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RIDE Adventures Blog

What's the seat height on that adventure motorcycle?

Posted by Eric Lange on September 13, 2011
Eric Lange
Since riding his KTM 950 Adventure down to South America in 2008 and launching RIDE Adventures in 2010, Eric now resides in Oregon for most of each year. Riding is still a regular part of his work though, in that guiding tours is a passion he'll always have, and researching new routes and regions allows RIDE Adventures to continue growing and providing reliable travel services to adventure minded riders and travelers from around the world.

FrozenMotorcycleSeat

(Above: The “lowest” of all seats…the kind with ice on it as we start a cold day of riding in Argentina.)

The question often arises about which is the best motorcycle to rent or buy as travelers plan their adventures.  Choosing the right size bike can be as important to your overall riding experience as any other factor, so often riders are concerned about the seat height.  While intuition tells us “a larger engine means a larger bike,” this is not necessarily true across the board. 

As such, we’ve been inspired to list for you below the seat height specifications for some of the most commonly purchased and rented adventure motorcycles around the world:

Motorcycle  Standard Height Low Position  Special Seat 
    (adjustable seat) (if available)
BMW G650GS  800mm / 31.5 in  770mm/30.3 in  
BMW F650GS/F700GS 820mm / 32.28 in   790mm / 31.10 in
BMW F800GS 880mm / 34.65 in   850mm / 33.46 in
BMW F800GS Adventure 890mm / 35.04 in   860mm / 33.86 in
BMW R1200GS (air/oil cooled) 850mm / 33.46 in   820mm / 32.28 in
BMW R1200GS (Liquid Cooled 2013+) 851mm / 33.5 in   826mm / 32.3 in
BMW R1200GS Adventure (air/oil cooled) 910mm / 35.83 in   820mm / 32.28 in
BMW R1200GS Adventure (Liquid Cooled 2014+) 889mm / 35 in   841mm / 33.1 in
Honda CB500X 808mm / 31.8 in    
Honda XR650L 940mm / 37.01 in    
Honda XL700 TransAlp 841mm / 33.11 in    
Honda Africa Twin 871mm / 33.5 in    High: 34.3 in
Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports 899mm / 35.4 in    High: 36.2 in
Kawasaki KLR 650 890mm / 35.04 in    
KTM 990 SM T 855mm / 33.66 in    
KTM 990 Adventure 880mm / 34.65 in    
KTM 990 Adventure R 905mm / 35.63 in    
KTM 1090 Adventure R 889mm / 35 in    
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R 889mm / 35 in    
Suzuki V-Strom 650 835mm / 32.87 in    
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 840mm / 33.07 in    
Suzuki DR650SE 885mm / 34.84 in    
Suzuki DR-Z400S 935mm / 36.81 in    
Suzuki DR200SE 810mm / 31.89 in    
Triumph Tiger 800XC 865mm / 34.06 in 846mm / 33.31 in  
Yamaha XT 250 810mm / 31.9 in    
Yamaha XT 660 895mm / 35.24 in    
Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere 867mm / 34.13 in 845mm / 33.27 in  

About this listing:

  • Where a manufacturer listed a special low seat as an option, it is shown (however this does not necessarily mean an aftermarket brand is not available.)
  • We've listed where adjustments can be made to the original seat to lower the height
  • This does not show where manufacturers have special suspension-lowering options to lower the overall seat height.  (As that can greatly affect the overall handling and performance and suspension of the motorcycle, RIDE Adventures will not endorse such adjustments!)

These specs were taken from each manufacturer’s website, based on typically the 2009-2011 model year, as most reputable motorcycle rental companies are only using late model motorcycles at this point.

As hinted at before, the seat height or engine size factors alone won’t “fit” the motorcycle for you.  Whenever possible, stop by your local dealer or find the same model you’re interested in locally and check out how it feels for you personally.  Height alone does not determine whether you can touch the ground comfortably.  (For example, a short motorcycle with a wide seat can essentially inhibit your leg-reach the same as a tall motorcycle with a narrow seat.)

Keep checking back with us for similar posts on the topic of fitment of motorcycles.

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