Seat height, suspension travel, and shorter riders

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ZoomerP, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Thats not true. Plenty of normal women and older male riders are not able too. Again, lost sales......
    The CB-X, V300 and RE Himalayan are the closes things out there.
    #81
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  2. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I'm not sure what "normal women" means but I have no doubt that nearly anyone not suffering from a physical ailment can absolutely learn to ride an average height DS or ADV bike. It's all in the mindset of the rider and the teaching abilities of the coach. I've personally watched rider after rider go from "I can't..." to "I can't believe that I can!!" in very short order. It's great to see the joy of watching someone outdo a perceived limit.
    #82
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  3. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    #83
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  4. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Because reality scares people!
    #84
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  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Honestly, I have a tendency to come across as harsh at times, even when it's not intended.
    #85
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  6. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Can't be helped.
    It's the ginger.
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  7. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    So it’s settled. The ONLY approved ADV bike must have a 36” seat height...... :rolleyes:
    #87
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  8. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Good to see you got your mind right.
    #88
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  9. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    :lol3 It takes a while but people usually come around...
    #89
  10. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

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    Being stuck on a hill is not fun. I am a short guy 5 foot 6, 26 inch inseam.

    I had stopped on a hill to take a picture of some cows. I could not get the kickstand up to get going. I was riding a KLX250 which some of you say is a short bike. It is not!

    I have many years of riding experience. I just put myself in a dangerous spot.

    I guess I should also add I am north of 60 and too fat. I probably could of handled the tall bikes when I was under 30. Getting out of bed is now an athletic challenge. No stomach muscles from a bad injury.

    I also used to party all night, can't do that much now.
    #90
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  11. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    I added the Versys 300 and KTM 390 ADV to the OP.
    So far, those seem to be the best of the field in this regard.

    The CB500x and RE Himalayan are just too porky.
    Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki have nothing lowish & lightish.
    #91
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  12. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Sit on a trials bike and your elbows are damn near on the ground, your knees up around your ears.

    It darn well can be done, making a heck of a capable off-road bike with a low seat.

    It isn’t done, which isn’t the same thing at all.

    Manufacturers sit safely in their box, and do not like to come out of it. Sure there are the exceptions, that’s why their called exceptions. Raymond Loewy for example had a heck of a time. He was fired by everyone, except Studebaker, because he was so unconventional.

    Again, Can-Am builds the tremendously adjustable Ryker. Goldwing has had adjustable bars. Victory and others have had adjustable foot controls. It all can be done, it just isn’t done.

    Riders are stuck in a box too, which is part of the problem. Look how strongly many riders in this thread are reviling the likes of a comfortable effective bike. Boasting instead about how impractical and awkward their bikes are, and how great skills to overcome the bikes deficiencies are the mark of a good rider.

    It’s no better than sneering at a person for sliding their seat forward on their Jeep so they can reach the pedals. Telling them real Jeep owners pull themselves forward for each clutch use is obnoxious and stupid. As a short rider myself, I’ve long observed those telling me it’s not a problem are taller people, frequently standing flat footed over their bike.

    Certainly improving riding skills is a good thing. For many, it’s superfluous. If all one wants to do is ride dirt roads, mastering motocross arena jumps does no good. Similar road racing and such. That said, a whole lot of us could do with a rider course like Ride Like a Pro. Those are skills any rider can use on any bike.

    If riders started demanding better bike fitment, things would change. Especially if they voiced this demand with their wallets.
    #92
  13. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    You may be taking this a bit personally ,FT.

    No one has reviled anyone for wanting a comfortable and effective bike. What I see being discussed is the fact that there are already many of these bikes available and that if someone wants the capabilities and attributes of a performance offroad machine then they'd be better served adapting riding techniques rather than waiting for a bike that is likely never coming, in part because it's a niche within a niche but more importantly, because with current technology, it's a bike that simply can't be made in it's entirety. A well rounded dual-sport/ADV is going to have compromises.

    You want a good fuel range, good ground clearance, electric start, and a wide ratio transmission ? You want a bike that can cruise at 55-65 and be stable while doing so while also having a baffled airbox that's high enough to do water crossings? And you need it to be street legal , meeting EPA and Euro regulations while being comfortable enough for hours in the saddle ? And you want all of this in a packed that you can pick up off of yourself , by yourself , when the inevitable happens and you're far away from any help? Then your design is limited to its intended use and there's simply no way around that.

    Honda made a street worthy Trials bike and by the time they added everything mentioned above (minus the WR transmission, keeping the compact gearbox of a trials bike), they wound up with nearly a 35 inch seat height. Why? Because all of the stuff that makes a good ADV or DS bike has to go somewhere.

    Personally, I'd love to have one!!

    https://rideexpeditions.com/montesa-cota-4ride-re-inventing-off-road/

    As frustrating as this all is, it's what we have to work with.

    A bike that has all of the aforementioned attributes simply can not be low , with short suspension travel by design of its intended use. If you are willing to make some heavy compromises in one or more of these areas then not only can you convince a manufacturer to make the bike you want, they're more than likely already available at your local dealer.

    Regarding low bikes that can ride dirt roads , that's a capability possessed by virtually every motorcycle made. This why I've always said that "any bike is an ADV bike if you ride it wrong enough". I put nearly 50k miles on my FZ07 doing exactly that because I didn't like the weight of dedicated "adventure" motorcycles, and you know what? I had a blast doing it!!
    #93
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  14. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior Supporter

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    Bipass the safety switch on the kick stand. Get on the bike with it on the stand, start engine, and ride off. No problems. It is the only way I can ride an XR650 with a 38 inch seat height.
    #94
  15. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Aaaaaaand now I'm watching Montesa 4ride vids and I want one!! I hate this place!! :rofl
    #95
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  16. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Totally beat me to that one....

    Usually I bypass the side stand switch on any bike that I actually use offroad......it normally happens in the first month after I ground it out and the bike won't start because that stupid switch is broken.
    #96
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  17. RowBust

    RowBust Long timer

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    Guess you aren't short, I am and have been riding over 60 years. Yes you can ride a tall bike but the problem is when you need to stop, I mount my bike by standing on the pegs, next problem is getting the rh toe down without falling over so I can get the stand up . Stops have to be carefully planned to avoid falling over because even a slight lean is too much to hold.
    #97
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  18. AdvNener

    AdvNener Long timer

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    Very relevant example for the average rider :jack
    But you could have done better, why not cite Gaston Rahier? 5'4 or 5'5, mx world champion, won the dakar TWICE on a monstruous BMW
    [​IMG]

    But men were wearing moustaches and Marlboro/playboy stickers back then...
    #98
  19. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I'm average height at 5' 10" but my daughter is 5'1" and learned to ride on a 34" seat bike. My riding partner is 5'7" w 28" inseam and rides a bike with a 36.6" seat height. Me? I have long legs but the arthritis in my hip is extremely problematic. I get on my bike the same way you do as swinging my leg over is really painful.

    Understand that I'm not stating that shorter riders shouldn't have an option or that being shorter doesn't provide inconveniences that taller folks don't experience. Clearly it does present challenges. I'm just pointing out that it's going to either take adaptation in order to deal directly with the challenges or an understanding that you'll have to compromise on usability if you choose not to deal with them directly.

    Neither approach is good or bad, it's just that one of those two choices must be made. I encourage riders to attack and overcome the challenges rather than compromise. For those that would rather sacrifice a bit of performance for being more comfortable then kudos to them for making that choice so that they can ride with a smile. :beer
    #99
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  20. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Man that bike is awesome!! Not so sure about the stache.... :lol3
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