Road Captains Blog Safety Tips from our Road Captains

Bike Fit


When your motorcycle fits you, you'll have a motorcycle that is easier to control and more fun to ride.

Sit Test Legs You should be able to sit on the bike flat footed on the ground You may be able to lower the bike up to 1 1/2” by changing out the rear shocks You may be able to lower the bike up to 1 ½” by changing the front tubes, or by lowering the tubes in the triple tree. You may sit lower on the bike by changing out the seat Your legs should be able to reach the foot controls comfortably without reaching If the bike has forward controls, you may need to have these changed back to stock controls to bring them closer to you. Or it may be that your controls are too close for comfort, and you may need to add forward controls.

Upper Body Your hands should be able to reach the handlebars and controls so that you are not having to reach or sit in an uncomfortable style There should be no pressure exerted on your wrists, shoulders or back Sit on your motorcycle in a position that feels most comfortable. Leaning too far forward or back during long rides causes painful back strain. Raise your arms to a comfortable position. Experiment with widening or narrowing your grip, and also raising or lowering it. Hold your hands out straight, palms down, to simulate the feel of straight handlebars. Holding a dowel or a piece of pipe helps simulate the feel of straight bars. Pullback bars are angled back toward the rider, and can change the rider's grip in a variety of positions. Many manufacturers feature their handlebars in online catalogs, so you can view the many styles and sizes of handlebars before making your final choice. Refer to manufacturer's specs for the varying degrees and angles of pullback offered. Measure the height from your current handlebars' center section (where it attaches to the risers) to the height where your hands feel most comfortable. This is called the rise, and will give you an approximation of how high your replacement handlebars should be. Hold your tape measure in your right hand, and stretch the tape to your left. Hold your hands as close or far apart as feels comfortable. This will provide you with an approximate tip-to-tip width of the handlebars you desire. Wider handlebars provide better leverage, and are recommended to improve steering on larger, heavier motorcycles. Simulate the amount of pullback you desire by measuring the distance from the front of your existing handlebars to the riding position you have chosen for your hands. Handlebars can also be tilted back toward the rider, so adjust your measurement if that is the look you desire. Bring your motorcycle to your chosen dealer or aftermarket shop. Give your measurements to the parts salesperson, and try out any handlebars that come close to your measurements. With the handlebars in hand, you may decide on a different height, width, or pullback. Most salespeople will bring the handlebars out to your bike to help approximate how they will feel while you are sitting on your motorcycle, and to make sure that the center section of the handlebars will not hit the fuel tank when turned full right or left. A less expensive solution would be to add pull back risers to your bike to bring the handlebars back to you.

Push Test You should be able to push the bike forward.. try it in the parking lot or driveway You should be able to back your bike to park without help on level ground Bike Size There is no set engine size that is best for any size person. As long as the motor is big enough to keep up with the pack going 70 mph on the highway, you should be good. Lace members should have at least 500 cc motors. It is a personal choice to have saddlebags, trunks or fairings. However, these do add weight to the bike! So keep the weight issue in mind when looking at a new bike.

Last Modified: May 26, 2017
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