You might be wondering what motorcycle you should buy. There’s no universal answer to this question. You will have to get a model that has the perfect balance of weight and power for your skill level and your body type. But here’s the thing. It’s not just the motorcycle’s ergonomics that are important. Your body’s ergonomics also play a huge role.
During all of these years since the world was blessed with motor vehicles, numerous studies have been made regarding the harmonious connection between man and machine. Ergonomics are what prevent stress injuries, numbness, back pain, sore muscles, and a plethora of other inconveniences that can get nasty in time.
This is the first and most important step to aligning yourself with the motorcycle’s ergonomics. Some motorcycles aren’t meant to be used for long periods of time. As an example, cruisers tend to put a lot of stress on the spine. Riding such a motorbike makes your back curved and prevents you from using your legs as shock absorbers.
Sportsbikes are another example of motorcycles whose ergonomics don’t accommodate long use. They force you to keep your legs in a rearward position, they bend your knees at a sometimes extreme angle, and they unavoidably force you to stay in a forward-leaning position. Whatever you do, don’t ride these two types of motorbikes for longer periods without rest.
No, we’re not trying to fat-shame anyone. Exercising regularly makes you better at riding a motorbike without getting fatigued or soreness. You need a strong core and powerful muscles to handle the pressure that even regular motorbikes can put on your body. And when riding long distances, don’t forget to get off the bike from time to time and stretch.
Stretching increases your range of motion and improves your flexibility. Another fitness procedure you can opt for is drinking more water. While it may sound cliche, getting appropriate levels of hydration will improve both your physical abilities as well as your mental state.
Who wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair? No one. Except for masochists, probably. Joking aside, the seat can make a world of difference when it comes to riding in comfort or even riding at all. How long have you had a bike or a motorcycle? Most people who’ve been riding two-wheelers for several years have probably already encountered a model with a bad seat.
Fortunately, we live in a world where you can choose from all sorts of alternatives. Do you like your motorcycle overall but you just hate the seat? You don’t need to throw out the entire thing. Replace the saddle with an aftermarket part and you’re good to go. You can find seats with memory foam, which we highly recommend, as they mold after your rear seamlessly.
If you want a motorcycle that can get you going on long distances without tiring, it is best to get one with a 7/8 inch diameter. Beefier models, such as the ones from Harley Davidson come with a full inch diameter handlebar, and those are even better overall. They allow you to sit comfortably and steer without much effort.
As with anything sports-related, feel free to test out motorcycles with different types of handlebars to see which ones feel more comfortable to you.
Of course, the handlebars would be nothing if you couldn’t grip them properly. A good handlebar comes with grips that you can hold securely without putting too much stress on your hands. The grips should be cylindrical and have a textured pattern on them so you can hold them with ease and without slipping.
Thankfully, it is highly unlikely that you’ll feel the need to swap out the grips on most motorcycles that have come out over the past two decades. If, however, you feel the need to do so, please be careful what you choose. Some grips might seem comfortable at first, but they don’t provide nearly enough friction and grasping pressure.
Some people might prefer softer grips with a barrel-like shape that fits their entire palm. We would recommend those if your motorcycle has a tendency to vibrate because that type of grip comes with air pockets that greatly reduce vibrational impact.
Moving on, another type of grip that we recommend is the electrically heated one. These grips will keep your hands from freezing during harsh winters if you’re the type who wants to ride your motorcycle during that season. And having heated grips is also useful when it’s raining.
When it comes to suspension, we highly recommend dual-sport, motocross, and off-road motorbikes. Surprisingly, despite their higher seat, they accommodate even short drivers well. This is because they have more suspension travel with wider seats, so they sag more under the rider’s weight.
Of course, this also depends on your body type and size. A motorcycle dealer might be able to determine what is right for you if you go to a physical store to get your measurements taken.
What do we mean by this? An experienced rider already knows what feels comfortable for him or her. If you’ve tried several motorcycles over the years, you probably already know what model felt the most comfortable. So if you’re looking for a new motorcycle, you might want to replace it with something that looks and feels a lot like your old model.
Now let’s determine the ergonomics for the most relevant types of bikes out there. Touring bikes are considered the lazy boys of the motorcycle world. While they are on the heavier side, they’re specifically made to give you as much comfort as possible for riding prolonged distances. That’s why they’re called like this.
While they tend to vary a little from brand to brand, the main concept remains the same. Ergonomics on these are designed for comfortable riding but don’t expect to reach top speeds with them or partake in races.
These are the one-size-fits-all category of bikes and they feel moderately comfortable to use for long-distance rides. While you may not feel as comfortable riding them as you feel when using touring bikes, they’re your second-best choice if your goal is to travel throughout the country on a two-wheeler.
The true pinnacle of “do it all” is the dual-sport motorbike. These can give you an extremely comfortable ride when going across the country, and you can also partake in high-speed adrenaline-inducing races. What’s more, they can even handle a little off-roading without much hassle.
But do keep in mind that the seat might be a little taller for your needs because this model also accommodates the off-road crowd. Make sure to test it out before making a final decision.
We have already mentioned cruisers earlier and that they’re not comfortable when riding long distances. But that doesn’t mean we don’t recommend them at all. In fact, we think they’re the best choice for beginner riders and those who want to look cool on the highway. As long as you don’t exaggerate with the distance, they will provide moderate comfort and style.
These are the nimble athletes of the motorcycle world, and they cater to people who want adrenaline-inducing races all around. They’re designed to accommodate aerodynamics and take corners seamlessly. Just remember that if you’re short, you might struggle a little to reach the ground.
Ergonomics play a major role in anything motorcycle-related. From speed to comfort and everything in between, getting a motorbike that fits your needs is crucial if you want to keep it for years to come. Don’t be afraid to swap out aftermarket parts if the originals don’t feel too comfortable when paired with your body type.
Experimenting can yield great results for everyone. Just remember to swap out the parts at an authorized dealership, and don’t try to do things by yourself if you’re not good with mechanics.