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How Tall Should I Be To Ride A 250?

The world of motocross, and off-road biking in general, has captivated the interest of “adrenaline junkies” and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Bikes come in all ranges of styles and sizes. A popular choice for many less experienced people is in the 250cc range. But with so many, the next question is, “how tall should I be to ride a 250cc?”

The average 250cc off-road motorcycle stands between 34 and 39 inches at the saddle. To comfortably and safely ride this sized bike, the ideal height range is between 5ft 6 and 6ft. The best method, however, of determining if you are the correct height is to sit on the bike and test it for yourself.

Not all motorcycles are created equally! There are other factors to consider when evaluating if you are the correct height for a bike. These include the length of your legs and arms, your weight, and the bike’s make, model, and style.

How Tall You Need To Be To Ride On A 250cc Motorcycle Explained

Although there is a fair degree of variation between different motorcycles within the 250cc range, it is commonly agreed that you should not be shorter than 5 feet 6 or that much taller than 6 feet to ride a 250cc.

This relates to the comfort and safety of the rider, as well as the strain placed on the motorcycle. If you are taller than 6 feet, you may weigh a bit much for the suspension, and as a result, may feel many of the bumps.

Although these heights are what the majority of people agree on, this is mostly just a guideline. What is important is testing the bike yourself.

How To Test If The 250cc You’re Considering Matches Your Height

There is no golden rule of “if you are this height, you need this sized bike.”

Sometimes other variables come into play, ranging from the length of your legs to what the manufacturer decided to do when tweaking the bike’s design.

On paper, you may be able to ride a 250cc of a particular make; however, the reality may be different.

When considering a motorcycle (and most things, to be honest!), you should always test it out first to see if you can indeed sit comfortably and safely.

The method to test:

  • Sit on the motorcycle.
  • Try and place both feet on the floor at the same time while sitting on the saddle.
  • If your feet are flat on the ground with your heels touching the floor (especially if your knees are bent), you are too tall for the motorcycle.
  • If you try and place your feet on the ground and can’t reach, your toes just touch, and you feel unbalanced; or if you have to lean over sideways for one foot to touch the ground, you are not tall enough for the motorcycle.
  • The optimal is to have the “balls of your feet” on the ground. This is the first third of your foot (toes to just before the arch of your foot).

It may seem trivial, but making sure you have the correct position can save you a lot of pain and expenses going forward!

Popular Motorcycle Brands’ Saddle Heights For A 250cc

When it comes to off-road motorcycles (dirt bikes), there is a range of makes and models on the market in the 250cc range.

Below is a table comparing the saddle heights for some of the more popular dirt bikes from well-known manufactures.

ManufacturerModelSaddle Height (inches)
KawasakiKX250F37.0
KawasakiKLX25034.8
HondaCRF250L Rally35.2
HondaCRF250X37.7
HusqvarnaTE250i37.8
KTM250 SX36.4
KTM250 XC-W37.8
SuzukiRM-Z25037,6
YamahaTTR-25035.8
YamahaWR250F38.6
YamahaYZ250F38.2

These examples cover the majority of the range of saddle heights for 250cc dirt bikes.

While most are around the same heights, there are some outliers, in both under and over, the average range.

The Yamaha XT250 is a perfect example of this, with a saddle height of a “minute” 31.9 inches.

While still able to deliver a punch in power, this bike is excellent for those who are slightly under the range for “standard” 250cc’s.

Other Factors To Consider When Riding A 250cc Motorbike

When looking at an off-road 250cc motorcycle, your height does play a role in choosing the right bike; however, some other important factors contribute to the overall comfort and safety of the ride.

These factors include:

  • Leg and arm length

 It’s all good and well being six-foot, but what if it’s because of a long torso, and your legs are actually relatively short?

This is a reality for many people. Again, returning to the need to test the motorcycle first, going on height category alone is not the best method. Test it first!

  • Weight

 Almost more important a factor to consider when purchasing a 250cc is your weight.

Being underweight means, you may not be able to support/handle a 250cc.

The average minimum weight is 150 pounds for a 250cc.

This, again, is what is recommended and not a golden rule. Anything less, and the bike’s weight compared to yours is getting a bit too much.

On the other side of the spectrum, a maximum weight of around 250 pounds is the suggested guideline. Anything more, and you may be uncomfortable and put a strain on the bike’s suspension.

  • Experience

 Probably far more crucial than just your height and weight is the amount of experience you have with riding off-road motorcycles.

When looked at together with the other factors, this “smoothes over” most discrepancies. A more experienced rider will be able to handle a motorbike that they are not 100% the correct size for.

It doesn’t mean that they SHOULD ignore the other factors, but it does mean that they should be less likely to cause damage to themselves or the motorcycle.

  • Purpose

A final thought is on the purpose of what you want to do with your motorcycle.

If, for example, you intend to compete in motocross, then ensuring that your dirt bike “fits-like-a-glove” is far more paramount than to the individual who takes a weekend cruise that leads them onto dirt roads.

All efforts should ensure thatthe motorcycle you buy and ride is the correct size and power for your height, weight, experience, and purpose. It is essential to not look at these points in isolation but rather as a whole.

What Will Happen If I Don’t Choose The Correct Height Motorcycle?

  • Too short for the bike

This is by far the less desirable outcome. If you cannot touch the ground or can barely reach the ground on the tops of your toes, you are asking for trouble.

The hazards of “off-roading” will result in the need for you to put your feet on the ground at some point (unseen holes, landing after a jump, or hitting a patch of sand, to name but a few). 

If your feet cannot make adequate contact with the ground, it could result in injury and breakages.

  • Too tall for the bike

This situation is not as drastic as being too short, within reason. Being slightly too tall may result in an uncomfortable ride and a bit of extra strain on the bike’s suspension.

However, if you are too tall, you stand a chance of injuring yourself when hitting bumps or driving through holes on your feet/ankles (impacting the ground); and injuring yourself on the bike itself.

It is always best to make sure that you can sit comfortably with the balls of your feet (the front third) on the ground. This will hopefully reduce the hospital and mechanic visits!

Conclusion

When choosing a dirt bike, it is essential to try and get the bike that suits you best in terms of size, power, and purpose. Although there are generally agreed-upon “height classes” for different-sized bikes, the best way to determine if a motorcycle is the right fit for you or not is to sit on it and test it. Safety and comfort are your guiding factors.

Sources

Louis Pretorius

As an amateur off-road enthusiast, I have always been drawn to outdoor adventure. I have decided to share all of my learning experiences with you as I dig a little deeper into my new-found passion and wonderful world of off-roading. My mission is to create the Ultimate Off-roading space on the internet in the process. Stay safe and happy Off-Roading!

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