Too short? - Ducati Monster Forums: Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Too short?

I'm an inexperienced rider who would love to get a 695 with no desire to ride a cruiser. Main problem, I'm only 4' 10. I've talked to several people who frown upon this idea. I've been all over this board and read about mods that may help; I discussed these options with dealerships, but they're still very hesitant to sell me a bike. Should i really just let go of the hope of getting a Ducati?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 02:07 PM

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Re: Too short?

No. Contact Ducati of Seattle and talk to Dave Roosevelt. Not sure where you're located but they can talk you through the myriad of things that can be done to accomodate you.
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The bike is hers, I just get to maintain it! (which of course means test riding it after every adjustment).
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 03:14 PM
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Re: Too short?

+1 on dave r. at seattle ducati. also check out the discussion in the monster lowering thread here in the women's section:


S4 2001...chick on a duc!
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 03:53 PM
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Re: Too short?

While there are alot of things that can be done to a bike to make it lower and there are a lot of work arounds for riders that are on tippy toes. I would suggest learning to ride on a bike that is lower.

There is a big difference between making a bike functional for someone thats 5' 2" vs some one that is 4'10" Please understand I'm not saying to give up on the Ducati but I think getting the learning stuff out of the way on a lower bike might be a wiser choice. I've been riding 4 years now and back in the beggining being on a bike that I could barely touch down on would have been a big problem for me. I have more experience now and I can and have ridden bikes that are significantly taller than my Monster.

A Buell Blast might be a good choice to start with, not a cruiser but they can be super low. Once you've gotten the mechanics of riding down, then look for the Ducati that you want.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 04:42 PM

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Re: Too short?

You might also want to check out the Short Bike List FAQ ( I don't know if the actual email list is still active or not, but there are lots of good tips here.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-28-2007, 10:44 AM
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Re: Too short?

4'-10" is pretty short. Ducatis can get low, but I think it would be difficult to get one low enough for you to flat-foot it. I personally think that's just a much safer way to start riding. When and if you drop your starter bike, you'll be sooooo happy that it wasn't the Duc that you just dumped! It'll be safer and more fun, too.

That said...I started out riding motorcycles a few years ago and I didn't know that you could lower them. My first bike was so tall that I could only get one foot down on my tippy toes. Sometimes I would get the engine going and the bike rolling and hop on. Yes, I fell a lot. My first bike was a 1989 ratted out GS500 though--not a several thousand dollar investment like a brand-spankin' new 695. The worst damage I ever did totaled up to about $75 and a giant bruise on my right hip.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 01:41 AM

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Re: Too short?

buy UUUUUSED! After dropping the bike, my used Monster was lowered, then lowered even more. I got comfortable for about 4,000 miles. I had the bike raised to just below stock height...I love it. It's a much better and tighter ride.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 02:20 AM

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Re: Too short?

It's certainly easier and much less intimidating to start on a bike that fits you comfortably. I don't think it's necessary to be able to flatfoot a bike (I've never owned one that I could do that with) but it really helps, as a beginner, to be able to put the balls of both feet down solidly. Something else to consider is that Monsters are relatively heavy for their size, and it's not going to be easy to pick the bike up when you drop it. I say when rather than if because I've never known a short rider who didn't drop the bike a few times. I still do it occasionally, after 12 years.

I'd recommend getting a bike that is low enough without a lot of modification, even if it's something you don't like much, and gaining experience and confidence before getting a Monster. Once you've had some practice, and have learned some specialized techniques for riding a bike that's taller than you are, it's not hard to do. But added onto trying to master the basics of riding, it's a huge challenge.

You might consider something like a Yamaha XT225 or TW200 to start with; they're both small and light. As long as you don't trash the bike, you should be able to sell it and recoup most of what you paid for it.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 10:47 PM
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Re: Too short?

4'10" is pretty short, but there are things you can do. Riding boots with a big thick sole/heel, set your suspension, get the lowering dogbone, raise the forks in the triples a smidge, shave down your seat or get a lower seat from somewhere. Im sure there are other things I am forgetting.

You dont need to flat foot a Ducati. I can only get the balls of my feet on each side down (I am 5'1") and I ride just fine. And this is after shaving my seat down and setting the suspension for me. If I wear my non-flexing SIDI B-2s then I can only get a toe tip down one foot at a time, but I still ride just fine. You are an inexperienced rider by your own words. GET SOME EXPERIENCE! (not yelling; excited! This is the fun part.) Get a little USED starter bike and thrash the crap out of it for a season. Then move on to your Ducati.

Before I started riding, I always had the Monster in mind. But I didnt want it as my first bike because I didnt want to drop my baby or wreck it making some newbie mistake. You WILL drop your bike while you are learning and you WILL make mistakes. You will need a bike forgiving enough that you wont seriously hurt yourself because of those mistakes. My first bike was a 1981 Honda CB400T. I made a lot of mistakes while learning, but since I had a bike with not a lot of power I didnt get myself into any trouble and just learned from it. After a season of getting comfortable, I was wringing it out and scraping pegs everywhere I went (not really that crazy considering top speed was 70 on a good day and the pegs didnt have much clearance) but its fun riding a slow bike fast and it gave me a GREAT platform of riding skills to build upon. Once you are comfortable and have a great base knowledge of skills, it doesnt really matter if you can flat foot the bike.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 01:10 PM
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Re: Too short?

I am probably 4'11" or so. I don't ride yet, but am looking into a basic riders course to remedy this situation. My BF has a Monster, and I can't even touch both feet down when he has the seat off, sitting on the frame. As much as I would love a Monster, I know this isn't realistic for me to start out. My plan - a Buell Blast. It certainly doesn't scream 'sexy' like a monster does, but I can touch the balls of my feet down on both sides, and can move the bike back and forth between my legs without being intimidated by the weight. It's a 500, so it wouldn't be painful to ride once you gain experience, and if you find one that has been dropped, you'd only be looking at maybe $1,800 or so. The one I sat on had been dropped on both sides, and they look like they take a fall amazingly well.

I spoke to a guy at BCM one day who said he saw a girl my size race on a superbike - she had to get on using a crate and off she went.

GSF 400 Project:<br /><br />Updated 12-30-07<br /><br />Photography:<br /><br />Updated 1-6-08<br /><br />If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy - RedGreen
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