You are a proud owner of a motorcycle, and you can’t wait to experience the joy and the freedom motorcycling brings. Yet for some reason, it may feel like the bike just doesn’t fit well. Perhaps it’s too big and heavy to handle with ease, or maybe you feel that your sitting position is uncomfortable. Instead of ignoring that feeling and trying to power through, it’s worth looking into a few motorcycle modifications and making sure your motorcycle fits you well.
Here is How to Fall in Love with Your Motorcycle:
Most stock (meaning just off the showroom floor) motorcycles are designed for people of average height. If you happen to be shorter than the average height most bikes are built for, you might find you are struggling to put both of your feet down, or even to get on the bike comfortably. Instead of trying to fight your way through it, there is a simple solution. Most motorcycles can be lowered, and it can make a world of difference in your comfort in handling the bike. Talk to your motorcycle dealer and ask them about lowering your motorcycle, which can sometimes be done by simply adjusting the suspension, trimming an inch or two from the seat, or lowering the forks. Simply switching to a custom seat can also work wonders for achieving that perfect fit.
Just like with height, most motorcycles are made for riders of average weight. If you do not fall into that category, a suspension adjustment can significantly improve the way your bike feels and handles. Sometimes, this may mean getting a custom suspension set-up made specifically for you, your weight, and the terrain you choose to ride on. It can also be a simple job of tweaking the suspension to a harder or softer setting to accommodate your needs. Your mechanic should be able to advise you on the best solution and adjust the suspension for you. If the suspension is set for your specific height, weight, the type of riding you do, and the amount of luggage (if any) you carry on your motorcycle, it can make you feel like you have a new bike. A well-adjusted suspension makes the motorcycle more balanced, more stable, and easier to handle.
Handlebar Risers & Adjustments
If you feel you are constantly trying to contort yourself into an uncomfortable position while riding because your handlebars are too low, consider getting handlebar risers. This is a very simple and quick modification to do on your bike, and it can improve your sitting position and make you feel much more comfortable, confident, and in control of your bike. Also, most handlebars are somewhat adjustable. This is a super-simple fix that only takes a few minutes. A mechanic can loosen the bolts of the handlebars, rotate them up or down depending on what’s needed, then re-tighten them. This is great for solving problems of “reach” – either too far away or too close to you. The limiting factor of handlebar adjustments is always the length of the brake, throttle, and clutch cables. If there’s not enough play in the cables to adequately swivel the handlebars up or down, you can replace the handlebars, or both the handlebars and cables.
Seat, Footpegs, and Control Levers
Some motorcycle manufacturers focus so much on the design and the performance of the bike that they miss other important details – like your seat. Some stock seats feel like you are sitting on wooden benches or bricks of cement, and you are getting sore after riding the first twenty miles or so. There are so many aftermarket seats available that you can easily find one that offers more comfort.
The same goes to your footpegs. If you ride off-road a lot and find your feet are slipping or getting tired quickly, consider getting wider, more aggressive footpegs designed for trail riding. If your clutch or brake levers feel too hard on your hands, get your mechanic to adjust them for you so you do not tire your hands.
Bikes are infinitely adjustable and you should never “suffer” with a poor fit. If something on your bike feels off, uncomfortable, or terribly tiring to you, take it to the dealer and ask them to go over the motorcycle with you. Describe the issue you are having and ask them to tweak the problem areas. Getting your motorcycle adjusted and modified for you can make a huge impact on how you feel on the bike, how it handles, and how you ride. It just might make you fall in love with your motorcycle all over again.
If you want more ideas on modifications, join my Motorcycle Confidence & Exploration #ByWomenForWomen Facebook Group and ask for ideas! There are thousands of ladies there who would like to help you feel more free and confident on your bike.