Top five new bikes for short riders

We've put together a list of current models with low seat heights that you can try out for size in dealers now

Posted: 14 June 2011
by Nathan Clark

 1 of 6 

If you're short, you might not think you have much choice when it comes to buying a new bike, but the reality is you do.

For this feature, we've classed 'short' as being between 5'5" and 5'7" with average leg length.

We’ve put together a list of current bikes with a maximum seat height of 790mm (31in) which may sound a little high but when you factor in added height from boots, even short riders will cope. 

We've also thought about the weight of the bike; a Honda Gold Wing may have an ideal seat height of 740mm, but it's a wide seat and the bike weighs a hefty 405kg - that's not something short legs want to be supporting...

Next page

Previous article
Exotic superbikes for R6 money
Next page
Low motorcycle seat height: Naked


Discuss this story

Correct me if I am wrong but isnt this an IL4 not a parallel-twin?

Posted: 14/06/2011 at 14:35

Bonnies have always been parallel twins

Posted: 15/06/2011 at 12:42

Its a shame most new shortie riders will never experience the Honda CBR400RR NC29. With its 760mm seat height and its also a very narrow seat width, it fits me nice and Im just 5'. The width of the bike seat is as important as the height when your short. So that Goldwing height of 740mm might look appealing even if you can handle the weight but I bet the short rider will still not feel confident with their legs splayed so much. I think I would still struggle on all the bikes mentioned above if stock.

Posted: 20/06/2011 at 03:19

Any advice for a 5`1" lady rider. Just got rid of my bonneville as it was far too heavy for me to move around the garage and park. Lovely bike to ride but didn`t feel confident as it was too heavy.
Any suggestions?
I do like the classic looking bikes though - not in to sporty

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 15:00

Who wrote this a 7ft giant? most short riders with seat height difficulty are under 5ft 5 I'm 5ft dead and have only ever owned 400cc sport bikes I suggest a short rider does the research its a insult to say 5ft 5 to 5ft 7 is short I wish I was that tall

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 02:27

I'm 4'11 and a half", I have an inside leg of 27" I AM SHORT!! Someone who is 5' 5" - 5' 7" is average for a female. So when thinking of a short person please ask short people rather than just assuming that you know what short is!!

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 15:10

I'm massive at 5ftand that important half inch.. I had a vfr400 nc30 lowered plus my hubby cut out the seat sponge sstill I touched ground with tip toes(27and a bit inside leg ..

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 09:31

"the bike weighs a hefty 405kg - that's not something short legs want to be supporting..." Hey, tall chap. We've got short legs, not spindly legs like tall people. A kick in the nuts says short people aren't weaklings.

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 11:44

totally agree...who is this eedjit....if we had average leg length we wdn't be SHORT...omg what a

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 14:27

Nathan, I'm 5'2 with a 26in inside leg. 5'5 - 5'7 with average leg length? What a pillock!

Anyway, I bought a Cagiva Raptor 1000 and had the seat lowered and was able to manage it. What a fantastic bike. Go sit on one as the advertised seat height doesn't match the reality in my opinion.

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 19:07

So funny to read the midgets comments :D Carry on!

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 23:12

Please WRITE ANOTHER REVIEW, this time for riders that are 5'0 to 5'5. I want to see motorcycles that are < 32 inches seat and < 400 lbs.

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 20:21

I agree, 5ft 5 is tall for me....being just over the 5ft mark myself, and the reason why i never got rid of my tzr, but i can only just touch the ground on my tippy toes

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 10:28

I'm 5' and looking for a motorcycle - this article was of no help - though a few of the comments were helpful - Please go look up short - as we like to ride too!!!!

Posted: 19/08/2013 at 04:32

this still leaves me not knowing what bikes would fit my 4' 10" 26" inside leg frame:-(

Someone HELP

Posted: 20/08/2013 at 14:54

I'm not quite as short as some of the people above, at a sky-high 5'4 1/2 (according to army records). Would love to see a good used bike guide for shorter riders! I'm currently in the process of lowering a 1996 Suzuki DR350SE Dual Sport to fit my height.

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 02:19

I'm 5'0 and I am looking into buying my first bike. Any suggestions?

Posted: 25/09/2013 at 21:40

hi my girlfriend is 5 ft. exactly, we found the virago 535 suited her. low seat height and only 145 kg. hope this helps.

Posted: 02/10/2013 at 15:44

I got a taller woman...suits me fine....

Posted: 02/10/2013 at 20:49

Cruisers are not suited to uk roads ....even the smaller twins , which is a shame but too true....I speak from having had a couple ( vs1400 and ls650 ( import o5 ) .

Posted: 13/09/2014 at 13:44

I'm 5'5" and while I might not be that short, I still feel short and I still like to get more than my toes on the ground because our roads are pitted and worn.

I've sat on a GXS650 and it was too tall and far, far, far too heavy - at least the weight wasn't low enough. I've had my CBR600F lowered, and at standard height they're recommended for 'short' people.

These articles are all written by 6ft journalists who haven't got a clue what they're talking about!

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 11:25

Talkback: Top five new bikes for short riders

Busiest motorcycle review conversations