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how exactly is seat height rated?

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I'm curious how seat height is rated. I'm shopping for my first bike, and today I rode a 2004 KDX 200. According to the spec sheets I've seen online, the seat height is about 36" tall. But yesterday I rode a 2007ish YZ450F, which is supposed to be about 39" tall. But the YZ450F sat lower! With the YZ I could put both feet on the ground, but couldn't with the KDX. 

My first guess is that it's the stiffness of the suspension. But the KDX should be softer than the YZ, so I'm not so sure that's it.

Justin

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No such thing as a 'rated seat height'.

I suggest you bring a tape measure to the dealership, straighten a bike up and measure, then compare to the literature. I think you will find it does not match. Weigh the bike, you will find, it does not match.

Settings and arbitrary measurements.

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I've seen so many people here shopping  for bike's by posted seat heights. 

 

 The sag is adjustable as are the springs. Seat density can vary too. Tire height is variable.

 The kdx likely had a stiffer than stock spring or the preload cranked down. 

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I'm curious how seat height is rated. I'm shopping for my first bike, and today I rode a 2004 KDX 200. According to the spec sheets I've seen online, the seat height is about 36" tall. But yesterday I rode a 2007ish YZ450F, which is supposed to be about 39" tall. But the YZ450F sat lower! With the YZ I could put both feet on the ground, but couldn't with the KDX. 
My first guess is that it's the stiffness of the suspension. But the KDX should be softer than the YZ, so I'm not so sure that's it.
Justin

I understand your concern with seat height, I'm 5'6" ish. Speaking from experience, you will get use to the seat height. Aftermarket lower seats are available for most models, or you could shave the foam down.
My suggestion would be to buy a bike that is made for its intended purpose. If you are looking to ride trails get a model built for it, not an mx bike.
I am loving the lower seat height of my beta but when I was riding an 09 YZ450F I got use to the height and made it work.

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lol, thanks for the replies. I'm 5'10", but have legs like a penguin. My 5'3" girlfriend has the same length legs as me.

It makes sense now, though. I didn't realize that the spring height was adjustable. If I were doing motorcross, I'd care less about the height. But for slow trails I'd like to be able to put my feet down when necessary. I'm sure it won't be a big deal after I get some practice, but for now it sure seems appealing.

Edited by JustinHoMi
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I believe the static seat ht spec doesn't care how soft your foam is or about your suspension settings.  It is measured with suspension topped out from ground to lowest point of seat cover.  As stated above, there is all kinds of things you can do to suspension and foam to lower the dynamic seat ht when the rider is on board.  Most do lots of sag in the preload adjuster, some do a lowering link and slide the forks up in the triple clamp, some slice foam away from the seat. In extreme cases you could even use smaller wheel set.

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I'm 5'7 and struggle with tall bikes, also. If I rode a KDX and a YZf back to back and felt like the YZf was shorter, I would wonder if one of them or both had modified suspension. I remember KDX's as not being super tall, and the last YZf I sat on was a skyscraper.

There are several ways to lower a dirtbike, with pros and cons to each of them, and opinions of which are correct are abundant. 

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