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The Lowest of the Low Motorcycles

The lowest seat heights on the market

5/31/2012


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We thought it would be fun to compile a list of major-manufacturer motorcycles with the lowest seat heights. Seat height is of supreme importance to most women riders, as the ability to place one's feet flat on the ground is perhaps the most important factor in giving women the confidence they need to handle a bike.
      
We chose 26 inches as the cut-off seat height for this list. Our original list, compiled back in 2009, used 26.5 inches as the cut-off height. However, over the last few years, seat heights on new models have been coming out of the factories much lower, so we've lowered the cut-off height by half an inch.
  
We compiled this article by checking the seat heights of motorcycles from all the major manufacturers. Surprisingly, Kawasaki and Suzuki did not make the list. The lowest motorcycle in Kawasaki's lineup is the Vulcan 900 at 26.8 inches.The lowest Suzuki is the entry-level Boulevard S40 at 27.6 inches. Actually, many of the Boulevards have that same seat height. But we had to draw the line, and while the S40 happens to be less than 400 pounds, that 27.6-inch seat height on a 700-pound motorcycle would be a lot for most women to handle.

To illustrate our guide, whenever possible we've used pictures sent in by women who own these bikes and have submitted their photos for publication in our Reader Stories or Reader Reviews section. The photos that don't fall into that category are either from WRN test rides or have been supplied by the manufacturers.      

One important note: While this is a list of the lowest of the low, this is not a list of beginner bikes (to find that list, visit Motorcycles to Get Started On in the WRN Beginner's Guide). We've ridden many motorcycles, and we've found that 26 inches is a seat height that most riders, short or tall, can handle and be comfortable on whether the motorcycle weighs 700 pounds or 400 pounds (of course, the lighter the better for new riders). Finally, remember that this is a list of bikes from major manufacturers—custom choppers and alternative import motorcycles are not included.
     
Harley-Davidson Sportster Models

Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron
Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 883cc
Seat Height: 25.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gallons
Weight: 565 pounds


Harley-Davidson Sportster Nightster
Harley-Davidson Sportster Nightster

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1200cc
Seat Height: 25.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gallons
Weight: 562 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow
Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 883cc
Seat Height: 25.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Weight: 563 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1200cc
Seat Height: 26 inches
Fuel Capacity: 2.1 gallons
Weight: 567 pounds
  Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Low 883 <br>
(discontinued in 2011)
Harley-Davidson Sportster Low 883
(discontinued in 2011)

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 883cc
Seat Height: 25.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gallons
Weight 583 pounds

Harley-Davidson Dyna Models

Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide
Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1
 584cc
Seat Height: 25.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gallons
Weight: 665 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob
Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 25.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
Weight: 667 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider <br>(discontinued in 2010; reintroduced in 2014))
Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider
(discontinued in 2010; reintroduced in 2014))

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 25.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons
Weight: 672 pounds
Read the WRN review.

   
Harley-Davidson Softail Models

Harley-Davidson Slim
Harley-Davidson Slim

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1690cc
Seat Height: 23.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 700 pounds


Harley-Davidson Blackline
Harley-Davidson Blackline

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1690cc
Seat Height: 24 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 638 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 24.25 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 731 pounds
Read the WRN review.


Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 25.4 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 714 pounds
Price: starts at $17,195
Read the Reader Review.
 

Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe
Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 24.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 724 pounds
Read the WRN review.


Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1,584cc
Seat Height: 25.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 733 pounds
Read the WRN review.
Harley-Davidson Softail Rocker C<br>(discontinued in 2012)
Harley-Davidson Softail Rocker C
(discontinued in 2012)

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1584cc
Seat Height: 25.25 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 720 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Harley-Davidson V-Rod Models

Harley-Davidson V-Rod 10th Anniversary Edition
Harley-Davidson V-Rod 10th Anniversary Edition

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1250cc
Seat Height: 25.6 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 670 pounds


Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special
Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1250cc
Seat Height: 25.6 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 670 pounds

 
Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1250cc
Seat Height: 25.6 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 673 pounds

Other Harley-Davidson Models

Harley-Davidson FXSBSE CVO Breakout
Harley-Davidson FXSBSE CVO Breakout

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1802cc
Seat Height: 24.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Weight: 728 pounds

Honda Motorcycles

Honda Shadow Spirit 750 C2
Honda Shadow Spirit 750 C2

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 745cc
Seat Height: 25.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallons
Weight: 542 pounds
Read the WRN review.


Honda Shadow Phantom
Honda Shadow Phantom

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 749cc
Seat Height: 25.6 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallons
Weight: 546 pounds
Read the WRN review.


Honda Shadow Aero
Honda Shadow Aero

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 745cc
Seat Height: 25.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gallons
Weight: 553 pounds
Read the WRN review.

Victory Motorcycles

Victory High-Ball
Victory High-Ball

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1731cc
Seat Height: 25 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Weight: 659 pounds


Victory Vegas 8-Ball
Victory Vegas 8-Ball

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1731cc
Seat Height: 25.2 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Weight: 638 pounds


Victory Vegas
Victory Vegas

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1731cc
Seat Height: 25.2 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Weight: 645 pounds
Read the Reader Review.

Victory Judge
Victory Judge

Specs at a Glance
Displacement: 1731cc
Seat Height: 25.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Weight: 660 pounds



Other Victory Motorcycle Seat Heights:
Hammer 8-Ball: 26 inches 
Zach Ness Vegas: 25.2 inches
Vegas Jackpot: 25.7 inches  
 
Editor's Note: This story was updated on May 24, 2012. The reader comments up to this date reflect the original version of this list, which was posted in April 2009. The list you see now reflects the large number of newer motorcycles with very low seat heights that have come onto the market in recent years. We will continue to update this list when new motorcycles that meet our criteria are released.  

Related Articles
Beginner's Guide: Motorcycles to Get Started On

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Reader Comments


I am 5 feet 2 1/2 inches. I took my rider course in May 2014 and the bike of my choice was the 2014 Triumph America. I love the look, feel and balance of the bike and it handles great. After I sat on it, I was sold and am quite happy. Almost have my first 1,000 miles on it. I can almost flat foot it and eventually I will buy some boots that have a 1/2-inch sole.

Patricia Mitchell
St. Ann, MO
Monday, August 11, 2014
I found the article very informative in trying to help shorter (or I think the average height woman) find the right fit and the right bike. What I don't understand is why people bother to comment saying "I'm 5-feet-6 or I'm 5-feet-7." Well I'm very happy for these tall women but we come in all sizes and 5-feet-5 and up is not short or average by any stretch of my imagination.

I'm barely 5 feet and to me that is average, 5-feet-2 or under. We're the ones who really need the help finding a bike that fits our stature. While I do appreciate all input to help us out, and not belittling taller women at all…not my intent to hurt anyone's feeling or step on any toes..I think tall is wonderful, I wish I were tall but I'm not, nor ever will be. So tall women riders, if you can give us short women riders constructive advice and suggestions I know I will be much obliged. Thank you!

Patricia Kimball
Halethorpe, MD
Sunday, July 27, 2014
I ride an American Ironhorse Texas Chopper with a seat height of 23 inches that I can air ride up to 25. It's long, it's lean, and about 700 pounds, with an 111 cubic inch motor. I love it!

Donna
Salina, KS
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Very good article. Low seat height is very important but don't forget if it is a heavier model, you are still going to have to balance all that weight, even if it is low to the ground. Harley has just brought out a Sportster touring model which has a 27-inch seat height and is not a really heavy bike. It also has a windshield and saddlebags, which are very nice to have for a beginner. The price is not too high, either. Beginners might want to give it a look. It has a 1,200cc engine which will have no trouble keeping up on the highway with bigger bikes. Whatever you pick, ride safely and remember the principles you learned in your MSF class or Harley rider's course.

Smokey Strodtman
Marshall, MO
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
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