Finding it hard to buy the right motorbike for your size? Most motorbikes are designed for the average-size male. In the UK, the average male is 5ft 9inches tall and weighs 12stone 6lbs. Due to this, larger riders can encounter a difficult challenge when looking for a motorbike they can ride comfortably.
A majority of motorbikes available can be tailored to any rider, despite height, weight and gender. It’s all about making sure you understand the motorbikes ergonomics to make sure the seat position and handlebar rise is correct for your body shape, and not forgetting the ‘Rider Triangle’ – seat to foot to hand position.
Adventure motorbikes are usually the most recommended for larger riders due to their spacious ergonomics, all-round performance and ability to cope with lots of weight. Despite this, there are many motorbikes can be modified to fit the rider’s needs. These modifications will mean the rider weight will have less of an impact on the motorbikes performance.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to find the perfect set of wheels for you. Honda, Suzuki and BMW are the top picks for larger riders, which can be easily adapted to your body shape, riding style and work within your budget too…
This motorbike has excellent spacious ergonomics and manageable dimensions. The engine will only be slightly limited by rider weight so will still move well on faster roads. This motorbike’s suspension can be affected with a heavier rider.
This suspension can be helped if the preload is set to max and heavier oil is put in the forks to increase the dampening rates. This suspension adjustment should be a success, but if not, the suspension can be rebuilt to suit rider needs.
“I ride a Yamaha FZ1N and it fits just right, but for bigger bikers I’d go for a K1300R as a naked sports option. Depends what kind of bike your into I’m well happy with mine.” Paul Parker
BMW R1200 GS Adventure
No matter how large the rider, this BMW has no limitations. It has an electronically adjustable suspension and great ergonomics. The braking and steering forces are separated resulting in the rider’s weight having minimal effect on the handling. This motorbike is a great choice for all purposes whether using it to go travelling, daily commuting or solely for leisure.
“I am 6ft and 19 stone, I have a B King at the moment but had a GSX 1200, a CB1300 & a 1200 Bandit to name but a few and they all fit me perfectly, looking at a BMW GS1200 or Honda cross tourer next.” Gary Gaz Fulton
This motorbike is a great sport bike choice for the larger riders looking for this type of motorbike. It is spacious, comfortable and heavy meaning rider weight will have less of an effect compared to lighter bikes. The seat can be customised for further support which is an added bonus for many larger riders.
The foot pegs can also be lowered and the handlebar height can be adjusted. These customisations can provide a better rider triangle for those that need it.
“5 ft 9, 16 stone Triumph Tiger XRX 800cc, comfy positions in traffic plus fun on the bends.” – Paul Pilfold
This is a large bike, being a 750, but is user-friendly with a comfortable riding position. It has a smooth and light clutch, a low seat for easy maneuverability and a torquey engine for better performance. Being a larger bike, rider weight will hardly have an effect on the motorbikes performance or stability.
“Kawasaki ZRX1200s is my choice of big bike, tank heavy, thirsty but pulls like a train and torque that you need only one gear.” Allen Pullen
This is a dual purpose (on/off road) motorbike that is larger and taller than standard. It handles perfectly, has good fuel consumption, has decent power and is versatile. All this enables the motorbike to perform well while carrying added rider weight.
Safety gear is a must for all bikers whatever your shape or size. Struggling to find something that fits? Check out our list of recommended safety gear:
Aria Helmets – Prices vary
These helmets come in 5 shell sizes and cover all head shapes. The larger selection of shell sizes means that when you find one that fits, it will be closer to your actual head size without the difference being made up by padding.
This is a versatile riding suit that is available in custom sizes. This suit is a do-it-all solution that works well on adventure rides as well as the daily commute to work. It has maximum safety features with a chest protector, TFS hip pads and hip pad sleeves. This suit is expensive but worth the cost.
Klim Badlands Jacket – £1,050
This gear is normally loose fitting on average riders so could be just right for those riders that are larger than average. They are made with top quality armour and fabric that justifies the price. These are very versatile two piece suits.
Vason Leathers – £765+
Vanson are an American company that can ship to the UK. Here riders can have an unbelievable one or two-piece suit made for them in whatever size and proportions needed. These products are not cheap but are the best of their kind with a lifetime quality.
There are 7 things everyone should do before they start riding a motorbike:
- Take a class offered by a motorcycle safety provider. These classes will teach you how to stay safe while also having fun and enjoying your motorbike.
- Begin riding with a cheaper bike before you progress. You will be less disappointed if you wreck a cheap motorbike while you are still gaining experience and learning from mistakes.
- Wearing safety gear is very important. Research what is on the market so you are able to get the best gear for your budget.
- Buy motorbike insurance for larger riders for your own piece of mind if, unfortunately, you happen to be involved in an accident. Check the details of your policy with your provider to ensure you are fully aware of what you are covered for.
- Get a full motorcycle licence.
- Register your motorbike to provide proof of ownership.
- Stay safe and avoid doing anything that puts yourself or any other road user in danger. Always be aware of what is going on around you. Have fun, but be smart about it.