It’s no secret; like clothes, the majority of motorcycles are designed and built for people of average height. Also like clothes, it’s not uncommon for someone to buy something that just doesn’t fit. More often than not, said garment or motorcycle ends up collecting dust rather than getting use, and that’s a shame.
Tall riders have a particularly hard time of it – after all, it’s not like there’s a chain of “Big & Tall” motorcycle dealerships around the country. Do a quick search on Motorcycle.com for the term “tall rider,” and you’ll net nearly 20 threads on our awesome forums – each and every one started by a tall person asking his fellow moto-heads which motorcycle is ideal for him or her.
It boils down to what’s called the “rider triangle” – that is, how the rider’s butt, hands and feet are positioned relative to one another while seated in the saddle.
There are a number of ways a tall rider can adjust an existing bike to better suit his frame. Taller handlebars and forward foot controls will help, but if those aftermarket bits are out of your budget, you’ve still got options. Some handlebar risers allow adjustment of the existing bar’s position by rolling it forward to gain an extra inch or two of reach, and accessory floorboards and highway pegs will allow the rider to stretch his legs.
Websites such as Cycle-Ergo.com are a great help in getting a general idea of how most any bike will suit the average-sized rider, and we’ve sourced that site liberally in putting together this list of cruisers that should ergonomically accommodate tall riders. Still, most agree that the only way to find the right motorcycle for your frame is to literally “try them on” – that is, visit a number of dealerships and plant yourself in the saddle of a variety of bikes. Happy hunting, Stretch.