Being able to touch the ground with your feet and having control is all about the seat height of your dirt bike. In this article, I’ll list several dirt bikes with low seat heights and also give you some tech tips on how to lower your seat height.
For most shorter adult-sized riders, depending on how tall you are, you’re most likely going to fit best on either Honda’s CRF150F (32.8 in seat height) or CRF230F (34.6 in), and similarly on Yamaha’s TT-R125LE (31.7 in) or TT-R230 (34.8 in). All four bikes make our list of best dirtbikes for short riders because they feature electric start and are as easy to ride as they come.
My List Of Best Bikes For Short Riders And/Or Women
- Honda CRF150F with a seat height of 32.8
- Honda CRF230F with a seat height of 34.1
- Yamaha TT-R125LE with a seat height of 31.7
- Yamaha TT-R230 with a seat height of 34.3
- Kawasaki KLX110 with a seat height of 26.8 (16-inch rear wheel)
- Kawasaki KLX140G with a seat height of 33.9
- Suzuki DR-Z125L with a seat height of 32.0
All these bikes are full-size dirt bikes, the KLX110 is the only bike on the list with a 16-inch rear wheel, and it’s a great option for those of you at 5’0″ (60 inches) or shorter. Don’t be fooled by the smaller wheel on the KLX110, it is plenty capable of any trail you want to ride. For those of you KTM fans sorry, all their full-size dirt bikes have a seat height of around 37.0 inches. Even the KTM Freeride model has a seat height of 915 mm(35.2 inches), and that’s their bike for shorter riders, yea right? I guess you could make the two modifications and bring the seat height down to around 33 inches.
Recommend Seat Height
- 5’0″(60 inches) to 5’2″(62 inches) tall recommended seat height of 29 inches to 32 inches.
- 5’2″(62 inches) to 5’5″(65 inches) tall recommended seat height of 31 inches to 34 inches.
Now, this is not exact, but a good starting point. Remember these points as well, you can buy a shaved seat and that will lower your seat height by 1 inch – with most dirt bikes you can lower the suspension and that will lower the seat height by 1 inch. I tell you this because, if you are 5’0″ tall, then a bike with a seat height of 32 inches is still going to be too tall, but with these two modifications you will bring the seat height down to 30 inches and that should work fine for you.
For most riders, it’s best to find a bike that suits the style of riding you plan to do, a trail bike or a motocross bike. With that in mind, you may have to make a compromise on the dirt bike you want versus a dirt bike that has a low seat height. Safety is the most important thing to consider, then rider comfort. Many short riders just give in and buy a bike that’s not right for them. This just gives-up attitude will make riding dangerous rather than a fun hobby. Being short will make it challenging to find a dirt bike for you, but there are dirt bikes that are more suitable for short riders and for women.
When choosing a dirt bike you should consider seat height first, you may want that KTM 450, but it’s not the best bike for shorter riders, so you will have to make a compromise. Why is the KTM 450 not a good choice? The KTM 450 has a seat height of 37.8 inches, even after you sit on the bike the height is 36 inches in most cases. Let’s say you are 5’5″ – do you think you’ll be able to touch the ground safely? The answer is NO! You could shave the seat 1 inch, which brings the seat height down to 35 inches. You could have the suspension lower an inch, now you are down to 34 inches of seat height with you on the bike. Still not safe for someone 5’5″.
So you need to start with a dirt bike with a low seat height. The best way to tell the proper seat height for you is to simply sit on the dirt bike. Both of your feet should touch the ground, but you should only touch the ball of your foot and toes. The heel of your foot should be in the air. This is a properly sized dirt bike for your height.
A Few comparisons, a Yamaha TTR 230 has a seat height of 34.3 inches, and a Honda CRF110F’s seat height is 28.5 compared to the KTM 450 at 37.8 inches. Goes back to what I said, you may want the KTM, but the TTR230 is a better choice for someone 5’5″, the over 3 inches differences in seat height will make riding the TTR much safer and will build your confidence making you a much better rider.
What is the ideal seat height? Great question, and here is a general guideline, keeping in mind some individuals may have shorter legs than others. That’s why you should use this as a guide for what dirt bikes might fit you, then find a few bikes that should fit you, then see if you can touch the ground with the balls of your feet.
Tips to help you ride better as a shorter rider:
- Practice good bike balance – if you have great balance on the bike you will not need to put your foot down as often, so you should practice slow riding skills – this will help with balance.
- Practice riding standing up more – learning to stand with your feet centered on the footpegs gives you better balance and better control over the bike – many newer riders sit way too much. I know your legs get tired, but practice, and you’ll get better and have better control.
- Learn how to jump off the bike – learn your limits and know when you may crash and instead of crashing jump off the bike to one side still holding the handlebars – in some situations this technique may help prevent you from crashing.
- Shave your seat – there are YouTube videos that show you how – this modification will give you about an inch more clearance on your seat. Or you can just buy a Gel Insert.
- Increase the rear sag – lower the suspension by increasing your rear sag as much as possible – most bikes’ rear sag is around 105mm increase it to 112mm and you just lower the bike by about 1/2 an inch. Now raise the forks up in the clamps 4mm – look at where the forks come up through the triple clamps if it flushes loosen up the pinch bolts and slid the forks up 4mm and tighten the pinch bolts back to spec.
- Lowering Link Kit – if your bike has a linkage on the rear shock a lowering link kit can lower the bike up to 1 1/4 inch – these are a bit challenging to install and you may want your shop to do it for you. Some riders claim this mess up the geometry of the bike – it does, but it is very minimal, and the benefit is well worth it.
- Suspension Lowered – take your dirt bike to a suspension expert and have them lower the bike -this is by far the best way to lower a dirt bike, but it will cost you a bit more.
- Bike Choice – starting with a bike with a lower seat is the best starting point – use the recommendation I gave you I this article.
- Good Protective Gear – it is a fact as a shorter rider you will crash more just because you can’t always touch the ground – wear good protective gear for safety.
My recommendation is to start with a bike that has a low seat height, if that is not enough take your bike to a Suspension Specialist and have them lower the bike for you, it will be money well spent. You need to feel comfortable on the bike and getting the seat height correct is a big part of that. If you are new to riding, have a suspension shop set the bike up for you, this includes the handlebars and the components on it, and you will be glad you did. Now that you have a new dirt bike, gear up and rip up your local trails.