When it comes to getting a brand new motorbike, the way it feels is of course hugely important. Nothing’s worse than going for a ride on a bike that just doesn’t feel right. Perhaps it’s too high or too low. Maybe it seems unbalanced, or you simply can’t reach the ground properly. There are many reasons why a motorbike might not be a good fit for you, and for this reason we wanted to go through how you can find one that is.
Going for a ride on your motorbike of choice should be comfortable as well as exhilarating. So, in order for you to get the most out of your motorbike, we’ve got some tips on how you can find one that’s the right size for you…
Take time to find the right fit
It sounds obvious, but the best way to find the motorbike that really fits you is to try out a few different models before making a decision. If you take your time and try out some different bikes, then you can get a better overall feel for them, especially in terms of the weight distribution as you move from side to side.
You also need to check how easy it is for your foot to reach the ground, along with the distance from seat to foot and hand controls. One handy thing to keep in mind is that motorbikes tend to publish their seat height measurements, allowing you to compare them to other models.
A motorbike that doesn’t fit is dangerous
Being on a motorbike is all about balance, and if you can’t properly touch your feet to the ground when sitting on yours, you’re putting yourself at risk. Trying to either stop or hold up your motorbike on your tiptoes is really dangerous.
If you find yourself needing to stretch to reach the hand or foot controls, or you just feel awkward and uncomfortable; these are all definite signs that you have an ill-fitting ride.
Knowing the types of motorbike
In order to find yourself a motorbike that really fits you, it helps to know the different types of motorcycles out there. So, we’ve briefly broken down some of the main types of motorbike, to give you a better idea as to what style might work best for you:
- Cruisers – typically have low seats, which makes them popular with riders who have little experience on the roads.
- Tourers – are geared towards comfort above all else. They are designed to be ridden for extended periods, and tend to be heavier due to all the added comforts.
- Sports bikes – these bikes are designed for speed, with high angles and corners. If you’re on the shorter side, you may find yourself on your tiptoes when trying to reach the ground.
- Dual-sport bikes – manage to combine the cruiser style with a sportier feel, and can be ridden pretty much anywhere. Because they need off-road clearance, the seats on this style of bike tend to be a little higher.
- Dirt Bikes – typically used off road, dirt bikes feature strong tyres long suspension, tyres with increased tread, minimal framework and a higher seat.
- Scooter & Mopeds – usually with engines that are smaller in size and less powerful compared to the standard motorbike. A lot of people purchase a scooter as their first bike to get a feel for riding and the initial cost, plus the cost of insurance is usually cheaper
- Power Scooter – fairly new in the motorbike market, power scooters have a similar frame than the typical scooter but with a bigger motor for that extra bit of power.
- Choppers – due to their long forks and reclined seats, choppers are famous for a ‘stretched-out’ appearance.
- Trials bikes – these are produced specially for trial event competitions. They are lightweight and have stiff suspension to maneuver around natural or artificial obstacles.
- Supermoto bikes – combining the features of both road and off road surfaces, such as combining heavy suspension with road tyres. These bikes are light, nimble and can tackle trails, jumps and acute corners.
Adjust your motorbike to fit you
Perhaps you’ve settled on a motorbike already, but the only problem is it doesn’t exactly fit perfectly. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to adjust it:
Adjusting the suspension
Many off-road motorbikes need to accommodate more suspension, and therefore have higher seats. The good news is that the softer suspension can cause the seats to sag under your weight, making it surprisingly easy to reach the ground. If you often ride on city streets, you may be able to replace or modify the suspension system, in order to raise or lower your seat accordingly.
Replacing the seat
Of course another easy way to adjust your motorbike so that it fits you better is to simply replace the seat. Changing seats can work more effectively on larger bikes, like tourers and cruisers, which have much more padded seats. If you decide to change the standard seat for something with less padding, then this will certainly change the distance to the ground, and may make things more comfortable for you.
When it comes to the engine
Think about what you want from a new motorbike; perhaps you just need something to commute with, or maybe you just intend to go for a ride on long weekends. If this is the case, you probably won’t need to choose something with a large engine.
Consider your experience
You need to seriously consider your experience when deciding on a new motorbike. If you’re new to bikes then only go for a model that you can handle, and that’s geared towards new riders.
For example, if you go for a larger touring bike straight away, this may be more weight than you can currently handle. On the other hand, if you’re taller and larger, then a smaller motorbike may not be enough for you.
Spend a few days at the dealership sitting on different makes and models until you’re satisfied that you’ve found the one that fits just right. Remember, a motorbike is an investment, and there will likely be ways to adjust it, if your chosen model isn’t exactly the perfect size for you straight away.