Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 22nd November 2019

The height of your motorbike seat is hugely important, not least because it directly relates to your inseam. Matching your inseam to the seat height will mean that you can easily put both feet entirely on the ground, which can be essential. 

It’s the measurement from the lowest point of your motorbike’s saddle, to the ground. The measurement is usually in millimeters or inches and is taken when the bike isn’t on it’s stands but instead positioned completely upright.

Does the bike type affect seat height?

Yes it does, simply because different types of motorbike are designed specifically for a different purpose. There’s a wide variety of shapes and sizes available when it comes to motorcycles, and the various engineering and styling variables can affect the saddle and your ability to reach the ground.

For example, sportbikes generally have greater ground clearance so that they can lean over further when taking a corner, and so they typically have taller saddles. Cruiser bikes have much lower seats, largely due to the fact that their engines sit ahead of the rider. The saddle can be positioned closer to the ground on these bikes because of the extra room. 

The shape of the saddle also matters

Don’t get too hung up on the figures on a spec sheet, as manufacturers sometimes use seat height numbers as a bit of a sales tactic. However, all too often the actual seat height figure only tells half the story. 

Typically, an off-road bike will have a narrower saddle, which allows for greater leg extension. The seats on off-roaders can be tall but this can be mis-leading, as their narrow saddles still make it quite easy for you to place both feet on the ground. A sportbike is more likely to have a wider saddle, as you’ll be sitting over the engine. This can make it more difficult for you to reach the ground, as you’ll need to stretch your legs around the larger, flatter saddle area.

Essentially you can read seat height figures as much as you like, but to really know how a bike feels to sit on, it’s always best to actually sit on it and see if you find it easy to touch the ground.

It’s about personal preference

You should always feel comfortable riding your motorbike, and how comfortable you feel on certain bikes comes down to your personal preferences just as much as the overall design and height of the seat. It’s a good idea to sit on various types of motorbike, so that you can really get a good feel for the different styles. 

Seat height is one thing, but you’ll also realise that the weight of a bike can of course affect how easy it is for you to keep it upright. Some lighter bikes can be held up even when you’re on your tiptoes, whereas heavier models may require you to always be standing firmly with both feet flat. 

Keep in mind that stopping on uneven or sloping ground can also make a difference to how steady you are when golding the bike up, as you’ll need to reach more with your legs. 

Shorter riders

If you happen to be a shorter rider then things like your choice of foot protection can affect how well you can touch the ground when stationary on your motorbike. For example, wearing boots with thicker soles can help you make better contact with the ground, as well as offer you more crash protection.

Accessory saddles are often available for motorbikes, which can also make it easier for you to get both feet on the ground and keep the bike steady. 
Get a quick and easy quote for motorbike insurance with Carole Nash today – simply click here, or calling us now on 0333 005 3355.