Light-Weight Motorbikes For Short Riders (13 Best options)

Motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes, just like motorcycle riders.

There’s no reason a short rider can’t hop on a heavyweight touring motorcycle, especially in a world where most manufacturers offer reduced reach hand and foot options.

This article intends to help short riders find the best lightweight motorbike for their intended riding style, cross-referencing the bike’s dimensions, seat height, weight, and engine specs.¬†

Here are the best lightweight motorcycle for short riders:

1. Indian FTR Championship Edition

With a lightweight of 490 pounds, a low seat height of 32 inches plus a few decimals, and a liquid-cooled 1203 cc V-Twin engine capable of 120 horsepower, the Indian FTR makes a tremendous lightweight track bike for short riders.

Although the FTR has a 7+ inch ground clearance and a 32.9 seat height, it’s still easier on riders with shorter legs than other bikes in the same class.

Specification:

Engine & Drivetrain
Displacement  1203cc
Engine Type  Liquid Cooled V-Twin
Horsepower  120 HP
Peak Torque  87 ft-lbs
Transmission/Primary Drive  Gear Drive Wet Clutch
Dimensions
Fuel Capacity  3.4 gals (13.0 L)
Ground Clearance  7.2 in (183 mm)
GVWR 948 lb (430 kg)
Lean Angle ¬†43¬į
Overall Height  52.6 in (1336 mm)
Overall Length  90 in (2287 mm)
Overall Width  34.1 in (867 mm)
Rake/Trail ¬†26.3¬į / 5.1 in (130 mm)
Seat Height  32.1 in (815 mm)
Weight (As Shipped / Running Order)  490 lbs (222 kg) / 521 lbs (236 kg)
Wheelbase  60 in (1525 mm)

2. Triumph Bonneville Bobber

The Bonneville Bobber makes a fun cruiser for shorter riders with a 27.2-inch seat height, an eight-valve parallel twin, multiple ride modes, and a smooth vintage bobber style.

Although it’s not the lightest bike on the list, it weighs in at 550 pounds when fully fuelled and full of the liquid coolant that keeps its high-performance engine from overheating.

Specification

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars  31.5 in (800 mm)
Height Without Mirror  40.3 Р41.5 in (1024 Р1055 mm)
Seat Height  27.2 Р27.6 in (690 Р700 mm)
Wheelbase  59.1 in (1500 mm)
Rake ¬†24.5 ¬ļ
Trail  3.6 in (92.0 mm)
Tank Capacity  3.2 US gal (12 liters)
Wet Weight  553 lb (251 kg)
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type ¬†Liquid-cooled, eight valves, SOHC, 270¬į crank angle parallel twin
Capacity  1200 cc
Gearbox  6-speed

3. Indian Scout Bobber

A 29-degree lean angle, 25-inch seat height, and 100HP-producing 1133 V-twin engine make the low-slung Scout Bobber an excellent choice for short riders looking for a Bobber-style motorcycle on the lighter side of the American cruiser spectrum.

Specification

Dimensions
Fuel Capacity  3.3 gal (12.5 L)
Ground Clearance  5.1 in (129 mm)
GVWR  988 lbs (449 kg)
Lean Angle ¬†29¬į
Overall Height  41.5 in (1,053 mm)
Overall Length  87.5 in (2223 mm)
Overall Width  36.5 in (926 mm)
Rake/Trail ¬†29.0¬į / 4.7 in (120 mm)
Seat Height  25.6 in (649 mm)
Weight (As Shipped / Running Order)  533 lbs (242 kg) / 553 lbs (251 kg)
Wheelbase  62 in (1,576 mm)
Engine & Drivetrain
Bore x Stroke  3.898 in x 2.898 in (99 mm x 73.6 mm)
Displacement  69 cu in (1,133 ccs)
Engine Type  Liquid Cooled V-Twin (60 degrees)
Transmission/Primary Drive  6-Speed Gear Drive Wet Clutch

4. Triumph Tiger 660 Sport

The Tiger 660 Sport is one of the tallest bikes on the list due to its adventure bike style. Its few ADVs clock in at less than 33 inches for seat height.

Also, the 660 Sprt version of the Tiger is smaller and nimbler, weighing in at just 455 pounds while rugged enough and fully equipped for dual-sport riding. 

Specs

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars  32.83 in (834 mm)
Height Without Mirror  55.04 in (1398 mm) high / 51.77 in (1315 mm) low screen position
Seat Height  32.87 in (835 mm)
Wheelbase  55.82 in (1418 mm)
Rake ¬†23.1 ¬ļ
Trail  3.82 in (97.1 mm)
Tank Capacity  4.5 US gal (17.2 liters)
Wet Weight  455 lbs
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type ¬†Liquid-cooled, 12 valves, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder, 240¬į firing order
Capacity  660 cc
Gearbox  Six-speed

5. Triumph Street Triple R Low

As the name implies, the Street Triple R Low is a lowered version of Triumph’s ultra-refined streetfighter. The low edition stocks a 765cc 3-cylinder engine but only sits at 30 inches, weighing less than 400 pounds when dry.

The Street Triple R Low is a solid motorbike for short street rippers looking for a lightweight roadster.

Specs

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars  30.5 in (775 mm)
Height Without Mirror  41.1 in (1045 mm)
Seat Height  30.7 in (780 mm)
Wheelbase  55.3 in (1405 mm)
Rake ¬†24.5 ¬ļ
Trail  4.04 in (102.7 mm)
Dry Weight  370 LB (168 kg)
Tank Capacity  4.6 US gal (17.4 l)
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type  Liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Capacity  765 cc
Gearbox  6-speed with Triumph Shift Assist

6. Triumph Bonneville T100

While the Bonneville T100 has a seat height of 31.1 inches, its all-star handling, easy ridability, lightweight 500-pound chassis, and refind 900cc parallel twin engine make it a desirable cafe racer or modern classic for short riders seeking a lightweight option.

Specs

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars  30.7 in (780 mm)
Height Without Mirror  43.3 in (1100 mm)
Seat Height  31.1 in (790 mm)
Wheelbase  57.1 in (1450 mm)
Rake ¬†25.5 ¬ļ
Trail  4.1 in (104.0 mm)
Tank Capacity  3.8 US gal (14.5 liters)
Wet Weight  503 lb (228 kg)
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type ¬†Liquid-cooled, eight valves, SOHC, 270¬į crank angle parallel twin
Capacity  900 cc
Gearbox  Five-speed

7. BMW F 750 GS

The BMW F 750 GS is a luxury enduro-style dual-sport motorcycle. It weighs less than 500 pounds, appears fully loaded, and always looking ready to ride.

This motorcycle has an adjustable seat height that goes as low as 30.3 inches, making it ideal for short riders looking for a dual sport option than some of the heavier, taller options available.

For comparison, you might want to check lightweight motorcycles for tall riders here.

Specification

Dimensions/weights
Seat height Comfort Seat 32.7″ ¬†Standard Seat 32.1″ ¬†Low Seat 31.1″ ¬†Suspension Lowering Kit 30.3
Inner leg curve ¬†Comfort Seat 73.6″ ¬†Standard Seat 72″ ¬†Low Seat 70.5″ ¬†Suspension Lowering Kit 68.9″
Usable tank volume  4.0 gal. (15 l)
Reserve  approx. 0.9 gal (.5 l)
Length ¬†88.8″ (2,255 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors) ¬†48.2″ (1,225 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors) ¬†36.3″ (922 mm)
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled  493 lbs. (227 kg) 1)
Permitted total weight  970 lbs. (440 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment)  476 lbs. (213 kg)
Engine
Type  Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Capacity  853 cc
Gearbox  Constant-Mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase

8. BMW F 900 R

Short riders looking for a more street-oriented BMW Motorrad should check out the F 900 R. It only weighs 465 pounds, has a constant mesh 6-speed gearbox, and an adjustable seat set as low as 30 inches. It’s a refined and lightweight choice.

Specification

Dimensions/weights
Length ¬†84.2″ (2,140 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors) ¬†32″ (815 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors) ¬†44.4″ (1,130 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight ¬†32″ (OE suspension lowering kit 30.3.” ¬†OE low seat 31.1.” ¬†OA high seat 32.8.” ¬†OA comfort seat 33.”
Inner leg curve, unladen weight ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 71.6″ (OE suspension lowering kit 69.” ¬†OE low seat 70.2.” ¬†OA high seat 73.2.” ¬†OA comfort seat 73.6.”
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled  465 lbs (211 kg) 1)
Permitted total weight  947 lbs (430 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment)  482 lbs (219 kg)
Usable tank volume  3.4 gal (13 L)
Reserve Approx  0.9 gal (3.5 L)
Engine
Type  Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Gearbox  Constant-Mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase

9. KTM 390 Adventure

While a 33-inch seat height puts it on the more elevated side of our list, the KTM 390 Adventure is a good choice for entry-level riders.

Its mid-range foot controls, a small-displacement engine capable of highway speeds, and its remarkably light body make it a solid choice for entry-level riders looking for something to travel on. 

If you’re an entry-level rider, make sure you also check out our post on 9 best motorcycles for beginners here.

Specification:

Chassis
ABS  Bosch 9.1 MP (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad mode, disengageable)
Front Brake Disc Diameter  320 mm
Rear Brake Disc Diameter  230 mm
Chain  520 X-Ring
Frame Design  Steel trellis frame, powder coated
Front Suspension  WP APEX 43
Rear Suspension  WP APEX РMonoshock
Steering Head Angle 63.5 ¬į
Engine
Transmission   6-speed
Cooling  Liquid-cooled
Displacement 373.2 cc

10. Royal Enfield Himalayan

If you’re a shorter beginner rider looking for a street-legal, off-road-ready, lightweight motorcycle, check out the 439-pound Royal Enfield Himalayan 400.

With a seat height under 32 inches, easy-to-reach foot controls, and a simple but reliable single-cylinder engine, it’s another great option for low-height riders.

Specification:

Dimensions
Wheelbase  58 in
Ground Clearance  8.6 in
Length  86 in
Width  33 in
Seat Height  31.5 in
Height  53 in (Flyscreen top)
Weight  439 lbs
Fuel Capacity  Four gal
Engine
Engine Type  Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, SOHC, Air Cooled
Displacement  411cc
Gearbox  5 Speed, Constant Mesh

11. Kawasaki Vulcan S

The Kawasaki Vulcan S is an affordable Japanese series of cruisers modeled after American cruisers, made famous by Harley-Davidson.

The low and beefy Vulcan S stocks a 650cc liquid-cooled V-Twin, and a 27.8-inch seat height. With over 18 adjustable settings, this bike can accommodate riders of varying shapes and sizes while weighing less than 500 pounds. 

Specification:
Frame Type High-tensile steel diamond frame
Rake/Trail  31/4.7 in
Overall Length  90.9 in
Overall Width  34.6 in
Overall Height  43.3 in
Ground Clearance  5.1 in
Seat Height  27.8 in
Curb Weight 491.7 lb / 498.3 lb(with ABS)
Fuel Capacity  3.7 gal
Wheelbase  62.0 in
POWER:
Engine  4-stroke, 2-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled
Displacement  649cc
Transmission  6-speed with positive, neutral finder

12. Indian Chief

While the Indian Chief isn’t what many would consider a lightweight motorcycle, finding an American cruiser that weighs less than 700 pounds and sits lower than 27 inches is difficult for short riders.

This bike only weighs 640 pounds – 670 when fully fueled and loaded. Its seat height is as low as 26 inches, making it an excellent big-twin cruiser for shorter riders looking for a straightforward, heritage-style American cruiser.

And even though it weighs 670, the Chief handles so well that you’ll swear it only weighs 500 pounds once you’re in motion.

Please, aso check out our post on lightweight motorcycles for ladies.

Dimensions:
Fuel Capacity  4.0 gal (15.1 L)
Ground Clearance  4.9 in (125 mm)
GVWR  1,160 lbs (522 kg)
Lean Angle ¬†28.5¬į
Overall Height  49.3 in (1,253 cm)
Overall Length  90 in (2,286 mm)
Overall Width  36.3 in (922 mm)
Rake/Trail ¬†29¬į / 5.2 in (132 mm)
Seat Height  26.0 in (662 mm)
Weight (As Shipped / Running Order)  647 lbs (294 kg) / 670 lbs (304 kg)
Wheelbase  64.0 in (1,626 mm)
Engine & Drivetrain
Displacement  111 cu in (1,811 ccs)
Engine Type  Air-cooled Thunderstroke 111
Transmission/Primary Drive  6-Speed Gear Drive Wet Clutch

13. Harley-Davidson Fat Bob 114

The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob 114 is the heaviest bike on our list, but it makes an excellent choice for short riders looking for a fully-Americanized HD big-twin cruiser.

It’s got a low seat height of 27.7 inches, and while it weighs 675 pounds ready to ride, it’s smaller and lighter than many of the other big twins out there.

DIMENSIONS:
LENGTH  92.1 in.
SEAT HEIGHT, LADEN  27.7 in.
GROUND CLEARANCE  4.7 in.
RAKE  28
TRAIL  5.2 in.
WHEELBASE  63.6 in.
FUEL CAPACITY  3.5 gal.
OIL CAPACITY (W/FILTER)  Five qt.
WEIGHT, AS SHIPPED  653 lb.
WEIGHT, IN RUNNING ORDER  675 lb.
ENGINE:
ENGINE  Milwaukee-Eight 114
DISPLACEMENT  114 cu in
COMPRESSION RATIO  10.5-1

Find our post on 7 best Harleys for women here.

Sources:

2023 Fat Bob 114 Motorcycle | Harley-Davidson USA

2023 Kawasaki Vulcan¬ģ S | Cruiser Motorcycle

2023 Motorcycles – New Indian Motorcycles

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