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8 Best Motorcycles for Short Riders Under 5’5″

Ever feel like tiptoeing at stoplights or struggling to reach the handlebars? Riders with a shorter inseam, typically 30 inches or below, may struggle with riding standard motorcycles due to their high seat height and lack of comfortable low seat height options.

Short riders face unique challenges on motorcycles. But there are tons of motorcycle options designed for riders under 5’5″ to feel confident and in control.

Whether you prefer the comfortable upright riding position of a standard motorcycle, the classic cool of a cruiser, or the thrill of exploring off-road on an adventure motorcycle, this guide offers excellent choices with low seat heights (all 32 inches or lower) for maximum comfort and confidence.

Best Motorcycles for Short Riders: Choose Your Favorite

Between factory-built models with low seats already and aftermarket lowering mods, short riders have way more options than ever before.

We’ll cover some top picks for the best motorcycles for short riders across popular styles like standards, cruisers, and off-road bikes. Everything mentioned has a low seat height of 32 inches or under for maximum comfort and confidence on two wheels.

Category: Standards & Naked Bikes (Laidback Speedsters)

When it comes to low seat height motorcycles, standards and naked bikes really deliver. These upright riding bikes tend to feel much more approachable for short riders.

1. Yamaha MT-07

  • Seat height: 31.7 inches

IN SUMMARY: This versatile motorcycle is a favorite among short riders for its low seat height and lightweight design. It offers a smooth ride and comfortable ergonomics, making it ideal for new riders or experienced riders seeking agility.

The MT-07 is one of the top picks as the best motorcycles for short riders in the standards and naked bike category.

Coming in with a seat height of just 31.7 inches, this bike feels super approachable whether you’re on the shorter side or not. As an added bonus, the MT-07 is also quite lightweight at under 400 pounds, so it’s very maneuverable zipping through town.

yamaha mt-07
A Man Riding a Yamaha MT-07. Image Credit: MUHAMMED TARIK KAHRAMAN/Pexels

The parallel twin engine pumps out a smooth 74 horsepower, which is plenty for some spirited riding on your favorite backroads.

The Yamaha’s handling feels planted and confidence-inspiring, even for new riders. The riding position is more leaned forward than a cruiser, but not extreme like a full-on sport bike.

2. Triumph Street Twin

  • Seat height: 29.5 inches

IN SUMMARY: Combining classic aesthetics with modern performance, the Street Twin boasts a super low seat height, perfect for riders who want to comfortably flat-foot at stops. Its upright riding position and comfortable ergonomics make it a joy to cruise around town.

Another favorite standard is the Triumph Street Twin. It follows the Bonneville’s retro aesthetic but with modern enhancements like an updated 900cc parallel twin motor.

Triumph Street Twin
A Customized Triumph Street Twin. Image Credit: Annabel Crichard/Pexels

The Street Twin keeps things real by offering a low seat just a hair over 29.5 inches off the ground.

Thanks to the low seat, most riders can comfortably get a foot down at stops even without aftermarket lowering options.

The upright ergonomics are also very newbie-friendly. Around town and on the highway, the Street Twin soaks up bumps beautifully from its Showa forks up front.

It’s a classic-meets-modern cruiser that’s equal parts smooth and torque-tastic.

Category: Cruising (Bikes for Shorter Legged Folks)

Cruisers are often a great choice for short riders since many models have lower seats to begin with. Two top contenders stand out as real crowd-pleasers.

3. Honda Rebel 500

  • Seat height: 27.2 inches

IN SUMMARY: With its incredibly low seat height, the Honda Rebel 500 is practically begging to be ridden by shorter riders. Its parallel-twin engine packs enough punch for confident highway cruising, while its lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver.

The little Honda Rebel has got to be one of the best motorcycles for short riders on the cruising scene.

Its seat sits a chill 27.2 inches off the ground – that’s barely off the pavement! This low-slung position makes the Rebel super approachable, even for folks who may not be able to flat-foot other rides.

honda rebel 500
A Beautiful Honda Rebel 500 for Short Riders. Image Credit: Chanokchon/Wikimedia Commons

It’s not just looks though – this Rebel packs a punch with its 475cc parallel twin motor. You’ll have no problem merging onto the highway or keeping up with traffic.

Honda’s unibody construction also helps keep the Rebel light on its feet at just 418 pounds. Trust me, when your feet can solidly touch down, it just feels way more stable zinging around.

4. Indian Scout Bobber

  • Seat height: 25.5 inches

IN SUMMARY: This cruiser offers a unique combination of old-school style and modern performance. The Scout Bobber’s low seat makes it a great choice for short riders, and its forward footpegs contribute to a comfortable riding position.

Now if you want something with more old-school attitude, check out the Scout Bobber.

It’s one of the coolest cruisers out there with its battleship gray metal and swept-back mustard yellow seat. The Bobber may only pack a modest v-twin, but it has gobs of torquey grunt off the line.

indian scout bobber
An Indian Scout Bobber for Short Riders.

At a svelte 25.5 inches, the Scout’s saddle is lower than my kitchen counter. No stilts required! Its forward footpegs also allow for a natural rider triangle.

If you want a petite cruiser with big personality, this Bobber is the one.

Category: Compact Sports Bikes (Small but Mighty)

For the best motorcycles for short riders in the sports bike category, downsizing can be a smart move. These pint-sized missiles pack thrills without overwhelming new riders.

5. Kawasaki Ninja 400

  • Seat height: 31.9 inches

IN SUMMARY: This pint-sized ninja is perfect for new riders dipping their toes into the world of sport bikes. Its low seat height, approachable ergonomics, and manageable power make it a confidence-inspiring choice.

This little Ninja is perfect for riders just dipping their toes into sports bikes.

Coming in under 400lbs and with a seat height of 31.9″, it’s remarkably approachable. The parallel twin engine provides plenty of zip without being too crazy.

kawasaki ninja 400
A Kawasaki Ninja 400. Image Credit: Akshay Mehra/Pexels

The ergonomics have also been designed with new riders in mind.

Handlebars are within comfortable reach and pegs are lower so it’s easy to plant both feet for confidence at stops. Yet it still handles like a proper sport bike once you open it up on back roads!

6. KTM RC390

  • Seat height: 31.9 inches

IN SUMMARY: Experience the thrill of a racetrack-inspired machine with the KTM RC390. This feisty Austrian bike offers agile handling and a low seat height, making it a great option for shorter riders seeking a sporty adventure.

For international flair, check out the RC390. This feisty Austrian will scoot you through canyons at pace yet remains very controllable, even for shorter statures. At just 327lbs with low-slung ergos, you can effectively wrangle it between your legs.

A KTM RC390 Motorbike. Image Credit: Akash/PixaHive

The seat also sits low at only 31.9″, allowing new shredders to reach controls sans Gallagher brother-esque height.

Its single-cylinder motor provides lively acceleration too. Both bikes prove you don’t need massive machines to feel the rush.

Category: Off-Road Bikes (Short Riders Hit the Dirt)

While dual-sports and adventure bikes tend to have taller stats, some options open up the dirt for shorter folks.

7. Kawasaki Versys-X 300

  • Seat height: 32.1 inches

IN SUMMARY: The Versys-X 300 is a fantastic option for short riders looking to tackle dirt roads. Its compact size, lightweight design, and low seat height make it easy to maneuver and control, even for less experienced riders.

The Versys-X gets my vote for one of the best motorcycles for short riders looking to go off pavement. Coming in at only 32.1″ tall, it’s super approachable thanks to its compact lightness. Don’t let the modest 300cc engine size fool you – this thing is a hooligan both on and off road.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Motorcycle.

Its long suspension and rugged construction mean crushing trails won’t crush your new confidence. Switching between street and dirt modes is as easy as punching a button too.

Whether navigating forest paths or highway miles, the Versys is super capable with its sturdiness.

8. BMW G 310 GS

  • Seat height: 32.3 inches

IN SUMMARY: Bringing BMW’s renowned off-road expertise to a smaller package, the G 310 GS boasts a low seat height and comfortable ergonomics. This versatile bike is perfect for exploring dirt trails or conquering highways with confidence.

BMW brought their prestigious off-road smarts to the mini moto segment with the G 310 GS.

Its seat sits low at only 32.3″, so shorter riders can easily manage rev-bombing whoops or wrangling the bike between legs in tricky terrain.

BMW G 310 GS
A BMW G 310 GS Motorbike. Image Credit: Wikisympathisant/Wikimedia Commons

Agile handling means flicking it side to side through the sticks is a breeze. An upright ergonomic design also promotes comfort on longer dual-sport days.

Best of all, its thump provides more-than-adequate power for grins in the dirt.

How to Customize a Motorbike for Short Riders

Don’t despair if your dream motorcycle doesn’t come in a short rider-friendly configuration! With some basic modifications, you can tailor many bikes to improve ergonomics and control.

Here are some popular short rider motorcycle seat modifications to consider:

  • Replace the Seat
  • Get Lower Links and Shocks
  • Consider Handlebar Risers
  • Adjust Your Pegs and Controls
  • Add Comfort-Focused Accessories

Replace the Seat

Replacement seats can shave 1-3″ depending on brand. It may feel trivial, but those extra inches unlock loads more rides for shorty stats. Suspension adjusting also subtly squishes space between asphalt and pegs.

Lowering links are another cheapish tactic at around $100-200 a pop. They basically shorten stock linkage for a lower stance. For bigger droops, aftermarket shock absorbers tailored for height-challenged hustlers work wonders.

Get Lower Links and Shocks

Items like lowered suspension links or progressive-rate shocks can help lower seat height a solid 1-3 inches from stock. Check for any handling impacts before ordering.

Consider Handlebar Risers

For riders who feel stretched out, raised bars relocated a few inches closer can help achieve a more upright and natural riding position.

Adjust Your Pegs and Controls

Forward-mounted footpegs better align your body posture. Adjusting brake and clutch levers an inch inward also enhances control ergonomics.

Add Comfort-Focused Accessories

Use grips with extra padding and vibration-damping seat covers. They are not just for comfort and aesthetic purposes. They directly improve ride comfort over time.

With some simple tweaks, any motorcycle can be tailored for smaller stature. Don’t hesitate to modify; it might unlock a whole new world of two-wheeled joy otherwise inaccessible.

Additional Tips for Short Riders

  • Gear Up: Invest in proper motorcycle gear that fits well. This includes a helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots. Look for motorcycle apparel specifically designed for shorter riders, which can offer a better fit and increased comfort.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Take a motorcycle safety course specifically designed for new riders. This will help you develop the skills and confidence to navigate the road safely.
  • Join the Community: Connect with other short riders online or through local motorcycle clubs. Sharing experiences and tips with others who understand your challenges can be a valuable resource.

Some resources are:

ADVRider – Short Folks on Big Bikes: (This thread within the popular adventure motorcycle forum, ADVRider, focuses on short riders tackling larger motorcycles.)

Short Rider Reviews (YouTube Channel): (This channel features motorcycle reviews written specifically from the perspective of short riders.)

By following these tips and exploring the exciting world of motorcycles for short riders, you can ensure a comfortable, confident, and unforgettable riding experience.

The Final Words

No matter your height, there’s a perfect motorcycle out there waiting to be explored. With a variety of motorcycle options boasting low seat heights and user-friendly ergonomics, shorter riders can experience the thrill and freedom of the open road just like anyone else.

This guide is just a starting point. Research different models, visit dealerships to sit on bikes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The most important factor is finding a motorcycle that feels comfortable and allows you to confidently take control.

FAQs about Best Motorcycles for Short Legs

What motorcycle has the shortest seat height?

The lowest motorcycle seat height on the market for a full-sized bike is the Harley Softail Slim at just 605 mm with a rider on board.

Which bike is good for 5.3′ height?

Hero Moto Corp HF Deluxe has a saddle height of 805 mm, a 5.3 ft tall person can ride this bike and there would not be any issues because the bike is light in weight as compared to other bikes.

Which bike is best for 4.9′ height?

We would suggest Bajaj Avenger bikes for your mentioned height (4.9 feet) as they have low seat height and wider tires for better balancing. You can also consider the Mahindra Gusto scooter as it has seat height adjustable features, which can be adjusted from 735 mm to 770 mm.

Does height matter when riding a motorcycle?

There’s no height requirement for riding a motorcycle, and folks who are a little lower to the ground can have just as much fun tearing up the roads and talking smack on their motorcycle intercoms as taller individuals can. However, being a shorter rider does require finding a bike that’s the right height for you.

What is the best motorcycle for a 5’2 rider?

There isn’t a single “best” bike, but many great options! Look for motorcycles with seat heights under 32 inches, like the Honda Rebel 500 or the Kawasaki Ninja 400. Consider factors like riding style and experience too.

What is the most comfortable motorcycle for short riders?

Cruisers like the Indian Scout Bobber often have low seats and upright riding positions, promoting comfort. Look for bikes with adjustable features like handlebars and footpegs to further personalize your fit.

Can you lower the seat on a motorcycle?

Yes! Several options exist. Aftermarket seats can shave off inches. Lowering links or suspension adjustments can further decrease seat height. Consult a mechanic to ensure safe modifications.

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