High bike- Driving a motorcycle is something much more physical than driving a car,. And the first proof of it comes even before the engine is started. There are bikes so high that people of medium or lower size have great problems to handle them standing. Let’s see some tricks to help them.
It is true that there are very high bikes. But if Dani Pedrosa can win MotoGP races with his 1’58m of height. Or Gaston Rahier did the same in the Dakar (and the Motocross World Championship) with little more than 1’60m. It is that height counts less than the “skill” to drive a motorcycle. And the force is not so important either, because even the heaviest one does not raise the 200 kg of any motorcycle. Having that clear. It is also true that anyone with little experience needs the security that gives him the power to firmly plant his feet on the ground when the bike is slow or stopped. As you learn the handling of the bike that need is disappearing, you learn to keep your balance on track and slowly. But there are some things to keep in mind and tricks that can help us.
Top key for short riders with a high bike
The first point to keep in mind is that, if we do not have very long legs, we should not only look at the height of the seat. The width is also very important: there are motorcycles with the seat not very high. But because of the width of the seat (and the motorcycle underneath it). They make it difficult to reach with the feet to the ground when leaving the legs arched or open. Getting on the desired bike in the store, when standing. It is essential to get an idea of your “size”. In terms of height, more and more brands offer seats with several positions. Or optional seats lower: it is good to ask if the bike we want has that option (and try it). In the auxiliary industry there are also alternatives to change the original foam for a better one even adapted to our body.
The second issue is the weight and how it is distributed. A heavy motorcycle, with a high motor, will be difficult to move at very low speed or when stopped. If we know that we are going to have problems in that sense (we are not tall or very strong). We should avoid heavy bikes, and as far as possible we should choose those with the lowest weight (motor more horizontal or close to the ground). So far we have seen advice when choosing a bike: in short. If we have little safety (and height), it will be good to at least start with a bike that “dominate” without problem, to get experience.
Focusing already on the bike we have, there are still things that can be done. The first one, adjust the suspensions : if you’re not very tall or tall. You probably do not weigh much either. Leave the reload of the shock absorbed to the minimum. So it will sink a little more, and if the fork has regulation. Also leave it at the minimum spring. In many cases this is enough to gain some centimeter. Sometimes, no: the pier is calculated for a certain average weight, and you weigh less. But changing the springs for something softer (good idea) sometimes is not cheap or possible.
In front, almost all motorcycles allow to raise the bars of the fork at least 1 cm on the seat posts (lower the entire bike in front). There you gain another centimeter. And you will keep good distance to the ground besides not changing the geometry too much. The bike will be somewhat more agile. But normally it will not be nervous yet (and that agility will also suit you well). Behind many motorcycles allow to change the suspension rods for ones that lower that centimeter or something more the rear. It can be interesting to compensate if we go down ahead and the bike is too nervous. When lowering the bike, be careful with the kickstand. If before the bike was not very inclined, you may need to modify it or leave the bike very vertical (less stable).
Speaking of gaining centimeters, footwear can help . There are boots with soles of quite a platform. And it is another good place to gain height also when it comes to driving the motorcycle. In this they have an advantage. But beware of wearing too high heels that bother to drive (change, rear brake) or remove touch.
If we are not very tall you will have to learn some tricks, better with a motorcycle that is still too short to have a margin of safety. It is something that is useful to everyone, because unless you are a basketball pivot there will always be a motorcycle whose seat will surprise you. I’m not short (1’83m) but I do not forget for example how far the ground was on the BMW HP2 Enduro …
Learn to coordinate well clutch and gas to leave with agility, without hesitation that make you lose your balance. Practice doing it in particular uphill. And since you’re uphill, practice a “cheating” maneuver: turn around on a difficult road. It is better to avoid it, but it is better still to practice it if one day there is no other remedy. If you do not do it with agility and in a single time. And you get to stay with the bike perpendicular to the slope, your left leg will be farther from the ground. And the bike will want to fall from that side … Avoid it without losing speed: again, good Clutch, gas (and steering) coordination.
Get used to having your feet on the footrests : there they will help you keep your balance. Outside of them, hanging feet not only do not help but give a false sense of security and in case of even slight fall could be damaged with the bike. It’s something that looks pretty … very novice who has not been explained well. When you are standing, drop the bike slightly to one side and firmly support that foot; turn the handlebar to the opposite side to help you. Not arriving with both feet is not so serious if you arrive with one and you hold yourself well: as soon as you practice this. You will have much more confidence and will significantly expand the horizon of motorcycles with which you dare.
More tricks: use your eyes and your brain, they are more important than the length of your legs. Do not stand where there is gravel or a sliding metal lid, because the foot there will support badly. Be careful in the crossings in the downhill streets: if you stop right in the junction. The central part of the bike will be higher with respect to the ground than the wheels, and if you arrived just … bad.
If you have to climb a curb, be at a right angle and safely, with space. And if you have to turn around. Look to do it where it is a minor problem: it can be smarter to throw ten or twenty meters away. Finally, be aware of your limitations and the traffic that can surround you: sometimes it is not safe to stop where you want and if. In the event, you see that you will lose your balance, do not fight too much and let the bike rest on the floor (better than falling hard).