Five Great Motorcycles for Taller Riders

ADV bikes, super nakeds, and more.

If you're a taller rider, ADV bikes are the most logical choice when it comes to comfort; taller seats that provide more legroom, adjustable windscreens, and upright ergonomics ensure all-day comfort, while inciting envy in those whose inseams preclude them from easy entry into the club. However, there's nothing saying that height should prevent you from riding whatever style of motorcycle you wish. In addition to big ADV bikes, there are machines in every category that exhibit qualities suitable for larger folk. There's no magic formula, however, when it comes to finding the right fit. For instance, at 6-foot-2-inches, my dad insisted that his orangutan arms made race-replica sportbikes comfortable, so when he was in the market for a new "touring bike" he bought a GSX-R1000. Go figure.

BMW R1200 GS Adventure
BMW R1200 GS Adventure
More than just roomy ergos and swiss-army knife styling, the BMW is an excuse for seeking adventure. Tall riders who appreciate ADV bike ergos have the original G/S to thank.Photo: Motorcyclist

Stretch your Legs for the Long Haul: This is the super-sized steed that started the whole ADV craze. Take advantage of your height, and go big. The GS seat height can be as tall as 35.8-inches, which should provide plenty of legroom, and its upright, neutral riding position shouldn't entail feats of contortion. Its adjustable windscreen will keep your head out of the breeze as well. The big GS is a legend for good reason, and it'll have you looking for adventure wherever you ride.

Price: starting at $18,895

Ducati XDiavel
Ducati XDiavel
Put your feet up with Ducati’s forward-control XDiavel.Photo: Motorcyclist

Haul Ass with Your Feet Up: Feet-forward controls are definitely out of character for the Italian marque. The first time I swung a leg over an XDiavel, I looked like an idiot when I instinctively put my feet backwards…onto the passenger pegs. Forward controls can make a lot of sense for taller riders since they don't require you to fold your legs beneath you. Compared to some other cruiser-esque machines, the XDiavel's 29.7-inch seat height isn't super low either. And with 152 hp and 93 lb.-ft. of torque available at only 5,000 rpm, forward thrust isn't lacking.

Price: starting at $23,495

KTM Super Duke 1290 R
KTM Super Duke
That Zack Courts guy: incorrigiblePhoto: Motorcyclist

Jekyll and Hyde on Two Wheels: The Super Duke's pavement-shredding performance induces maniacal laughter and encourages thoughts of world domination that belie its sensible side. Its humane ergos are suitable for taller riders who wish to avoid being wadded up into a ball of misery like they would be on many race-replica sportbikes. KTM makes an optional Ergo seat that's 20mm higher as well. Hey, every little bit helps. If ever any bike could make diehard sportbike riders ditch their clip-ons, it's the Super Duke.

Price: $17,999

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
Kawasaki ZX14
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R: proof that the open-class horsepower race never really ended—lucky for us.Photo: Motorcyclist

The Grande Dame of Gran Turismo Bikes: Big open-class bikes like the the ZX-14R tend to have less extreme ergos than their smaller race-oriented brethren, which makes them a great option. Because they are also physically larger than race-reps, you can avoid the "monkey on a football look" that comes with riding a bike that appears too small for you. If that's not enough of a reason to go green, the big Kawi's superlative performance figures might tempt you: 195 horsepower and 114 lb.-ft. of torque. That should do.

Price: $14,999

Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Suzuki V-Strom
The V-Strom 1000. Always appropriate.Photo: Motorcyclist

ADV Within Reach: In addition to being a more budget-friendly adventure bike than many of its competitors, the V-Strom has amassed a cult following based on its reputation as a competent, do-everything machine. With its 34-inch seat height, it's not the tallest of adventure bikes, so legroom won't be as generous, but thanks to the bike's popularity, a taller aftermarket seat shouldn't be too hard to find. The sensible Strom makes a great case for ADV bikes, regardless of your height.

Price: starting at $12,999