There are lots of people who would never consider riding a motorcycle purely due to being short. There are plenty of articles on the internet that list ‘the best motorcycles for short people’ but clearly they haven’t thought this out. This is of course relative as what you may consider a short person but no one else does. Furthermore it’s not whether you are ‘short’ or vertically challenged, it is really about how long your legs or specifically the length of your inner legs! I couldn’t find what the average leg height is but based on the average motorcycle ride height it’s probably about 830mm.
Reaching the ground conformably with one or more feet and legs when stopped is currently pretty important as most motorcycle cannot stand up by themselves. Furthermore you will eventually need to be able to park or move it in some way.
For example the Hayabusa is a heavy motorcycle and has a seat height of : 805mm but the seat is quite wide so your seat height should be reduced by 5-10 cm but taking into account standing on the ball of your feet and the type of foot wear you’ll be using when riding. I have a inner leg length of over 1 metre can plant both feet firmly on the ground but only if standing.
Leg height is important but more importantly is inner leg height as this is the main measurement used by motorcycle manufacturers to list their seat height. Seat height on a motorcycle is the lowest point on the seat for a particular model. Note that I’m focusing on the leg measurements as you may be over 2 meters tall but have short legs or an inner leg clearance of say 800mm. Alternately you have have 1.5 meter inner legs but huge muscular legs that restrict your ability to clear the seat with only 800mm.
So if you have short legs or more to the point, limited inner leg height then these are the motorcycles below have the shortest seat height that come to mind. These motorcycles are road registrable or legal and not in the scooter class. However make sure you actually try the model out first no point reading reviews and looking at pictures on the internet.
These are mostly smaller motorcycles but small does mean low seat height Eg. Kawasaki Z125 has a 805mm seat height but the much larger Virago cruisers have heights under 700mm.
So here is the list of motorcycles for short people and aspiring motorcyclists aka learner riders or for people with short inner legs and under 800mm:
Honda Monkey – Seat height 776 mm
Suzuki TU250 – Set height 770mm
Honda GROM – Seat height 760 mm
Harley Davidson Street 500 – Seat Height 720 mm
Kawasaki Vulcan S – Seat height 705 mm
Harley Davidson Superlow – Seat height 705mm (definitely not a learner compatible)
Suzuki Boulevard S40 – Seat height 700 mm
Yamaha Virago (XV series) – Seat Height 685 – 695 mm
Yamaha Bolt – Seat height 690 mm (no learner compatible version?)