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Hi! I'm 5'1" and I have owned both the Buell Blast (lower seat ht= 25.5") and the Ninja 250 (seat ht=29.3"). The Blast initially helped me build confidence and reassurance in the aspect of "being able to flatfoot a bike). Once, I got over that "fear", I began riding my husband's bike at the time (Ninja 250) and fell in love with the "little sportbike". They are two very different bikes and handle quite differently. I never got a good "feel" for the Blast (the handling seemed a little "mushy", more like a cruiser). I sold it and bought a Ninja 250. Where I live (north GA), it was intimidating riding the Ninja at first. as I can barely put my toes down. It would be nice if the Ninja was a tad bit lower, because it is such a fun "beginner/commuter" bike...a lot easier to maneuver than the Blast. I've considered shaving the Ninja's seat, but now I am looking at the Monster 695. I test drove one yesterday that had been lowered an inch (lowering kit) and I could put the toes and most of the balls of both feet down. I fell in love with it. It's riding posture is slightly more forward than the Ninja and I feel even more comfortable on the 695 around curves.

Just talk to others (shorties), research the web/other forums/groups. Ask fellow riders. That's what I have been doing.
Good look in finding "your bike".
 

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T-byrd said:
It's amazing what kind of strength you find when you drop your bike...say when you're alone in the garage with no one around, just trying to get it off the rear stand. I couldn't believe I uprighted the bike all by myself...although I do chalk it up to sheer anger for hurting my boy (rear brake peg).

Granted I'm 5'2", but I'm sure most of us could get our bikes up in that type of situation.

Tanya
+1 to Tanya! Just learning to ride and dropped the bike in the parking lot. I'm 5'2"/ 110 lbs and picked it up on my own. I could chalk it up to sheer anger too.....only time I stalled all day and practicing right hand turns....no damage to the bike though at all....it started to go over and I placed it down gently, then upon staring at him while he was on the ground pi**ed off, I just went for it and got him upright all by my lonesome. It can definitely be done and wasn't a bad learning experience as I now know I can pick the bike up off the ground!
 

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Who cares about height? It's all about inseam.

Gwendy is 5'7 and 33" inseam.

I'm 5'10 and 29" inseam. (no my knuckles do not quite drag)

28 to 27 or so would be ok for stock 620/695. Below that I'd look at lowering and shaving the seat down.
 

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Like I said, I'm 4'11" with a 28" inseam, and I don't even come close to touching the ground on my BF's Monster, sitting on it with the seat off! (It's a 900). This weekend he and I looked at a Suzuki GS500E, but came to the conclusion that with a lowering link (2" lower) it would be too low for our roads (ME roads = nasty crown and even nastier frost heaves/pot holes). And it would still be too tall for me, which totally bummed me out because I love the bike. I am growing very frustrated because I do not want a cruiser-type bike. Right now I feel my only option is a Blast, but I am only considering it because it fits, not because I necessarily like it (I could take it or leave it). I wish I had better advice to give on a good bike but I am struggling with that myself!! :mad:

I will certainly be watching this post for any info on something sporty yet still height and weight appropriate for me and my micro frame...
 

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Hi there. I'm new to Ducati but not very new as far as riding is concerned. Been riding all my life and have 2 dream bikes since childhood. I am amongst those vertically challenged few or many, but have a passion for riding. I'm just slightly over 5' tall, quite a common sight for women from the east.

I started fulfilling my life dreams by first getting a Harley Sportster 1200 - lowered it all possible ways and enjoyed it thoroughly. The height was a bit intimidating at first, especially with the weight of a HD. Dropped it on day 1 mainly because the weight surprised me. I ride alone mostly but at times, joins the big boys on convoys. It's awesome.

Recently I went to a dealer and bought my 2nd dream bike - a 2006 Ducati Monster M620 (dark). It's a new overstock bike so I got a good deal. The dealer (as with many in my country) just want to make the sale. They don't give 2-hoods if you fit or not. They lowered it off 15mm max and more than that would apparently void the warranty. I picked it up with a friend who's about 2" taller than me but managed to tippy toe both feet and ended up asking her to ride it back to my garage cos I just couldn't touch both feet on the ground - just 1 at a time and with a different bike plus the murderous traffic here, decided being wise not to be too ambitious.

Bike has been laid up at the garage for 2 weeks - still scouting for ideas what to do with it. The fact it "I want to ride it"!!! But how on earth am I going to do it if I can feel the ground (in case I have to). If it's on a track - I would have just start and take it off, regardless. Unfortunately, I'm in a real world, with real traffic to live with. Still it doesn't stop me from playing with the thought (every now and then) of just getting on it and go, even if I have to drop it at some point.

I read many threads here about lowering link. Even found out where to order them. But the dealer kept telling me not to do it cos it will void the warranty. What a jerk - buy a bike and can't ride it just because of the damn warranty. Does he expect me to sit and watch the bike till the warranty expires then work out a way to ride it? How silly can he be???? Yet it's an ironic situation where you want to enjoy the ride and at the same time, benefit from necessary warranties (since you literally pay for it being new).

Its a real dilemma I'm faced with here. Maybe it's silly of me to have bought the bike just because I loved it. But still - I thought if you have the will, you'll find the way. Till now, I have no clue except to pick up my guts and hop on it regardless. What would you do???
 

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I take it that you're not in the USA, because a lowering link will not void your warranty.

Or your dealer is lying. >:D
 

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Yes indeed I' not in the USA. I'm in Malaysia. I thought so too since so many of you forumers are using those links to deal with height constraints (dealer possibly lying). I guess when you are relying on a local dealer with no principle offices to refer to in your country - you live by the dealer's rules.
:(

According to the dealer, the lowering link will cause potential damages to the rear suspension/shock - which makes sense too, if it there is insufficient clearence allowed. My 2-sense will be to do it but with considerations to ensure sufficient clearences to avoid poor handling or damages. Hopefully it works.

I'm going to order the link anyway. ;D
 

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Something no one has mentioned as of yet (At least in my skimming i didn't see it)

Do a dirtbike class/school.... If you ride dirt bikes a bit, you'll find that you rarely if ever Flatfoot em. You can do the class on a light weight easy to toss around one that will have a ton of spunk. Once your brain realizes that you don't _need_ two feet on the ground at all times, it all becomes a lot less scary. The tallest bike to date that I've managed to NOT drop and have a blast on was my riding friends' Hypermotard. To give you an idea, when it is upright, my legs dangle straight down like a kindergardener. Can't touch on either side. BUT, if I shift my butt off to one side (one cheek it) I can get a ball of foot down. I just make sure to not try to stop her where there is a pothole in the rode ;) (plan ahead?) Was I nervous the first time? Hell yes! Was it fun?! Absolutely.

I was able to ride a honda shadow when I was 14 or 15 (I was under 5' then and prolly 90lbs soaking wet). We also rode dirt bikes when growing up.

Think about all those kids on bikes you see pictures of... Size doesn't really matte that much at all, you just need to start with the right bike! Build up slowly if you need to... My guess is this, if more women started on smaller bikes (like the new little ninja 250 that was a the bike show) or an older (or new) honda VTR 250 (a sweet little v-twin) they'd enjoy riding more and feel (and be) safer when they moved up to 'bigger' bikes.

it's not really seat height that is the issue, its TOP heavy-ness. If you start with an uber light little bike (like a few have recommended) having both feet on the ground doesn't feel as necessary.

just my .02
 

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All I have to say is that I have *infinite* amounts of respect for anyone who takes up riding without being able to flatfoot, because I can't imagine riding without being able to do it. Seriously-having to get off the bike to back up? Scary-I can't even roll the thing around if I'm not on it-too worried it'd get away from me.
 

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I finally got the lowering link and it worked very well indeed. I've managed to ride the bike a few times and I'm still not able to get both feet on the ground..only 1 foot at a time. You guys are right - it's not necessary at all to have both feet flat in order to ride the Monster, it's a matter of confidence. I'm still struggling getting on and off the bike as I have to do it without engaging the side stand (leg not long enough to reach the side stand). :-[ But thank goodness the bike is so much lighter than my Sportster and backing it or holding it without the side stand is still manageable.

I'll have to gather my guts everytime I'm going for a ride. Told myself if I don't brave thru it - I'll never ride it and it's too expensive to just display the bike or let someone else ride it for me. I'm seriously thinking about changing to a city bar or having a riser to add height to the bars coz I'm riding the Duc like a sportsbike with my belly lying on the tank. It sure is tiring and adding too much weight to the wrists. ???

Still - there is no stopping me despite being a women with plenty of constrains, height being one most critical challenges when it comes to riding. But braving through such challenges makes us better by the day.... ;D
 

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get a tank bag and put a spare jacket in it.. .that will give you something to rest on that is higher than the tank (though I like laying down on the tank, it's warm and snuggly there) and will take weight of your lower back and wrists...

as far a psyching yourself up for your rides, that is normal, feet on the ground or not :) I ride every day and for the first month or so I felt that... Then one day... it was gone.. Now I feel edgy and grumpy if I DON'T get to ride, and feel oppressed and kind of stifled if i have to drive the cage :)
 

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Been able to ride a bit more on the duc just to get more familiar and comfortable. Having to get on and off the bike without the side stand to land is still a daunting task and I am still nervous when I know it's time to fuel up because that will mean, risking falling or dropping the bike in public = humiliation. Nevertheless, I have done that 2x and so far so good although I must admit that I'm shivering inside from fear. Last I took it for a solo ride last weekend and did 150km (distance) through the highway and into the city then back home. Had fun despite it all. [thumbsup]

ljj said:
get a tank bag and put a spare jacket in it.. .that will give you something to rest on that is higher than the tank (though I like laying down on the tank, it's warm and snuggly there) and will take weight of your lower back and wrists...
Thanks ljj for the advise. Went out and got myself a tank bag and will try landing on it to see if it helps with the slightly too low and forward ride position I am currently experiencing. I must admit that riding for longer duration is quite tiring in such ergo so I need to improve it a bit. Ordered the bar risers which will arrive probably in the next coming weeks. Meantime - I'll have to make do. :)

I am convinced that riding a duc for female around 5' tall can be a breeze, beyond the fear. It's a question of when you get to reach that level of beyond the fear. For me - I'm still way from it because I'm still so intimidated at the thought of having to mount and dismount the bike without the assurance of a side stand in case my foot gives way. But for the love of riding - I'm taking my chances...
 

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Wow, this is a great topic. I, too, am vertically challenged, but in love with my Duc. But I have found it incredibly intimidating, and it takes everything I have to muster the courage to keep getting on it.

I have found that while I'm getting started, it is easier to practice with a half-tank of gas or less, as opposed to having it filled up- the bike is lighter, easier to handle, and the weight is a little lower. I have a hard time backing up though.

I put the lowering link on when I bought it, and am happy with the result- the balls of both feet can now touch the ground. I am considering shaving the seat too, to give me just that much more clearance- anyone have any advice on seat shaving? Is it worth it? Is it as uncomfortable as I've read, or does it really make a difference on a bike that is clearly not designed around comfort, but rather style?

Other than that, how did you get over the fear of the bike, and when did you begin to trust yourself?
 

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Hey LizaB, Welcome and congrats on the new bike.

I can't speak so much for the height issue, but I can talk about the fear. I took my class back in October and decided to get a new bike rather than a small beat up one. The very first time I got on to replicate the lessons from my class, well I couldn't do anything but sit on it. The weight was too much and I didn't want to do something stupid to drop it. So after an hour we went home with the thought of getting something smaller. Needless to say I was very disappointed in myself.

The next few days I thought about it no stop and came to the conclusion I'd give it another try. While I waited for Sunday to come, I would go into the garage and sit on it to get use to the feel. I also started to rock it back and forth to get use to the weight. When Sunday came again, I decided to get mad and shove my fear aside to at least try letting the clutch out. Slowly I got use to the feel of the bike and where the friction zone was, and on and on. I knew if I could just get it going I'd be fine and I was. I think it took a month to get out of the empty parking lot and start getting use to side streets.

Right now in my progress I would say I'm not fearful of this or that, I would use the word cautious. I'm cautious not to do or go anywhere I'm not yet comfortable with, but each time out I push myself a little more.

Just keep plugging along, you'll get there in your own time schedule [thumbsup]
 

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ljj said:
get a tank bag and put a spare jacket in it.. .that will give you something to rest on that is higher than the tank (though I like laying down on the tank, it's warm and snuggly there) and will take weight of your lower back and wrists...
Good tip for getting comfy on some of those long stretches! I recently discovered that if I wear a super padded bra :angel: that I can rest the chest on the tank for a bit, taking weight off the wrists when the thighs are too sore to support me entirely. It's kinda of a ridiculous tip, I know, but it works! Plus it tightens up my jacket a bit so that no cold breezes get in there. The tank is, indeed so irresistibly warm and cuddly ;D
 

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Hi there,

I'm 1 m 48 cm, which I guess would be about 4ft10". I ride a 695. When I got it the dealer put in a dogbone for me, shaved of a bit of the seat and adjusted the shock suspension to my weight.

After this I could tippy toe with one foot. Which didn't do my confidence much good. I would come up to a traffic light and pray it wouldn't turn red, cause then I wouldn't have to stop. I still rode about 300 miles in total like this. But then I finally decided to try and shave off more the seat myself. But after shaving off lots (and I mean lots) of foam I found that the the sides of the saddle plating were poking uncomfortably into my thighs. So I also sawed off about 1,5 cm on each side of the saddle plating, making the saddle width smaller where I sit.

As for comfort...I think I have about 4 cm of foam left where I sit. I've ridden for two hours straight without getting uncomfortable. But if you can already touch the ground with the balls of your foot you probably don't even need to shave off that much.

I can now put the ball of one foot down. It doesn't seem like much, but it felt a whole lot better. And I guess the more I ride and the more I actually stop at traffic lights without toppling over the more confidence I'll gain. And a lot of confidence I also get from knowing that I had a good driving instructor who taught me a solid set of basic driving skills on which I can build and expand.
 

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You are an inexperienced rider by your own words. GET SOME EXPERIENCE! :D [thumbsup] (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....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.
A big +1. The Monster was the bike I wanted to learn to ride for, but I waited until I had three years' experience. A GS500e is a great bike to get the look of a Monster without the temperment.

I wouldn't fear shaving the seat. I find a firm perch to be more comfortable, anyway.
 

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Im 4' 7"

I am only 4' 7" and ride a monster, They raised the forks, softened the suspension and shaved the seat, the sides of the seat is what is really important since that's what spreads your legs and you loose height. I barely touch the ground on my tippy toes and balance it, but you get used to hanging your butt off to the side a little at lights and lean the bike just a tad and almost flat-foot it. Its so light that its not a problem. The dealership really helped me a lot and wanted to get me on that bike, so they did some thinking and guesstimation and hoped for the best that once it was all done that it would fit. Took a day of getting used to, but Its all good now! It was nice because the work done on it caused the bike to stand more upright on the kickstand. So it is not so hard to lift the bike up off the kickstand compared to the original position.

This is a pic of me with the bike slightly leaning to the side. Its not too noticable. I am between 4ft 7in - 4ft 8in tall, so it is possible.
http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/131/l_ea7d552ff6fa44519be8fb45d21bced2.jpg

This is where a friend had to weld a metal piece to stick out onto the bottom the kickstand so my foot can reach it to kick up. Before, I was not even able to touch it with my boot. He spray painted it black, so it does not stand out at all.
http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/120/l_4bac744708f143a2988718c66b700d1a.jpg

I do have to get off the bike to back it up. I just stand to the right side of it (so the kickstand can stay down on the other side) and pull/push it. I CANT back it in much sitting on it. So i have gotten used to getting of on the right side and pushing it when i have to move it. It is SO much easier to move the bike around on the right side. At least you got the kickstand on the other side just in case.

I would say get a little more experienced, but don't let go of hope of getting a Ducati. You will be fine with a little more experience


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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