Experienced riders have a ritual every time they get on a new bike. They adjust the mirrors and levers before they even start the bike’s engine. Having a bike set up to fit your preferences can make a big difference in how easy it is to operate. One area that is often overlooked is the gear shift lever. Having the shifter in the proper position makes it possible to change gears with the minimum foot movement possible. Also, in some instances, without the proper adjustment shifting is almost impossible. We’ve seen cruisers with the shifter so far out of adjustment for the forward controls that it felt like we needed an additional ankle joint. Similarly, on a sportbike, if the shifter is too high or low, the ease of shifting is drastically reduced. What’s the proper position? The one that suits your riding position and the size of your feet.
Every human body comes in its own unique shape and size, but all motorcycles of a particular model are exactly the same when they roll off the assembly line. Unless you’re remarkably lucky, some aspect of your motorcycle’s dimensions will be less than optimum to suit your body type and riding style. Fortunately, you can take steps to customize your motorcycle’s fit to your dimensions and the type of riding you do. While some of these suggestions require altering or replacing parts, many can radically alter your riding experience for the better with only basic tools and a little elbow grease. Take a look at the photo below to see how changing the handlebar-to-seat and the peg-to-seat dimensions can alter the angles – and the comfort – of the rider’s appendages.