10 Great Motorcycles With A Low Seat Height

Today I am going to look at the “Top 10 Reliable Motorcycles with a Lower seat height”.

It has been a much requested video and my choices won’t be to everyone’s choice. One of the asks was that it wasn’t just cruisers either, so I have tried to put together a balanced list of bikes that will give a fantastic choice for shorter riders, or those that just feel more comfortable with both feet flat on the ground.

I will explore motorcycles known for their reliability as well as being a great ride for anyone wanting a low seat height.

So join me as we dive into the world of motorcycles designed for those who aren’t giants.

From more sporting rides to cruisers and more, I have tried to find something to suit every taste and preference.

These bikes are all known for their durability and minimal maintenance requirements, so you get peace of mind as well as an easy comfortable riding position.

Whether you’re hitting the open road or navigating through city traffic, all of these motorcycles will give you a comfortable and confidence-inspiring ride.

As some of you know, my lists tend to grow, and this one was no exception.

Going from the tallest to the lowest I have a top five first, but that is followed by 4 slightly taller bikes worth considering because they do make flat footing easy. Lastly we have 2 more bikes that are again slightly taller, but are definitely worth a look.

All are fantastic, reliable bikes that will serve you well if maintained properly.

There are many more bikes, especially cruisers, that have a low seat height. The choice today is not as restricted as it once was, so do look around. Especially with smaller capacity bikes, the choice today is a good one.

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Diving in we have the first of our top five.

Suzuki SV650

The Suzuki SV650 is renowned as a do it all motorcycle. Although a little higher than some, the sculptured seat shape makes getting your feet down much easier than you will find on many smaller bikes.

It is a slimline motorcycle and so your legs won’t be pushed outwards and can run cleanly to the floor from that 785mm seat height, that is just 30.9” for those of you in the States.

Known for its bombproof reliability, this bike combines a smooth ride and impressive performance to give you the versatility often missing in more focussed bikes.

The 650cc V Twin is a fantastic engine and will feel just as much at home in the city as it is being pushed to its absolute limits around a race track. It loves to be revved but has the low down torque to give you an easy relaxing ride when you want it.

Short shifting makes it an economical ride too with good fuel economy, especially with the later Fi models.

Look for one that has been cared for and the mileage becomes a bit irrelevant. These engines will go on well past the 100,000 mile marker.

I do talk more about the SV650 and its brother the Vstrom 650 in the bombproof bikes video linked above.

Next we have a more retro bike.

Ducati Scrambler

The Ducati Scrambler comes in many forms but especially with the IconandSixty2, it is a classy option that can suit shorter riders.

With its retro styling and easy-to-manage power, this bike offers a unique riding experience with a much lower seat height than many modern Scramblers.

If we discount the Desert Sled, which does sit higher, most of the Ducati Scramblers come in with a seat height of around 31” or 780mm. The seat is fairly narrow too, so they do suit those of you with a shorter in-seam.

The air cooled Ducati engine makes for an easy ride. It has plenty of low down grunt, but has enough power to keep most riders entertained, especially through twisty lanes, which is where it shines the most.

Not without their flaws, the Ducati Scramblers can be more expensive on parts and servicing than many bikes, but for those who can bear it, the Ducati Scramblers are a relatively cheap entry into the Ducati marque. They are simple bikes by today’s standards and have more in common with the Ducati’s of old, than with their new water cooled siblings.

They are an easy and entertaining bike to ride and have won over many fans around the world.

Triumph Street Twin

Next, the Triumph Street Twin is not only a classic icon, but a motorcycle that will give you a comfortable ride. It boasts a timeless design that always turns heads.

The Street Twin was first released in 2016, featuring a new liquid-cooled 900cc engine. The chassis was good if a little old fashioned and suspension is set up well right out of the showroom. You get traction control and ABS, but it is a refreshingly simple bike.

In 2019 it was updated with more power, better handling and new rider modes. Then in 2021 it had major updates with a Euro5 engine, more power, different suspension, upgraded tyres and better brakes.

Torquey, Punchy, light and easy to handle, it is ideal for town riding or hooning around on country lanes. Motorway riding could probably could do with a sixth gear, but that is getting picky.

The seat height is low, just 30.1” or 765mm, and the comfortable riding position inspires confidence, especially for those riders shorter in the leg department.

You get plenty of low down torque, so it pulls well from low revs and the roll on power is more than enough for most riders. The seat is comfy for 2 as well, so you and your passenger get to travel in both comfort and style.

Good fuel economy and low insurance make it a cheap bike to run in general and if you are patient you may find one of the well cared for examples that are loaded with extra’s that would have cost you a fortune to buy new.

The Street Twin is physically a little smaller than the T100 so will suit smaller riders better.

Yamaha XV950R

Next, and their had to be some, we have a cruiser. Not the biggest or most powerful but the Yamaha XV950R has a bombproof engine and is a seriously well put together package that epitomises the Yamaha “Star” brand.

First built in 2013, the Yamaha XV950 was perhaps all those things that the early Japanese custom motorcycles weren’t. The 950cc V-Twin is derived from the earlier 950 Midnight Star engine and has masses of low down torque. It comes in a fairly low state of tune too, so it won’t be breaking any land speed records, but it is a strong engine that if looked after will go on for ever.

Handling on the Yamaha XV950 is far better than the ground clearance, so it is easy to end up scraping the parts you really don’t want to around corners, but you will have great fun doing it.

A little counter-steer will see the motorcycle quickly sweep through tight bends in a way you wouldn’t expect from most cruisers. It does feel nimble.

It isn’t a small bike at 240 plus kilo’s, but on the road it hides that weight well and it is an easy and comfortable bike to ride.

With a seat height of just 27.2 inches or 691mm, even the shortest riders will be able to get both feet on the ground with this bike.

Brakes are reassuringly strong and the mid pegs give a more comfortable seating position than forward controls in my opinion. They won’t suit everyone, but for those who want forward controls, there are plenty of other options.

The small tank means even though the engine is fairly economical, it is not the best bike for touring long distances, but the level of detail and finish is very high on the XV950 and the air-cooled V-twin engine is a tried and tested lump.

Next we have a motorcycle that you could say breaks the mould. Alternatively, you might see it as a bike with a bit of an identity crisis.

Honda Rebel 500

The Honda Rebel 500 is comfortable and easy to ride, with a strong reliable engine, but the chassis just looks a bit out of balance to me.

The bike rides well and will do everything you need it to. The 500 Twin engine produces almost as much power as the Yamaha 950 V-Twin from the XV950, but it doesn’t have the same presence or low end torque.

It is smaller, and almost 50kg lighter than the XV950 though, so it is easier to ride, especially for beginners, and not carrying all that extra weight around makes it more economical too.

Despite the raked out look of the front end and a front tyre that looks like it came off the rear of a superbike, it does handle pretty well.

It just has that age old issue of Japanese cruisers. It isn’t quite balanced to look at. The front end looks big and heavy, but somehow at the same time the bike looks squashed up, or hunched over.

I hate to use the term, but it has that neo/retro look that too often ends up being the worst of both rather than the best of both worlds.

It harks back to a design like the old Suzuki GN650 Savage, but although the engine is good, it is top end heavy for a bike like this as far as I am concerned, and Honda could have and probably should have done better.

You will need to rev it to get it moving and that just makes it harder work than it should be to ride. Early models had less well developed suspension, but the later models are better in many ways.

They are a good bike, but we have a saying, and this is a bike that was hit by the ugly stick once or twice too often for me. You may think differently and that is fine. They are great bikes. Just not my cup of tea aesthetically.

4 More Bikes Worth Considering.

With only an extra 5mm on the seat height than the SV650, all of these bikes have an identical seat height of 31.1” or 790mm. They do feel different though so do go and sit on them and better yet test them properly before you put your money on the table.

Triumph Bonneville T100

First of this bunch is the Triumph Bonneville T100. It is a classic iconic design that will give you a comfortable ride, while retaining that old school style the whole Bonneville range are renowned for.

It sits a little higher than the Street Twin and is physically a little bigger and heavier, so in part the choice depends on which motorcycle fits you better.

There isn’t much in it, and if you like that traditional look then it is worth checking the T100 out for size.

Royal Enfield 350 Hunter

Next we have the Royal Enfield 350 Hunter.

Although the seat height is the same, being a 350, the Hunter feels a much smaller bike than the T100. It is significantly lighter too. This makes it an easy to live with package that will be easy and cheap to maintain.

Royal Enfield parts and servicing is 2nd to none in the modern world. Cheap parts that are usually available off the shelf is a rarity these days and that is one of the ways that Enfield have had such a big impact on the market.

The smaller engine doesn’t have the get up and go of the Triumph, but it is a capable, reliable and economical little bike that can be thrown through the bends till you are grinning from ear to ear.

Equally at home in the town or the countryside the Royal Enfield Hunter is the kind of bike we once called a UJM.

It might not be Japanese, but it will do anything and everything you want it to do, just like the many Japanese bikes of the early 80’s. It wont be the best at anything, but it will do most things without complaint. So maybe this should be called a Universal Indian Motorcycle.

Kawasaki Z650

Moving on we have the Kawasaki Z650.

Taking over from the popular ER-6 in 2017, the first-generation twin-cylinder Zed got a Euro4-friendly parallel 649cc 8v twin engine who’s roots disappear in the mists of time it is so old, but don’t let that fool you. The engine is strong and reliable and will put up with years of abuse.

It is after all the same engine that has been used in Supertwin racing in Northern Ireland’s road racing scene for years.

The Kawasaki Z650 actually weighs 17kg less than the previous ER6n, in part thanks to an all new lightweight steel trellis chassis and banana swingarm.

With agile handling and more than enough power to loose your licence, this could be the perfect bike for someone who wants a thrilling but manageable ride.

Honda CB500F

The last but definitely not least of these 4 bikes is the Honda CB500F. The same seat height but a different more aggressive riding position than the Enfield and Triumph, the CB500F is a no nonsense naked roadster of the modern era.

Improved suspension components and better brakes grace the newest model released in 2022, and Honda have changed the weight distribution with more mass over the front wheel to create a true 50/50 balance. This gives you better stability under braking, and much more feel through the corners.

The result is a playful and nimble motorcycle that switches direction in the blink of an eye and yet remains planted at speed.

Although it might lack some of the onboard tech common on many bikes now it is a smooth, refined ride. Just as you would expect from the latest in a long line of iconic Honda 500 twins.

2 More Bikes Definitely Worth A Look.

Yamaha MT07

The Yamaha MT07 is a little higher, with a 31.7” or 805mm seat height, but the seat is sculptured to help keep your feet well and truly planted.

This bike not only offers a comfortable and fairly low seat height but also features the now famous Yamaha CP2 engine. It’s a strong engine that loves to be pushed and in the hands of a good enough rider will keep up with anything at legal speeds.

Low end torque comes on smoothly and the surge of midrange power just keeps going and going.

The chassis is sharp and responsive, for an agile ride, and the reliability of the engine helped write a whole new chapter in Yamaha’s history book.

Treat it gently and it is a pussy cat, perfect for newer riders looking to learn their craft. However, wind it on and a whole new beast is unleashed.

Best selling of all the Yamaha MT range the MT07 offers an affordable route to motorcycle freedom that has captured the imagination of many.

To discount it without trying one would be a bit daft if you are looking for a great all rounder.

Last for today is a bike oozing with character and style.

Moto Guzzi V7

The Moto Guzzi V7 has the same 31.7” or 805mm seat height as the MT07. It does feel a more substantial bike underneath you, but it is far from unmanageable for most riders.

A long while ago before I started doing video’s, I wrote an in depth review of the V7 and you can see it on the website on the link below in the description.

The Ultimate Moto Guzzi V7 Review

The V7 of the modern era is a fantastic bike and they retain that simple, classic, air cooled, two valve per cylinder engine, and of course that all important Moto Guzzi style.

The chassis is a fairly traditional tubular steel design that has a removable section to make maintenance easier, and they offer a refreshing change from the ‘Bigger means better’ approach we see so often.

They are perfectly at home in the city, on the open road, or loaded up with luggage, and the big 21 litre fuel tank and great fuel economy mean you get a very practical 300mile range from a single tank of fuel as long as you aren’t to outrageous with the throttle.

They are versatile and light by modern standards.

As a motorcycle they will never break any records, but the fit and finish are faultless and the package doesn’t have any real weak points.

That does seem a rarity these days and for that reason alone I would say the world is a better place because of the Moto Guzzi V7.

Its relaxed, ergonomic riding position makes everything very easy and there is a V7 model to suit most style tastes.

If the V7 had a motto, it would probably be, “Just Enjoy The Ride”.

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