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Make sure Your New Bike Fits

When shopping for a new motorcycle, the most important thing to look for (after determining what you want to use your bike for) is not how cool you look on the bike, how fast it goes, or how big it is—perhaps the most important thing is how the bike fits you. I realize that may be a boring principle, but if you think about it, getting a bike that fits your body will be easier to handle and more comfortable, which will lead to better safety and offer a lot more enjoyment than just going for the hottest looking bike you can find.

There are many different styles of motorcycles including, but not limited to, touring bikes, cruisers, choppers, sport bikes, dirt bikes, dual sports bikes. Do some research, so you can choose an appropriate motorcycle based on your intended usage. An important thing to note here is that you should also give very serious consideration to your experience level when choosing a new motorcycle. Hopping right on a bike you are not prepared to handle well is a recipe for danger. There is no magic perfect fit for all types of bikes—a great fit for a super fast sports bike isn’t necessarily a great fit for a touring rider who may travel hundreds of miles.

You should also account for any physical problems or limitations you may have, especially problems with your back or wrists. Nothing ruins a great hobby like pain, so be smart and make the bike fit you, not the other way around.

When fitting a bike to your body, you need to take into account your contact points to the bike, which are your hands, feet, and your seat. You should always be in a comfortable riding position, and any sort of operating gear (switches, levers, etc.) should be easily within reach of your hands or feet. In many cases you may need slight adjustments for some parts to fit you perfectly. Other options are to purchase new parts. Motorcycles, their parts, and accessories have come a long ways in terms of engineering, and the volume of different options. When you purchase a bike, and find that something isn’t quite as comfortable as you like, you always have the option to change parts—anything from brake and clutch levers, to the handlebars themselves, can possibly help the bike fit you better.

Your feet should be able to fit comfortably on the pegs, the rear brake should be easy to cover, and you should be able to use the shifter without having to lift or slide your foot off the peg. Most of the time foot peg position is adjustable—there are many aftermarket parts dealers that have different kits for different foot positions. It’s important to note that the more you move your foot position, it will have other effects also. For example, moving the foot pegs back, the easier it will be on your seat, but you will also need to bend your knees more. Moving your feet forward will mean that your bottom will have to support more weight. I recommend you ride your bike for a while, and then decide about moving the foot pegs.

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The saddle of the bike is extremely important to your riding comfort. Your bike seat affects your positioning in terms of the handlebar and foot pegs, and also how well your feet are able to reach the ground. Some riders are ok with only touching one foot to the ground at a time, but this is a bit more dangerous, and if it’s the case, you should consider a lower custom saddle. If you do choose to obtain a custom saddle, you need to keep in mind that it may adjust you forward or back on a bike, so make sure you get a saddle that leaves you in a comfortable position.

When choosing a new bike, and fitting it to your body, consult with a qualified, experienced rider for helpful tips, and try to get as much knowledge as you can before you buy a bike. Remember to especially make sure that you can work all the controls on your bike easily and without a lot of movement to reach them.

See you on the road.

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