Are you sitting comfortably?

Read our top tips on tailoring your bike to your size, for a smoother, more controlled ride

The relationship between your seat, handlebars and foot controls on your motorcycle has an enormous impact on your comfort, control and confidence when riding. Here are a few things to consider when personalising your ride to match your size.

In the saddle

Seat height and shape impact rider comfort, fit and confidence on the bike. Where the seat positions you relative to the foot controls, hand controls and the ground plays a major role in the quality of your ride.

The Reach range of seats is designed for those of shorter stature: these seats are sculpted and moulded to ease reach to the ground and to position riders closer to the controls. A narrow nose ensures greater slow-riding control, with generous seating width for the long haul.

The Tallboy collection of seats moves the rider back, allowing additional leg and arm movement for the long-limbed rider and minimising leg cramps and back strain during a long day in the saddle.

For those seeking a low-slung riding position ‘in’ the bike, low-profile seat options include the Brawler and Badlander for certain models. These deliver a reduced seat height and a longer profile which pushes the rider back from the controls.

Raising the bar

Where the bar positions your arms, hands and wrists directly impacts how you feel on the motorcycle. Make sure to choose a bar that falls easily to hand and does not pull you out of the seat when manoeuvring. You should be able to reach the hand controls when the handlebar is fully turned.

There are a number of options available depending on your needs and preferences:

Drag handlebar: Narrow, flat and more aggressive, drag bars provide a straight elbow and neutral hand and wrist position. For maximum comfort, drag bars can be positioned with curved or straight risers to minimise stretch to the controls.

Beach handlebar: Low and wide, a beach bar spreads your arms and gives you room to breathe. Although beach bars can be a little wide for many riders, they are ideal for the rider with longer arms.

Ape Hanger and Tallboy handlebar: Tall and wide in style, ape hanger and Tallboy handlebars provide a classic ‘fists to the wind’ look and can add long-haul comfort for riders with longer arms. Remember: handlebar height is regulated in many areas, so be sure to check local laws before installing a tall handlebar.

Chizeled handlebar: For cutting-edge style, a Chizeled Bar combines the hands-up feel of a mini-ape with the narrow width of a drag bar. The bar’s shoulder-width design keeps the elbows in and the arms straight ahead, and the wrist and hands fall in a neutral, palms-down position.

On your feet

Repositioning your feet can relieve muscle tension, take pressure off the tailbone and reduce fatigue, adding hours of comfort and hundreds of miles to your daily saddle time. There are a number of adjustments you can make to your motorcycle to aid your foot position:

  • Mid-controls position the feet below the knee for a sporting riding posture.
  • Further forward mid-controls achieve a comfortable, foot-down riding position for the taller rider.
  • Reduced reach forward controls provide a foot-forward boulevard style, without you needing to strain to reach the controls.
  • Standard forward controls stretch the legs for a ‘feet-in-the-wind’, laid-back posture.
  • Floorboards support the entire foot and place the riding in a comfortable upright position.
  • Adjusting your motorcycle’s ride height by raising or lowering the suspension is often the first step in fitting the bike to your stature. Being sure-footed at a stop can really increase your confidence on the road.

In summary

For shorter riders, consider tailoring your fit to the bike by changing to a seat such as the Reach Seat; adding mid-foot controls and lowering your suspension height.

For taller riders, consider altering your ride by changing to a longer seat (such as the Tallboy) and extended foot controls.

To view the complete range of seats, handlebars and foot controls available and to check suitability for your specific model, visit your local dealer or check out accessories.harley-davidson.eu