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This article really hit home. At 5 foot 3 inches I have always been vertically challenged. With several decades of riding, the only time I have ever dropped a bike is coming to a stop on uneven ground. I am super careful, but at times it can't be avoided, unfortunately, and once you are more than a smidge out of perpendicular, it is going over. What I need is longer legs! Great article.


Heather Bashow
Odessa, ON, Canada
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Great article. I recently traded my 750 Honda Shadow Spirit for a 1600 Victory Cross Country. It's the small things that I have issues with such as parking lots and returning to home to go up a short drive with a slight incline.

LaVita Jones
Louisville, KY
Thursday, August 1, 2019
I have to disagree heavily with the advice to lean the bike at stop. On the contrary, you want the bike as vertical as possible, for minimal effort in keeping it upright, and keeping it in the center of your balance zone, which is narrower for shorter (and weaker) riders. Learn to move your body over to gently set either foot down and balance the bike upright at stops, not struggle to keep it from getting away from you. How much lean is too much? Everyone has their drop-point. Don't go there, stay straight up.

Also, learn to mount and dismount when it's vertical, rather than getting on when it's on the sidestand and then hefting it upright with one foot. Tricky at first but actually far less effort for short riders.

Like this article says, yes, plan your parking and stops, learn low-speed maneuvers, walk the bike if you need to—and don't let anyone tell you that you have to duck-walk or flatfoot or that you can't ride!

N Berry
Sunnyvale, CA
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Editor Response
Great tips! Thanks for sharing them.
Tricia Szulewski, Editor
I am 5 feet 2 inches and am used to a small bike. I have just purchased a Moto Guzzi V7 Classic and have been a bit anxious about taking it out on the road but reading about others in similar situations has boosted my confidence. Thanks!

Audrey Kelleher
Cork, Ireland
Friday, January 5, 2018
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