What size motorcycle suits me best?

Just as you wouldn't buy a t-shirt without knowing it fits, so you must consider physical motorcycle sizes if you want to avoid regretting a much more significant purchasing decision.

Yes, size (of motorcycle) does matter, and manufacturers such as Triumph spend untold amounts of time on getting a motorcycle to feel great and perform superbly to maximise the sheer joy of the ride for as many shapes and sizes as possible.

So to help with that question, "How big a bike should I get?", here's a quick guide to point you in the right direction.


How to test if a motorcycle size suits your needs?

The most important thing to consider is pretty fundamental; what do you want to predominantly use your bike for? Obviously there's a big difference between leisurely cruising to Lands' End, off-roading over dust and gravel tracks, and ripping it up on a track day as fast as you dare; which is why Triumph manufacture very different motorcycle sizes under categories such as 'Cruisers', 'Adventure and Touring', and 'Roadsters and Supersports'.

Another thing to think about is engine size. A 1200cc Bonneville Bobber might well prove too powerful for a total beginner to handle, whereas an A2 licence compliant modern classic Street Twin is probably a much more sensible option.

Bike weight may also be a consideration you should think about. Triumph's Rocket III, for example, has an engine which at 2,294cc is the largest factory-produced motorcycle engine in the world and virtually guarantees admiring glances wherever you go; but as the rider of the beast you need to be aware that such a huge engine is, well, heavy and will therefore unavoidably on occasion require a certain level of physical strength to handle.

Other things to think about include; are you fit with strong wrists (some angled handlebars can place weight on those particular joints), do you relish the physical demands of a forward-leaning riding position (not so good for bad backs), and would you prefer an upright seated riding position (maybe a bike more suited to cruising or touring is better for you).

Bike manufacturers often produce a whole range of models, and your choice today has never been better, so make use of it!

What type of bike suits what type of body size?

Whether you're tall, short, heavy or light, these days good quality motorcycles have ways in which you can modify aspects such as seat height, handlebar height, and the amount that the suspension 'gives' when you sit on your bike. Such modifications can usually be made by simply using an Allen key or screwdriver to adjust the factory settings (which, naturally, are usually set for an average person of medium weight).

Obviously such changes are finite, so always check the spec of a bike before you buy it to check on how much adjustment you can make (for example, this is the specification for a Triumph Street Triple RS, and includes info such as seat height, handlebar width and the 'give' or 'travel' of front and rear suspension).

Of course, the best way to assess all this for a Triumph bike is by calling into a Triumph dealer and actually sitting on the bike in question. The great thing about this is you'll find that dealers are absolutely delighted to explain precisely how to do this and how to set up your new bike to optimise comfort, performance and, ultimately, the enjoyment of your ride.

One other option if you're worried about your inside leg measurement is the 'Low Ride Height' model; for example Triumph's Tiger 1200 Range offers bikes with a lower seat height.

In a nutshell...

If we're honest, a huge part of riding is the desire to look and feel great while we're doing it.

As we've now seen, it's pretty easy to make pre-purchase checks to avoid choosing an inappropriately sized motorcycle. And after all, no-one wants to waste money on buying a bike that's too big or too small, or simply not fit for your purpose.

So do your research, get the right size of motorcycle for you, then sit back (or forwards) and enjoy the ride!


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