motorcycle 101 guides

Why is the Motorcycle Seat Height Important?

Why is the Motorcycle Seat Height Important?

Motorcycle seat height is an important factor to consider when buying a motorcycle. Not every motorcycle is designed for every rider as motorcycles with taller seat heights are not manageable for shorter riders. Meanwhile, motorcycles with low seat heights are not ideal for taller riders as they have compact legroom. However, the motorcycle seat height can vary depending on the type of motorcycle. Whether you are planning to buy a new or used motorcycle, make sure that both your feet can touch the ground while the vehicle is stopped and you sit on the saddle. Read this article to learn why motorcycle seat height is important.


1. Choosing the Right Motorcycle

Riders must select a motorcycle best suited for their height and inseam. The inseam is the length from the motorcycle rider’s crotch to the ankles. To ensure safe motorcycle riding, both of your feet must be touching the ground. Otherwise, it can become difficult to maintain balance and stability, especially if riding through busy traffic.

Even if a motorcycle has a low seat height, check how far the handlebars are relative to the seat to ensure they are within comfortable reach of the rider. If the rider has to stretch their arms to reach the handlebars, it may make riding unsafe and uncomfortable.

A low seat height can be suitable for shorter and taller riders depending on the position of foot controls. Cruisers usually have low seat heights to ensure a low center of gravity and better linear performance. However, they are fitted with forward-mounted foot controls, ensuring adequate legroom for taller riders to adjust their legs comfortably. However, the same setup can be uncomfortable for shorter riders. For a shorter rider, the mid-mounted foot controls will ensure a better riding position.

2. Different Motorcycle Types and Their Seat Heights

2.1 Sports Bikes

Sports bikes are designed for high-speed performance and maneuverability. They usually have taller seat heights to ensure high ground clearance. The high ground clearance helps motorcycles maneuver around obstacles without their bottoms scraping. Motorcycles with high ground clearance are better for leaning and turning tight corners. Sports bikes have superior leaning and cornering capabilities thanks to their high ground clearance. Sports bike engines are also transversely-mounted, ensuring a compact design and installation of a taller seat. To ensure better maneuverability, the sports bikes have smaller wheelbases than cruisers and touring bikes.

2.2 Dirt and Adventure Bikes

Built for off-roading and adventure rides, dirt and adventure bikes have high-ground clearances to keep their engines safe from dirt, gravel, and other obstacles on off-road trails. The high-ground clearance ensures a taller seat height. However, dirt bikes with taller seat heights have narrow seats and low overall weights, making it easy for smaller and shorter riders to ride them. Meanwhile, adventure bikes are heavier than dirt bikes due to being built for both on- and off-roading. They have bigger engines, heavier parts, and luggage options installed.

2.3 Cruisers

Cruisers typically have low seat heights to ensure comfortable long-distance travel. They are ideal for shorter and taller riders due to their low build and riding positions. Cruisers have a low center of gravity and longer wheelbases, which support the installation of seats closer to the ground. Due to being closer to the ground, they are easier for beginners to handle. Cruisers have good linear performance but are not as maneuverable as sports and naked bikes due to their low ground clearance. They have smaller lean angles and their footpegs may start to scrape while leaning.


3. Motorcycle Seat Shape Vs. Seat Height

The shape of a motorcycle seat can affect the riding experience. Dirt bikes have taller seat heights than sports bikes. However, due to their slim frames, dirt bikes are easier to ride without feeling you are sitting too high. Meanwhile, a sports bike with a similar seat height is more difficult to handle due to its wider saddle. The rider has to stretch their legs which may make it difficult to touch the ground with both feet.

4. Is It Safe to Ride a Motorcycle With an Excessively Tall Seat Height?

It depends on the type of motorcycle and how tall the rider is. If the motorcycle is lightweight and has a tall seat height, a rider can comfortably ride and maintain balance even if both of their feet cannot touch the ground while parked. However, if a motorcycle is heavyweight and has an average seat height, it can be difficult for an average rider to balance and control the motorcycle, especially while riding on inclined surfaces.


5. Takeaway

Taking the seat height into consideration is important if you plan to buy a motorcycle. Different motorcycles have different saddle shapes and seat heights, depending on their type and purpose. For example, dirt bikes have taller and narrower seats. Meanwhile, sports bikes have taller and wider seats. Cruisers have low and wider seats. It is important to choose the right motorcycle for you to ensure better comfort and ease of riding. Make sure to take the motorcycle on a test ride before you buy it. Both your feet must be able to touch the ground while sitting on the motorcycle in an upright position.

If your stock motorcycle seat is uncomfortable, you can replace it with an aftermarket seat available at Viking Bags. You can also customize your riding experience by installing sissy bars, backrests, crash bars, and fairings. There are a variety of luggage options available at Viking Bag to improve the carrying capacity of your motorcycle, including saddlebags, motorcycle trunk bags, and sissy bar bags.

Reading next

Top 10 Two-Wheel Drive Motorcycles
10 Best Motorcycle Paint Shops in Ohio, United States

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.