Don't Miss Stories on Motorcycle.com Share this Article Print Email a Friend 1 of 11Next Last It’s no secret; like clothes, the majority of motorcycles are designed and built for people of average height. Also like clothes, it’s not uncommon for someone to buy something that just doesn’t fit. More often than not, said garment or motorcycle ends up collecting dust rather than getting use, and that’s a shame.
Tall riders have a particularly hard time of it – after all, it’s not like there’s a chain of “Big & Tall” motorcycle dealerships around the country. Do a quick search on Motorcycle.com for the term “tall rider,” and you’ll net nearly 20 threads on our awesome forums – each and every one started by a tall person asking his fellow moto-heads which motorcycle is ideal for him or her.
It boils down to what’s called the “rider triangle” – that is, how the rider’s butt, hands and feet are positioned relative to one another while seated in the saddle. On a sportbike, the rider triangle is tilted forward, with the hands placed low and feet arched back underneath the saddle; on a standard motorcycle, the triangle tilts upward, with the rider’s hands slightly higher and feet below the elbows.
Cruisers earn their moniker by having the most relaxed riding position, allowing a rider to lean back, with feet well forward and hands above the knees. There are a number of ways a tall rider can adjust an existing bike to better suit his frame. Taller handlebars and forward foot controls will help, but if those aftermarket bits are out of your budget, you’ve still got options. Some handlebar risers allow adjustment of the existing bar’s position by rolling it forward to gain an extra inch or two of reach, and accessory floorboards and highway pegs will allow the rider to stretch his legs.
Websites such as Cycle-Ergo.com are a great help in getting a general idea of how most any bike will suit the average-sized rider, and we’ve sourced that site liberally in putting together this list of cruisers that should ergonomically accommodate tall riders. Still, most agree that the only way to find the right motorcycle for your frame is to literally “try them on” – that is, visit a number of dealerships and plant yourself in the saddle of a variety of bikes.
Happy hunting, Stretch. 1 of 11Next LastSee Also: Adult Electric Motorcycle
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Don't Miss Stories on Motorcycle.com Share this Article Print Email a Friend 1 of 11Next Last Recently, we compiled a list of the Top 10 Cruisers for tall people. The premise was simple: you’re a tall fellow (or lady), and the majority of motorcycles out there just don’t feel comfortable to you. Your knees rub against your elbows, and the bars can be too low for your liking, placing unwanted weight on your wrists.
Cruisers provide a great solution for those gifted (cursed?) with extra inseam, as the foot forward position helps spread the body out some. But cruisers also place more weight on a rider’s tailbone, which can cause comfort issues. In terms of long-haul comfort to tall riders, the best option comes from the adventure category, where long suspension travel also lends itself to tall seat heights. Also, a bike designed for off-road riding (or even the pretense of it) provides upright handlebars.
Foot pegs are brought back considerably from the cruiser stance, but are still much more reasonable than a sportbike, and they allow a greater range of positions for a rider than a cruiser. Like the cruiser list, we enlisted the help of Cycle-Ergo.com quite liberally to help pick out 10 adventure bikes that will readily accommodate those taller than six-foot. Because of the wide array of choices out there, this list will stick to relatively new models available in the United States.
There’s a good variety of price points, too, so tall riders with wallets of various thicknesses should find something for them. 1 of 11Next Last