Motorcycle Seat Height Comparisons (290 different bikes)


The motorcycle’s seat height can seriously influence how confident you are on the bike, especially for beginner riders or if you ride in technical terrain. Some motorcycle types have lower seat heights than others.

The average seat height of any motorcycle is 31.6 inches (803 mm). The lowest motorcycles are cruisers with an average seat height of only 27 inches (686 mm), while the tallest bikes are dirt bikes and dual sports at 34 inches (864 mm). The Yamaha YZ 125 has the tallest seat height of any bike at 38.6 inches (980 mm) and the Harley Softail Slim is the lowest motorcycle at 25.5 inches (648 mm).

Seat height should not be your only consideration when buying a motorcycle, but it will greatly influence how quickly you learn to ride if you are a beginner rider. My short wife learned to ride on a small Yamaha MR 50 from 1979 and within weeks she got onto a 421 lbs BMW 650 Funduro. If she had started on the BMW, she would have taken that much longer to gain confidence.

My wife on her 1999 BMW F650
The BMW F650 Funduro was the only adventure bike that my short wife were able to ride comfortably

The only way to know which bike is best for you is to take it for a test ride. Second prize is to at least go sit on all the bikes on your shortlist. That will give you a feel for the seat height and how easily you are able to touch the ground and balance it upright.

Once you are experienced at riding a motorcycle, seat height is almost totally irrelevant. It is during those early days while learning to master clutch and throttle control, and how to properly stop the motorcycle the right way, that seat height can be important.

All the Seat Heights of All the Motorcycles

This table below lists all the seat heights of all the major motorcycle manufacturers from the tallest to the lowest in inches and in milimetres.

Bike ModelSeat Height
(inches)
Seat Height
(mm)
Yamaha YZ12538.6980
Yamaha YZ125 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION38.6980
Yamaha YZ25038.2970
Yamaha YZ250 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION38.2970
Yamaha YZ250F38.2970
Yamaha YZ250X38.2970
Honda CRF250RX38965
Honda CRF450R38965
Honda CRF450RWE38965
Honda CRF450RX38965
Yamaha YZ250F MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION38965
Yamaha YZ450F38965
Yamaha YZ450F MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION38965
Honda CRF450X37.9963
Honda CRF250R37.8960
Honda CRF450-S37.8960
Suzuki RM-Z45037.8960
Kawasaki KX45037.6955
Kawasaki KX450 SR37.6955
Yamaha WR250F37.6955
Yamaha WR450F37.6955
Yamaha YZ125X37.6955
Yamaha YZ250FX37.6955
Yamaha YZ450FX37.6955
Suzuki RM-Z25037.5953
Kawasaki KX25037.4950
Kawasaki KX450 X37.4950
Suzuki RMX450Z37.4950
Honda CRF450RL37.2945
Kawasaki KX250 X37.2945
Honda XR650L37940
Suzuki DR-Z400S36.8935
Kawasaki KLX300R36.4925
Kawasaki KLX230R36.2919
Kawasaki KLX230R S35.4899
Honda CRF300L RALLY35.2894
Honda CRF300L RALLY ABS35.2894
Kawasaki KLX30035.2894
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure35*889*
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure – Edition 40 Years GS35*889*
Suzuki DR-Z400SM35889
Suzuki DR650S34.8*884*
Honda CRF250F34.8884
Kawasaki KLX230 ABS34.8884
Yamaha YZ85LW34.8884
Honda CRF300L34.7881
Honda CRF300L ABS34.7881
BMW F 850 GS Adventure34.4874
Yamaha Tenere 70034.4874
Kawasaki KLR 650 ABS34.3871
Kawasaki KLR 650 ADVENTURE34.3871
Kawasaki KLR 650 TRAVELER34.3871
Kawasaki KX10034.3871
Kawasaki KX11234.3871
Yamaha TT-R23034.3871
Kawasaki KLX140R F33.9861
Kawasaki KLX300 SM33.9861
Yamaha YZF-R1M33.9861
Suzuki V-STROM 105033.7856
Yamaha YZF-R133.7856
Yamaha YZF-R1 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition33.7856
BMW R 1250 GS33.5*851*
BMW R 1250 GS – Edition 40 Years GS33.5*851*
Yamaha Tracer 900 GT33.5*851*
Honda AFRICA TWIN33.5*851*
Honda AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS ES33.5*851*
Honda AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS ES DCT33.5*851*
Honda AFRICA TWIN DCT33.5*851*
BMW R nineTUrban G/S – Edition 40 Years GS33.5851
Suzuki RM8533.5851
Suzuki RM8533.5851
Suzuki V-STROM 100033.5851
Suzuki V-STROM 1000XT33.5851
Suzuki V-STROM 1000XT ADVENTURE33.5851
Suzuki V-STROM 1050XT33.5851
Suzuki V-STROM 1050XT ADVENTURE33.5851
Yamaha YZF-R633.5851
Yamaha Super Tenere ES33.3*846*
Suzuki DR200S33.3846
Kawasaki VERSYS 1000 SE LT+33.1841
Kawasaki VERSYS 650 ABS33.1841
Kawasaki VERSYS 650 ABS LT33.1841
Yamaha YZ8533.1841
BMW S 1000 XR33*838*
BMW F 850 GS32.9*836*
Kawasaki NINJA H2 SX SE+32.9836
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10R ABS KRT EDITION32.9836
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10R ABS KRT EDITION32.9836
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10RR32.9836
Kawasaki Z900RS32.9836
Kawasaki Z900RS SE32.9836
Suzuki V-STROM 65032.9836
Suzuki V-STROM 650XT32.9836
Suzuki V-STROM 650XT ADVENTURE32.9836
Yamaha NIKEN GT32.9836
Yamaha XSR70032.9836
Yamaha YZF-R732.9836
Yamaha YZF-R7 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition32.9836
BMW M 1000 RR32.8833
Honda CB500X ABS32.8833
Honda CRF150R32.8833
Honda CB1000R BLACK EDITION32.7831
Kawasaki KLX230 S32.7831
Kawasaki KX8532.7831
Kawasaki NINJA H2 R32.7831
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6R32.7831
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6R ABS KRT EDITION32.7831
Kawasaki Z H232.7831
Kawasaki Z H2 SE32.7831
Yamaha XSR90032.7831
Honda CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP32.6828
BMW F 900 XR32.5826
Kawasaki NINJA H232.5826
Kawasaki NINJA H2 CARBON32.5826
Suzuki GSX-R100032.5826
Suzuki GSX-R1000R32.5826
Suzuki GSX-R1000RZ32.5826
Suzuki KATANA32.5826
Yamaha MT-0932.5826
Yamaha MT-09 SP32.5826
Yamaha MT-1032.5826
BMW S 1000 RR32.4823
BMW G 310 GS32.3*820*
BMW G 310 GS – Edition 40 Years GS32.3*820*
BMW R 1250 R32.3820
BMW R 1250 RS32.3820
BMW R nineT Scrambler32.3820
Honda CBR1000RR32.3820
Honda CBR1000RR ABS32.3820
Honda CBR600RR32.3820
Honda CBR600RR ABS32.3820
Kawasaki NINJA 1000SX32.3820
Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE32.3820
Suzuki GSX-S75032.3820
Suzuki GSX-S750Z32.3820
Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS32.3820
Yamaha NIKEN32.3820
Suzuki GSX-S750 ABS32.2818
Kawasaki CONCOURS 14 ABS (incl. hard cases)32.1815
Kawasaki VERSYS-X300 ABS32.1815
Suzuki DR-Z125L32813
Yamaha TRACER 9 GT31.9*810*
BMW S 1000 R31.9*810*
Honda CB650R ABS31.9810
Honda CBR650R ABS31.9810
Suzuki GSX-R60031.9810
Suzuki GSX-R600Z31.9810
Suzuki GSX-R75031.9810
Suzuki GSX-R750Z31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S100031.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000F31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000F31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+31.9810
Suzuki GSX-S1000Z31.9810
Yamaha XT25031.9810
Harley Pan America 125031.8808
Yamaha FJR1300ES31.7*805*
BMW R nineT31.7805
BMW R nineT Pure31.7805
Kawasaki Z125 PRO31.7805
Yamaha MT-0731.7805
Yamaha TT-R125LE31.7805
Honda NC750X31.6803
Honda NC750X DCT31.6803
Honda CB300R ABS31.5800
Honda TRAIL125 ABS31.5800
Kawasaki KLX140R L31.5800
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-14R ABS31.5800
Kawasaki Z650RS31.5800
Kawasaki Z900 ABS31.5800
Kawasaki Z900 SE31.5800
Suzuki HAYABUSA31.5800
BMW F 750 GS31.1*790*
BMW F 900 R31.1*790*
Harley Pan America 1250 Special31.1790
Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS31.1790
Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT EDITION31.1790
Kawasaki W80031.1790
Kawasaki Z650 ABS31.1790
Suzuki GSX250R31.1790
Suzuki GSX250R ABS31.1790
Suzuki SV650X31.1790
Yamaha TW20031.1790
Honda CB500F ABS30.9785
Honda CBR500R ABS30.9785
Honda CRF125F BIG WHEEL30.9785
Kawasaki NINJA 400 ABS30.9785
Kawasaki NINJA 400 ABS KRT EDITION30.9785
Kawasaki Z400 ABS30.9785
Suzuki SV65030.9785
Suzuki SV650 ABS30.9785
Honda CBR300R30.7780
Honda CBR300R ABS30.7780
Honda SUPER CUB C125 ABS30.7780
Honda SUPER CUB C125 ABS30.7780
Kawasaki KLX140R30.7780
Yamaha MT-0330.7780
Yamaha YZF-R330.7780
Yamaha YZF-R3 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Edition30.7780
Yamaha YZF-R3 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition30.7780
Honda MONKEY ABS30.5775
BMW G 310 R30.3*770*
Honda GROM30762
Honda GROM ABS30762
BMW R 1250 RT29.9*759*
Kawasaki KX6529.9759
Yamaha YZ6529.7754
Harley Electra Glide Revival29.6752
BMW K 1600 Grand America29.5*749*
BMW K 1600 GTL29.5*749*
BMW K 1600 B29.5*749*
BMW K 1600 GT29.5*749*
Honda GOLD WING29.3744
Honda GOLD WING AUTOMATIC DCT29.3744
Honda GOLD WING TOUR29.3744
Honda GOLD WING TOUR AIRBAG AUTOMATIC DCT29.3744
Honda GOLD WING TOUR AUTOMATIC DCT29.3744
BMW R 18 Transcontinental29.1739
Honda CRF125F29.1739
Harley Sportster S28.9734
Kawasaki KLX110R L28.7729
Kawasaki VULCAN 1700 VAQUERO ABS28.7729
Kawasaki VULCAN 1700 VOYAGER ABS28.7729
BMW R 18 B28.35720
Suzuki BOULEVARD C90 B.O.S.S.28.3719
Suzuki BOULEVARD C90T28.3719
Suzuki BOULEVARD M9028.2716
BMW R 18 Classic28711
Kawasaki VULCAN S27.8706
Kawasaki VULCAN S CAFE27.8706
Suzuki BOULEVARD M109R B.O.S.S.27.8706
Harley CVO Limited27.7704
Harley Fat Bob 11427.7704
Suzuki BOULEVARD C5027.6701
Suzuki BOULEVARD C50T27.6701
Suzuki BOULEVARD M5027.6701
Suzuki BOULEVARD S4027.6701
Yamaha Star Eluder27.6701
Yamaha Star Eluder GT27.6701
Harley Ultra Limited27.5699
Honda REBEL 110027.5699
Honda REBEL 1100 DCT27.5699
Yamaha Star Venture27.4696
BMW R 1827.2691
Harley Road Glide Limited27.2691
Honda REBEL 30027.2691
Honda REBEL 300 ABS27.2691
Honda REBEL 50027.2691
Honda REBEL 500 ABS27.2691
Honda REBEL 500 ABS SE27.2691
Yamaha Bolt R-Spec27.2691
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CUSTOM27686
Yamaha V Star 25027686
Honda FURY26.9683
Honda MONTESA COTA 301RR26.8681
Kawasaki KLX110R26.8681
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CLASSIC26.8681
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CLASSIC LT26.8681
Harley Low Rider S26.5673
Harley Road King Special26.4671
Yamaha TT-R110E26.4671
Harley Heritage Classic26.3668
Harley Road King26.3668
Harley Forty-eight26.2665
Harley CVO Street Glide26.1663
Harley Electra Glide Standard26.1663
Harley Street Glide26.1663
Harley Street Glide Special26.1663
Harley CVO Road Glide25.9658
Harley Fat Boy 11425.9658
Harley Road Glide25.9658
Harley Road Glide Special25.9658
Honda CRF110F25.9658
Honda SHADOW AERO25.9658
Honda SHADOW AERO ABS25.9658
Harley Softail standard25.8655
Harley Streetbob 11425.8655
Honda SHADOW PHANTOM25.8655
Harley Iron 120025.7653
Harley Iron 88325.7653
Harley Sport Glide25.7653
Honda MONTESA COTA 4RT RACE REPLICA25.6650
Harley Softail Slim25.5648
Suzuki DR-Z5022559
Yamaha TT-R50E21.9556
Honda CRF50F21.6549
Yamaha PW5018.7475
Motorcycle seat heights comparison table (Source: Manufacturers’ websites)

Where a motorcycle have different seat height options from the factory, it is indicated with an “*”. This can either be more than one seat option or lowered suspension. I tried to include the lowest seat option that is available without paying for a lower kit or replacement seat.

Choosing the right seat can make a big difference in some bikes, for example: The seat height of the BMW R 1250 GS is anywhere between 31.5 inches (OE lowered suspension) and the standard 34.3 inches.

Seat Heights of Different Types of Bikes

Dirt Bikes and dual sport motorcycles have the tallest seat heights of all motorcycles, while cruisers have the lowest seats. Adventure bikes tend to be very tall too, while the large touring bikes have lower seat heights than the average street bike. The graph below shows the average, maximum and minimum seat height of each type of motorcycle.

Average, maximum and minimum seat heights by motorcycle type

The average dirt bike seat height would have been even higher was it not for the kiddies bikes that are included in the data. This is also why there is such a large difference between the maximum and minimum seat height of the dirt bikes.

Let’s have a brief look at the seat heights of each type of motorcycle:

Dirt Bike Seat Height

Adult dirt bikes are very tall thanks to long travel suspension that has to be able to soak up big jumps. Dirt bikes also have large wheels and high ground clearance to clear obstacles on the trails. In order to have a neutral seating position, the seat can’t be too close to the foot pegs, which further limits how low the seat can go.

The average dirt bike or dual sport motorcycle seat height is 34.2 inches (869 mm) tall. If we exclude the four 50 cc kiddies bikes, this average goes up to 35 inches (888 mm). The tallest dirt bike is the Yamaha YZ 125 race bike with a seat height of 38.6 inches (980 mm). The dirt bike with the lowest seat height is the Yamaha PW 50 kiddies bike at only 18.7 inches (475 mm).

The Yamaha YZ125 is the tallest dirt bike
The Yamaha YZ 125 race dirt bike is the tallest motorcycle on the market (Source: Yamaha USA)

There is a dirt bike to fit any rider, no matter your age or body type. To find out everything there is to know about dirt bike seat height, go check out my post on dirt bike seat height. In that post I also discuss how to choose the right dirt bike for you.

Adventure Bike Seat Height

Adventure bikes are generally quite large motorcycles with big capacity engines for long-distance comfort. They also need to be able to ride comfortably on dirt and gravel roads, without bottoming out on fast bumps while fully loaded with luggage. These demands require long travel suspension, high ground clearance and big wheels, similar to dirt bikes.

The comfortable, upright ergonomics and big engine (that needs to fit between the foot pegs and seat) further pushes the seat into a higher position.

The average adventure bike has a seat height of 33.1 inches (841 mm) which is taller than 93% of all street bikes. The BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is the tallest adventure bike with a seat height of 35 inches (889 mm). The adventure bike with the lowest seat height is the BMW F 750 GS and the new Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 Special with seat heights of 31.1 inches (790 mm).

BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
The tall BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is easy to ride once you gain some experience (Source: BMW Motorrad)

I wrote a detailed post on adventure bike seat heights which you can read here. In that post I discuss some advice for shorter riders than want to get an adventure bike.

Street Bike Seat Height

Street bikes come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Some are tall, like the sports bikes, for high ground clearance when leaned over in fast corners on a race track. Other street bikes are small and light for easily zipping through traffic while commuting in the city.

The average street bike seat height is 32 inches (813 mm). A good example of an average sized street bike is the Honda CB 650 R. It is not as aggressive as a track race bike, yet it is sportier than a standard commuter.

The tallest street bike is the Yamaha R1M with a seat height of 33.9 inches (861 mm). The Suzuki DR-Z 400 SM is taller (35 inches), but it is basically a dual sport bike with street tires. The lowest street bike is the quirky little Honda Grom with a seat height of only 30 inches (762 mm).

Yamaha R1M seat height is 33.7 inches
The Yamaha R1M has a tall seat height for better ground clearance on the track (Source: Yamaha USA)

Choosing the right street bike can be tricky if you are a beginner. While seat height is mostly irrelevant for an experienced rider, a tall bike can be intimidating while learning to ride. Being able to put both feet flat on the ground while practicing clutch and throttle control will give the beginner rider much more confidence.

To help you choose the right street bike for your length, check out my post on street bike seat height. In that post, I chat about the best street bike for beginners, as well as some tips for shorter riders.

Touring Bike Seat Height

Touring bikes are big, heavy machines that are designed for comfort on the freeway. In fact, the average touring bike weights nearly as much as the heaviest cruiser. Generally, touring bike riders are older and therefore touring bikes tend to have lower seat heights to make it easier to put both feet flat on the ground at standstill. This makes it easier to balance these heavy machines while waiting at a traffic light.

The average touring bike seat height is 28.7 inches (729 mm) which is lower than the shortest street bike, the little Honda Grom. The tallest touring bike is the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT sport tourer with a seat height of 33.5 inches (851 mm). The Kawasaki Concours 14 has the tallest seat height of the ‘true tourers’ at 32.1 inches (815 mm).

The Kawasaki Concours 14 touring bike is the tallest of the true, big tourers (Source: Kawasaki USA)

The touring motorcycle with the lowest seat height is the Harley Davidson Road Glide Special with a seat height of only 25.9 inches (658 mm). Almost all of the the Harley Davidson touring bikes have lower seat heights than the Japanese touring bikes. This is because the Harley tourers are basically cruisers (the lowest bike type) with large fairings, luggage, and comfy seats.

Cruiser Bike Seat Height

Cruisers have low seat heights due to very little suspension travel, a low center of gravity, a shallow rake angle and very little ground clearance.

Cruisers are designed to ride on smooth asphalt which doesn’t require much suspension travel. Cruisers also don’t have to lean as far over as sports bikes, so ground clearance (when leaned over) is not that important. The shallow rake angle allows for a more stable ride on the highway at the cost of sharp handling.

The average cruiser motorcycle has a seat height of only 27 inches (686 mm) which is lower than the lowest street bike (the little Honda Grom). The tallest real cruiser is the Suzuki Boulevard C90T with a seat height of 28.3 inches (719 mm). The Harley Sportster S is slightly taller (28.9 inches), but it is more of a street bike than a true cruiser. The lowest cruiser is the Harley Davidson Softail Slim with a seat height of only 25.5 inches (648 mm).

Harley Softail Slim
The Harley Davidson Softail Slim has the lowest seat height of all the cruisers (Source: H-D USA)

I’ve written a post that covers cruiser seat heights in more detail. You can read it here. In that post, I also discuss the top three cruisers for beginner riders and whether cruisers are suitable for tall riders.

How Much Does Motorcycle Seat Height Matter?

For very experienced riders, seat height doesn’t matter at all. Dirt bike racers are used to not being able to flatfoot it on both sides of the bike. The high ground clearance and long suspension travel that is responsible for the seat being so high is what make it possible to ride these bikes hard off road.

Similarly, sports bikes need to be tall in order to lean almost flat into a corner without scraping on the tarmac of the race track. Moto GP and World Superbike racers have no problem with tall sports bikes.

For the average rider with enough experience, seat height should also not be a problem in most situations. If you employ the correct techniques at the bottom of this post, you should be fine. A motorcycle is very stable while moving and perfectly balanced around the mid-point when standing still. It is only when you don’t have a firm, dry, flat spot to put your foot down when a tall bike can cause trouble.

Even experienced riders can have difficult keeping a large adventure bike upright if it stalls on a rocky uphill. And paddling through slippery mud or thick sand on a dirt bike that is too tall for both feet to touch is near impossible. A bike with a lower seat height will make it easier in these situations, but nothing trumps developing the skills to master any situation on any size bike.

Even though dirt bikes are very tall, they are also very light. The average dirt bike weighs only 217 lbs (98 kg) compared to the average adventure bike that weighs a porky 499 lbs (226 kg).

What about beginner riders?

Beginner riders are better off learning to ride on a bike that is not too tall. Being able to put both feet flat on the ground will help a beginner rider master clutch and throttle control, and stopping the bike the right way, without the risk of toppling over.

Learning to ride on a lower motorcycle will give a new rider more confidence and you will become a much better rider that much faster. You can always upgrade to the tall dream bike of yours once you are ready.

Conclusion

If you are new to motorcycling, get a bike where you can put both feet flat on the ground. Measure your inseam (from the floor to the inside of your crotch) and compare it with the seat heights in the table in this post.

Don’t be tempted to start off on a bike that is too tall for you. You will only get frustrated as you struggle to balance the bike while learning to pull away and stop. Better yet, get a second-hand bike that is low to the ground to learn on. You’ll thank me when you drop it for the 10th time in the parking lot.

Then when you are ready and more confident, get that dream bike of yours. If it is one of the tall ones, keep honing your skills until you master it.

Happy riding!

Francois Steyn

I've been riding motorcycles since I was in school and have traveled thousands of miles on various bikes through more than 10 countries. For more info, check out my about page: https://adventurebiketroop.com/about-us/

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