What are the best bikes for tall riders?

The Adventurists Monkey Bikes Monkey Runs Romania tall

Tall riders have almost as much trouble finding a bike to suit their build as short riders and it’s not just about seat height.

For short riders, seat height is the most important factor. So we put together a comprehensive list of seat heights of your favourite motorcycles to compare.

Click here to check all seat heights.

Lanky-legged riders might also find the list of interest, especially if they read it from the bottom up as the bikes are ranked from lowest to tallest seats.

The tallest bikes are mostly adventure bikes, followed by naked and sports bikes.

Some motorcycle companies such as BMW and Harley-Davidson will offer high-seat options.

There are also many aftermarket companies and upholsterers like John Moorhouse of Ergo Seats that can offer taller seats.

Ducati GT1000 carbon wheels farkle project tall
Ergo Seats added more padding to my Ducati GT1000 seat

However, a tall seat won’t solve all tall riders’ woes.

Tall tales of woe

The main problem for tall riders is feeling cramped in the legs and arms. This is the result of the combination of seat, handlebars and footpegs.

Having a tall seat won’t help if the footpegs are too high or the bars too close.

For example, most cruisers have very low seats, but if they have forward controls, they can be very comfortable for tall riders.

Conversely, some sports tourers have high seats, but the pegs and clip-on bars are too close and non-adjustable.

So tall riders should look for a motorcycle that has adjustable bars and footpegs.

Clip-on bars are rarely adjustable for more reach. However, one-piece bars with a significant bend in them will move further away for a comfortable reach simply by rolling them forwards.

Of course, you will also have to then adjust the mirrors and levers to suit.

There are also replacement bars, but be aware that wider and taller bars have their legal limits. Click here for more information on “ape hanger” bars.

Michael Madsen looks cool as "The Gent" with his ape hanger bars in Quentin Tarentino's Hell Ride Handlebar maximum measurements challenged regulations tall
Michael Madsen looks cool as “The Gent” with his ape hanger bars in Quentin Tarentino’s Hell Ride. But are they legal?

Few motorcycles have adjustable footpegs, but you can buy accessories that move the footpegs a little further away. You will also have to adjust your foot brake and gear shift to suit.

Highway pegs are also handy for relieving the cramped feeling of footpegs that are too close.

Suspension can also be adjusted, but usually only with the addition of slightly longer rear shocks. Be aware that these will change the handling and steering geometry of the bike.

 

6 Comments

  1. Husky Nuda 900 – Im 6’4 and Ive had many bikes over 35 years of riding. Apart from dirt bikes (generally they suit bigger riders) my current Nuda is PERFECTO.

  2. A simple test to see if you are sitting in the correct neutral position on your bike which gives you optimal control and body position.
    Put your bike on the centre stand or paddock stand, sit on the bike with your hands resting on the handlebars and balls of your feet on the pegs, now try to stand up. You should be able to stand without pulling or pushing on the bars, if not you need to re position the footpegs or the bars.
    Most bikes are made for the average rider and most have no or little adjustment.

  3. Personally I’m a short-ar*e but when I was looking for a new bike a couple of years ago I came across a Triumph Rocket III and as it was so big I thought it would be perfect for the taller rider, but even though I have seen some reviews I haven’t seen any on this bike which relates to a taller rider, maybe it needs that type of review? I for one would read it & wish I was taller, lol.

  4. I suppose realistically bikes are made for the average “male” human due the impossibility of large adjustability. Just as bad is trying to find a decent pillion seat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.