Motorcycle Seating Positions

Proper motorcycle body position is crucial for a comfortable and safe ride. An incorrect bike posture can not only cause discomfort and fatigue but can also affect your ability to control the bike properly. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to sit on your bike correctly.

In this article, we will discuss the three main types of motorcycle seating positions and provide tips on how to achieve the correct posture. These guidelines will help you enhance your riding experience and avoid potential injuries.

Motorcycle sitting styles | Proper motorcycle posture | Most comfortable riding position | Things to know | How to make seat more comfortable

Motorcycle Seating Positions: Different Styles

The following are the three common motorcycle seating positions that you need to know.

Standard Posture

The standard riding posture is a neutral position in which you keep your body upright with the head and eyes looking straight ahead. You extend your arms (but not hyperextended) with enough slack for relaxed and slightly bent elbows.

The knees are also bent at a height slightly lower than the hips, and they rest against the tank. Plus, you place your feet on the foot pegs at about a 90-degree angle, almost directly below your knees.

This position improves your visibility as you sit up straight and high. However, it increases wind resistance, and the higher seat height may also cause some issues if you have short legs.

Despite these drawbacks, it’s a comfortable position that can help you ride your bike continuously for long road trips. It also allows you to stand up on the foot pegs if you need to surmount obstacles.

In short, it’s a comfortable and easy motorcycle posture that makes for a great starting point, especially for novice riders.

Cruiser Posture

The cruiser posture is a relaxed position that allows you to sit in a low and slightly reclined position, with your back leaning against a backrest or seat very slightly.

You position your feet forward on foot pegs, with the knees slightly bent and raised, and extend your arms more than other riding postures to hold the handlebars comfortably. Additionally, your head and eyes are looking straight ahead, just like the standard posture.

It distributes your body weight evenly over the backrest and foot pegs to keep you comfortable. And the forward position of your feet also reduces fatigue in your legs.

However, this posture is not the best one aerodynamically as it makes you feel more wind resistance.

Sports Posture

The sports posture is a more aggressive riding position. Riders who prioritize performance over comfort use it.

In this body posture, your upper body leans forward towards the handlebars, with the head and eyes looking straight ahead. You extend your arms and position them close to the body, with bent elbows.

You also bend your knees, hold them against the tank, and place your feet on the pegs below your hips.

It provides you with better control and handling of the motorcycle, especially while cornering or riding at high speeds. It’s an aerodynamically superior position, reducing wind resistance and allowing you to reach high speed quickly.

But it’s important to note that this riding position can be uncomfortable over long distances, leading to fatigue and discomfort. Additionally, it can also limit visibility because of the upper body leaning forward.

How to Sit on a Motorcycle Properly

female biker riding a silver harley on road

Sitting on a motorcycle in the wrong position can lead to bad handling, fatigue, numb hands, and other issues.

The typical “wrong” beginner body position on a motorcycle is sitting comfortably in the middle of the seat with the heels resting on the foot pegs. The knees are just flopping around, and the rider’s body is not clamped to the bike.

Such a riding posture can be extremely discomforting and can also lead to a nasty injury.

Let’s discuss how to sit on a motorcycle properly.


You want to give steering as much freedom as possible, which can be achieved by keeping your arms loose and relaxed. Sit closer to the tank, as it’ll allow your arms to bend, stay relaxed, and control the handlebar easily. It’ll also help you control the throttle, brakes, and clutch easily.


While positioning the hands, you can have a slightly bent or flat wrist. It is a personal preference, and you can try both options to find out what works best for you. But keep in mind that the first option may cause some fatigue after some time.


Ideally, the balls of your feet should be on the foot pegs and pressed against a metal plate (available on most road bikes). It’ll keep your feet safe and allow you to stand up on foot pegs if needed.


It’s important to clamp your knees to the motorcycle, slightly pressed against the tank, and keeping them loose and relaxed is important. It’ll help you control the bike easily while accelerating, braking, or cornering.

Upper body

The position of your upper body will depend on the riding posture you select. If you opt for the sports posture, a shrimp body position will be required for performance. Whereas, for standard and cruiser positions, a straight upper body position, with loose and bent arms, will serve you better.

Most Comfortable Motorcycle Riding Position

male biker riding black harley on city streets

Generally, the standard posture is considered the most comfortable riding position. That’s because it keeps your spine in a natural position and puts the least amount of strain on your joints.

In this position, your hips are slightly leaned back, and your shoulders are thrust forward. It allows you to avoid any unnecessary pressure on your body as your weight is evenly distributed.

Regardless of your skill level and body shape/size, you can sit comfortably in the standard posture and ride a bike for longer periods.

Things to Consider When Choosing Optimal Motorcycle Seating Position

When it comes to choosing the optimal seating position on a motorcycle, there are certain things that you should consider.

Things to Get Correct Positioning

  • Position your handlebars in a way that allows you to maintain a comfortable grip while riding without straining your arms or shoulders.
  • If you prefer comfort, consider opting for a standard or cruiser riding position. If you prefer performance over comfort, you can use sports posture. However, it’s important to make sure you also consider the type of bike you have before choosing the riding posture.
  • Your body type can also influence your optimal seating position. If you are tall or have long legs, you may need a seating position that allows you to stretch out and avoid feeling cramped. Whereas, if you are shorter or have a shorter inseam, you may need a seating position that allows you to easily reach the ground and control the bike.

Things to Avoid for Good Riding Posture:

  • Reaching too far forward to grip the handlebars can cause strain on the arms and shoulders. You can solve this problem by adjusting the handlebar position or using risers.
  • Keeping your elbows locked in a straight position can cause discomfort and reduce control. Therefore, you should have a slight bend in the elbows, which will help you absorb bumps and improve control.
  • Sitting too far forward or backward on the seat can affect your balance and control. So, consider sitting in the middle of the seat, and adjust your body as per the sitting posture you selected

How to Make Your Motorcycle Seat More Comfortable


If you find your motorcycle seat uncomfortable, there are several ways you can improve its comfort level, including the following:

  • Install a seat pad, such as an air cell cushion, gel pad, or foam pad, to improve padding.
  • Invest in a new softer seat made of higher-quality materials than stock seats.
  • Consider using wooden beads, as they can increase airflow and keep your muscles relaxed.
  • Install an adjustable backrest that can be mounted directly to the frame.
  • Wear padded bike shorts made of skin-friendly materials for added comfort.

Related: Best motorcycle seat pad for long rides


Choosing the right seating position is critical to ensuring your safety and comfort on a motorcycle. The three main seating positions are standard, cruiser, and sport.

The standard seating position is the most comfortable one, making it a popular choice for touring and long rides. The cruiser posture is suitable for casual riding, city commuting, and cruising. The sport seating is for aggressive riding with unparalleled performance.

If you’re not sure what riding style to choose, consider experimenting with all three positions. It’ll help you choose the best one that suits your comfort level, style, and experience.