Does it fit? I’m starting with a rarely examined aspect of choosing a bike. Namely your body shape. When reading this be completely honest.
Does the following describe you: Extra tall
Make sure you have adequate space for ALL your body parts. Remember that not all your body parts a extra long. Eg. You may have long legs but proportionally shorter torso.
Make sure you can touch the ground comfortably. There are suspension height adjuster kits you can get – so the accessories store and the internet is your friend. Not all bikes can be fitted – legally or safely so make sure your do your research.
Make sure you can reach the handle bars without stretching too much. Eg. your butt is sitting comfortably on the seat not supported by your legs or crotch. If you are willing to compromise then at least you’ve considered it and can’t blame the bike. There are bar extenders available for some models.
Make sure your legs ‘fit’. Fried leg hairs and skin ain’t pretty. Neither are bow legged wind breaks! Sports motorcycles are known for their cramped riding position design for bike control as you will find your self stretching your legs every so often to avoid cramps!
Note: noise emissions details or the oil capacity of the engine should not be burnt into your leg.
Let’s be realistic make sure you are comfortable. If you have to ride a 250 you know what I mean.
All motorcycles require that you can co-ordinate reasonably well.
Big feet will hinder your control so make sure the bike you have has enough space for them. If you are blessed?? with long legs AND big feet it this is even more important. Some new motorcycles (from 2009) had adjustable or replaceable foot pegs see if the bike you like has them.
Riding position on the bike will determine how comfortable you are on the bike so choose well. Of course don’t expect a sports motorcycle to be ultra comfy the riding position is like that so you can control the bike.
Hands and wrists
Your bike’s handle bars are a very important aspect of a motorcycle and most bikes try to cater for everyone hence a compromise. Try out the bars to see if its to your liking ensuring it doesn’t place your arms wrists at an uncomfortable angle.
See if it can be adjusted or replaced if it doesn’t quite fit.
Remember to check out the span to the brake and clutch levers, and other controls. Not all motorcycles have span adjusters.
If you have a sports bike it is highly likely that you will eventually lean on your wrists causing severe pain so take a rest every so often. Of course don’t expect a sports bike to be ultra comfy after all the position is like that so you can control the bike.
Everybody has one and it is pretty important that you find a bike that fits yours the best way possible. Note that some seats are great for up to 1 hour and after that they ‘suddenly’ turn to steel. However there are heaps of after market seats so its clear that the OEM versions don’t fit everyone. (OEM – Original Equipment)
As you can see there are many combinations:
There are heaps of factors that effect how comfortable you are on the motorcycle…aside from the style of motorcycle its self. Eg. Super sports motorcycles (eg. Ducati 999) will never be as comfortable as a tourer (eg Honda Goldwing). Remember that there aren’t generally many aftermarket parts you can get easily to help you fit your motorcycle perfectly.
All these things and more will effect how happy you are with the bike especially once the novelty has worn off! Any motorcycle when first ridden will feel great so even at stand still check out weather you are happy with the feel. If you’re willing to compromise on comfort then at least you’re aware of it – if anything else….
Go to Part II