T Nation

Another Motorcycle Thread

I figured I would start a new thread instead of ruining the other guy’s.

I recall seeing an article somewhere on people’s heights and the types of motorcycles best suited for them. Now I’m a pretty small guy for right now at least. I’m 16 though so I still got a couple of inches left in me. I’m 5’6-5’7 and the doc says I probably going to end up around 5’10’’. I’m not real into the crotch rocket thing even though they seem to work best for shorter people. I’ve been looking at Victorys recently and I am really liking them.

My question is whether or not they are practical for someone my height. I know you can do some adjusments and customization on any bike to make them better suited for you.

Any suggestions?

Any motorcycle’s ride height can be adjusted within reason. In the crotch rocket world, that can have performance implications that you aren’t likely to be concerned with in the Victory/cruiser world. It’s not a difficult set of adjustments for a shop to make, and you can easily do it yourself with a friend, tools, and a Saturday morning.

I wouldn’t worry about it (assuming I understand your question).

Sport bikes usually have a high seat height. Cruisers usually have a lower seat hight.

[quote]yanksta wrote:
I figured I would start a new thread instead of ruining the other guy’s.

I recall seeing an article somewhere on people’s heights and the types of motorcycles best suited for them. Now I’m a pretty small guy for right now at least. I’m 16 though so I still got a couple of inches left in me. I’m 5’6-5’7 and the doc says I probably going to end up around 5’10’’. I’m not real into the crotch rocket thing even though they seem to work best for shorter people. I’ve been looking at Victorys recently and I am really liking them.

My question is whether or not they are practical for someone my height. I know you can do some adjusments and customization on any bike to make them better suited for you.

Any suggestions?[/quote]

I’m 5’10.5" (over 5’11" in shoes) and I have no problems on a sportsbike. I have seen guys as tall as 6’2" ride them with no significant problems. One of them had his bike lengthened, however.

[quote]yanksta wrote:
I figured I would start a new thread instead of ruining the other guy’s.

I recall seeing an article somewhere on people’s heights and the types of motorcycles best suited for them. Now I’m a pretty small guy for right now at least. I’m 16 though so I still got a couple of inches left in me. I’m 5’6-5’7 and the doc says I probably going to end up around 5’10’’. I’m not real into the crotch rocket thing even though they seem to work best for shorter people. I’ve been looking at Victorys recently and I am really liking them.

My question is whether or not they are practical for someone my height. I know you can do some adjusments and customization on any bike to make them better suited for you.

Any suggestions?[/quote]

Any bike you get can be lowered.

16 and looking at a Victory? Rich Daddy?

My recommendation is to stay with a small bike (less than 600cc). Young kids and big bikes is a bad combo.

If you like cruisers, you might like the Yamaha V-Star Classic 650. That was my first bike and still what I consider the best looking stock cruiser on the market.

Don’t worry about your physical size. I’ve seen women riding Boss Hoss’s (that’s a motorcycle with a Corvette V-8 engine that weighs 1500 lbs.)

[quote]PGJ wrote:

16 and looking at a Victory? Rich Daddy?

My recommendation is to stay with a small bike (less than 600cc). Young kids and big bikes is a bad combo.

If you like cruisers, you might like the Yamaha V-Star Classic 650. That was my first bike and still what I consider the best looking stock cruiser on the market.

Don’t worry about your physical size. I’ve seen women riding Boss Hoss’s (that’s a motorcycle with a Corvette V-8 engine that weighs 1500 lbs.)

[/quote]

for sure stay under 600cc, i’v been riding since i was about 13, started off road on <250cc, i currently ride a 500cc and thats fine for me (i’m turinng 23 this year).

I’d love to get a bigger bike but its just not in the bank right now (apparently it is for yo however, lucky!) but as i said in the other thread, i’v heard nothing but good things about Victory. If i ever got a cruiser (i’m a euro sport bike enthusiast) and bought it purely on hearsay, it would be a victory.

and in regards to your question of seat height, you shouldn’t have trouble at all.

most importantly, if you can afford brand new bike, invest another 300 bucks and take a learn to ride course, its invaluable. Lear correctly, save your life someday. (search online for ‘learn 2 ride’ you will be able to find a program close to you.)

Not only is taking a class good for saving your life, it can most likely get you a discount on insurance. As a young male, you’re gonna need it!

When you grow up, you need one of these.

At 5’6" you might have problems with some sportbikes. E.g., the Daytona 675 is one of the tallest and, at 6’0", I’m sitting on it “just right”, but I guess someone shorter might have issues.
On an '03 Kawasaki Ninja 636 I could touch the ground very comfortably, a bit easier than on the D675, but the difference was not too big. And that’s an average sportbike.

That being said, any bike can be modified to fit you better. Just make sure to go to the dealer, put your ass on the bike, keep it straight up and see if you can touch the ground with both feet. Ideally you need to put your entire feet down, toes to heels, not just the toes.

Just remember, when riding a bike, use the head above your shoulders, not the one between your legs. Don’t be another “testosterone poisoning” casualty (i.e. young male rider who dies in an accident because he was riding above his skills).

Enjoy - if used responsibly, the bike is a lot of fun.

Im 5 10 and I haven’t had any problems with sportsbikes. I don’t own one at the moment but im getting a suzuki gs500f soon, i can touch the ground with both feet on it.

Another reason for starting small and cheap is that riding can be uncomfortable, inconvienent, and sometimes downright painful. That romantic idea many people have about riding can quickly evaporate as soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees, or you take your first dragonfly to the face at 70mph, or you go on your first long trip and your ass feels like it’s on fire.

Don’t buy an expensive bike until you KNOW it’s something you enjoy doing. You see a lot of guys out there with very expensive bikes with low mileage.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Another reason for starting small and cheap is that riding can be uncomfortable, inconvienent, and sometimes downright painful. That romantic idea many people have about riding can quickly evaporate as soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees, or you take your first dragonfly to the face at 70mph, or you go on your first long trip and your ass feels like it’s on fire.

Don’t buy an expensive bike until you KNOW it’s something you enjoy doing. You see a lot of guys out there with very expensive bikes with low mileage. [/quote]

Hmmm, “dragon flies to the face”…one more reason to not ride a cruiser and to wear a full helmet.

Score 1 for sportsbikes. Your serve.

On a more serious note, I do agree that you have to be a “bike person”. However, that is something you won’t know until you are actually on one on a regular basis for some amount of time. Even riding your friend’s bike won’t tell you this until you have to care for one yourself.

As a sidenote, UnderArmour Cold Gear is perfect for cold weather riding, especially since it takes up much less room than a sweater and can be layered on.

i think youd be better suited with a used cruiser- 750cc or smaller. something like a mid 80’s honda magna, or the later honda spirit shadow (or is it the ace…i dont remember). these bikes are quality bikes, reliable, and if something needs to be repaired, its not going to hit you as hard as some other bikes b/c the parts are available and not too expensive.

for sport bikes, if thats the way you want to go, id say look for an older 250 or 500 kawasaki ninja. like early 90’s. the 250 would really be ideal. you have to remember about sportbikes is that although you might be dealing with a smaller engine, in terms of cc’s- youve also got a much lighter bike than a cruiser.

the power-to-weight ratio is much higher. easiest example is this: take a current stock harley- 96 cubic inches/~1600cc. compare that to a honda/kawa/suzuki/yamaha 600cc sportbike–> the speed of the sportbike will definitely trump that of the harley, even though the harley’s engine is almost triple the size of the sportbike.

my point here is to not shy away from a 250cc ninja because it is “only” 250cc. to the same effect, the 250cc ninja wont stand a chance against the current 600cc ninja, but itll prepare you for that 600cc sportbike, if thats the route you decide to go.

having said that about the sportbikes, i will offer two different views on the current bikes. ill be buying a new bike soon, have been set on a harley for quite some time. i sat on honda’s new cbr600rr and loved the way it felt.

i compared it to the other 600cc sportbikes made by kawasaki, yamaha, and suzuki. the yamaha and kawa were uncomfortable just sitting on them in the showroom. the suzuki was comfortable, but not as much as the honda. i am 5’9". for 2 out of 4 of those bikes, the seats were very uncomfortable, and my toes were barely touching the ground.

the suzuki was a little better in the seat, still didnt have feet flat on the ground. honda felt great in the seat, feet were close enough to flat on the ground- i ride, so i know that they were close enough that id definitey have control. i think for a lot of sportbikes, your height will be a factor.

once you hit about 5’9"-10" youll be able to ride just about anything. even at your height, people ride certain bikes, but i feel like they are asking for trouble, as their toes barely touch the ground.

i have a '77 honda cb750 supersport. this is certainly not the first bike ive ridden, but the first ive owned. i have had a blast on it since last july. old bikes like this can be rickety, but they can also be quite fun.

not to mention cheap, if you know what youre doing. old bikes like this, maybe a honda cb450-500, yamaha xs650, kawasaki kx400, etc…if they are in good condition, would be wise choices for a first bike. id rate these as second choice- the honda magna, spirit, etc as first choice.

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
for sport bikes, if thats the way you want to go, id say look for an older 250 or 500 kawasaki ninja. like early 90’s. the 250 would really be ideal. you have to remember about sportbikes is that although you might be dealing with a smaller engine, in terms of cc’s- youve also got a much lighter bike than a cruiser.[/quote]

That’s what some people do - they get a Ninja 250 (even brand new it’s still cheap) and ride it for a year or two. It’s a solid bike that takes a lot of abuse, and a newbie will abuse the bike no matter what.

It kind of looks like an old sportbike, but handling is a bit more “smooth”, and the engine and the controls are more “forgiving”, sort of like a cruiser or a Harley, it doesn’t have that sharp and ruthless edge like most sportbikes (the on/off throttle, the “death grip” brakes, the aggressive steering).

The learning curve on a 250 is a lot better than on a bigger bike. Essentially, by starting on a 250, those people become better riders quicker than those who begin directly on bigger bikes.

Then after a couple years, instead of a 1000cc sportbike, get a 600cc. It’s impossible to use the 1000 to its full potential on the street unless you enjoy interacting with the law enforcement very often - heck, even a 600 can do what it’s really capable of doing only on a race track.

My Ninja 636 felt like it was falling asleep when doing 80mph on the freeway (not that I put a lot of mileage on freeways, but anyway).
The price difference between the 1000 and the 600 is just what it takes to buy good gear, a full leather costume (a “racing” costume), racing boots, gloves and whatnot.

[quote]MaloVerde wrote:
When you grow up, you need one of these.[/quote]

I have one of these.

[quote]dez6485 wrote:

my point here is to not shy away from a 250cc ninja because it is “only” 250cc. to the same effect, the 250cc ninja wont stand a chance against the current 600cc ninja, but itll prepare you for that 600cc sportbike, if thats the route you decide to go.

not to mention cheap, if you know what youre doing. old bikes like this, maybe a honda cb450-500, yamaha xs650, kawasaki kx400, etc…if they are in good condition, would be wise choices for a first bike. id rate these as second choice- the honda magna, spirit, etc as first choice. [/quote]

Yes, don’t be fooled by a “little 250” sportbike. Those Ninja’s would smoke the biggest 1600-2000cc cruiser.

In fact, the dealership I bought my current bike from said they won’t sell a new sportbike over 600cc to anyone under 20. Too much power and too little maturity.

Start small and see if you even like riding.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
PGJ wrote:
Another reason for starting small and cheap is that riding can be uncomfortable, inconvienent, and sometimes downright painful. That romantic idea many people have about riding can quickly evaporate as soon as the temperature drops below 50 degrees, or you take your first dragonfly to the face at 70mph, or you go on your first long trip and your ass feels like it’s on fire.

Don’t buy an expensive bike until you KNOW it’s something you enjoy doing. You see a lot of guys out there with very expensive bikes with low mileage.

Hmmm, “dragon flies to the face”…one more reason to not ride a cruiser and to wear a full helmet.

Score 1 for sportsbikes. Your serve.

[/quote]

We consider it a red badge of courage, er…green badge, sometimes brown. It can be red if you get hit in the mouth and cut your lips. I only wear a full-face in the winter. But wearing a full-face on a cruiser is still kind of considered dorky.

And my helmets are all either black or grey. No multi-color clown outfits for the cruiser crowd.

thanks for the advice

the ninja sounds like the way to go… and damn i’m liking the pricing on the 250 cc. I sold my old truck and i got about 7000 or so for the bike and a new car.

Im gonna go with a used ninja 250 for sure

[quote]yanksta wrote:
thanks for the advice

the ninja sounds like the way to go… and damn i’m liking the pricing on the 250 cc. I sold my old truck and i got about 7000 or so for the bike and a new car.

Im gonna go with a used ninja 250 for sure[/quote]

70+MPG and 100 MPH.

The only drawback is you really have to rev it to get it to go. Good bike to learn on.

I am sorely tempted to get one for commuting.

[quote]yanksta wrote:
thanks for the advice

the ninja sounds like the way to go… and damn i’m liking the pricing on the 250 cc. I sold my old truck and i got about 7000 or so for the bike and a new car.

Im gonna go with a used ninja 250 for sure[/quote]

Please listen to my advice! My first bike I purchased was a 03 Yamaha R6. I was so scared when I left the dealership I swear I left a hand print on my grips. After 2 years of riding I got really used to it, I was always riding around the 12k rpm range. But I rode my brothers 02 954.

I realized I made a huge mistake in buying a 600 and not a liter bike. Needless to say I sold the R6 and bought an R1. If you are looking for a sportbike a Suzuki GSXR 750 is the bike to buy. Ask anyone who rides and Im sure theyll say im right. The HP to weight ratio is perfect.

No need to ride in high R’s all the time, and awsome power! As far as “Its too much bike” Its all about throttle control.

Ill also recomend reading the book “Twist Of the Wrist” by Keith Code, before you purchase a bike. Itll explain the physics behind riding and even explain the difference between cruisers and sportbikes. Good luck with your decision.