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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I realize a sport/tourer will NEVER offer as low a step-over height as a cruiser, but...

Why don't motorcycle manufacturers offer the same bike in multiple sizes (like bicycle manufacturers do)

There could be slight changes in the frame geometry, and especially in the shocks/suspension.

Warren has got me thinking about trying to lower my Concourse an inch. I'd gladly surrender an inch of suspension travel for a slightly lower step-over, ability to flat-foot it at lights...

There are lower/higher seats, forward controls, handlebar risers, etc.

What about tires. Could the same bike be lowered with smaller tires/wheels?

What about mfr's offering three "rider size packages" on each bike including seat, bars, suspension setup ....

I've sold a bike and a scooter for being too small. Knees in the chest. Didn't have enough experience to reject them on the test ride. Realized within a week or so they were a no-go. Fortunately I bought well and sold them for more than I paid for them.
 

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Veteran Member
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3,275 Posts
Money is the reason. It would be too cost prohibitive to make the same bike with several different frame sizes. But as you said, there are some bikes out there that attempt to cater to different sizes. They offer standard, low, and tall seats. Some offer different handlebar bends for closer or longer reach. And some offer different peg/floorboard positions. I think that's about as close as any manufacturer will get to catering to different sized people.

At 6'6" tall, I often snicker a bit when I read a review on a bike where the author complains about the tall seat height. Especially on dual sport and adventure bikes. Naturally these are the bikes I am most comfortable on.
 

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It wouldn't make sense to alter handling characteristics and power transfer for the sake of height adjustment on a motorcycle.

Bike frames come in different sizes because the seat/crank/handlebar triangle has a direct impact on power output and comfort. That's not the case with motorcycles.
 

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Troublemaker
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2,517 Posts
Ever heard of Harley Davidson? Most of their bikes are the same with optional sizing choices.

Same with Victory, they all have the same drivetrain, just different setups.
 

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Premium Member
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Super size me.

One of the Kawasaki models has adjustments. I think it is the 650 twin.
Folks have been changing the bars, seats, pegs and ride height for a long time.

Unkle Krusty
 

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American Legion Rider
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Everything is done for the mythical "average" person. That person must be weird when you consider what they build sometimes.
 

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I must be that weird person because they all fit me just right as stock........even the Ninjas, all I'd do for them is buckhorns, backrest, and forward controls
 

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MODERATOR
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I, personally, at 6ft-5in tall have become very tired of stupid low seats on lots of bikes but especially cruisers.

I'm tired of footpegs that are Sooooo high because of the stupid low seats.

I'm tired of very far forward footpegs again because of the stupid low seats.

I've been mad from about 1977 or so when some stupid engineer in Japan decided for me, that I wanted a "Deep dish" seat that keeps me in one place all the time.

I'm tired of wind turbulence on almost every new bike with a fairing. Design them right people!

I'm tired of motorcycle seats that even on some $30,000+- motorcycles, will ruin your Butt in 100 miles*****

***** BMW always sells "Comfort seats," as an option. Does that imply that the ones that come stock even on their most expensive bike is listed in their catalog as the "Uncomfortable seat"?

I'm tired of mirrors that won't let me see around my massively wide and powerful shoulders.

We aren't all Jockeys, Midgets, Japanese, Guatemalan's, or the Fabled Irish wee people!!!!!!! No offense to the aforementioned:biggrin:

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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A legend in his own mind
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At 6'3 I don't have much trouble with most bikes. What I see as a major issue to making a bike for everyone would be the fact that we're all different. Inseams aren't all the same, arm reach aren't all the same etc.
That "magic" triangle is different for everyone, so they pick an average and run with it.
 

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American Legion Rider
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That's why I call them the mythical average person. Ain't no such thing!!!
 

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V65 Junky
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446 Posts
Well, BMW offers a low seat and a high seat for the K1600.

I also put on Wilber lowering shocks so I can flat foot my big touring bike.

Overall, my K1600 is 2 1/4" lower than a stock K with the high seat.
 

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V65 Junky
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446 Posts
***** BMW always sells "Comfort seats," as an option. Does that imply that the ones that come stock even on their most expensive bike is listed in their catalog as the "Uncomfortable seat"?
I am not sure where you are getting this.

I know BMW offers two seats for the K1600. They call them a low seat and the other is the high seat. I have never heard of a BMW "comfort" seat.
 

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I'm not quite as big as Lurch or Porky, but I'm more comfortable on the adventure or supermoto bikes. The enduro bikes with 38" seats are a stretch though, the point is you have to pick the type of bike you can ride and find the one that fits. I won't buy most Harley cruisers because I don't want to sit down onto a bike and I prefer an upright riding position. Somewhere in the forum there is a recommended site called cycleergo,com I think that will help you figure out what a particular model will fit like before you go to a dealer.
 

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Premium Member
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Size matters.

Size matters, whatever your size may be.
I agree with Porky, especially about the fairings and screens.
BMW tho usually gets credit for the best. I think there could be a lot more work done on making a decent fairing. Bikes are pushing too much wind, and not keeping it off the rider.
At a massive 5' 6" and 160 pounds, with a 28" inseam, the XS400 fits me best. I am used to riding bikes on the track, so the Suzuki sport bike is okay. I did raise the clipons about an inch, and take an inch out of the seat.

Most of the bikes in the show rooms do not suit me very well, especially the ones with seats 34" off the ground.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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I, personally, at 6ft-5in tall have become very tired of stupid low seats on lots of bikes but especially cruisers.

We aren't all Jockeys, Midgets, Japanese, Guatemalan's, or the Fabled Irish wee people!!!!!!! No offense to the aforementioned:biggrin:

Sam:coffeescreen:
I'm 6'4" AND Irish, so I'm not sure how to take this...

Agree with all you said. The old standards and scramblers in the 70's seemed to fit fine, but, sadly, even the new 'old' standard Triumphs are caving to "Low seat height" as a selling point.

I assume it has a lot to do with more women riding. They see a quickly growing segment, even if it is still a small % overall, and they want to get ahead of it.

I hope the sizing trick on the new Kawasaki catches on. I don't want a cruiser, but if I did, that would be a selling point for me.
 

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I'm just a tad under 5'8" with a 30 inch inseam, and found that within reason you can learn to adjust to different size bikes. I've ridden (but not owned) dual purpose bikes with 37 inch seat height, but it sure raised the adrenaline level when coming to a stop and getting a foot on the ground. I owned a Concours years ago and pretty much learned how to enjoy that bike even when I couldn't flat-foot the bike at a stop. But as I've gotten older I find I am much more concerned with comfort, both in terms of getting on and off the bike and how it feels once I'm seated, so my last few bikes have all been low-seat cruisers.

I recently had the chance to ride a Triumph Trophy and was really impressed with this bike. But even with the "low seat" it was a tad high for me, and that combined with the slightly rearward foot controls have pretty much convinced me not to consider this for my next ride.

I agree that it would be nice if the bikes came in at least two sizes so that those of us who are height challenged could enjoy a greater selection of bikes.
 

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MODERATOR
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"I have never heard of a BMW "comfort" seat." Junkbond quote/

Google is your friend. I typed in BMW comfort seats and LOTS comes up.

I have had 5 BMW's.

Sam:biggrin:
 

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American Legion Rider
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Well I never heard of a comfort seat for a BMW either Porky. I was however fortunate to live close enough to Corbin that I had them make a seat that fit me for my K100LT. Or should I say the reworked and recovered the stock seat.

Back then they had guys that could look at how you sat on the bike and go from there and make a seat you could stay in all day, day after day. I suppose they still do if you can arrange to meet their schedule. I just rolled in one morning and they jumped on it.

I think they've got too big for the britches now though.
 
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