Whether you’re a novice rider who’s a bit unsteady at stops, or just a little vertically challenged, when you’re holding up a motorcycle at a standstill there’s nothing like having both feet firmly on the ground. Getting that stability means finding a bike that fulfills your desires and has a low seat height—no problem if you happen to like cruisers and smaller displacement motorcycles. But what if your tastes run to something sportier, with good cornering clearance and enough power for touring, flying up hills and making brisk passes on the highway? Finding a bike that fits that description among the latest machines that is also reasonably light and has a saddle altitude in the 30-inch or lower range can be challenge.
But hey, that’s what we’re here for, right? Our search for sporty, lightweight lowness led us to the four motorcycles on the following pages. One already has a standard seat height of just 29.1 inches; the others start in the 30-32-inch range (which is how we tested them), yet with the addition of dealer optional lower seats and/or factory suspension lowering kits, can get way down to 29-30 inches. All weigh less than 500 pounds, too, have excellent power-to-weight ratios and corner well enough to excite veteran, novice, tall and short riders alike.
Click on the bike names below to read our review of each one.