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The Shortest Guy to Ride a 650L


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I have 31" inseam (5'10") and just for laughs, if I ever see anyone riding a 650L I always check if their feet are flat on the ground when they stop.

I saw a guy on the street that leaned the bike so far over to get one foot under him I was surprised, so I watched the guy pull over and park. He must have been 5"6"; no kidding. He didn't seem to have ANY trouble riding either.

I've seen a LOT of average guys ride tall bikes but that was a record.

A big issue was always the seat height of Honda's but I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people were shorter than me.

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It's not the riding part that is the problem, it's stopping. I'm fairly tall and even I sometimes loose footing and tip the bike over - not a huge deal. It's the nature of dirt riding.

The trick to bikes (not that anyone needs to hear it from me) is to try it before you buy it. If you are comfortable on it, that's all that matters. Everyone is different.

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I'm about 5' 10" with a 33" inseam and it took me a while to get used to its height - lots of tip overs off road.

I finally trimmed down the seat foam and can sit almost flat footed on the road. Off-road I still tip over occasionally. Probably not the seat height, just my lack of riding skill...

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5'10"--30" inseam.The road part is easy,riding off road is the :eek:.....especially if you need to stop and dismount.If there isn't any stable dirt...no mud,funky incline/decline then I need to continue on until I find a suitable area...yes it can be a pain!.Thought about getting a 230L,but then the road may be more challenging...in a negative way.I ride mainly road anyway...oh well!.Hey maybe someday a company will make a DS bike thats 350--500cc's and the seat isn't in the nosebleed section!.:banana:

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I'm 5' 6 1/2" tall. (28~29" inseam)

Road the stock XR650L setup for about 6 months prior to the Kuba link installation. Even with the lowered configuration, I can only get the tip of my "tippy toes" to touch at stop lights, and that is not enough to stay upright if there is a good cross wind. I don't bother trying to touch down on both sides anymore, so I just touch on the left side (so I can keep my right foot on the brake for leverage). When ever possible I stop right next to the center median so I can use it to "flat foot" it on the left side. Off road I have no problems because my "style" is to always ride "feet up", even when sliding the corners (I think it is something I picked up from trials riding in the early part of my motorcycle days). A shorter bike would be nice for the road, but I would not be willing to give up even a millimeter of suspension travel or ground clearance ( I'm a dirt biker at heart!).

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Instant cure, raise forks 1 inch, install Kouba Link, set sag about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 twist that throttle & enjoy!

Truth to tell I did pretty much the same thing; & it did make a difference but more from a psychological perspective. It's VERY comfortable on the street however.

And I DID try out other bikes.

....Especially Hondas are generally the same tall seat height! If I'm standing on the pegs I'm much more sure of myself; the stopping on uneven dirt (especially uphill on gravel) is a drag. So I simply learned to look before I stopped and did my level best ( no pun intended) to pick a decent spot.

But I have seen people a lot shorter than me that have had no problem at all due to their skill. I have watched people who rode well & they do little things that are really valuable to learn.

The guy I saw who was quite short seemed to shift himself on the seat just before stopping so his left foot was slowly getting ready to support the lean of the bike. The actual angle was not that drastic either.

I'm sure there are more techniques that come with a lot of riding & some of them may be such "second nature" to those guys that they don't even think about it.

I had a plated 500 a long time back that I had no trouble with at all but I was a lot younger and rode a Hell of a lot. I am also not sure if the seat height was 32" the way a 650L is. But I really don't think that actual height should stop anyone who really loves the bike: I've seen it overcome too many times for it to pull me away from a bike I enjoy.

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I remember when I couldn't flat foot a 100cc bike, that always sucked in mud, must really stink when you are trying to hold up a 650.

Luckily now i'm a lil over 6 feet tall and I have a 34 inch inseam. I can flat foot a 450r, which according to honda.com is .6 inches taller than the 650 :banana:

Yay tallness!

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I'm 5'7 with 30 in inseam. It was pretty awkward until I lowered it. When I was learning to surf I was griping to a friend about how unwieldy my longboard was. He pointed out that you don't buy a surfboard for the way that it feels when you are carrying it on the beach.

On the other hand, the stock height of the XR required alot of forthought before slowing down and stopping. Its much nicer not to have to manage that all of the time.

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