Well, why do YOU think it’s important to own a motorcycle with the correct seat height? Most bikers jump onto a ride to first check how it fits. Seat height is not just about how you look on a machine, it decides comfort, control and command.
For an average rider, the recommended seat height is between 25 and 29 inches. Then also there’s the shape of the seat, which motorbike you prefer and other related stuff.
So let’s analyze it all in a little more detail…
What is seat height exactly?
Seat height refers to the measurement of the lowest part of the saddle to the ground when the bike stands upright. Not at a tilt, not on the center stand but held upright by you while being seated.
How do you know if it’s right for you?
When you sit straddled on your motorbike seat, your feet should be flat on the ground. If you’re on tippy-toes then it’s not for you. Simple!
How do seat heights vary in different motorcycles?
Cruisers provide enough space for the saddle to be positioned closer to the ground simply because the narrow in-line engine of these motorbikes are in front of the rider. Transversely mounted, multi-cylinder engined sports bikes, on the other hand, require higher seat placement due to the tighter packaging that is created especially for them. Hence one may not need to check a cruiser’s height too closely but if you’re opting for a sports or an off-roading number, you must check how it fits you.
Other high elevations
Speaking of which…dual purpose, ‘off-road’ motorbikes have greater suspension which tends to increase the overall elevation of the bike and naturally, the seat. Increased suspension means greater ability to smoothen out surface irregularities such as shoddy roads or potholed areas.
Let’s take it a step further
Since we’re talking seats, we must also consider saddle shape. Off-roaders are typically narrow saddled allowing greater leg extension. Even though the seat seems high due to its slender shape, the feet do touch the ground more easily in these motorbikes. Sports bikes offer an illusion of a low seated rider. The wider surface of the seat however makes it harder for the rider’s feet to touch the ground as there’s more seat area for the legs to cover before the feet reach the ground.
Take some help
For short riders, who can’t seem to find any motorbike that fits, try biking boots with thick soles. Seriously! They work pretty well. They’ll not only help you reach the ground, but will also protect your feet really well and help you look cooler! Likewise, there are accessory saddles available that can lower your seated height to assist you get a firm footing.
But DO NOT TAMPER with the suspension
A few have tried to alter the motorcycle’s suspension to fix the seat height issue, but we know that can end up screwing up the mechanics! It can affect turning clearance which is plain dangerous around sharp bends. Your shock compression can go for a toss giving you the worst back ache ever. Other by products could affect wheel travel and of course the basic suspension geometry of the motorcycle. So please keep aside any ideas you have to adjust the suspension. It’s not worth the damage
If you have any other tips on motorbike seats, please do share them with the other GoBikerz! Write in to us and we will post them for you…