Yes, motorcycle manufacturers do have a height of reference, which might make riding a bit challenging for people who are shorter than it. However, this must not stop one from riding altogether.
There have been plenty of mistakes that we have witnessed when a short rider takes on two wheels. And the reason these mistakes are so widespread is due to the lack of awareness. These simple mistakes can be easily avoided once it is brought to one’s notice. Being a five-foot-six-inch guy, I more-or-less fall in the grey area of comfortable and standing on my toes.
Mistake One: Lowering Your Motorcycle Incorrectly
This might be the most common mistake among riders. While it would be presumptuous of us to stop one from lowering his/her motorcycle, we will just explain what will go wrong if you do it incorrectly.
Yes, your feet are flat on the ground now. However, how much are you aware of the consequences of lesser ground clearance? One of the very first things that take the hit for lower ground clearance is your lean angle. With lower ground clearance, your bike will most likely scrape the floor sooner and let’s face it, we don’t want that.
Hence, one of the easiest alternatives is to lower the links on the rear suspension. This not just lessens your ground clearance but also alters the motorcycle’s geometry. It may completely change the way your input affects how you corner, steer, brake and accelerate.
Mistake Two: Compromising On Gear
I know, sounds crazy. But the right boots can significantly impact on your confidence when you try to lean. Wearing normal sneakers might not give you the momentary advantage of height as a thick soled shoe does. In the end, it’s the traction that matters and proper riding gear will always have more of it.
Mistake Three: Hardware Is Not Everything
While lowering your ride and buying the proper gear will have significant effects in your riding style, it all boils down to your skills at the end of the day.
Developing your skills slowly and consistently can give you a better hang on the motorcycle in spite of your short height. Apart from that, along with developing skills and strategies, we sometimes have to adjust our attitudes. Sometimes, we perceive things as impossible just because we tell ourselves they are. It’s no different when it comes to motorcycles.
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