Scary Seat Height

I went to the local Suzuki dealership this last weekend and was surprised at how high that monster DRZ is! My first bike was an old Honda CB400 (70's) that I had in college just to get me (barely) around Boston. I'm 36 now and looking to get into some dual sporting adventure on the weekends and holidays.

As you may imagine the DRZ400s is my top pick, but I (don't laugh) was scared to even try and get on the thing at the dealership worrying that I might actually fall over trying to get on it.

I'm 5'9 with an inseam of just over 34". Am I being a wimp or should I try out a 250CC bike for a season until I feel comfortable riding again? I'll note I raced BMX bikes, was a bike courier and have been on serious trails on a mountain bike for a good while, so I'm comfortable on 2 wheels, but not motorized necessarily.

Reflections, thoughts?

you can always lower the suspension a bit, i've never done it but i've seen plenty of threads here talking about it.

i feel your pain though, when i first got my bike i couldn't believe how high it was and i'm 6' tall. i got used to it very quickly though. at stops i am up on my toes a bit.

i think if you can get it lowered you will really like it.

Can also get a lowered seat too. I'm 5'7" and I'm ok on a stock 02 S bike.

I have a 32" inseam and had no problems on my DRZ. I put the Suzuki Gel seat on a while back for softer on the butt action & it is a little lower then the stock seat.

I thought that the bike was too tall also with my 32" inseam but I got used to it quickly. The suspension will compress a little when you get on.

Im 5'10 ish with a 32 inseam and 180lbs, the seat was a bit high for me so I took 2hrs on a Saturday after noon and shaved almost 2ins off the seat foam. Not only could I touch the ground better but the seat is a bit wider at the bottom of the foam and thus more comfortable. Double win.

Im no expert at shaving foam and I have a few irregularities in my seat now, but doesn't matter to me, its more functional. If you buy the DRZ give seat shaving a try, worst case you have to buy new seat foam or a new seat.

Showroom test rides never give you a real feel for a bike. The DRZ can seem lofty but out in the real world it's very managable. I think any 250 worth riding would be on the tall side also. I have a 32" inseam so with your 34" you should do ok.

I'm an old fart compared to you and I have logged over 9k miles on my '06, mostly deep sand/off road, and have the same inseam as you. My bike is not lowered; you get used to it and will appreciate the suspension travel and ground clearance.

DRZ's are tough to beat, especially for the money.

I feel your pain at 5'9" and 30" inseam any bike is really stretching for me. I've just gotten used to tip toeing everywhere. Makes off roading interesting but it also teaches you to keep your feet on the pegs in about all circumstances. My 02 has sagged a little and I weight about 240 so I mash it down when I sit on it. When you throw a leg over just be ready.:lol:

All of you are giant freaks of nature.

I have a very manageble 27" inseam. Anything over 31" should be able to fit a DRZ with no modifications. I had to lower my bike 3" (internally done to the shock and forks).

don't lower it, you'll get used to it. they're too low to begin with, especially with the stock soft springs!

All of you are giant freaks of nature.

I have a very manageble 27" inseam. Anything over 31" should be able to fit a DRZ with no modifications. I had to lower my bike 3" (internally done to the shock and forks).

I have a 29/30 inseam and have not had to do anything to the bike :lol:

All of you are giant freaks of nature.

I have a very manageble 27" inseam. Anything over 31" should be able to fit a DRZ with no modifications. I had to lower my bike 3" (internally done to the shock and forks).

Well now...I wouldn't say freaks of nature. Maybe more along the lines of 'haven't let earth's gravity take hold yet". Speaking of which I bough a pair of pants yesterday and it appears I have shrunk an inch...:lol:

sounds like a good excuse to supermoto it to me! :lol:

Try cutting down the seat foam first since it is a cheap way to get yourself closer too the ground. Once you are comfortable on the bike just buy replacement seat foam.

If you don't mind spending the money you could go with the Corbin which is very comfy but is expensive and a little goofy for tight trail riding.

At your height though I wouldn't do anything drastic like a lowering link or supsension lowering. I am almost exactly the same height as you and I wen't through the exact same thing as you and so do many. I got use to the bike and now switched back to the stock seat which in my opinion is the best for off-road riding because you can switch between standing and sitting a little easier then if your seat is 2 inches lower. Not a whole lot but you can definetly aprpeciate it after a whole day of riding trails.

I thought it was too low, I put a stiffer spring in and raised the rear height!

I'm 5'8", 180lbs with a 32" inseam. I initially contemplated lowering the bike and switching the seat etc,. Now, one month and 700 miles later, I'm finding that the height presents no significant issues. Hell, even the stock seat is starting to become tolerable.

This is great stuff, thank you. And I agree the 250 worth riding will probably be a bit high. I was considering the Yamaha wr250, but I've been told on a number of occasions that it's too much bike for me to be starting with after not riding for a while. The other bike on my list right now is the Kawasaki KLX250s. This seems like a great balance between fun, light weight and not too beginner a bike. I guess the big question is if I'm going to be on the highway. I'd prefer not to be doing a lot of highway riding, and my wife REALLY prefers me not to (9 month old daughter). But the idea of some long trips is very appealing. I also drive a WRX, sold my truck so I'll need a trailer.

I'm 5'10" with a 30/31 inseam. I, too, was intimidated by the DRZ400's showroom height. In fact, I ran and bought a used cruiser. After 2 years I gave it another try (the cruiser wouldn't take me where I wanted to go up the mountains :p ) and bought a used KLX400R (green E). I did cut the stock saddle down about 1.5-2" and that helped a lot. I still drop it some when the ground is too far away (ruts, holes, etc), or I'm just too tired. I've learned that if I keep my feet on the pegs instead of trying to put them down in dicy situations, everything works out a lot better.

With your 34" inseam, I'd say go for it and don't look back. You won't regret! :lol:

Cool this is what I want to hear :lol:

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