Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Upholster seat or lower suspension?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by AnotherDumbAss, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Hi!

    I've been wanting to learn how to ride but am having lots of problems because I'm short.

    During the L's 2 day course i attempted to the training facility I wasn't able to reach the ground on the manual bikes. With the CB125's used at the training course I am able to just reach the ground with the tips of my toes, can't push the bike myself. It was a little embarrassing and disheartening, but they mentioned it was the lowest/smallest bike available.

    I recently sat on the 2016 GROM 125 and I can put about half of both feet on the ground! Woohoo!

    My husband's concerned the 125cc isn't powerful enough and may be dangerous for daily commutes to work during peak hours. I'm now looking for a 250cc or higher LAMS bike that is 760mm seat height, naked or sports. Which doesn't exist!

    So... I know everyone says shaving a seat is much better than killing the suspension. My question are:

    • can you think of any bikes that are that low?
    • how much to upholster a seat in Syd?
    • how much to lower suspension?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. As far as I know ducati monsters lower well and have a low seat height. Also ninja 300 and KTM 390 tend to suit the short in stature.
    If your looking at lowering, shock treatment out at wallacia are suspension gurus so I'm sure they can help in that department and there's a guy in Goulburn that is really good at seat sculpting but I can't remember his name.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. You could try taking some pre load out of the rear shock and wearing boots with thick soles on them
  4. CB400 seat height is only 755mm, but there's more weight to push around than a 125 class bike.
  5. #6 Zim, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
    Its a bit of a furfy that Ducati Monsters work well for shorter riders, they also have a very long reach to the bars and fixing that is expensive as it takes more than taller bars.Terry Hays at Shock Treatment lowered my Husky 25mm both ends, thats by far the best option,much better than compromising the handling or suspension performance by less technical fixes. It cam be returned to standard hight later just as easy. I forget there name but have you looked at those 250 Yamaha cruiser bikes, plenty of women ride them and they seem like they have a low seat height.Virago I think.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Hi,

    CB400 at 775mm is too high, the training bikes were 767mm and I had lots of problems. I'm only 153cm tall :(

    Thanks for the tips! I'll have a look at those lowering kits and see if they will work!

    Are the kits self changeable or does it require a professional?

    I wanna give this a go before I give up/go for a scooter... I really don't wanna do that
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Stock is 770, low version 755. Hard to tell on advertised bikes which it is, the selling info is not always correct. Only way is to go and sit on them.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Lots fit lowering links and push the forks through the triple clamps up front. That will lower the seat height but changing these links in the rear changes how the suspension works,different leverage ratio on the shock. So my post above about doing it properly.
    Have you looked a Virago, Yamaha. Spending on this stuff on a bike you would have for the leaner period is kinda money blown.
  9. Welcome aboard :) AnotherDumbAssAnotherDumbAss I'm a statuesque 5'5 and can flat foot my EL easily.

    If you want a mega reliable easy to ride first bike try one of these


    Make Model

    Kawasaki EL 250 Eliminator (ZL 250LX)


    Liquid cooled, four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.

    Bore x Stroke 62 x 41.2 mm

    Compression Ratio 12.4:1

    Ignition / Starting

    - / electric

    Max Power

    33 hp @ 12500 rpm (rear tyre 24.7 hp @ 11750 rpm )

    Max Torque

    1.7 kgf-m @ 9900 rpm

    Transmission / Drive

    6 Speed / chain

    Front Suspension

    Telescopic forks

    Rear Suspension

    Dual shocks

    Front Brakes

    Single 226mm disc 1 piston caliper

    Rear Brakes


    Front Tyre


    Rear Tyre


    Wet Weight

    155 kg

    Fuel Capacity

    11 Litres

    Consumption Average

    20 8 km/lit

    Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

    14.4 m / 42.8 m

    Standing ¼ Mile

    16.0 sec / 127.8 km/h

    Top Speed

    139.8 km/h
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Verago seat hight 685mm
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. The cruiser types like Virago are low, if you like that style. Otherwise, and if you have the budget, I'd look at a Ducati monster 659. Stock is 770 but can be lowered and many examples are. My wife is a shortie too, 160cm I think, and loves her Duc 696 with a standard seat. So recommend trying one for size...

    Grom, while fun to blast around on, is tiny! Would not suggest as the only bike you own as not really for long trips or highway cruising.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. A Honda CBR250RR (MC22) has a seat height of 725mm, which I think should be low enough to be comfortable for you, it's also quite a light bike at only 142kg(dry). But it still has plenty of power and is a lot of fun. It is an older bike but I've been riding mine now for 3 years and still love it. It's also been pretty reliable, but I'd definitely recommend having a experienced or professional person having a look at the bike before you buy it, because there are a lot of bombs out there.

    I will warn you it is a very sporty riding position, so it's not very comfortable for long rides, but it's a lot of fun.

    Here are just a few basic specs:

    Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC in-line 4 cylinder

    Horsepower: 45 hp (33.6 kW) @ 15000 rpm
    Maximum Torque: 21.5 Nm (15.6 ft. lbs) @ 12000 rpm

    Top Speed: ~180kph (113mph)
    0-100kph (0-60mph): ~5 Seconds
    • Like Like x 1
  13. You need to sit on these bikes rather than just relying on published seat heights too. Some seats are quite broad, so feel taller. Others quite narrow which make them feel shorter. The ducati should be narrow so is worth a shot.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. As I said with the monster its the long tank reach and the bars are really wide to boot, tank hump doesn't help either. Those Italian test riders must be a bloody odd shape. I can barely reach the bars on some of there classic sporty bikes. They must have double jointed hips for high pegs, short legs , long arms and the hands the size of guerrillas to reach the brake levers with the grip strengths to match.That's the older classics.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Those el250 s are getting abit old and scarce now but they are great little bikes. Heaps better than a virago
    • Like Like x 1
  16. changing links on rear suspension should be your last option. wind the rear preload right off and put a cable tie around your front fork slider. Go for a vigerous ride including bumps and then measure how much you can lower the front.

    doing it this way will keep your suspension balance, but it will eat up ground clearance.

    Removing foame from you seat will save that but may compremise comfort. Also modern seats have pretty dense foam and it's not very thick, so you might not gain much. Also, it's about seat shape. If the seat forces your legs wide then you will loose leg length.

    I'm guessing about $400 for the seat modification.

    The last option should be links. Changing these can change the rising rate rate of your rear suspension and can completly throw out the dynamic of your bike.

    If you have a twin rear shock bike, another option is switching the rear shocks for new shorter ones. The advantage here is you can upgrade the feel and adjustablity of the rear shock. similar with putting a short and stiffer spring in the forks.

    all up that would be more expensive than modifying the seat.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Yeh getting a decent one may take a little time and I would recommend getting a pre inspection done ( I did ) but if it comes back good grab it
  18. Don't give up AnotherDumbAssAnotherDumbAss . I managed a CB125E then upgraded to a lowered VTR250 which is still my current ride. In bike sales, select 'learner approved', select your state then punch in the keyword 'lowered' into BikeSales. There's a gorgeous little CB300 for sale among them. Also a Ninja 300 and a Hyosung GT250R. I hear the Hyosung are very top heavy for learners so for short riders maybe give this one a miss.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Like Like x 1