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Topic: Bikes for short people  (Read 44452 times)

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bluepoof
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« Reply #60 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!  
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« Reply #61 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!
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« Reply #62 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. Bigsmile
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bluepoof
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« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2012, 04:15:44 pm »

WOOHOOO!!!  Bigok Thumbsup Thumbsup
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« Reply #64 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.  
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« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2012, 04:38:19 pm »


WOOHOOO!!!  Bigok Thumbsup Thumbsup


Bigsmile Bigsmile Bigsmile 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. Smile 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.)
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vulcanbill
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« Reply #66 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.  Smile

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« Reply #67 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.  Smile




Thanks. Smile I felt like a remedial motorcyclist for awhile, but that's pretty much passed. Just trying to keep improving every trip out.
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« Reply #68 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!
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« Reply #69 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.
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« Reply #70 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  Bigsmile

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.
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« Reply #71 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.
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« Reply #72 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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« Reply #73 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.
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« Reply #74 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. Bigsmile


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
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« Reply #75 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.
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« Reply #76 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.
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« Reply #77 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.  
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