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I can see this going both ways. I am 5 feet 8 inches and may have more choices with more experience, but starting out with motorcycling I have more cramped seating to deal with. This is only my third year riding and am still trying to modify my 1200 SuperLow XLT to fit my frame to be comfortable on rides that are longer than 90 minutes.

I'm sure that actually sitting on bikes and test riding will be the only way to decide what fits and feels right. I do appreciate the information provided here and will use what works for me and let the rest go.

That being said, I actually came to this site for information about the Sportster 1200 vs a newer Heritage Classic. I have sat on a couple 2018 Classics but am a bit intimidated by the floorboards and increase in power. Any comparisons or differences would be appreciated!

Kathy
Lockwood, NY
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Hi. Thanks for the informative article. I just purchase a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 XL and though I haven't ridden it for very long I am already thinking of an upgrade. I rode a Honda Shadow ACE 750 previously. I am 5 feet 6 inches with a 32 inch inseam and I feel I would like my seat to be higher and feet a bit more forward.

Off the subject of the article, just wondering what pants and boots you are wearing in the photo of the Low Rider, Tricia. I love this website and it is extremely helpful and informative!

Julie
Chicopee, MA
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Editor Response
Hi Julie,
I am wearing Harley-Davidson's Newhall boots in brown. This is a short style boot measuring a 5.25 inch shaft height. I love them because they are very easy to get on under pants and have a cool harness and buckle. And the vintage brown color is really cool. But they also come in black.

The pants are BMW women's city pants that I purchased from my local MAX BMW dealer. They are an abrasion-resistant cotton/Cordura blend with removeable hip protectors and knee armor. They are a very dark grey color and have lots of pockets.
Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor
All have higher seats and all are ugly. What are they even thinking? Glad I kept my old-school ride. Now they don't even make 'em. So sad what is becoming of this company. They need to hire people that ride, not sit behind the wheel of a car all the time.

FXD

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
I am new to riding and still learning everything about each bike and the connection between specs and handling. Luckily, I am 5 feet 7 inches and have long legs. But, the first thing I look for is the ability to put my feet flat on the ground. I understand how certain changes will make the bike easier and lighter to handle, which is right up there with whether or not I can stand or sit flat-footed while stopped or getting on and off. If the bike is shorter but too heavy, there's a problem. If the bike is taller but lightweight and easy to handle without having my feet flat when stopped, it could counterbalance the bike. However, does that counterbalance go right out the window if you have to stretch or tippy toe to get on or off then chance dropping your bike?

I can see both sides. I however need to feel just as comfortable getting on and off as sitting still or riding down the road.

So for those who are shorter but graceful on their toes, the new models will be fine with a higher seat. For those of us who need to feel grounded, the new heights will be a mistake if we can't put our feet flat.

Christy H.
Olympia, WA
Monday, September 11, 2017
Editor Response
Getting on and off a motorcycle, even a tall one, is made much easier when the bike is leaned on its sidestand and bars are turned fully to the left. You can actually climb on and off, so long as you're careful not to shift too much weight in the opposite direction so the bike tips over.

You and I are lucky, Christy. Our 5 feet 7 inch height allows us to put both feet flat on the ground while seated on each of these Softails.
Tricia Szulewski, Assistant Editor
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