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Short Rider; Pre Learner and Bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by andydee, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Hi guys, new member :)

    Hoping to get my L plates soon (booking test after my exams).

    I'm definitely keen to get into the sport, but the only thing stopping me is my height, I'm 161cm :(. Tried my mate's CBR, and I can barely sit well on it, very awkward, bouncing between feet etc.

    I'm okay with investing in a new Honda CBR250R and have talked to Honda dealers about lowering it.
    Wondering if lowering the bike would ruin the ride?

    What sort of complications/ trouble I might run into being so short, even with a lowered bike?
    Do prelearner course even provide low-riding manual bikes?
    Is learning manual hard? I drive an auto car. But I play with the tiptronic LOLOL

    Thanks guys, sorry for the long post.
  2. Hi, couple of things to consider when you are short, for you to 'tippee toe' around on a bike [in the dry] you MIGHT get away with it, but if you touch oil or dirt or a loose stone you'll go arse over..
    You really should 'flat foot it' if you are riding in the wet, you can not afford to 'slip' as the bike will hurt when it lands on you :)
    Cruisers have a low seat height.
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  3. Hi, and welcome to NR.

    Can't answer all your questions, but I've just had my Z1000 lowered by Streetmaster, who is riding it until I get off my restricted licence. He tells me he can't really detect any difference compared with his own (unlowered) Z, so I suspect it won't "ruin" the ride if it's done properly and balanced against the front etc etc. I believe he's considering lowering his own now that he's ridden mine, so can't be too bad. What did the dealer say about it?

    You may need to approach the vendors doing the learners' courses about options for you to ride. May involve shopping around a bit, but I would imagine some of them have dealt with petite people before, particularly girls, so it's worth asking.

    Learning manual isn't difficult - and there are a gazillion YouTube vids showing how it works. That's how I worked it out; altho I've driven manual cars, it isn't the same.

    Again, welcome to NR. Might be an idea to post in the Welcome Lounge if you haven't already done so, and give us some details about where you are etc etc.

    Have fun!
  4. I'm not too much over 5ft or 153cm and my daughter is only a cm or so taller. We did our learners with HART when they were at Tullamarine & licence at Somerton.

    We never had any problems with their bikes. They just gave us a couple that had less padding in the seats. I actually thought about getting one since they were fine to ride, but always liked the cruisers and loved the Virago once I had a go on it.
  5. Im 169cm, and my 2011 cbr250 feels like a toy to me.

    I dont think you will have to much of an issue, unless you have short legs.

    What you need to look for is a thinner bike, I have sat on many bigger bikes, The thinner the seat and body the easier it can be.
  6. I'm 164cm and ride a Street Triple. If you are dead set on being able to flat foot both feet, you will severely restrict your choice in bikes. You really only ever need one or even half a foot down when stopped at the lights for example, and that is perfectly fine. The only time you will run into trouble is if you have to back up your bike and there is an incline, but you can avoid getting yourself into a situation like that most of the time, or you can just hop off.

    As mentioned by Macca_Gong, it is not just outright seat height that matters. It's how thin the seat is, and also the weight of the bike. My KTM motard probably has a seat height around 850-900mm, more than most sports bikes, but the seat is narrow and the bike is light. I can get just enough of one foot down to pull it off. If I derp and try and put my foot down in a hole... 8-[. You just have to pay more attention, there's less room for error.

    Nah. You are wrong. Pay attention and you will be fine.
  7. ^^ I second that. That's how I dropped my GS500F the very first time. That said, tippy-toe on both sides sometimes still mean you can probably flat-foot either side with the opposite foot on the peg.

    ^^ Bastard! You're still a whole cm taller than me! :p

    edit: You basically have to be more careful when you can't flat foot on both sides. That's about it. At the end of the day, it depends on how confident you are =]
  8. You don't have to flat foot and may riders don't. I can't flat foot my BMW it it weighs in at around 230kg (probably closer to 250kg with the stuff I carry).

    However when you are learning the closeer to flat footed you can get the easier it will be.

    Lowering a bike may affect the handling but it also may be OK. But you probably won't know until you do it so there is a risk. How much it affects is another matter.

    One effect will be to put bits of the bike (exhausts, pegs etc) closer to the ground. This will probably not be an issue while you are new as you probably won't be leaning it that much but may be an issue as your riding develops.

    The heavier the bike the more likely that not being able to flat foot will feel unstable.

    However the problems is only there when you stop so one option is keep riding :LOL:

    Can't speak for other courses but HART have some shorter bikes and even my vertically challenged partner was able to tippytoe on their CB400
  9. Jump on a ninja 250 , I did once ,felt like a clown bike . my foot did not even fit in the gear lever

    Built for Japanese school girls i swear , but the front wheel still lifted with my weight crammed forward
  10. Thanks for the replies guys!, definitely feeling more reassured now, guess I just have to be a lot more observant when riding :)

    Haha, thanks! I'll definitely give HART a call, problem is I don't live anywhere near Tullamarine, hopefully, this goes for all branches though.

    I'm pretty partial to the CBR. But, beggars can't be choosers, going to go check out the Kawasaki soon!.
  11. If it helps, I did the learners to licence at Kilsyth and had no problems with their bikes either
  12. I don't think experienced riders worry so much about flat-footing it, but they don't need to. They understand about balancing the bike on the ground (separate from when you're on the go) and know how much lean they can manage before dropping it. I think it's important for learners to be able to flat-foot when they start out. It gives more confidence and is one less thing to worry about when you're thinking about many other important things.
  13. #13 Reesa, Jun 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Just ride a cruiser till you're confident enough. Once you gain confidence you won't care about being on one foot at the lights

  14. With it being a bit windy last night, I was very happy that I am able to place both of my feet flat on the ground without any trouble! Those windgusts weren't nice!
    Honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way... but that's just a noob speaking here.

    Luckily I'm average height for a girl, so I really have no problems at all with reaching the ground on my Spada. That being said, every time I sat on any other bike, they felt HUGE to me! Maybe the Spada is something like a Shetland pony of the bikes? :)
  15. Only had one foot down when stopped last night. I just lean the bike further than I usually do to give a buffer, but without putting too much weight on the leg supporting the bike. If the wind gusts were strong enough to slam me the opposite direction without a chance to swap feet, then I shouldn't have been riding anyway :p

    I would've probably be a bit more anxious about the whole thing if I couldn't flat foot both sides though.
  16. 5'5" Katana 750
    Seat height 790mm, 211kg

    5'1" Monster 696
    Seat height 77mm, 161kg

    5'5" R 1200 GS!!
    Seat height 840/860mm, 200kg
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  17. Does he hop off at every traffic light? :D
  18.  Top
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  19. In his other vids he seems to stop on dirt without hopping off, so I think this is more for show. Regardless, he is awesome.
  20. @andydee, I'm 160cm, inseam of approx 28" and I've got a 2008 ninja 250r and 1993 cbr250rr -- still on L's.
    They've got seat heights of 770mm (30.3") and 725mm (28.5") respectively.
    On the ninja, I have to tippytoe and hop between feet. On the cbr250rr, I can get half a foot both sides. I feel most confident with the cbr250rr as it's lighter and shorter.
    In traffic, I always try to find the deepest groove to put my bike in as well.
    I've had some derp-ish moments, but I don't think I could blame it on my height. (ie. dropping it in a u-turn because I stalled it)

    I've considered lowering the ninja but just cbf-ed.
    Lowering is a good option to boost your confidence, but you MIGHT actually be fine without lowering the cbr250r (780mm) - maybe shave the seat down instead? On the negative, I've heard that it'll affect your turns (not really a negative if you don't expect to race with it).

    Learning motorcycle manual is pretty easy. Just takes practice. My family has only ever had auto cars.

    If you're in Sydney and the prelearner is at Clyde, they have two bikes for the "shorter" people; red Kymco CK125s and Yamaha Scorpio 225s. I found the kymco much easier to handle because it was lighter and slightly shorter. And the clutch was a bit more forgiving.

    Oh, and anyone know of any big fat soled mc boots? :)