When you’re choosing a motorcycle to buy, there can be any number of factors that are important to you. For example, you might consider the speed and according to CarInsurance101, the fastest motorcycles share one thing in common—they are designed with unique outer shells.
Other considerations might be price and comfort.
One general factor that is relevant to these considerations and others is the size of the bike and how well it fits you and your body.
The following are tips to help you choose the motorcycle that’s the right size for you.
Types of Motorcycles
Before you get into finding a specific bike that’s a good fit for you, you should have a general understanding of the types available. These include:
• Cruiser: A cruiser will usually have a seat with a low height, and this type of bike can be good if you’re new to riding. There are a lot of design options available with cruisers, from basic designs to high-end or very detailed designs.
• Sport: A sportbike is meant to be fast and aerodynamic, but this might not be good if you’re on the shorter side because your feet probably won’t touch the ground.
• Touring: This type of motorcycle is heavy, but also comfortable and meant to be ridden for longer periods of time.
• Dual Sport: A dual sport bike is very versatile in its functionality, but will probably have seats that are on the taller side.
Many motorcycles are actually described as a standard design. This means they combine functionality with visual elements, and there are varying sizes so you can find the right fit for yourself.
Size might not matter quite as much as you would initially think when you’re choosing a motorcycle. Most models are designed to be ridden by someone short, tall, or somewhere in between, these also have an adjustable suspension, so you can change the ride heights you need.
With that being said, not every motorcycle will be right for every height.
For example, it would be more challenging to find a motorcycle for yourself if you were shorter than 5’2. If you’re on the taller side of things, you might also have trouble with certain models because of headwinds and the pressure that could put on you.
Riding a motorcycle is about balance. When you’re sitting on a bike, your feet should be at ground level. If you sat on a bike and the surface was at the tip of your toes, it could create balance issues. If you can’t put your feet flat on the ground, you shouldn’t buy the motorcycle. You also need to be able to reach all of the controls when you’re sitting on the bike.
Your weight tends to matter more than height in some ways when you’re choosing a motorcycle, as does your level of strength and overall fitness.
If you’re choosing a big, heavy motorcycle, you need to have enough body weight and strength to maneuver it. If you’re on a small motorcycle and you’re heavier, then it’s going to be difficult for the bike to keep up with the demands of your weight.
Shopping for a Bike
The best way to determine what bike is going to work best for you in terms of size is to go to a dealership and see how they feel. You have to try bikes out in a hands-on way to really determine the fit and comfort.
Most dealers will let you browse, try out motorcycles, and they’ll offer you some general guidance in terms of getting the right fit.
When you’re comparing, you want to start by sitting on the motorcycle and holding it up. Then, straddle the seat and see if both of your feet are firmly on the ground. If you have to lean to reach the ground, the bike is too tall for you.
Once you do that, reach the hand rests that are located on the handlebars. This should feel comfortable. You shouldn’t feel like you have to stretch too far, nor do you want the handlebars to feel so close that your arms are bending.
Next, as you’re determining the right fit, put your feet on the running boards or pegs and make sure that’s comfortable as well. Your knees shouldn’t be brushing or close to brushing the handlebars. Finally, make sure you try out various positions you might be on when you’re riding before making your ultimate decision.