There are a lot of quirks that come with being a tall motorbiker, and that mostly comes down to the majority of bikes being made with the average-sized person in mind.
That doesn’t mean you can’t ride, though. In fact, there’s basically a bike available for everybody. With the vast variety of makes and models on the market, your longer body doesn’t rule you out from tearing up the roads and winding your way through scenic landscapes. You just need to find the right bike.
Today, we’re going to help you with that. While the best motorcycle for tall riders is a subjective thing, we do have ten of our most highly-recommended bikes that work extremely well with even the tallest riders.
Let’s go over them.
Does Height Really Matter When Riding?
If you’re used to a car, you’re used to being able to slide your seat back, recline a bit, and adjust your steering to accommodate your above-average stature; unless you’re so tall you’re banging your head against the ceiling anyways. On a motorcycle, you don’t have any of those options. Your bike is more or less stuck in the same configuration as when you bought it without major custom work, and that’s usually for performance enhancement or cosmetic reasons.
If you’re blessed with a considerable stature, this is one arena where you might be at a disadvantage.
Riding a bike that is too small can be extremely uncomfortable; scrunching your legs into your ribs, putting unnecessary pressure on your back and neck, and putting your arms in an awkward steering position.
On something like a mini-bike that only hits 20MPH, it’s normal to be scrunched up, but on a real motorcycle with real power behind it, that’s not just uncomfortable; it can be extremely dangerous.
Of course, being a little taller than what the bike was intended for isn’t too big of a deal, but the bigger the size difference, the more chance there is of you having issues controlling the bike at higher speeds, and that can spell disaster.
So, yes, your height does matter when you choose a motorcycle. Fortunately, there are plenty of options that can accommodate your height so you can ride comfortably and safely like your more average-sized counterparts.
Let’s find out what’s the best motorcycle for tall riders. Here’s the top 9 list.
9 Best Motorcycles for Tall Riders
The following bikes are some of the best motorcycles for tall riders. They have ample room and are easy for you to control, but they don’t sacrifice performance or cost an arm and a leg (most of them don’t, anyway).
If you’re having a bit of trouble finding a bike to match your stature, you’re sure to find one that not only meets your needs but catches your eye, too.
1: Harley Davidson Breakout
If you’re looking for a bike that exudes classic vibes but doesn’t feel like it was built for the average height person in the 60s, this is the one to look at.
The Harley Davidson Breakout is a chopper-style bike that’s not technically made with taller riders in mind, but the unique rider triangle and positioning of the seat to the handlebars make it the closest to a one-size-fits-all option you’re going to find. The Breakout can easily accommodate riders in the 5’4 to 6’7” range comfortably, and that’s what can possibly make it the best motorcycle for tall riders.
However, you don’t just want to know that you’ll be comfortable. We know that. So, you’ll be happy to know that the Breakout packs every bit of the quality and fine craftsmanship that Harley is known for. It has a powerful engine, takes curves beautifully, and is built to last. Overall, this can be a great everyday bike for even the tallest of riders, but shorter guys will love it, too.
However, it is also one of the more high-end bikes on this list. It costs roughly $20,000 MSRP for the 2019 model. Luckily, you can often find it for slightly less, and even if you pay full price, the build quality and versatility make it worth every single penny.
Don’t forget the helmet! Check the best Harley Davidson motorcycle helmets and choose the one that matches your ride!
2: Honda NC700X
The Honda NC700X is a sporty speedster that oozes style but maintains a comfortable riding experience for tall riders. Its extra-large trunk is beefy enough to handle larger riders, while the foot rests are positioned especially well for long-legged individuals to not feel cramped or stiff. The forward-leaning rider triangle can be a little rough on your back during extremely long rides if you’re too tall, but these aren’t exactly cross-country cruising bikes, and even the models designed for smaller riders have that problem.
While not quite as powerful as the Harley Breakout, or built with as high of a craftsmanship level, it is a well-built bike that will last well past the point you get your money’s worth.
Not only that but there’s another great feature that can make this an excellent starter bike for bigger riders. It has a dual-clutch system that practically makes it automatic. You don’t have to worry about shifting with your foot or anything of the sort, and this makes the ride much easier.
As a bonus, it’s also far cheaper than the top pick on this list; the Honda NC700X only costs about $7000.
3: Yamaha FZ-09
The Yamaha FZ-09 goes for a more utilitarian look, and it doesn’t attempt to draw your attention with a flashy framework or off-the-wall aesthetics. However, it does pack every bit of Yamaha’s reputation for excellence into its performance.
This heavy roadster can turn like no other, open up on the freeways with ease, and handle comfortable long-distance cruises better than most other bikes in its class. It even comes with an improved fuel system over previous Yamaha models and a firmer suspension that absorbs those bumps you’ll run into taking it across various terrains.
Of course, you want to know if it’s the best motorcycle for tall riders and how it seats them, right? Well, it has extended legroom so that even the tallest riders sink into the bike with a natural knee bend that doesn’t feel cramped. Its larger size helps, too.
It’s not flawless, though. The FZ-09 is one of the heaviest bikes on this list. So, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the strength to get it upright in case your adventures leave you in a bit of a sticky situation.
However, the price is very attractive for everything it has to offer. At just about $9000, the FZ-09 isn’t the cheapest bike, but it’s still well within the acceptable range.
4: KTM 1190 Adventure
If you’re a taller rider who wants to hit some rough off road terrain, the KTM 1190 Adventure is for you. It’s essentially a motorcycle built with the abilities of a high-end dirt bike.
This thing can handle off road riding with ease, has exceptional agility, and can easily get you off the roads and onto the adventure of a lifetime without worrying about it breaking down. It also packs a tremendously high speed compared to the more traditional dirt bikes you’ll find on the market, and it counters all that raw power with several ABS brake systems that can stop it on a dime.
There is ample room for taller riders with the KTM, and it’s a mid-range bike that sells for roughly $17,000.
However, there’s one major drawback to this. It’s not really a road bike. Sure, you could take it on the road to get to your favorite spot, but you risk prematurely wearing the treads out, and it’s not really built for that kind of riding. This is more for adventurous spirits who want to get off the road a bit.
5: Yamaha XSR900
The Yamaha XSR900 is a do-it-all lightweight that exemplifies what made the brand rise to fame in the 90s. This bike is capable of comfortably accommodating riders of all sizes, but it’s extremely lightweight and agile. It can turn through busy city streets like they’re nothing, or it can open up on the highways with its incredibly powerful engine. You can even do a bit of racing with it if you’d like.
All of this is pulled together with a retro look that is reminiscent of Yamaha’s iconic classics, but it has a few modern design touches to make it stand out.
For just $10,000, this can easily be the first bike that you never want to upgrade; it’s just that great at handling almost anything you throw at it.
6: BMW R1200GS
BMW tends to be a pretty reliable name across every facet of the vehicle industry, and its motorcycle options are no different.
The BMW R1200GS is easily the most sophisticated bike on this list. It’s packed full of onboard electronics, has rider protection systems that prevent serious injuries, can be taken on practically any type of road or path with ease, and can unleash a ton of power on the flip of a dime.
It’s also extremely comfy for taller riders, and it might even be the best motorcycle for tall riders who are a bit more experienced to handle its multitude of chassis electronics and advanced features.
All these features and, of course, the brand name, set the price of BMW R1200GS somewhere around $17,000.
7: Kawasaki Versys 650/1000
The Kawasaki Versys 650/1000 is one of the most well-rounded city cruisers you’re going to find. It has a 1000cc parallel-twin engine that, when combined with its absolutely stellar handling and comfort, makes twisting through tightly laid-out cityscapes a breeze.
However, doesn’t that description turn you off of it if you think you might want to go for some long-distance motorcycle camping trips or long highway cruises? It’s plenty comfortable for you to get through those long rides, and there’s plenty of storage room for things you might need to bring along for the ride.
The MSRP for the Versys fluctuates between $9000 and $10,000. Luckily, it packs plenty of value into that relatively low price point.
8: Ducati Multistrada 1200
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 is the perfect city touring bike, but it has a drawback that sets it behind some of the similar bikes on this list.
First, it uses a unique engine system that helps it maintain its performance for far longer than you’d expect from a similar bike without repairs. However, that same system limits the engine’s power a bit, and that might be a problem if you want to take it out for long highway rides where you can really open it up.
Other than that, you get a bike that is built to last, has plenty of legroom, and is pretty agile; it just lacks the power of many of our other recommendations.
Another hard-hitting con is that it costs roughly $18,000. So, this is definitely one we recommend on the condition that you have some experience, don’t want the most powerful bike, and are willing to pay for craftsmanship rather than raw power.
9: Honda Fury
If you liked the more traditional, rugged look of the Harley Breakout, but you weren’t too happy about the $20,000 price, take a look at the Honda Fury. It’s a cruiser rather than a chopper, and it’s not quite as powerful or beefy, but it is a truly intimidating piece of art that can handle cruising and touring like a champ. Better yet, its seat height isn’t as low as the Breakout, and still seats short and tall riders easily.
It’s a little different, but it fills the same role, and you can get it for $11,000 instead of $20,000. So, it’s a good option if you’re a tall rider looking for a more traditional cruiser without completely dominating your wallet.
Choose the Best Motorcycle for Tall Riders and Get on the Road with TheMotorBiker
As you can see, there are plenty of bikes, in every price range and style, that can accommodate a tall rider without creating a safety concern or hampering their comfort. If you’re particularly tall and find other bikes uncomfortable, we hope that our recommendations help you choose the best motorcycle for tall riders, so you can get on the road and experience the thrill biking has to offer. For more resources, check out other guides from TheMotorBiker.