How to Adapt to a High Bike
Are you short and don’t know which is the best bike for you? All of us who visit this blog know that motorcycles are a passionate thing, so our first advice is: choose the model you like the most! A short person can handle a tall bike perfectly. You just need practice, self-confidence, and at most, apply some of the tips we are going to tell you below.
It is true that, if you are a beginner or if you are looking for your first bike, the ideal is a model with a low seat to ground height. But if you already have a few miles under your belt, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Reaching the ground with both feet is helpful, but it doesn’t determine how the bike is ridden. The height of a motorcycle is only decisive when you get off it, i.e. when you have to move it when you are standing. Even when you are on top of it, except for slopes, it should not be a major problem.
If you can’t reach the ground with both feet, what you have to do while standing still is to lean to one side of the bike and leave the other foot on the footpeg. Once you start, balance will do the rest. We advise you to train with the bike stopped the action of going up on one side and down on the other, “sliding” your bottom from one side to the other to gain confidence. Sometimes, people get scared when the bike starts to fall to the opposite side of where we have the foot and wait for the foot that does not reach the ground to touch to start making force, wrong! What we must learn is to change the fulcrum by “sliding” the rear end from one side to the other. To turn this movement into something that is done by inertia, you just have to practice it. To do this, do it at home with the bike stationary and even with the stand on.
And if you have to move the bike when you get off it, always try to maintain verticality and move it with a gear engaged and the clutch engaged. This way, if you need to let go of the handlebars for something, or just lean the bike, the gear engaged will hold the bike on an incline. Another tip is to try not to be too close to the bike to have a margin of error if we are overthrown to the opposite side. Another option is to support the weight on the hips, focusing the effort on our legs and avoiding overcoming to the side.
Adjusting the Height of the Bike
And if despite practicing with these tips you still feel insecure, there are also a number of options to reduce the height of your bike and gain a few centimeters. On the one hand, you can modify the front suspension by raising the bars. This is something that is commonly done on the track, but we must be careful not to overdo it, as a large reduction of the front end can make the bike nervous and unstable. Logically, it would also be necessary to modify the rear linkages (parts that connect the rear suspension and swingarm) of the rear axle to maintain the horizontality of the bike.
Obviously, these modifications will mean a change in the behavior of the bike, so it is important that we go to specialists to help us not to spoil it. On the other hand, there are also specific kits to reduce the suspension of your bike, which basically make them shorter. Finally, if the suspensions are electronic, you can adjust them by touching a simple button.
Another thing we can do is to modify the height of our seat. Many models have different seat positions as standard that take a few centimeters off. If that is not enough, we can also change it for a narrower one. Many times the brands themselves have options, but if you do not want to buy a second seat, you can resort to a specialized upholsterer to modify the interior foam. Modifying the seat does not have such a drastic effect on the behavior of the bike, although it does significantly change the ergonomics. Changing the position of the handlebars and moving them closer together can also make you feel more comfortable on the bike.