T Nation

One More Bike Question

I’m tall (6"3’) and I’ve been checking out various bikes in and around the city here. My question is…

Is there a big difference in the feel of different bikes for varying heights? I’ve sat on a bunch but it’s still to cold and snowy here to test drive…

Any of you guys drive Suzuki GSX-R600? I have half my family telling me they’re the shit the other half telling me its too small.

C

The short answer (pun intended) is yes with a BUT as a first bike usually anything over 600 is too much IMO. The thing is now days it’s not hard to make slight adjustments to a bike to make her fit you better using lowering/raising links or upgrading suspension or bar risers or clip-ons or rear sets or seat upgrades. You’re doing the right thing by throwing a leg over any one of them who will stand still long enough for you.

What type of riding are you looking to do? As this plays a more critical role into what type of bike would suit your needs. It’s one of those proper tool for the job things.

[quote]911 Girl wrote:

What type of riding are you looking to do? As this plays a more critical role into what type of bike would suit your needs. It’s one of those proper tool for the job things. [/quote]

I won’t lie to you…I’m mostly planning on doing the “bikes are cool thereby making me cool crusing around on one” type of riding, add in the occasional road trip around the humble province of Alberta and thats pretty much it. No crazy racing or stunting etc…

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1114759544900.Shaq_bike_2.jpg

This is Shaq’s custom-made bike. Is this big enough?

Shaqs bike might be abit too small…and outta the price range I’m lookin at. Is that the one Jesse James built for the Diesel?

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1114767691990.Shaq_Oneal01z.jpg

[quote]Creidem wrote:
Shaqs bike might be abit too small…and outta the price range I’m lookin at. Is that the one Jesse James built for the Diesel?[/quote]

Too small? Too small? While I am only 5’9" if I were to sit on it, my arm could not reach the handlebars. Then again he is 7’1" tall. (Yes I know you are joking.)

The above picture is of Shaq testing the size before it was finished. The name Jesse James is in the background, so yes he made it. I plan on getting him to custom make me a bike as soon as I hit my mid life crisis.

Here is another link to a picture of it:

http://www.amenmotorcycles.com/shaq/Shaq1-5megpix-91203-019.jpg

Apparently this picture is too big for T-Nation to accept.

I’m 6’3 and can relate. A 600 cc bike WILL be killer on your wrists and knees after a while. Plus you’ll look like you’re riding a scooter, i know i did. If you’re going to get a 600 cc bike you will get tired of the whiny engine and want something bigger. So get a bigger 600 like a 600R or a Katana as they are roomier. Then just upgrade. Or just go for a bigger bike to start. The safety issue is all in your head. I actually go against the grain and think the bigger bikes are safer but don’t want to argue the point as most people in arguments don’t want to see and understand a different point of view, they just want to force their view as the right one.

Anyway i having had and ridden 600 repli racers i would recomment against one for you, they’re decietfull and twitchy for a new rider. If you’re level headed and intelligent without too much ego, go right for a bigger bike like 1000cc Honda Superhawk V-twin sport bike. Fun and easy to ride and it’s a 1000 cc bike, so it’s bigger and roomier and you won’t outgrow it that fast, it’s narrower then a 600 cc but a little taller (good thinkg for us) and has the SAME hp as a 600 cc bike but way more torgue at lower rpm’s.

Look, just check everything out first and avoid the knee jerk advice of “get a 600 to start” kinda thing, it’s way oversimplified and people have this obsession with CC’s being the determining factor on bikes. You can have 2 bikes, one a 1000 and a 600. Both can have very similar weight, equal HP and handling and most peope will STILL tell you the 600 is a better choice to start. Go figure.

I have long legs (36" inseam) and arms and I have forward controls on a cruiser. I’m comfortable for long rides. I’ve also got a seat that allows me to wiggle and adjust my position while riding. Don’t get a bike that wedges you in behind the tank and doesn’t let you squirm some if you are planning on long rides. For short trips around town, it won’t matter.

I started on a 500cc, 300 pound cruiser and my current cruiser is 1450cc and about 700 pounds. There are pros and cons to starting on a smaller bike. I built up some experience and made the classic beginner stupid mistakes on the smaller, cheaper machine. Then I discovered that there are different stupid mistakes you can make on a larger machine. But the bigger machine handles better overall and it handles rough roads and wind much better.

[quote]Ladyjaine wrote:
I have long legs (36" inseam) and arms and I have forward controls on a cruiser. I’m comfortable for long rides. I’ve also got a seat that allows me to wiggle and adjust my position while riding. Don’t get a bike that wedges you in behind the tank and doesn’t let you squirm some if you are planning on long rides. For short trips around town, it won’t matter.

I started on a 500cc, 300 pound cruiser and my current cruiser is 1450cc and about 700 pounds. There are pros and cons to starting on a smaller bike. I built up some experience and made the classic beginner stupid mistakes on the smaller, cheaper machine. Then I discovered that there are different stupid mistakes you can make on a larger machine. But the bigger machine handles better overall and it handles rough roads and wind much better. [/quote]

Thank GOD someone sees the light. Great advice on the bike size thing. Bigger does indeed handle better/smoother on the road.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
Ladyjaine wrote:
I have long legs (36" inseam) and arms and I have forward controls on a cruiser. I’m comfortable for long rides. I’ve also got a seat that allows me to wiggle and adjust my position while riding. Don’t get a bike that wedges you in behind the tank and doesn’t let you squirm some if you are planning on long rides. For short trips around town, it won’t matter.

I started on a 500cc, 300 pound cruiser and my current cruiser is 1450cc and about 700 pounds. There are pros and cons to starting on a smaller bike. I built up some experience and made the classic beginner stupid mistakes on the smaller, cheaper machine. Then I discovered that there are different stupid mistakes you can make on a larger machine. But the bigger machine handles better overall and it handles rough roads and wind much better.

Thank GOD someone sees the light. Great advice on the bike size thing. Bigger does indeed handle better/smoother on the road.[/quote]

A bigger cruiser is quite different than a bigger supersport.

have you checked out all types of bikes or just sport bikes. i started on a zx6r but moved on to a harley type pretty soon after. my tall friends looked kind of silly on sport bikes, not that there is any thing wrong with them i appreciate their technology even if i do lean towards crusiers

one more thing i agree a smaller bike doesnt isnt a better starter just cause its smaller. id say go with whats comfortable to you cause youre the one whos gonna ride it.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
A bigger cruiser is quite different than a bigger supersport.
[/quote]

So i’m not sure what you’re trying to say. A bigger cruiser is way more difficult and cumbersone to handle then a 600cc sport vs a 1000cc Vtwin superbike.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
A bigger cruiser is quite different than a bigger supersport.

So i’m not sure what you’re trying to say. A bigger cruiser is way more difficult and cumbersone to handle then a 600cc sport vs a 1000cc Vtwin superbike.[/quote]

While that may be true, a cruiser is going to be more comfortable for “cruising”. A sport bike, being designed for performance is also laid out for maximum driver input and response. Though that doens’t have to be highly UNcomfortable, that’s not the optimal seating position for comfort.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to do more research into the type of bike you’re looking for.

Plus, whatever 911 girl tells you.

I have no positive input on cruisers.

Yes, I’ve ridden them. Height is the least of your worries. I have a friend who just traded in her Sportster for a Ducati Monster 9 because the thing “was giving me shaken baby syndrome” and was the most uncomfortable bike she ever rode.

[quote]michaelv wrote:
While that may be true, a cruiser is going to be more comfortable for “cruising”. A sport bike, being designed for performance is also laid out for maximum driver input and response. Though that doens’t have to be highly UNcomfortable, that’s not the optimal seating position for comfort.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to do more research into the type of bike you’re looking for.

Plus, whatever 911 girl tells you.[/quote]

I think we may be misscommunicating on a certain level here. I spoke from experience and have been riding for some time. I owned sport and cruiser bikes. The cc displacement ranged from 250 all the way up tp 1100 and most sizes in between. And it’s my sincere belief that the bigger bike is better and easier in this case, ever for the larger /taller rookie.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

A bigger cruiser is quite different than a bigger supersport.
[/quote]

That is why I made it clear that I was riding cruisers. It’s my opinion that a sport bike is an easier machine to handle than a cruiser of the same size. But I’m not the sport bike kind of person so I started on a little cruiser.

When I started riding, I was 120 pounds with full leathers on. I did not have the confidence, the strength, or the skills to be safe on a large cruiser. Now that I’ve been lifting for a bit and I’ve got some miles under my belt, I don’t feel like a menace to society on my larger bike. I’m probably 130 pounds with leathers on. Can you tell I don’t lift for mass? :wink:

If you are a tall person with some weight on you, a little bike will become way too small in a very short time. If you like playing bike swap, go right ahead and start with a small machine, knowing that you will trade it in after one season. Some people like playing bike swap. It becomes part of the fun, riding many different machines.

Sportsters are famous for the horrible ride, especially at speeds greater than 55 mph. The newer ones are better, HD changed the engine mounts. But a Sporty is not the bike anyone ever gets for the smooth ride.

My point is with a bigger cruiser the main concern is just the size of the bike. If you are big you may be able to handle it.

With a bigger sport bike there is an excess of horsepower for a rookie.

While I realize you do not have to tap into the 140 HP available on todays machines, the temptation is great.

It is alway fun to ride near the upper limits of a slow bike. It is rarely fun to ride in the lower limits of a fast bike.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
I think we may be misscommunicating on a certain level here. I spoke from experience and have been riding for some time. I owned sport and cruiser bikes. The cc displacement ranged from 250 all the way up tp 1100 and most sizes in between. And it’s my sincere belief that the bigger bike is better and easier in this case, ever for the larger /taller rookie.
[/quote]

I would agree that there’s some misscommunication, because I don’t disagree with you. :wink:

I was just pointing out that what the original poster asked for sounded like he might be better off with a cruiser, and a sport bike might not be his best choice.

We slightly disagree on the need for displacement on a sport bike, but other than that, I think we’re in agreement on other points.