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The 16 Best Motorcycles for Shorter Riders


September 17, 2018 Buying Guides By

Finding a motorcycle when you’re a particular size can be tasking. Since the majority of the market is built around the ‘average’ rider, finding a bike when you’re a bit bigger or smaller narrows your options. Seat height on modern motorcycles – sports bikes, ADV, and even some sport standard models — can range on the high-side, causing those of us with more modest inseams to tippy-toe when at a light or starting up. On conventional bikes, having too large of a frame will mean you’re cramped and hunched; those shorter in stature find reaching the bars is literally a stretch and, more importantly, that planting a foot dat a stop becomes a circus balancing act.

There exists an abundance of aftermarket parts to turn a lofty stock motorcycle into a more custom-fit cruiser: lowering links, a lower suspension, a shaved seat. But, for those of us who’d rather have the right fit right out of the gate, these motorcycles make a fantastic launching point.

Dual Sport, Adventure and Scramblers

Whether you want a little or a lot, dirt demands different characteristics from motorcycles than the road does. Considering the need for ground clearance, dual-sports and ADV bikes will always be on the taller side — nothing a lowering link, slimmer seat or suspension adjustment can’t remedy. And with plenty of bolt-on modifications available — gas tanks, skid plates, hand guards, engine guards, luggage racks, and more — these bikes can keep going when the pavement stops.

Suzuki DR 200S

Price: $4,599
Seat Height: 31.9 inches
Weight: 278 lbs

Yamaha XT250

Price: $5,199
Seat Height: 31.9 inches
Weight: 291 lbs

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Price: $5,399
Seat Height: 32.1 inches
Weight: 385.9 lbs

BMW G 310 GS

Price: $5,500
Seat Height: 32.3 inches
Weight: 374 lbs

Triumph Tiger 800 XRx Low

Price: $13,900
Seat Height: 29.9 inches
Weight: 440.9 lbs

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Price: TBA
Seat Height: 32.9 inches
Weight: 465 lbs

BMW R NineT Scrambler

Price: $12,995
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Weight: 485 lbs

Triumph Street Scrambler

Price: $10,800
Seat Height: 31.1 inches
Weight: 454 lbs

Sport Bikes

Most street bikes are well within a practical height for even the littlest legs, but this wouldn’t be a well-rounded list without them. So, if you want to rip around a mountain road or the local race track, but don’t see the practicality in a MotoGP-inspired liter bike, there’s plenty of fun to be had with small-engined sport and naked bikes.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS

Price: $5,299
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Weight: 366 lbs

Suzuki GSX-R600

Price: $12,299
Seat Height: 31.9 inches
Weight: 412 lbs

Yamaha MT-07

Price: $7,599
Seat Height: 31.7 inches
Weight: 403 lbs

Ducati Monster 1200

Price: $12,995
Seat Height: 31.3 inches
Weight: 470 lbs

KTM 390 Duke

Price: $5,299
Seat Height: 32.7 inches
Weight: 328 lbs

Sport Touring

Some riders don’t need to scribble a rubber signature on the Earth’s surface with their tire every time they head out to enjoy a motorbike. Taking it easy on the open road can be satisfying enough or maybe, riding is merely a fun transition from Point A to B. For either application, there are plenty of cruisers with low seats for long rides.

Honda Rebel 500 ABS

Price: $6,099
Seat Height: 27.2 inches
Weight: 402 lbs

Indian Scout Bobber

Price: $11,499
Seat Height: 25.5 inches
Weight: 544 lbs

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Price: $13,150
Seat Height: 28 inches
Weight: 541 lbs
Best Adventure Bikes

No matter if asphalt gives way to gravel and dirt, an adventure bike never waivers. Read the Story