Motorcycling has never been the luxury for taller riders, however there is one great benefit of being taller, in that you’ll tend to fit most bikes comfortably…within reason, and at least be able to plant your feet firmly on the floor when stationary. Thus not falling over in an embarrassing mess on the road in traffic.
However with some thought, short riders are able to experience all of the benefits of riding but perhaps the best option is specific bikes with a lower seat height, lower centre of mass and one in which allows the rider to place bot feet firmly on the ground.
But whilst there are many options to choose from, this does not stop shorter riders riding bigger and taller bikes, but the two feet planted on the ground rule need not apply, well for them at least.
There is of course the one legged approach to stationary stability. The rider puts their left foot down(or right) firmly flat footed on the road surface, slightly leaning the bike over to catch the weight of the bike at the limits of its balance point.
There is the tippy toe approach. Where both feet are used, with toes extended downwards to make the smallest of contact patches on the road surface. Sometimes both sets of toes are in contact at the same time, whilst other times, a rocking motion from side to side is employed to keep the bike upright…alternating which toe makes contact and supports the bike upright.
There are countless videos out there showing shorter riders how to mount and dismount. How to ride a taller bike, slow to a stop or accelerate from a stationary position. Always finding a way, method and will to buck convention, overcome the obstacle and conquer the mountain.
In my youth, I would be lectured by those in the know, that anyone riding must be able to support the weight of the bike on any surface, and the only way to do that practically with consistent success is to have two feet firmly on the ground when sat on the saddle, so what has changed?
Men and women both young and old…er have approached this with a can-do attitude! They have not been quietened by. the din of sense and sensibility but rather like batter hardened meerkats have raised their heads high, painted their faces blue and white and cried freedom!
The question remains, not can shorter riders ride taller bikes in the ideal situations and environmental conditions but can they rescue the ride when not. We live in a world of declared successes but failures still lurk in the mist, too sheepish to show themselves.
The best practice will always to ride a bike that fits you best. Fits your bodily dimensions and that which gives you the best control in all given situations. This does not stop anyone from trying and mastering…but there is likely to always be a disadvantage.