Short struggles

Video: Short rider struggles mounting Suzuki

This funny video shows a short rider who struggles to get on a Suzuki SV650 and then struggles to get the side stand up to get going.

No laughing matter

It may be funny to the two British tradesmen who filmed the video, but it’s no laughing matter for millions of short riders in a world of tall motorcycles.

The SV650 has a seat height of 785mm which isn’t particularly tall, but it’s at the higher end of the scale from the low 600s for cruisers to the mid 900s for some adventure bikes.

The seat height is certainly more than this rider can cope with.

It’s almost agonising watching him as he struggles to get his leg over and then try to work out how to get the side stand up without toppling over.

When he is mounted with one foot on the ground and the other hovering off the deck he looks like 1.68m Dani Pedrosa on the starting grid of the MotoGP.

This video has so far been seen by more than a quarter of a million Facebook fans.

Short struggles

How would you feel if you had a quarter of a million people watch you trying to mount a tall bike?

The thing is, it can be done.

Click here to see my tips for short riders and how you can mount a tall bike like a pro.

Top 10 tips for short motorcyclists struggles
How to mount a tall bike

Tall bike seats are a hindrance to motorcycle sales. Very few manufacturers have realised this and addressed the problem.

Some have with optional lower seats and shortened suspension packages.

However, why should short riders be discriminated against and have to pay extra for the shorter seat and suspension package when they buy a bike?

Surely it should be included free as a factory option.

If you are in the market for a bike that suits your short stature, you should check out our guide to motorcycle seat heights here.

  1. I dont understand most modern bikes with single shock have a triangle link by changing the triangle centers dramatically changes ride height .speed bumps over 100 mm though are a problem.

  2. Being a shorter person, who has been riding for 40 + years, I have found that the seat height is not the main problem. I think many shorter people will agree the issue is the height of the pillion/ducktail area, even with a ‘low’ seat fitted we still have get over the back section of the seat as this is usually the same height as the std version.

  3. I am tired of this logic being applied. I am 175 cm (5’11”) and I find what is a correct seat height at the rear half of the cushion being reduced towards the fuel tank end portion. expressly for the ‘Ladies’.

    What do they want to achieve here – a seat that suits no one ?
    Really, a violin case used as the template that is quoted as pleasing the vertically challenged but too narrow across to be comfortable to anyone?
    There is more to it than just leg’s on ground distances.
    It’s useless if all the foam is removed and we are offered a hard base plank to sit our bottom’s on, is it now.
    I am thinking of your SV650, Mr Suzuki.

  4. High heel boots…

    As a vertically challenged person I’ve been out with a few tall women and never had an issue. Only when it comes to motor bikes (and scooters for that matter) have I been made to rue and feel my lack of height. I’m in the process of trading a 790mm Honda ride for a 750mm Triumph for among other reasons comfort and security as I age. I overcame the seat height issue with the Honda by wearing cuban (high heel) boots. It’s amazing the difference a few extra millemetres in the heel can make.

    Barry Sheene rated Spanish GP racer, Angel Nieto as one of the greatest of all time (13 World Championships; 90 GP wins). It is interesting to note in photo’s of Nieto he had the heels of his boots built up and that he was not a successful racer virtually above 125cc class. So, is there a correlation between physical size and the ability to ‘man-handle’ a powerful bike? Think about it – Cops come in all shapes, sizes and sexes but I’ve never seen a small male or female motorcycle cop.

    Back in ‘the good old days’ of the sixties you could buy ‘flying boots’ from Army Disposals and get the local bootmaker to jack up the heels. But now, we’re over-run with Political Correctness and Rocket Scientists in every field No-One has thought to make a motorcycle boot with a decent size heel for the vertically challenged. Somehow the designers and manufacturers are locked into a stereo-type that all potential motorcycle customers are going to be of similar dimensions to Valentino Rossi; Marc Marquez; Jack Miller; Dovi et al.

    Mark… a suggestion for you (and I want 10% lol) … The Motorbike Writer range of high heel boots… cuban dress and ride specific. Although you might have to call those suitable for adventure bikes – stilts… hmm.

  5. It’s quite simple. Buy a bike that suits you. Just like you buy clothes that fit, bikes have to fit also.
    There are so many models of bikes out there, there is surely a right bike for everyone.

  6. I’m 6′ and the 04 SV I tried felt simultaneously too tall and the bars felt lke they were in my lap. Definitely a bike for folks with legs upto their armpits. Annoying, as it’s a decently light bike that’s got enough go to be fun without being obscene.

    My legs are on the short side for my height, but short-leg bke kit tends to be too short. An R1 and a VFR 800 are ok, R6 was very much tiptoes, and an utter ballache round town. My daily rider is a Bandit, which fits nicely but like its owner could do to lose some weight.

  7. Agree, trail bikes in the 1970s had decent seat heights. Now all so stupidly high it adversely affects their on road handling. Road bikes, all high and bulky, I saw an MuZ Scorpion a couple of days ago, what a beautiful slim stylish bike it was too. Harleys are one of the few bikes with decent seat heights.

  8. Anyone finding that amusing are un-feeling Bastards.
    The poor guy definitely needs to purchase something lower .
    The Japanese aren’t the tallest race, yet build bikes with high seats?
    A Cruiser-style would be the quick fix, but what if you don’t like forward controls?
    The Honda 500 Rebel would suit him, and is probably the only one with vertical control.
    I agree Manufacturers should have optional lower kits at point of purchase, but not charge extra.

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