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  1. #1
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    Question vertically challenged

    Hi All,

    I have just recently got my bike license & so begins the quest for a bike. One major problem-I have a 28" inseam-yes I'm short! (5'1") I was hoping that there were some other vertically challenged people that could give me some tips/advice as to what bikes they ride & what lowering options are available for me.
    I have sat on most sportbikes out there, it seems as though the naked bikes seem to fit the best. Currently looking at Buell Lightning & Ducatti Monster...

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Dr Tung Array CBR JOCKEY's Avatar
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    bikes for short people....

    Quote Originally Posted by little lupie View Post
    Hello Ladies,

    I have posted a similar thread in the Newbies section Q & A, but I thought maybe I should post one here as well.
    I am a new rider, on the quest for my first bike! First street bike that is-I have been riding dirtbikes for a few years now.
    One major problem: I am quite short (5'1") and I am having one heck of a time finding a bike that fits(aside from a cruiser!) I was hoping that there would be some other vertically challenged ladies out there who could shed a little light on what type of bikes you ride & what you had to do to make the bikes more comfortable?

    Kawasaki Ninja 500R or 650R My wife is 5 -2 and both biles allow for both feet to be planted on the ground.

  4. #3
    Ridin hard n dirty Array Mr.Sushi ya ha's Avatar
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    the little kawasakis are nice and low. Also most bikes can be lowered. Give Rod at RMR or Bill at 5th and they can tell you what bikes can be lowered to fit your needs. You shouldnt be totaly flat footed. Just be able to get both feet down without your heels touching will be OK...remember the only time you need to touch is when your should be riding alot more than sitting on the bike stopped....if you need to manuver the bike around it is always safer to get off and stand beside it..
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    To torque or not? Array CaribooBC's Avatar
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    94 Ducati 900 SS CR, 86 NS400R and 98 R1100S
    Check out the BMW F800S with the low seat option.
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  6. #5
    Spetsnaz Array
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    Pocket bike? :P

  7. #6
    Registered User Array OneTrack's Avatar
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    Here's a few bikes that are more user-friendly to 5 foot-somethings:-

    -Suzuki GS500 (RMS has them on sale right now)
    -Yamaha FZ6R (the new 2009 "R" model)
    -BMW F800ST with low seat option (as recommended above)
    -Kawasaki Ninja 500R (old styling but a solid performer)
    -Ducati Monster 696 and previous model 695

  8. #7
    Registered User Array threenailz's Avatar
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    +1 for the GS500 and EX500R

    I too suffer from the curse of the less than 30" inseam. I started on a GS500, then went to a 500R, both amazing bikes to for us vertically challenged. Low, responsive, comfortable, forgiving, and very reliable. After about a year on each (approx. 5K/yr) I decided to bump up to the 600 class. To be honest, I didn't notice much difficulty managing with the extra height. It just took a little bit of getting used to only putting one foot down at stop lights, and having an ever so slight lean.

  9. #8
    Dam I got old fast Array FZrrr's Avatar
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    2003 fz-1

    different engine styles give very different riding experiences

    The buells 88mm x79.5mm bore x stroke for 984cc max revs 7500 as compared to 94mm x 71.5mm for 992cc revs to 8000 for ducati or 98mm x 66mm revs to 8500 for the suzuki sv1000 result in engine performance characteristic's that are very different. The long stroke engine gives better lower rpm power but you will feel the acceleration drop off quickly at top rpm. The large bore x short stroke engines have less torque at low rpm but build more power higher and have higher max rpm. Their acceleration builds as the rpm increase. As a new rider initially you will ride using the lower rpm range and would feel the buell would accelerate harder,as you gain experience and explore the high rpm, the power of a large bore x short stroke will thrill/scare you as the top end rush warps time and speed. Both bikes are not for novices and I would caution you not to write a check your wallet can cover but your skill and experience cant cash. A nice bike to cut your teeth on, the ducati 695 or suzuki sv650, having less raw power on tap to get you in trouble and this is a good thing. It allows you time to develop your skills but understand these are fast bikes in the hands of a experienced rider. Best of luck ride safe!

  10. #9
    Moderator Array flowrider's Avatar
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  11. #10
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    I'm about the same size as you (might even be smaller). My first bike is a 2002 ZZR Ninja 250. I can't flat foot on the bike but I can get the balls of my feet down on both sides. If you're comfortable on the bike, you'll find that you don't really need to be able to flat foot on the bike, but for the first bike you would definitely want the balls of your feet down on the ground. If you can't flat foot on the bike, go to a parking lot, push the bike around, and back it up and down a small slope. The hardest part of vertically challenge people is parking and moving the bike using your own power!

    I've sat on the new 08+ Ninja 250 and find the seat height to be slightly taller than the older ones. But it could just be the new vs well broken in suspension though.

    BMW GS 650 with low suspension and low seat height is about the same height as a Ninja 250. So that is an option too if you're an adventure rider.

    The super old 90s Ninja 250 (same model as in the US up to 2007) and Buell Blast are supposed to have even lower seat heights. You should be able to flat foot on those.

    Don't know much about Ducati 696 or any other bikes. But I do own a Ducati S2R and I can only put one foot down at a time, not a big deal if you already know how to ride and how to tippy-toe and switch sides properly. It's seat height isn't that high but it is pretty wide.

    You can definitely work your way up to any bike you want to ride, so don't worry that you'll be stuck with a beginner's bike forever. Once you have some riding experience you'll be able to ride almost anything.

    PS: I never lowered any of our bikes and I've never dropped one. But if you're not comfortable on your toes then I would recommend either getting a bike that you can flat foot or lower it.

  12. #11
    Registered Squid Array canuck75's Avatar
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  13. #12
    Ren Array ren9666's Avatar
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    2006 Kawi ZZR250, 2003 GSX-R600
    I'm just under 5'2... started on a 2007 Ninja 250 and was very comfortable on it, but outgrew it in under six months. I now ride a 2003 GSXR600 I bought already lowered (I'm told the original owner was a 5'1 guy and the second owner was about 5'6). Took a bit of getting used to, I am on the balls of my feet and require assistance backing it up on an incline or if the ground is somewhat unstable (ie gravel).

    Also, being vertically challenged doesn't only mean the inseam, but shorter arms and having less muscle mass than a typical male I can't "manhandle" the bike when I'm off it, but I'm careful and I have never dropped it (knock on wood).

  14. #13
    Eh Muh Gawd Becky!! Array Purplekawi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBR JOCKEY View Post
    Kawasaki Ninja 500R or 650R My wife is 5 -2 and both biles allow for both feet to be planted on the ground.
    your wife has an awfully long inseem then. my wife has the same inseem as the original poster and has tried both bikes you describe here and def not planted unless you consider the tippy toes of one foot to be planted. my wife rides a Buell Blast with the low seat on it and she is planted both feet on it. not quite flat footed but pretty darn close. she's OK on my Monster 696 with the regular seat but not as planted as the Buell. she sat on the Suzuki Gladius and we're pretty certain that with 1" lowering, it'll be low enough for her to be planted comfortably.
    That that doesn't kill us forces us to live with a busted up bike!!

  15. #14
    Registered User Array 3DDeath's Avatar
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    +1 to the gs500, I thought about buying that one as my first bike since it looked really good on online photos, but when I stood next to it I looked like a giant, that bike was tiny.

    Glad I got the sv instead, i'm 6'3.
    Last edited by 3DDeath; 03-22-2009 at 11:05 PM.

  16. #15
    Poser Emeritus Array bill's Avatar
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    Some of the smaller cruisers will fit you as well. You need to find a short salesperson preferably female to help you out
    BCSB had mountains of experience with a lot of things. #1 on that list is pouring out bullshit to dumb questions by the Gigabyte. (TripleTime, 12-10-2014 03:19 PM)

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