So your pants are a 32” Waist; 36” Length; size 10 shoes, Gloves are an XL. With this information you can reasonably order clothing off the internet and expect it to fit. Shopping for a motorcycle that fits is not as simple. You go to the local Motorcycle dealership and buy for considerable sums of money a machine because it is pretty; caught your eye; you could not live another minute without it bike of your dreams. Motorcycles are not sized for Small, Medium, or Large. This is not a one size fits all purchase. Obviously if your inseam is 29” rather than 36” you may need to take this into consideration.
Your motorcycle needs to fit you. You need to be able to maneuver the bike comfortably and confidently. Make sure your Brake and Clutch controls are properly adjusted to the size of your hand. You need to be able to grasp them comfortably. Having your clutch adjusted correctly will make your maneuvering go so much more smoothly.
Before lowering your bike and changing the suspension it was manufactured with, look at lowering your seat height to get your feet on the ground. Having your feet firmly on the ground gives you a level of confidence on hills, gravel roads, or other questionable surfaces. Seat height adjustment can be approached in different ways. For Instance replacing the stock saddle you already own; or remodeling the stock seat (contouring the existing seat pad material, or having the seat pan re-upholstered to fit you) to allow a lower seat height. Your new motorcycle may have adjustment s that can be made to lower your center of gravity and keep you stable during difficult maneuvers.
Some items to take into consideration when shopping for the bike of your dreams are:
While sitting on the bike reach for the handle bars. This should not be a reach but a comfortable extension of your arm that allows your wrist to stay straight and the elbow slightly bent.
Your Knees should not be “up in the handle bars”.
Moving your feet to your brake and shift levers should be a comfortable transition and not require stretching out to reach them. If the reach is too extreme it will inhibit your reaction time to an emergency and fatigue you on long rides.
A great tool for sizing up a motorcycle is http://cycle-ergo.com . Here you can enter your height, inseam, make and model of motorcycle you are considering. This will give you an idea of how the bike will fit you. If the fit is close to what you want you should not rule out a model until you have tried it in person. Your weight is also a factor in how the cycle will fit and cycle-ergo does not take this into consideration. Enter some bikes you are familiar with to get a feel for how the site works then enter your newly desired model.
If you are in love with a particular bike don’t rule out customizations such as bar risers, custom seats, different size grips, extension kits for forward controls, or the endless number of handlebar types. Fitment is not about making your ride pretty but more about comfort, and safety. Pretty however can be a nice side effect.
Should you take the plunge into a new bike purchase and customize it to your needs don’t forget to notify your insurance agent. We will need to know not only about the new ride but also about all of the cool upgrades.