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Tall Rider, Short Bikes (reloaded)

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Hi guys, 

pretty sure I'm not the only guy who is "vertically challenged". The other thread is from 2007 so I hope there are some new options now. 


6`4/200lbs still quite flexible. For road riding I would say I'd fit every bike (at least I fit my YZF 125 and RC 390), knee angle is never really an issue on supersports although I have rather long legs. 

My main problem is the fact that todays bikes are just too short for me. For every bike I have to get aftermarket racing bubbles, adustable footpegs and clip ons. As mentioned, this works perfectly on the street but once I get to the limit on the track, the entire setup falls apart. Since I'm sitting too far back for the bikes geometries when I use aftermarket rearsets, the bikes are very unstable. The tanks are so short that I cannot rest my thigh against it for braking, so I either have to grip it with both knees and open up the hip very late or have to use my arms...trail braking is really challenging in this case. 

The most annoying thing is the fact that when I put my upper body next to the bike mid corner, I'm not "biting the hand" or kissing the mirror, but the inside clip on is basically at the height of my shoulder and I can literally check if the headlights are working or not :)


I actually wanted to use my RC 390 as a track toy and get a new bike for the road (will keep the 125 to thrash it around town) but after a couple of sessions this year and a good amount of aftermarket customising I realized this just isn't going to work. 


So I went to test ride a couple of other bikes like the RS660, CBR600RR, ZX6r (the gixxer isn't available in my country anymore cause Euro5) and it's the same problem with every bike. Sometimes even plenty of leg room (RS660) but just too short. 

The only bike I fit behind the wind shield without an aftermarket upgrade is the current ZX10r. Apparently the wheelbase is extra long since Rea wanted more high speed stability ,thus the entire bike is quite stretched. But it's a 200hp liter bike and while it's a blast to go fast on the autobahn it is just too much for me to properly learn on. 


Perhaps some of you guys know a 600 (or any other 100-150hp supersport) that is a bit too long for the average guy. Could be every year and brand as long as it has fuel injection and spares are still available. And although I would have more options in the 1000cc range and I'd love to get an RC8 or S1000RR, these bikes are to powerful for the track I'm mostly riding on as well as for my current level. 


Thanks for your input :)



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Hey Not So,

Not sure if you have ridden a RSV4, Tuono, Yamaha MT-09 or 10. My buddy is 6’ 3” and 235#. He is very comfortable on his RSV4 and seems to fit him pretty well. Maybe look at naked those models even the BMW S1000 R. They seem to be quite popular with the bigger folks. All are equipped with full handle bars except the RSV4, which may benefit your bigger stature.

I know you said you didn’t need all the power they offer for where you ride, but you don’t have to tap into it on a daily basis. I mean it takes a bit of self limiting control sometimes, so you can use more of it on track.

Not sure this was exactly what you were looking for, but hope it was helpful for you 👍

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Hi Graybeard, thanks for the message. I've tried a couple of nakeds on the streets for short rides and twisties, street triple was great yet still inferior to a bike with fairings when it comes to wind protection and riding position. 

Coming from road cycling, I just feel safer with a bit of pressure on the handlebars ;). So for me it's not a question of more upright or more comfortable, but a bike that allows me to lock myself in.


The issue I have with the big bikes such as the MT 10 (great machine), 1kR, the big Tuono as well as all their supersport equivalents is not just the fact that their power delivery is extremely violent and the trackday is 5x the cost of a 600.


A liter bike has a completely different riding style. V-shaped cornering vs U-shaped cornering, shortening the wheelbase at the corner exit by applying constantly increasing throttle to help the bike turn...I mean the fact that riders learn how to use the load interruption during the upshift to move their body as the bike accelerates so hard that you cannot sit up normally is already ridiculous.

Sure you could try to learn proper technique on a liter bike just like you can try to learn to drive stick in a Ferrari Testarossa. Possible but it will take you twice as long.


I know probably 2 guys out of 50 who can ride a 1k bike at it's limit. Everyone else is just showing up with their polished gems  and is finished after one stint of wrestling it while the 600 boys are running circles around them. It's not just technique though...you need to be a fitness animal to be able to ride a big bike properly.

A 15lbs overweight dad bod of a mid 40s weekend warrior like mine won't do, believe me :D



I heard that the old zx6r 636 was quite long and the duc sport classics were so stretched out that nobody could ride them. Cannot confirm though and I don't ride long enough to know all those large supersports of yesterday

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Not So,

I do understand. There are compromises we have to decide as to whether they are acceptable enough to meet our specific needs. I have a lot of MX experience and the “Elbows Out” is a thing that is more applicable on a naked than a super sport machine.  There are ways to lock in on a naked, much the same as a MX bike. Good leg and core strength enable us Dad Bod folks to lock in to a degree. You cannot accomplish lock in with elbows bent 90* and upper arms hanging. Elbows need to be up and out for stability.


Ferocity of big bore bike acceleration can be well managed with throttle control. Do they really charge you a higher fee for a trackday based on CCs? That sounds ridiculous. They don’t do that here in the states.

The big bike point and shoot method is often applicable, but not always. I have experience of superbikes and supersport bikes. Can do well on either, but there are a few major differences for sure. The 600 are a heck of a lot of fun. Especially on the tighter, technical tracks. I’d take a 600 all day, every day .



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My previous bike was a '99 R6, the engine ate itself 500 miles from home so I abandoned the bike and got an unfaired Suzi GSXS-1000, going from 100hp to something like 140hp.  

I did a CSB Level 1 in May on the BMW's and loved the ride but even after just a day on the trackbike I was really surprised by how different getting back onto the Suzi was.

The riding postures are profoundly different.   I did a lot of core training, planks of all kinds to help hold a good posture on the R6, I could ride about 4hrs before fatigue started getting bad- while I was fresh the bike was great but after a few hours of that I started wondering why I was doing it.   The Suzi is way easier out to 6hrs, and less wind noise too even without the fairing.    OTOH Suzi had very long handlebars leading to that elbows out thing which the R6 trained me out of, I shortened them 3/4" on both ends I wouldn't mind going further but not enough clearance.

That said, I do find I prefer the very clean and subtle steering motion on the R6 and CSB BMW's vs the Suzi.  It steers quickly and easily but seems to instantly want to push under, much more than the other bikes so its important to have a firm and ready posture to keep weight inside.   I also found the Suzi encourages a disciplined throttle both for acceleration and engine braking- its quite powerful going both ways.   The R6 was more relaxed- I wrung it out a number of times which was great fun but its more involved than just whacking open the throttle.   Probably the BMW would instantly be scary fast, but I was just level 1 so didn't do any of that.


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