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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never done this, but maybe if caveman wears really tight speedos, he'll gain an extra inch or two of inseam. The price he'll pay of course is an octave higher voice, but on the other hand he gets a free vasectomy.
 

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Being 6' 2'' I don't have a problem with seat height, neither does my 5' 7" riding buddy. When his Harley Night train was in the shop I loaned him my BMW GS, which is fairly tall in the saddle department. He had no problems other than not being able to put his feet flat on the ground. Hey I have the same problem when riding modern dirt bikes, but it doesn't keep me from riding them. If John Burns can ride virtually any motorcycle so can you. Of course if you are really unsure of yourself you can always buy a Riddley. VWW
 

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Me short, too

Having a 30 inch inseam, I see the problem as well as you do. It is a pain to have to check the seat height as part of the specs. Fortunately, there are options that will allow you to change the height as well as a few standards that are fun, handle well, and have low seat height.

The Ducati Monsters are all relatively low-seated, and should fit you well. As a platform, the monster is a great stock bike that can be modified to be about anything you want it to be.

Also check and see if the bike you want has a seat with lotsa foam. My bike had two inches of foam on the seat and was shaped wide, spreading my legs and lifting my feet off the ground. A simple trip to the local car upholstery shop fixed the problem. I had the seat lowered a full inch and the profile rounded. It is now much more comfortable and my heels reach the ground. As a side benefit, it put me into a perfect riding position so I could lean against the tank with no weight on my arms for those long days in the saddle.

Third option is to buy boots that have relatively high padding and lift your heels a full two to three inches off the ground. I haven't had to resort to that yet.

Fourth option is to lower the suspension, but that gets complicated and can be dangerous.

But keep *****ing about the problem. I had a Yamaha SECA II. It was perfect as far as seat height, and I probably should have kept the bike, but I was seduced by an Italian. Since then, the manufacturers have been going tall.

Vlad
 

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It means my wife, who is 5'2" (and yes, eyes of blue), is screwed, because there are VERY few bikes she can ride comfortably. She has a Triumph Legend (with an aftermarket rear shock - lower) and a Ducati M600. The M600 in 2001 had a lower seat height than the M750(in the US market), which gave many shorter folks access to a "sportier" bike than the standard cruiser fare. When the much nicer M620 came out, it had a taller seat than the M600. Good-by upgrade. Thanks Ducati. Oh well, Buell has a XB9S low, but it's $9995, and a Buell, and I do love my wife...
 

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My inseam is 27 and I could not agree with Caveman more. Good job, Vlad, you reminded us of some of the options. Because I started as a kid, I have been able to ride any bike I wanted to, but being 57, I know that at some point, earlier than a tall guy, I wont be able to safely put the the wife on the back of some of my tall bikes. They would be able to sell more bikes to women and short men if the average seat height was lower, but lean angles and suspensions would suffer, and those b....rd tall guys would not buy them! Screw em, we short people just prove we are better than those deformed lazy tall people! I love it when they whine about the fairings hitting their knees. (ok, I admit it, I am jealous)
 

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Re: Get creative

How about an automatic air shock that automatically drops the rear a couple inches at, say 3-5mph and raises it again (so as not to compromise clearance and steering geomety) as soon speed gets over a set level. Doesn't seem like it would be too difficult for someone to work something like that.

Bob
 

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Why are new bikes growing taller and heavier?... Because of my (lack of)height-- I'm 5-8 and have a 31 inch inseam-- I have to pass up bikes I'd otherwise be interested in...and forget about a short height dual sport with any kind of power. MZ is the only company I know of that offers a decent dually in a height reduced version.

 

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I have a 29-30 inch inseam, and dont have any problems. I cant put my feet down flat, but tiptoes suffice, or, in some cases, i have to slid to a side and put a foot down. But who rides with their feet on the ground????
 

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Absolutely.. I am 6'4", and don't have any problems (Though the BMW GS Adventurer gave me a few pauses), but my wife is 5'2". She has a H-D XL1200S, as it is the only bike we could find that was reasonably powerful that wshe could fit easily. But it still worries her when she is moving it around. It is the same weight as a VFR800, and lower in CG but sometimes she needs help to get it off the sidestand if the wheel is in the gutter. (This is in Australia, where we park on the left side of the road, facing forward). Yes, I know there are SV650 's, but they are slightly too tall, too gutless ;-) and came out later than her HD. Most other bikes seem to be catering to the Ricky Racer crowd who mostly never get over far enough to need the ride height.
 

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Don't ruell out the Buell, yet. My bride, at 5'4'' is on the regular XB9S Deadbolt. Yup, she has to be on her toes at a stop (the low version would do fine for your wife, being 2'' shorter), but there's more to it than that. The "mass-centralization" marketing hype really is true ... the bike feels much more controllable (a BIG factor for my wife especially at low speeds) because the CG is low and compact. Her former rides included a BMW R1100S and a Triumph Sprint ST. The Buell feels one-third less massive - in fact, it IS one-third less massive. I know, they cost 10 grand and they shake. Just give one a try ...
 
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