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how high or how low???

matty

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Watched my mate fall off his XR650l today on a relatively slight grassy incline, he has been riding 40+ years and had the honda over 6 years and done thousands of miles on it. Ok i accept it happens to the best of us, and at 6 foot 3 he normally manages on rough ground just fine.
So nothing to see here then, so why the post here. ?
well for a long time now i have quietly had a thing against bikes with high seat hights.
I am 6foot and not short in the legs, but even my beloved XT600e can be high at times, and luckily i have never had a full on fall due to the hight ride hight but i will admit there have been moments where things hung literaly in the balance and these have indeed on occasion been iritated by the dual sport ergonomics.
being a trials rider i believe gives one an edge often, but there comes a point when a bike stops and you dont want to stand there kicking out maintaining balance and you need to make contact with the ground.
My mate andy got it vwrong today. and thankfully a bent clutch leaver was the only casualty, but i was thinking to my self that the Trail/ ADV bike ride hights with the advantages of travel and varriations in sag and spring rates etc cnd to add to this could make for most riders a problem given the right circumstances. And a low seat hight could have prevented most of them, but perhaps created some others.
If you look at any modern trials bike, its clear to see that ground clearance and suspension can be in a low profile frame. and it would be possible to produce a ADV bike with a much lower seat hight and maintain a comfortable ergonomic riding possition.
My old triumph tiger XCx800 was not especially high on the seating but was comfortabe enough, but it could have been made with a lower seat profile.
I think there must be many people out there of the same opinion, and not only would this make a bike a more suitable mount for short folks, it would do no harm and potentially good for all riders.
 
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Yinzer Moto

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Watched my mate fall off his XR650l today on a relatively slight grassy incline, he has been riding 40+ years and had the honda over 6 years and done thousands of miles on it. Ok i accept it happens to the best of us, and at 6 foot 3 he normally manages on rough ground just fine.
So nothing to see here then, so why the post here. ?
well for a long time now i have quietly had a thing against bikes with high seat hights.
I am 6foot and not short in the legs, but even my beloved XT600e can be high at times, and luckily i have never had a full on fall due to the hight ride hight but i will admit there have been moments where things hung literaly in the balance and these have indeed on occasion been iritated by the dual sport ergonomics.
being a trials rider i believe gives one an edge often, but there comes a point when a bike stops and you dont want to stand there kicking out maintaining balance and you need to make contact with the ground.
My mate andy got it vwrong today. and thankfully a bent clutch leaver was the only casualty, but i was thinking to my self that the Trail/ ADV bike ride hights with the advantages of travel and varriations in sag and spring rates etc cnd to add to this could make for most riders a problem given the right circumstances. And a low seat hight could have prevented most of them, but perhaps created some others.
If you look at any modern trials bike, its clear to see that ground clearance and suspension can be in a low profile frame. and it would be possible to produce a ADV bike with a much lower seat hight and maintain a comfortable ergonomic riding possition.
My old triumph tiger XCx800 was not especially high on the seating but was comfortabe enough, but it could have been made with a lower seat profile.
I think there must be many people out there of the same opinion, and not only would this make a bike a more suitable mount for short folks, it would do no harm and potentially good for all riders.

Making a comparison to a trials bike is tough. They only have 6” of suspension travel, about half the travel of a dual sport/dirtbike. Trials bikes dont Have great ground clearance, they get over things by keeping the front wheel in the air and creating ground clearance. I look at my Yamaha WR250 and things are packed in there really tight. The engine hangs a bit low and the seat is one of the tallest out there. I don’t see any way they could have packaged it differently to create more clearance.
 

klaviator

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Everything on motorcycles is a compromise. If you want a low seat you have to give something up. Suspension travel, ground clearance, legroom and seat thickness/comfort come to mind.

I'm 6-2 with 34" inseam so I can flatfoot almost any bike but I can still relate to your mate. Last year I stopped on a steep downhill and off camber dirt/gravel spot on my Versys and :muutt

I raised the seat height on my Versys with a seat cushion partly because the stock seat sucks and partly to give me more legroom.
 

matty

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if you take the triumph XCX800 mentioned, In normal form they are not high and yet still got reasonable as in acceptable ground clearance and travel for the typical expected use. buIf you go for an Xr version or even the low option things are lower still. No Spec sheets , but i would guess close to 2 inches.
Its doable by manufacturers and triumph clearly recognized low seats matter and not just too short people many of those less vertically challenged still like a lower seats on out dual sports ADV bikes.
I have to admit andys XR650l is a high bike right enough, and its not like you dont notice this comparing it with like the XT600e and DR650 etc.
So acepting the XR650 is tall ok, but its not the only culprit and without Reading the spec sheets and running about asking people if you can sit on their bikes, :lol2 Its not obvious exactly what bikes are on the tall side exactly. And Older bikes are just that old and are what they are, so without fabrication work on the frame or seat pad trimming etc its simply accademic debate. But going forward now, and acepting that triumph to name just one firm did see the ned, Do we think Manufacturers generaly have done enough to make their bikes ergonomic /
Again i got no detailed specs, but older bikes with their relatively short travel suspension certainly never were so Ungainly historicaly. Is it too much to expect a manufacturer to at least get say CB750 four Seat hight proportions within the Specs of a modern ADV bike with all the tech of today. triumph did a half decent job i think, but not so sure others bothered that much.
 

klaviator

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BMW offers some of their adventure bikes with lowered versions or factory lowering kits.
 

matty

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I wasnt aware of that, but in the context of this thread, thats a good thing in that they clearly recognize the aspect and care about trying to address it.
 

skibum69

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You bunch of babies!

My 640 Adventure has a 37" seat height. How do you think that matches with my 30" inseam? No biggie. I got used to only 2 toes down and I got used to falling over riding offroad when you put a foot out and the ground is far away. Who cares? It doesn't take the fun away.
 

matty

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You bunch of babies!

My 640 Adventure has a 37" seat height. How do you think that matches with my 30" inseam? No biggie. I got used to only 2 toes down and I got used to falling over riding offroad when you put a foot out and the ground is far away. Who cares? It doesn't take the fun away.
Anything is doable, and you can put up with anything , i mean lets face it people use Land rover defenders voluntarily and purport to enjoy it.:lol2
This is more about is it necessary, and more from the ADV aspect rather than true dual sport bikes.
And if your only riding roads or fast open trails or ground, then the tall seat hight will probably not feature as a negative.
Time anyone might start to get bored of it is if things start to get Technical or VV wet Muddy or heavily rutted or things like that, then you stand more chance of dittching the bike and potentially doing it or indeed yourself some injury in to the process.
I acctualy liked the tiger XCX 800 it sounded awesome and was imo a good all around package in its class, and i honestly think the user friendly seat hight was a big pluss and i believe if it was higher i might not have had such a high opinion of the overall feel of the tiger. YOMV.


:lol2
 

skibum69

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I'm really liking the Tiget 800 I'm riding on around here. Again I'm pretty much only getting 2 toes down. no big deal as I won't get into anything more technical than dirt roads. I like being able to boot down the highway doing 90.
 

klaviator

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While there are some riders who do just fine with a bike so tall that they can't get their feet down, the fact is that most riders are uncomfortable with a bike that is too tall.
 

matty

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To be fair on both attitudes low & High, I am no real yardstick to judge anything by, because4 if im honest i simply never progressed past 1970s naked bikes. and The ergonomics of similar bikes are all i ever want to aspire too in reality.
OK i made the jump to XT600Es and DRZ400s etc but my true heart is with the likes of my 1971 trident t150 .
 

foxtrapper

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As a short legged Smurf, I agree. While I can ride tall bikes, I don’t particularly enjoy it. It takes far too much attention and care to be particularly pleasurable. A lower seat lets me enjoy a more carefree ride.
 

Tripped1

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I have a 32" inseam but haven't had issues with taller 34ish seat heights.

I was riding bikes that tall when I was 5 foot tall, so maybe a little more likely to low speed tip off in hairy stuff, but on the road I don't really think about it.
 

Bill_WR250R

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I'm 5'7" with a 30" inseam, and weigh all of 140 lbs soaking wet. And I'm older than dirt on top of that... so heavy, tall bikes just don't work well for me.

My WR has the YamaLink, the factory lowering on the rear shock, the front forks pushed up about 0.75", and the SeatConcepts low seat. All of that dropped the seat height to about 32" when I'm sitting on the bike. I can flat foot one foot, or touch toes down on both feet.

My wife is 5'5", so I've done all of the above to her WR as well. This shows how well she can touch down:

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