Seven Tips for Shorter Riders

by Eagle Leather

Safety Tip of the Week

Seven Tips for Shorter Riders

If you’re short or have short legs, you might have trouble handling a large motorcycle. Here are some tips from a rider who’s under five-foot-four writing on the 'Motorbikes for Her' website:

  1. Do your research first, especially as to seat height and overall motorcycle weight, and then be sure to take a test drive. Are you comfortable? Do you prefer to have both feet on the ground when stopped, or will just one foot do?
  2. You can modify the motorcycle by changing the seat (shave the foam from it or have a new one custom-made) or by lowering the motorcycle, making the forks and shocks shorter. You can get a kit or have it done for you. It’s generally okay to lower a bike by an inch, and you can lower it more, but be sure to lower front and rear at the same time.
  3. Invest in boots with thick soles. You can find boots that add as much as two inches to your height to you don’t have to stand on tiptoe when parked. Take time to practice shifting, because the gears will be harder to feel.
  4. Keep physically and mentally fit. A strong body and a positive attitude will both help immensely.
  5. Always plan ahead for a stop. Be aware of the road surface and know where you’ll plant your feet. If you don’t have even ground, park so the incline helps you and put one foot on the ground and the other on the footrest or on tiptoe on the parking surface.
  6. Brake using your front brakes consistently and evenly until you’re stopped; you use your rear brake just before you stop.
  7. For a smooth takeoff, use high revs and clutch consistently.

Stay safe out there!
- Mike Toursal

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