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Importance of Body Position in Motorcycle Riding

Importance of Body Position in Motorcycle Riding

While riding a motorcycle is fun, it is not always the most comfortable mode of transportation. Riding a motorcycle requires your mind and muscles to be always active. Several skills are required to safely ride a motorcycle. One of the most important safety riding skills is to get into the correct body position. A better body position ensures the ride is comfortable and improves control and maneuverability. However, the way you sit on your motorcycle will depend on your motorcycle’s design and ergonomics. Read this article to learn about the importance of body position in motorcycle riding.

1. Body Position and Motorcycle Riding

An ideal body position keeps you relaxed while sitting and ensures good visibility and better control over your motorcycle. Characteristics of good body posture include an upright back, slightly bent elbows, and knees squeezing the fuel tank.

1.1 Ideal Body Position to Ensure Better Control of Your Motorcycle

Ideal Body Position
Back Sitting with an upright back helps prevent back pain and ensures  comfort while riding.
Try to resist the urge to slouch in your seat.
Sitting Position Try to sit closer to the fuel tank to make sure you can reach the handlebars comfortably.
Your arms must not be in a locked position.
Your elbows must have enough room to bend to be able to turn the handlebars with ease.
Knees To ensure better control and maneuverability, squeeze the fuel tank with your knees.
You can balance your motorcycle using your lower body.
Hands Make sure you are gripping the handlebars firmly to ensure better stability and throttle control.
Make sure you can comfortably reach the hand controls, clutch lever, and front brake lever.
If you are about to fall off your motorcycle or experiencing wobbling, do not hold onto the handlebars too tightly.
Feet Keep your feet close to the foot controls to make sure you can quickly shift gears and apply the rear brake if necessary.

Let’s discuss different types of motorcycles, riding styles, and how you can improve your riding position.

2. Ideal Body Position While Riding a Standard Motorcycle

Ideal Body Position While Riding a Standard Motorcycle
Photo Credit: Sag Mart

Standard bikes are ideal for daily commutes, city travel, and riding through traffic. They have nominal weight, good handling, and a build that balances performance and comfort. A standard bike has a slightly forward back position and compact legroom due to being fitted with mid-mounted foot controls and handlebars with a small pullback angle.


The ideal body position on a standard bike is an upright back while keeping your muscles a little relaxed while riding. Do not stretch your arms or lock your elbows to force yourself to sit in an upright riding position. This can put you in danger while maneuvering and turning corners. Do not hold on to the handlebars too tightly or they may start to shake violently. When you have attained the ideal body position, check to see if you can easily shift gears, reach the hand controls, engage the clutch, pull the front brake lever, and twist the throttle. Your legs should be positioned in a way that your knees are slightly bent. Squeeze the fuel tank between your knees to keep you secured in place.

3. Ideal Body Position While Riding a Sports Bike

Ideal Body Position While Riding a Sports Bike
Photo Credit: Motofomo

If you are riding a sportbike, the rider has to lean forward to reach the handlebars and fold their legs to sit in an aggressive riding style. An aggressive riding style ensures low air drag and increases airflow to improve aerodynamic performance. However, you should keep your face pointed forward to ensure better visibility.


If you want to learn how to ride a sports bike, you will first need to master several skills to ride safely. These skills include leaning, hanging off, switching body position, and adjusting your weight while turning corners at high speeds. Shifting your body weight in the direction of the turn can help you clear a tight corner without having to reduce your speed. This is a highly useful skill for track racing. If you are new to motorcycling and find it difficult to handle a bulky and fast motorcycle, sports bikes are not for you.


Sports bikes are not designed to provide comfort on busy roads. They are designed for race tracks and smooth roads. Riding a sports bike continuously for hours can cause back and muscle pain.

4. Ideal Body Position While Riding a Cruiser or Touring Bike

Ideal Body Position While Riding a Cruiser or Touring Bike
Photo Credit: Sag Mart

Cruisers and touring bikes are ideal for long-distance rides and motorcycle tours as they have features to ensure comfort. Most cruisers and touring bikes have forward-mounted foot controls and pulled-back handlebars that provide a relaxed riding position. The legroom has enough space for taller and average riders to comfortably stretch and adjust their legs while cruising. Cruisers and touring bikes can also be fitted with sissy bars and backrests that riders can recline against, offering a laidback riding position. If you love to go on motorcycle tours, there are several aftermarket parts you can find at Viking Bags to improve your touring experience, including fairings, crash bars, saddlebags, trunk bags, sissy bar bags, and tank bags.


Despite being the most comfortable motorcycle types, riding cruisers and touring bikes can cause severe back pain due to a slouched riding position. To ensure an ideal riding position, you should install appropriately-sized mini-ape handlebars, ape hangers, or handlebars with taller risers to ensure your arms have to reach higher and your back is upright.


If you are a shorter rider, the foot controls, and handlebars must be within comfortable reach to ensure you can bend your arms and knees comfortably when maneuvering.

5. Conclusion

Most modern motorcycles are designed for high-speed performance and have unmatched maneuverability, including sports bikes, cruisers, cafe racers, and naked bikes. Meanwhile, there are other motorcycles built with traditional designs for comfortable long rides and touring.


Body position plays a key role in improving comfort and performance when riding a motorcycle. Riders can improve balance, stability, control, maneuverability, safety, and comfort by improving their body positions and riding styles. Body position and riding style are dependent on the type of motorcycle you are riding. For example, sports bikes, cruisers, and standard motorcycles offer different riding styles. However, riders must learn how to adjust their arms, legs, knees, feet, and back to ensure a safe riding experience.

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