How to Pick the Right Size Motorcycleby Donna Thacker
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun adventure. A motorcycle can also save you a lot of fuel for commuting to work or taking a vacation. When choosing which motorcycle , you need to know what size fits you. The size of the engine is not nearly as important as the overall size of the motorcycle itself. Let's take a look at what you need to know to decide if the overall size of the motorcycle fits your size.
How To Pick The Right Size Motorcycle
The best way to determine what size of a motorcycle will work for you, is hands on. If you're just in the "browsing" stage of getting a motorcycle, find a dealer that will allow you to "try one on for size." Most motorcycle dealers are very good about letting potential customers try out their motorcycles, and will offer assistance and tips, to help you decide on the right motorcycle for you. If you're looking in the private sector, you still need to know all of the basic "fit" tips. Gather a friend and go browsing.
The first thing you'll want to do, is sit on the motorcycle. Hold the motorcycle up and step across to straddle the seat. You should be able to have both feet firmly planted on the ground. If you need to lean to either side to reach the ground, the motorcycle is too tall. This one is not a good choice for you, as it will neither be safe nor comfortable. If both feet are on the ground and you feel comfortable, we'll move on.
Sit on the motorcycle seat and reach out to hold both hand rests on the handle bars. This should be a comfortable reach for you. If you have to stretch way out to reach them, this motorcycle won't work for you. Neither do you want the handlebars so close that your arms are bent in awkwardly. Reach out to pull the clutch and brake levers on the handlebars. Your thumb should remain locked around the handle bar grip. Reach and pull back with your 4 fingers. You should be able to do this smoothly and quickly. You will probably spend many miles in this position, so you need to be comfortable.
Make sure the motorcycle is on the belly stand for support. Now, rest your feet on the pegs, or running boards. Make sure that this feels comfortable to you. You don't want your knees to be up in the handle bars. This can be a problem for very tall people! Now, reach your feet towards the shift lever and brake lever on either side. Is this a comfortable move, or are you stretched out to reach them? If all of this seems to small or close together for you, you may need to find a larger sized bike.
Once you've found the perfect motorcycle that feels comfortable from all of the different positions, go ahead and sit on it for awhile. Make sure it still feels comfortable for you. Work the kickstand up and down to make sure you can accomplish this easily, both on and off the bike. Safety and comfort are the two most important things you need to consider when riding a motorcycle.
Things You'll Need
- Access to several different sizes and styles of motorcycles.
- Individual states have varying motorcycle laws as far as age of rider and motor size requirements. Be sure to read up on your state's motorcycle laws before you decide on purchasing a motorcycle.
Donna Thacker has been a writer/photographer for over 15 years. She held the position of associate editor/writer/photographer at Biker Ally Magazine. She currently is a photojournalist for The Biking Life, and has been featured on the front page of The Greenville Advocate, The Hillsboro Journal and The Sorento News. Thacker also designed and published several booklets of historical interest for local organizations.