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What do the vertically challenged ride?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Bigchief, May 12, 2008.

  1. I'm curious... I'm only 5'3'' (1.6m) and currently ride a 2006 Honda VTR250. Absolutely love it. I am building up a list of bikes which I am interested to look at when the Misses and I both have our unrestricted some time next year.

    Honda lists the seat height of the 2007 VTR as 760mm. So yeah, seat height is one of my considerations when looking at the other bikes.

    So on the list currently are:
    2008 Honda CBR600RR
    Kawasaki Z750
    Kawasaki ER-6F
    2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

    Mods - note this is not a review of these bikes. I am really more interested in what other 'shorties' like myself are currently riding. I know every bike is different for each person and you really need to try it out yourself. Still I am curious (I mean, it's on the advice from NR that I got my current VTR! :grin: )
  2. Unless you're built like a bodybuilder or incredibly fat, the question you should be asking is what suspension work have lighter riders had done to stop the ejector seat feeling every time they go over a bump.
    Static seat heights mean sfa without taking into account rider weight, sag and spring rate.
  3. Depends on how much experience you have ridding. Why? Because its quite easy for one to slide one leg off at the lights and keep the bike up-right.
    With practice you can even have a R1200GS if you wanted.
    The only issue is when it comes to very low speed handling and parking. You will need to dis-mount and walk the bike into position.
  4. cagiva raptor's... 650 veetwin and the 1000 veetwin.

    prefect for your height.

    both feet will touch as they have a very narrow frame and seat.
    the new gsxr 600, and 750 also. and the new 08 cbr600
  5. pro-pilot - interesting you say that cause I have been in situations where I needed both feet on the ground to balance the bike which was OK cause I held the bike with the front brake and did the whole friction point, fast idle thing to move away without rolling backwards.

    twoguns - cagiva raptor, hmmm, will look at that
  6. Just went to the Suzuki website and saw the (new) GSX-R600... I think I'm inlove... :LOL:
  7. On that note, I think that the biggest problem is, as mentioned earlier by pro-pilot, not in riding or stopping the bike. It is in the parking of the bike. Walking the bike isn't always possible, and most times it's just safer and easier to reverse when you're on the bike (ie. slight slope).

    So....getting a bike that you'll have to tip to one side at the red lights isn't a good idea, IMHO. Especially in Brisbane where it's hilly?
  8. bigchief,

    I'm same height as you and riding on a Yamaha XT250. Spec seat height is 810mm but it sinks down when you jump on and it's narrow. Still I wouldn't mind if it was a touch lower.

    Specs are only a very rough guide. I took a seat on the ER6F, the ZX6R and the Raptor and had trouble. Also tried BMW F800, F650GS, Buell XB12R, Kawa KLE500. They also aren't so great for me.

    The reach to the bars is a big factor in holding a stationary bike up. As is the weight. When your limbs are really extended you don't have a lot of leverage.
  9. Odd - I sat on the ER-6N and thought it was very much VTR250-sized... But then, I was paying more attention to the peg-to-seat distance for leg comfort, not so much the standover height.
  10. Edster, that is actually another good point - one also highlighted way back by the instructor when I went for my L's. Funny thing was, he also at the time mentioned the VTR. On the VTR the seat height and arm reach is VERY comfortable and relaxed.

    gracebeey - Yep, I've heard of short asses like myself dropping bigger bikes when it comes to parking. But even when reversing, I feel ALOT more secure when I have more than just tippy-toes to rely on.
  11. w0000t!!!! i'm 5'4 (163cm) and i've always worried about this. I'm currently booting about on a zzr250 '97 which i brought off quite a large feller who i reckon softened up the shocks a bit...

    I sat on a hyosung GT650R bear foot and Struggled bad to touch the ground with both feet, i was fulled stretched out and thought this is unridable. However since then i've got riding boots and i'm a little used to sitting to one side in peak to be comfy when always sitting at the lights.

    In saying that, i work with a guy who is shorter then me, and rides a '99 ducati 900SS lowered. I just fit on it and he is confortable on it so i assume he got used to it.

    Do you know when lowering bikes if it really effects the handerling that much?

    Cheers for a gread thread...![/b]
  12. Depends how tall you are though. An inch or two can make a huge difference when you're only just reaching the ground. I've sat on a VTR, it felt a lot lighter and lower to me.

    The VTR is a comfortable bike.
  13. Yah. Like I said, I wasn't paying attention to standover height because my height problem is the opposite.

    We engineers stop caring after the 95th percentile (5'11"/180cm), so oddly enough nothing is designed for 6'4" people like myself. ;)
  14. the 2 lowest std seat height bikes are zzr600 kwaka &695 ducati monster
  15. I'm told it does. If you drop it down on the front forks you decrease the rake which can make it more maneuverable but a bit wobbly at speed.
  16. Curious list of bikes, you have 2 supersports, one naked and one sports-tourer type. do you have a preference for what type? i.e. if you like the Z750 naked then why the ER-6F rather than the N?

    I'm only 165 (5'5") and moved from a VTR to the F800ST which has standard, low seat (my choice) and lowered bike as factory options, but obviously that's quite a bit dearer than the others on your list there. The ER-6F was right near the top of my list before I decided to upsize the engine a fraction (as I do almost exclusively 2-up at this stage).

    Out of your list, personally I would go for the ER-6F, but as I mentioned, depends on the style you're after, because while it goes just fine, it won't match up with any of the other three if you're after racing performance.

    [Edit: Just saw your love of the Gixxer, so I'm guessing the ER-6 might be on the bottom of your list. The Gixxers are a nice bike, look great and go like the clappers, so I'm sure you'll love it if you get one. Shame they're like something-holes...everyone has one! ;)]

    Oh, and sorry mate, but while it isn't a review of bikes, it is a request for bike suggestions, hence I'm taking it to the Bike Reviews, Thoughts and Suggestions sub-forum.

    Butz. :beer:
  17. Butzull - I am a complete novice when it comes to bikes. Have only been riding since November '07 and got my P's in March '08. My only experience with bikes are limited to the (older style) Honda CB250 they use at Wheels Skills when I went for my L's and my current 2006 Honda VTR250.

    That is probably why you see such a range of bikes in my list :LOL:

    I'm building up a list of bikes I would like to have a look at but also keen to find out what other short people like myself currently ride, or have tried out etc.

    I mean all the stuff about suspension etc. are all interesting but I am far more interested in what people's actual experience have been.

    So the feedback so far has been great.
  18. gsxr 600

    I saw a brand new 2007 gixxer 600 for sale at Procycles (Hornsby) for 14k incl ORC. Sat on it and seemed lower than my R6. I could get both heels down..i'm only 168 cms. The seat was narrower as well compared to the R6. The salesguy told me he was 5'3" and loves this bike because its lower.

    Apart from that, Street triple is quite low as well.
  19. If 5'11" is the upper end, what would the lower end be? I think the average male height is 5'9". Correct me if I'm wrong...


    The ZX-6R and YZF-R6 have wide seats, the CBR600RR and GSX-R600 have narrow seats. So if your height is a big issue, the latter two are much more comfortable for street riding.

    But even myself at 5'8 can't go completely flat footed on the CBR600RR without moving to the front of the seat. Guess I have short legs... :?
  20. I have an er-6f. I'm about the same height as you. Its definitely lower than the cbr600rr which i also tried when looking at bikes, actually its the lowest sports bike i could find + it has a more upright position than the super sporty bikes and doesn't have the nut crunching seat you get on super sports (if your a gent) :p