The Best Motorcycles for Shorter Riders

Finding a motorcycle when you’re, shall we say, a particular size can be tricky.

best motorcycles for short riders
Ducati

Finding a motorcycle when you’re, shall we say, a particular size can be taxing. The majority of the market is built around the idea of the ‘average’ rider — which means finding a bike when you’re a bigger or smaller than the mean narrows your options. That's especially true for those of us who happen to be slight of scale. (Tall people, after all, can just hunch over more, but we short folks can't stretch ourselves bigger.)

Seat height on modern motorcycles – sports bikes, ADV, and even some sport standard models — can range on the high side, causing those of us with more modest inseams to tippy-toe when at a light or starting up. On conventional bikes, those shorter in stature find reaching the bars is literally a stretch — and, more importantly, that planting a foot at a stop becomes a circus balancing act.

Now, there exists an abundance of aftermarket parts to turn a lofty stock motorcycle into a more custom-fit cruiser: lowering links, a lower suspension, a shaved seat, and so forth. But for those of us who’d rather have the right fit right out of the gate, these motorcycles make a fantastic launching point.

Dual Sports, Adventure Bikes and Scramblers for Small Riders

Whether you want a little or a lot, dirt demands different characteristics from motorcycles than the road does. Due to the need for ground clearance, dual-sports and ADV bikes will always be on the taller side — albeit not to a degree a lowering link, slimmer seat or suspension adjustment can’t remedy. And with plenty of bolt-on modifications available — gas tanks, skid plates, hand guards, engine guards, luggage racks, and more — these bikes can keep going when the pavement stops.

Yamaha XT250

motorcycle for short rider
Yamaha

Seat Height: 31.9 inches

Price: $5,199

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Kawasaki Versys-X 300

motorcycle for short rider
Courtesy

Seat Height: 32.1 inches

Price: $5,899

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BMW G 310 GS

Seat Height: 32.3 inches

Price: $5,945

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Triumph Tiger 800 XRx Low

motorcycles for shorter riders
Courtesy

Seat Height: 29.9 inches

Price: $14,050

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Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Seat Height: 32.9 inches

Price: $14,395

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BMW R NineT Scrambler

Seat Height: 31.1 inches

Price: $13,495

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Triumph Street Scrambler

triumph
Triumph

Seat Height: 31.1 inches

Price: $11,000

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Sport Bikes for Shorter Riders

Most street bikes are well within a practical height for even the littlest legs, but this wouldn’t be a well-rounded list without them. (After all, we here at Gear Patrol want to be as accommodating as possible.)

If you want to rip around a mountain road or the local race track but don’t see the practicality in a MotoGP-inspired liter bike, there’s plenty of fun to be had with small-engined sport and naked bikes. After all, as the drivers of four-wheeled conveyances say, it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow — and that's very much true for bikes, too.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS

Seat Height: 30.9 inches

Price: $5,399

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Suzuki GSX-R600

Seat Height: 31.9 inches

Price: $11,399

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Yamaha MT-07

Seat Height: 31.7 inches

Price: $7,699

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Ducati Monster 1200

Seat Height: 31.3 inches

Price: $14,995

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KTM 390 Duke

motorcycles for short riders
Courtesy

Seat Height: 32.7 inches

Price: $5,499

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Sport Touring Motorcycles for Shorter Riders

Some riders don’t need to scribble a rubber signature on the Earth’s surface with their tire every time they head out to enjoy a motorbike; taking it easy on the open road can be satisfying enough. Or, maybe, riding is merely a fun transition from Point A to B for these folks.

Either way, however, there are plenty of cruisers made for long rides that pack low seats that make it easy for shorter riders to enjoy knocking out the miles. We're partial to the ones seen here.

Honda Rebel 500

modest-inseam-rides-gear-patrol-honda-rebel-500

Seat Height: 27.2 inches

Price: $6,299

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Indian Scout Bobber

Seat Height: 25.5 inches

Price: $10,999

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Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Seat Height: 28 inches

Price: $13,150

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