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Thread: Sport bikes for short people?

  1. #1
    HOT RICE
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    Sport bikes for short people?

    I'm 5"3 with a 29" inseam need a short seated 1995+ sport bike 250-650cc, would prefer to have it NOT lowered...and still be able to flat foot it... Thanks in advanced for the input! Looking to purchase used bike in Ontario, Canada

  2. #2
    RiderCoach 2000 Posts! speeddemon's Avatar
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    Kawasaki ZZR250 (760mm seat height) is probably your best bet. You can shave off some of the seat foam if you still cannot touch. Unfortuneately, sport-bikes are not made for shorter people, so if you want something bigger (engine-wise) down the road, you'll probably have to get it lowered.
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  3. #3
    ls14evar
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    There is a whole website out there dedicated to short bikers.

    here's a helpful list though.
    http://www.vtwinmama.com/motorcycles...ort_riders.htm

  4. #4
    Sportbikes tend to be rather tall. I see guys standing on their tip-toes at stoplights every day.

    How about a cruiser to start with? My wife's much shorter than you and could easily flatfoot a Savage or VLX. The Aero, Vulan 500, and a few others were darn-close.

    Somewhere online (a Google search should turn it up) is a website devoted to shorter riders with lists of appropriate bike models. They also downplay the importance of flatfooting completely.

    Good Luck with your hunt,
    Bob

  5. #5
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls14evar
    There is a whole website out there dedicated to short bikers.

    here's a helpful list though.
    http://www.vtwinmama.com/motorcycles...ort_riders.htm
    Unfortunately height is not as informative as inseam length, plus some bikes have narrow saddles which allow a shorter rider to flat foot an otherwise too-tall bike. Your best bet is to go sit on a few of the 250's and 500's to see which ones work for you.

    If you're not hung up on fully faired sportbikes, Buell Blasts are quite low. Ninja 250's are often suggested for those with shorter legs. Not that I'd recommend it for a beginner, but the Buell XB series come in "low" versions that have seat heights as low as 28 inches.
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  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! midknyte's Avatar
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    Watch ebay for Honda VTR250/Interceptors also.

    Am blessed with the same dimensions and happily flatfooted the above.

    Another consideration, the Buell Blast. Sporty, spunky, and even a hair shorter yet. More easily found on ebay than a VTR.
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  7. #7
    This should work. No need to worry about theft, just get a shoulder strap and carry it with you.


  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! A_Pmech's Avatar
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    I'm 5' 3" with the same inseam. You should be able to get the balls of your feet down on the EX250. You'll be about halfway on your toes when on the EX500. The GS500 will be tippie toe. Anything taller and it's pretty much one-foot territory. The GS500 is the tallest of the three beginner sport/standards, but it also feels the lightest to me.

    You should have some other smaller sport or standard choices that we don't get here in the US such as the FZR400. Sit on some bikes and see what you think is the best advice I can give. If you're afraid of the "domino effect" with all the bikes in the showroom lined up, ask the salesman to pull it out of line. The scariest thing for me was not "What if I drop THIS one?", it was "What if I knock them ALL down?" hehe

    Don't let anyone tell you that you can't ride a sportbike because you're "too short". I had a salesman tell me, most seriously, "Son, you had better satisfy yourself with a Harley". No thanks, not my style. I know of several 4' 11" women who ride taller bikes. One rides an SV650, and the other rides a ZX7R. It can be done.

    To ride a tall bike you'll have to learn to make very smooth starts and stops. You can't go bobbling to a stop with both feet out, or stalling it while getting started. It's not always possible to catch it in time if you mess up, even if you flatfoot. The other thing you have to learn is to slide in the seat. To get off the sidestand you have to get it vertical, slide over to your right foot, get the stand up, and then get back to your left foot. It isn't as hard as it seems with a little practice. Also, you slide off the seat to get your foot down to stop. You'll then have one foot flat at a stop and the other on the rear brake. Don't stay centered and let the bike lean over till your foot touches as some tall folks think!

    Other tricks include:

    Shaving foam out of the seat (Good for up to 1.5" depending on the bike, although you can easily lose 3" by ditching the seat and riding bareback)

    Adding sole to your riding boots (Depends on the bike's shifter location and the size of your feet, but 3/8" nom.)

    Lowering links (Up to 3", but best to lower 1.5" or less on most bikes. Remember to lower the front by the same amount or the steering geometry will be upset)

    If you haven't ridden before, I suggest you take the Canadian version of the MSF course. It will teach you how to operate a bike, and some survival skills for the street. After that you'll be in a better position to decide just how much height and power you feel comfortable starting with. Remember that you have to be precise with your starts and stops. Under any situation stay at or below 500cc's, and buy used. Too much power will get you into trouble, and you'll cry if you drop a new bike.

    On the upside, most sportbikes don't feel "cramped" at 5' 3". Some are downright roomy.

    Keep us informed, and welcome to the site!
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  9. #9
    HOT RICE
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    Thanks for the input so far everyone...

    I plan on taking the riders course next month and don't plan on getting a bike till then, I will research all of the bikes listed above and anymore that are mentioned...

    bobthearch: as for the cruiser...I don't think I can afford one... and I really would like a sport bike

    GRYDE001: Hahaha well I know I can flat foot that one, Thanks

  10. #10
    bobthearch: as for the cruiser...I don't think I can afford one... and I really would like a sport bike
    Yeah, you gotta get the bike type that fits your riding style, personality, and desired image. But smaller cruisers aren't expensive. The Savage is about $4000, the VLX is a little more.

    Best Wishes,
    Bob

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