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Old 07-10-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
hightower73
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Default Bikes for Tall People

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Originally Posted by artyboy View Post
He's 6'9"? Even the 600 would be a little bike for a guy that big. Maybe he's just so scrunched up and uncomfortable that he doesn't feel right on it. Take him out shopping again and have him sit on a couple of bikes that he can stretch out a bit on.
This would be an interesting topic to explore further. I am 6'10" and I spent over a year looking at bikes and sitting on different bikes to see what would fit. I didn't have money to buy a bike, so I could just go and sit and see what felt good. The result: NOTHING fit. The only bike that came close what the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, which is way more bike than I wanted as my first bike.

Recently, I was lucky to get a bike for very cheap. It was an old Honda that didn't run and I didn't know much about it when I got it, it was just too good of a deal to pass up. I planned on tearing it apart and modifying the frame to make it fit. Long story short: I hopped on and it fits me just fine. Its a 1983 Honda V45 Sabre.

I'm not sure what bikes work better for taller guys, I just know all of the new bikes that I've sat on are too small. Everybody wants low seat height these days and that kills us tall guys.

So, I got lucky and found a bike for cheap that fits me well. Any other tall people out there? What has your experience been?

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Old 07-10-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
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I'm a little over six feet and I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan. After awhile, I start to feel uncomfortable and my lower back hurts. Especially if there is some stop and go.
The other day, I swapped bikes with my friend for a couple oft hours. He has a Honda Shadow Spirit. Even though his bike isn't as tall as mine, something in the positioning of the seat and foot pegs made me a lot more comfortable. He said that he felt like his knees where up too high while riding mine. So the hight of the bike ain't the deal, it's the positioning of the seat in relation to the pegs.
And yes, I hope to get a Shadow next year.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrangler212 View Post
He said that he felt like his knees where up too high while riding mine. So the hight of the bike ain't the deal, it's the positioning of the seat in relation to the pegs.
I did notice that my knees felt way high on the Vulcans also. Is this easily fixed with forward controls, or not?

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Old 07-10-2008, 09:26 PM   #4
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welcome to the forum Randy. I'm just pointing out... we have a new fella named Randy thats 6'10'' tall, with a crazy mustache, remind you of anyone? Are we among some elite company, mr. hightower? http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1258/baseball_bird/
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DjWags View Post
I'm just pointing out... we have a new fella named Randy thats 6'10'' tall, with a crazy mustache, remind you of anyone? Are we among some elite company, mr. hightower?
Well, I used to be a pitcher, not sure if that rings a bell. Actually, I pitched briefly in college; I could throw the ball about 90 mph, but I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone a bird (or the strike zone, for that matter).

Thanks for the welcome, I'm enjoying the conversations so far!

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Old 07-10-2008, 11:41 PM   #6
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Not a cruiser, but the Kawasaki KLR is a tall SOB, so are most of the dual purpose bikes.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:53 PM   #7
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Versys is even bigger methinks, and its got the guts of a 650R, which I'm a bit partial too
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:11 AM   #8
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I don't know because I have never been tall, but I have tall friends that ride all the time. I think some may be using the, "I am tall" , stuff to make things difficult for themselves. One friend of mine is a good 6' 10" and has been tooling around on a 70's something KZ400 (or 440, not sure). I know this bike is small because I fit on it really well, 5' 6". My friend doesn't complain about the height, he knows it's all he has to ride and is fine with it. So does anyone agree with me or am I just talking about of my buttocks? Again, I don't know because I have never been in a tall person's shoes, but sometimes I think it is easy to hide behind (well not physically) the tall thing. Just my 2cents.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:20 AM   #9
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WAC, I think you might be right. It's all what we get used to. I'm only 6' tall and ride a C90T Suzuki cruiser. I belong to a C90 forum, also, and the guys there claim C90's are good for people exceptionally tall.

As for aching lower back, I bought a backrest recently, and it cured my problem in that area. I rode 850+ miles in 15 hours, and it never bothered me at all.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #10
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A good bike for tall people is the Buell Ulysses, it is great fun to ride and of course it is an American bike. I am not exceptionally tall, 5'9", but have long legs and the above bike is taller than most I have had the pleasure to ride. I have 32" inside leg and I could just touch the floor both sides with the balls of my feet, on my fazer I can stand up straddling the bike and be totally clear of the seat.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:30 PM   #11
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I am a little over 6'5". I own a 1978 Honda 750-4. I like the fit of the bike a lot. In terms of a tall bike, I'd bet it stands taller than almost any new bike on the market today. Also, about 5 years ago, I sat on a 1500cc Suzuki Intruder and was amazed at how well I fit. I have 38" arms and the reach to the handle bars seemed perfect.

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Old 07-15-2008, 10:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty kat View Post
A good bike for tall people is the Buell Ulysses, it is great fun to ride and of course it is an American bike. I am not exceptionally tall, 5'9", but have long legs and the above bike is taller than most I have had the pleasure to ride. I have 32" inside leg and I could just touch the floor both sides with the balls of my feet, on my fazer I can stand up straddling the bike and be totally clear of the seat.
I agree.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #13
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i am 6'5 and ride a 99 honda aero 1100.
its a good fit for me. id imagine you would be fine on it.
one thing that i think helps me is the apes. it helps keep me upright.
when i ride my buddys chopper, i feel like im hunched over grabbing the bars. (he has drag bars)
so i would look into some cruisers with apes, i think that will help as well.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:46 PM   #14
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As I've mentioned earlier, I have a 1983 Honda VF750S Sabre that fits me pretty well. I would be interested in checking out different handlebars, but these bikes don't have traditional handlebars. Each side has an individual handlebar that bolts on to the top of the fork. Any ideas on finding alternative bars for this bike??

Randy
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:19 PM   #15
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I don´t knw about cruisers, but the Aprilla SXV supermoto is (as far as I know) the tallest street legal bike. It´s also dead sexy. If you´re willing to compromise on luxury, check it out.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:33 AM   #16
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I am 5"11 and I ride a Suzuki C50T. I have long legs. I have plenty of room on this bike. But the best way is to go to dealership and set on bikes. Try C50T and C90 bike. 90 is a little heavier than 50.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #17
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I'm 6'6" with a 35" inseam. I ride a Sportster and a GSX-R750. My friends says I look too big for the bikes, but I feel fine. I guess it is what you are used too. I can't see 4" more being that much difference. Out of curiosity, what is your inseam.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #18
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My inseam would be 33 or 34.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:35 AM   #19
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I sat on a KLR in a showroom once, I could not even get my toes to the ground on that beast. It is a TALL machine. For a cruiser the Vrod is also a stretched out bike. I could easily touch the ground, but the shifter and brakes were way out there. They do make kits to move the controls closer for the height challenged.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:01 PM   #20
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I'm 6'4", and I ride a 1977 Suzy GS400. I find that most "standard" bikes fit me pretty well, while most small - med cruisers hurt my knees & back after a while.
Sport/naked bikes are a whole different story...
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #21
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Holy shiznizz, you're 6'10", maybe you should look into getting some frame mount highway pegs and put em on the the forks way up there by the front tire.
Also don't forget to duck when coming up to bridges. LOL

I'm 6'4" on a V-star 1100, with the 3" floorboard extension, its a comfy fit but 6'10" you're gonna need somekind of highway pegs to put your feet on, better yet to lay your legs on and just let the feet dangle.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:48 AM   #22
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This is EXACTLY what I needed to read. Thanks to everyone who posted. I'm a new motorcycle rider and I'm a freakin' amazon. 6'5" and 36" inseam. I'm just now looking for bikes, and am planning on taking a vacation this year from Des Moines to San Diego, so I need a bike that is comfortable and won't leave me walking like I rode a cactus instead of a motorcycle.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #23
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Hay, welcome to the forums.


I'm 6'6" with a 36" inseam, plus I'm 275lbs.

I think I read in your intro post that you have signed up for the BRC, that's a great first start.

You will find that many of the cruiser style bikes will fit you better because the controls are forward. This is a double edge sword however, because it compromises your ability to maneuver the bike. The IDEAL first bike is a standard with the pegs directly under you.

My advice, sit on as many different bikes that you can. Stay away from sport bikes. Sit on the saddle and put one foot up on the peg / floor board then turn the bars full over. (please do NOT drop the bike in the show room) When does your knee hit? How much turn is left? Next, is your knee below your butt? If your knee is too high you will cramp and the ride will always be uncomfortable.

Good luck.


For the record, I ride a Yamaha V-Star. If I did more long Iron Butt rides I'd invest in some highway pegs.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:10 AM   #24
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I would recommend the Honda Shadow Spirit line. Im only 6/1 but I head wayyyyy more room on that bike than any I have ever gotten on.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:20 AM   #25
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I'm 6'5" and ride on a Triumph Bonneville. I am a big fan of the roadster style bikes and think the Bonnies are good for us tall guys
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:29 PM   #26
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I am 6' 3" and I have a 750 Shadow ACE looks a little bigger than it is because the Mustang seat I put on gives it a bigger look and also raised me up a bit. I also added floorboards that are a little lower than the stock pegs along with an engine gaurd with foot pegs. Fits pretty well now and I have found my self sitting on some larger bikes thinking inspite of a massive gas tank telling me I was on a bigger bike I felt cramped. On the sporty side of the cruiser equasion I found the Star Stryker to fit really nice and on the touring side the Vulcan Nomad to fit nice. Also really like the fit of the Victory CrossRoad but it certainly was out of range of what I would want to spend.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:07 PM   #27
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I am 6' 2'' and I am quite comfortable on my vulcan 900 classic
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #28
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I'm six foot something and I sit waaay on the back of the seat of my little Honda. I've tried having a passanger on the back of a GT550, but that put me too far forward for comfort & handling. I liked to sit at the back of that seat, too.

I like the idea of a traditional roadster Triumph type bike, as you have a long supposedly 2 person seat to stretch out on, plus the seat style is simple enough to have an inch or 2 of foam added and re-upholstered for not too much cash.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:26 PM   #29
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I am 6'3, big guy. I am a first-time rider, taking the MSF. Day2, first day on the bikes, I was given a Honda Nighthawk. Got through the first couple hours of drills just fine, but I was having real problems lifting my feet up high enough to place them on the footpegs. With my left foot, I was having real problems once up there getting my foot (size 13's) under the shifter to up-shift; with my right foot I couldn't get my foot up to the footpeg at all once moving. Needless to say, I was booted from the class - they said they'd get me back in and bring a "taller bike" - an "old dirt bike" that would fit me better. I know because I ride a road bicycle that I'm much more comfortable and flexible when I'm seated higher - is the higher dirt bike really going to make a difference for me - or do I need a bike with more forward foot pegs and controls? It would seem to me that if I can lift my feet high enough to use the pedals on a bicycle, I should be able to reach the foot pegs on the motorcycle, but I was seated so low on this Nighthawk that it inhibited my ability to raise my legs in the position they were in. Help! I'm not ready to give up - I want to ride.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
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- is the higher dirt bike really going to make a difference for me - or do I need a bike with more forward foot pegs and controls? It would seem to me that if I can lift my feet high enough to use the pedals on a bicycle, I should be able to reach the foot pegs on the motorcycle, but I was seated so low on this Nighthawk that it inhibited my ability to raise my legs in the position they were in.
I'm 6'3"/230, and also hard a very hard time with the bikes used at the MSF course. My hips were hurting by lunchtime on the first day, and killing me by the time we were done.

I think that a bike that has forward controls would most likely work. I've used a Harley Sportster with forward controls and was fairly comfortable for a short time. If you can stand that seating position, take a look at the cruiser bikes on which forward controls can be added (fairly easy to do on a Harley).

OTOH, I found that I'm a lot more comfortable on a tall bike with a more upright seating position. I purchased a Kawasaki Versys, and have been more than pleased with the choice. I did add a footpeg lowering adapter, and an aftermarket seat that moves me a bit further back. Foward controls are not needed (not that they could be added to a Versys anyway).

If you don't want a cruiser-style bike, then I would recommend that you look at the taller "dual-purpose" bikes such as the V-Strom or Versys. They are light in weight and a joy to ride, yet fit us taller guys just fine.....
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:46 PM   #31
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Thanks, Caladan - this is very helpful. I had been reading a lot since I posted this afternoon, and I had concluded someting like the V-Storm or the Kawasaki KLR 650 may be my best option, though I've also looked at the crusier styles and that forward control position looks like it would be much easier to get into. I've also read that they are difficult for beginners to learn on - was that your experience, once you finished the MSF course, or did you go right to the Versys?
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:21 AM   #32
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Quote:
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Thanks, Caladan - this is very helpful. I had been reading a lot since I posted this afternoon, and I had concluded someting like the V-Storm or the Kawasaki KLR 650 may be my best option, though I've also looked at the crusier styles and that forward control position looks like it would be much easier to get into. I've also read that they are difficult for beginners to learn on - was that your experience, once you finished the MSF course, or did you go right to the Versys?
Hello erybil,

I was mildly experienced when I took the course and also when I used the Sportster w/forward controls, so I can't say for sure if something w/forward controls is difficult to learn on. However, after using a Versys, it is my estimation that the upright seating postion with "regular" controls would be easier for a beginner. This is not to say that a Harley/fowards is difficult - it's just that I think a standard motorcycle is easier. And for a tall person, a tall standard (more or less) like a Versys even easier.

Let us know what you end up with....
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:52 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hightower73 View Post
As I've mentioned earlier, I have a 1983 Honda VF750S Sabre that fits me pretty well. I would be interested in checking out different handlebars, but these bikes don't have traditional handlebars. Each side has an individual handlebar that bolts on to the top of the fork. Any ideas on finding alternative bars for this bike??

Randy
aka Hightower
You'll need to change the "Fork Top Bridge",which is the Honda name for it,with one from a 1984 or later model,then you can use standard 7/8" tubular bars...See the difference between your 1983:
http://www.servicehondapsn.com/fiche...1983&fveh=3937

And the 1984 and later years:

http://www.servicehondapsn.com/fiche...1984&fveh=3913

Good luck,there are many cycle graveyards out there wuth Sabre parts,just start calling around...
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:23 PM   #34
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I'm 6'4" and about 300lbs, I have owned many types of them. and fond that the larger the CC's What has worked for are Suzuki 1978-1985 GS1000 to GS1150's all had a nice ride for a big guy, Wish I still had some of them.
But I now own a 1977 KZ1000 it works OK for me, and my Big Baby is a 1982 KZ1300 Six cylinder that works So Good for a large man. and the bike looks cool also, hope this helped.
John
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #35
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I'm 6'5" and ride on a Triumph Bonneville. I am a big fan of the roadster style bikes and think the Bonnies are good for us tall guys
I love the look of the Bonnie but remember someone saying they were a bit small, recommending an America instead. I'm only 6'4", so d'you reckon a Bonnie would do me?
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #36
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I'm 6'10"

Yamaha Thunderace YZF1000 is really comfortable for a 'rice-burner'.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:14 PM   #37
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I am 6'4" and 300+ I just took the riders edge MSF class this past weekend. It went well considering it was my first time riding.

The bike for the course was a Buell Blast. Not a good fit for my height, obviously...and the foot controls are kinda small for my size 12 with big timberland boots on...

But the instructor commented on the fact that I really adapted well to the bike.

But man, during breaks I would go into the showroom and sit on something like a Road King....then it was tough to go back out and scrunch on to the little Buell.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #38
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This tread is great!
I'm 6'7' 340lbs and have found old super bikes and ols standards fit me very well. I had an 83 Yami XJ900RK(friggin bitchen bike). Fit great and a blast to ride. Would take out an CBR that rode my.
Now I'm on an 80 Honda CB900C that I am triking out. I fit pretty good, but need to fab up some forward controls and have a custom seat made to the wife can ride with
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #39
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The new Harley's are for tall guys. My son has a ultra classic, very comfortable. He is 6'5". That is 2010 the 2012 are longer yet. They ride great too. I personally have a 2010 Gold wing. I am 6'2" I put 50,000 on last summer I can't get enough of it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:27 PM   #40
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Have been looking for a bike i can stretch out on. I think i found it. It's seat height is low, but with the huge floorboards and the seat that's angled back, my legs fit nice. It's a Victory Vision Tour, but they are coming out with a new bike on the 20th if you are looking more for a bagger style bike. Im 6ft 3 and top off at about 300lbs.
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