MSF passed, WA endorsement on her license and now looking at the various Ninja's after I did a lot of talking while in the chair.  Hope she finds one and think she will be a good rider.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: stromgal on July 19, 2013, 06:32:50 pm
Just an aside about learning to ride: in addition to practicing the basics in parking lots, cemeteries make a great next step before street riding. Winding roads, little or no traffic, stop signs etc. I've taken a LOT of beginners to cemeteries to ride over the years.

Also, a small, beater dirt bike, like a 100cc, can be great for learning without worry of dropping. The light weight and small size is a huge bonus for shorter folk.


Title: Re: Re: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: sammyseaman on July 19, 2013, 09:48:41 pm
Just an aside about learning to ride: in addition to practicing the basics in parking lots, cemeteries make a great next step before street riding. Winding roads, little or no traffic, stop signs etc. I've taken a LOT of beginners to cemeteries to ride over the years.

Also, a small, beater dirt bike, like a 100cc, can be great for learning without worry of dropping. The light weight and small size is a huge bonus for shorter folk.

This ^^^^


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Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Papa Lazarou on July 20, 2013, 11:41:02 am

Just an aside about learning to ride: in addition to practicing the basics in parking lots, cemeteries make a great next step before street riding. Winding roads, little or no traffic, stop signs etc. I've taken a LOT of beginners to cemeteries to ride over the years.

Also, a small, beater dirt bike, like a 100cc, can be great for learning without worry of dropping. The light weight and small size is a huge bonus for shorter folk.


Honda CG125. Possibly the best learner bike in the world.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: Chuck 500 on July 21, 2014, 08:32:15 pm



There's something to be said for a controlled environment, however. Going ~20 mph in a deserted school parking lot helped me a lot. (thank goodness for summer vacation) Coordination of hands and feet and getting a handle on how the bike...uh... handles (hehe) were very helpful as well as gaining confidence in stops and putting the bike where I wanted it to go.

I'm back on real roads as of yesterday evening (50 miles) and this morning (75 miles) and felt about 1000 times more comfortable than I did before my extra parking lot drills. :D


With regard to slow in parking lots, take a look at some police rodeo videos.  Those guys can ride.  if you can develop half that skill you will go a long way toward not wrecking.  I am a short rider, can only tip toe my bike so the slow work is crucial.  Pay close attention to left sloping roads and practice front brake right foot stops.

Keep the shiny side up, Chuck


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: GRN on July 21, 2014, 09:23:24 pm



Again, try a low chassis F650GS thumper or a low chassis G650GS.   :bigok:  Under 30" seat height, low CoG, windscreen, touring-capable, decent posture for post-back injuries (wish I couldn't relate to that too).  

Or, there really isn't anything wrong with a Shadow!  


The G650GS is the thumper, and the mellow tune 800 twin is now called the F700GS. My wife hated her Ninja 250 because in stock form it was tall and felt top heavy. She threw a leg over an F700 with the factory low suspension build and fell in love.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: cruisin on February 15, 2015, 01:45:44 pm
I thought I had posted here so I ignored this thread when I first saw it a while back.  Then when I looked closer, I realized I had not shared my experiences.  I also see the thread started a while back (2012) but was posted in as recently as last summer.  So, here is what I have come to realize (starting in 1968) about riding "tall" bikes with a short inseam.  First, it is absolutely not necessary to flat-foot a bike to ride it safely.  Flat-footing will make you safer at stops and when backing up, but has nothing to do with safe riding.  Second, almost any bike can be made to ride/stop/back-up safely and comfortably for the vertically challenged.  Of course there are limitations for the very short, like those with less than a 25" inseam.  In my case, I am 5'4" with a 27" inseam and can comfortably ride my R80/7, R1200C, R1100RT, and now R1100S.  How?  Boots with thick soles from the factory or built up by a cobbler; short seats, and custom short shocks.  I do not flat-foot any of the bikes listed, but can get the balls of my feet pretty firmly on the ground.  When faced with this dilemma, one must carefully plan where to stop and park and realize there is no shame in having to get off now and then to back the bike up.  It is much safer and less embarrassing than dropping one if your foot slips while backing up astride the bike.  The down side of the mods is the expense of custom shocks.  If you can deal with that, then just about any bike out there is fair game for the short of stature.


Title: Re: Bikes for short people
Post by: AutoXer on May 06, 2015, 07:19:58 pm



You need to be "very conscious of what the ground looks like when you are approaching a stop sign...a red light...a parking space....or every situation where you will have to downshift and perform low speed maneuvers.

Why?  Because roads / parking lots have wear patterns in the paved surfaces...and if you are not paying attention as you roll up to a stoplight, you may find yourself with your wheels on the crest of the crowned road surface while to attempt to find the ground with your left foot.  The ground may be an inch or two lower due to the rut created by tires compressing the asphalt. 

One other point....if you find yourself in a situation where the 'cycle is "going to go over....", then let it go and move yourself out of the way.  Don't try to outmuscle a falling bike.  You'll likely end up with strained / torn muscles (or worse, ligaments) and a bike which , despite your best efforts / intentions, insisted on "napping" at that particular time.



How about a stoplight where heavy trucks had sunk the road 5-6 inches?  That was my experience and I stupidly pulled up to the traffic light right on the center hump, put down my feet and ... NOTHING BUT AIR!  That was followed by a what seemed like an oh-so-slow tip-over to the right.

Now about that second part and "letting it go" - when it tipped over far enough my foot eventually made contact with the ground, at which point the bike was leaned over probably 60 degrees or more.  Being "a man", no sweat, I got this!  I stopped the fall and tried to muscle it up.  I got it ... I got it ... I got ... OH $#!%, CHARLEY HORSE!!  My thigh went into full cramp mode and I had no choice but to let go, let it drop and jump out of the way and limp to the shoulder.

To make matters worse, I KNOW THIS ROAD - I ride it all the time and was fully aware of the depressions, yet still I "had a moment" lost in thought and it got me.  The ultimate insult?  Whenever I pull up to this light there generally are no other cars there, or maybe one.  This day?  No, not one, or even a few ... no, there were cars EVERYWHERE with probably 10 drivers getting to watch the show.   :facepalm:


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