Driving a motorcycle in itself requires no small physical effort. Over time, even those who do not possess special skills and achievements in sports, people notice that the movement of a motorcycle, and even more so its lifting after a fall, hardens the muscles. However, the growth in the amount of physical work cannot be changed, no matter how strong the desire to become like Uncle Stepa is, in order to easily and boldly jump on any bike. Short motorcyclists have obvious problems because the bike is designed for a taller owner.
– Yes, just lower the suspension and that’s it! – the most banal and simple way out of the situation.
It is possible to underestimate the suspension of a motorcycle without any problems, but only if you do not “belly scratch”. Sometimes you have to lower the suspension to the most extreme position and then on the off-road or on a dirt road with pits, as after a bombing, you find yourself in a not very favorable position, here and there you strike with an engine sump or plastic. In addition, this adjustment may not be enough if the model is really tall.
The main problems of pilots with short stature
As you know, a motorcycle, like an airplane, has the most dangerous thing: starting and stopping. Hence the inconvenience in the moments:
- The beginning of the movement
- Temporary stops, such as at a traffic light
- Completion of the movement
- Owning a motorcycle with a passenger
When the bike is too tall, you have to either get off the bike completely when you stop, or lean too much before getting in, when stopping, and before getting off. First, it is physically uncomfortable. Second, it makes you more vulnerable to outside interference because you focus on keeping your balance and the bike. Third, it takes longer to land.
The high seating position is one of the reasons why pilots are rejecting not just certain motorcycle models, but the entire class. So, for example, the turrers, for all their functional completeness, are generally quite high, even if the suspension is lowered. Although among the universal tourist monsters, you can find a squat option.
Most pilots with a tall motorcycle simply hang from it at stops, trying not to tilt the motorcycle. It takes skill.
Owning a motorcycle with a passenger is a very serious matter, since you are responsible not only for yourself, but also for another person, for his health and life. By the way, we discussed riding with a passenger in the article “What you need to know about riding a motorcycle with a passenger?” When your motorcycle is higher than it should be, it is problematic to take a passenger, and all because of the same conditions for boarding and disembarking. Ideally, when you take a travel companion with you, the motorcyclist first sits down, holds the motorcycle securely and evenly, makes sure that the passenger sits neatly, does not put his feet on the exhaust pipe, and so on. In other words, in any incomprehensible situation, the pilot assumes the weight of the motorcycle with the passenger, and also regulates any vibrations while the passenger fidgets on the unfamiliar seat perch. Now imagine a situation when the bike is too big and you choose to tilt the bike, not hang from it, then if there is a passenger, the likelihood that the motorcycle decides to lie down is outrageously high.
I have a friend, he is a tourist to the marrow of his bones and has traveled more than one country in his BMW GS 800. There are no complaints about the motorcycle, he really wanted it, but the guy is of modest height, the bike is really too tall for him. So my friend has already put the motorcycle at the traffic light several times because he did not have time to hang from the bike. The gravity of the opposite turned out to be faster … The motorcycle at one moment simply outweighed due to too sharp or unsuccessful tilt and fell. Once decomposed at a bus stop because of a passenger who decided to get off the motorcycle ahead of time.
If you are traveling with a passenger, be sure to remind him that he does not try to get off the motorcycle until you give permission, or at least step on the asphalt. When a passenger tries to put his foot on the ground from the motorcycle before the driver, half of the cases will fall due to loss of balance.
What should a short motorcyclist do?
- Suspension adjustment
- Seat replacement
- High-soled shoes
- Choosing a different motorcycle model
Choosing a different motorcycle model – a position that solves the problem at the stage of its inception. If the bike is too tall, then it is logical to look for something more suitable. You will have to try the fit on many models before you find one that is perfect. However, it happens that a person with all his heart wants to own a certain motorcycle, which means that you have to put up with its peculiarities – to change it for yourself.
The easiest way out, as we said, is suspension adjustment… You underestimate the motorcycle by all available methods. Some do not even skimp on changing the radius of the wheels, but this is already a radical way to fit your favorite model to your height.
Seat replacement or flashing in order to understate the fit itself is the second most popular way to fit a motorcycle for yourself. Some dealers offer ready-made solutions for replacement seats, for every taste and budget, so to speak. Someone bothers and remodels the seat himself, someone simply orders a seat upholstery on the condition that it will be lower. Seat height, shape and anchorage affect the fit. By the way, you can brush up on some of the little things on the fit: “Fit and weight distribution on a motorcycle is half the success of a good motorcyclist.”
High-soled shoes or a special platform among motorcycle shoes is rare. Therefore, motorcyclists who decide to follow this path, either long-persistently looking for the right footwear, or make a special order. In any case, such sophistication will take a lot of time.
At first, even a motorcycle that is suitable for you in height may seem high, but this can all be healed by experience. When you get used to moving a tall motorcycle from place to place, or getting on / off it, the problem ceases to be acute. By the way, on new shock absorbers the motorcycle will feel higher, because on worn shock absorbers it will sag more under you. Pay attention to how easy it is for you to get on and off the bike before buying. These little things make up a successful season for a rider of any skill level.