Motorcycle Rearsets: The Benefits for the Track and Setting them Up

When pressed for an answer as to why we use rearsets, a lot of people may state they’re merely for bling factor and not much else. This couldn’t be further from the truth and there are some very compelling reasons why you should think about investing in a set of these shiny bike accessories for your motorcycle.

First Off, What Are They?

A third party set of rearsets replace the existing pegs, rear brake lever and gear shifter, as well as the brackets that hold them together and fix them to the bike’s frame. They are often designed to allow some adjustment so the rider can set them up how they want. Below I have outlined the benefits of rearsets and what you should consider when setting them up, as well as which brands to look out for.

The Benefits of Motorcycle Rearsets

Creating a stable base – The number one reason why they should be considered is the ability to adjust your foot and therefore leg position to allow you to create a more stable base for your whole body when sitting on and hanging off your bike.

A more stable base means you are using your feet and legs to clamp yourself onto the bike and are less inclined to hang on with your arms, meaning greater freedom for the front end to do it’s job properly, rather than having to deal with your inputs on the bars at the same time (see below for how to set them up properly).

Getting comfortable – As a direct result of the above, a more stable base means less strain on your body to keep you held on the bike, meaning greater comfort and less energy spent during your riding time.

Increased ground clearance – They create more ground clearance and as such allow you to lean the bike more. While this is a good justification for rearsets, the main purpose should be getting yourself stable and comfortable on the bike.

Better grip from pegs – The aftermarket pegs that come with rearsets are often designed to give greater grip than standard road pegs, further improving your lower body’s hold on the bike.

They look the business – While pretty subjective, a nice set of pegs look fantastic and go towards making your steed look just that little bit more special.

How to Set Up Your Rearsets

As said above, your primary concern should be creating a stable and comfortable base for the rest of your body. With that then, where do we begin creating such a base?

Rearset Position

If you read my body position guide you will remember I mentioned that when hanging off your bike your outside foot, knee and upper leg are your main anchor points, so what you need to do is position the pegs in such a way that will allow you to have your feet in the position I described in the guide and you knee and upper leg tucked into the tank.

In my case I am quite lanky, so to allow for my long legs I have mine as far back and almost as low down as they can go. This allows me to get my knee under the groove on my tank and with a slight calf raise, lock my upper leg in position when hanging off, creating a nice sturdy anchor point for holding myself on the bike.

You probably won’t get it right straight away – I certainly didn’t – but keep making minor adjustments until you can feel you have it sussed.

Don’t forget the gear lever – It’s worth taking a rough note of the angle at which your current gear lever sits relative to the peg. Getting a similar angle set up on the new rearsets will save a bit of time when it comes to riding the bike and fine tuning the gear lever position.

Which Rearsets to Buy

In truth there are quite a large number of brands and types you can buy for your bike, but not all companies make them for every bike in existence, so to recommend a single product is a bit difficult. I can however tell you that companies such as Gilles, Harris, Arrow and Diamond all produce good quality products that a lot of people would – and do – recommend.

Personally, after much research when looking into a set for my old 2004 Yamaha R6 I decided that SES rearsets offer the best combination of quality and price, plus the fact that everyone I have spoke to regarding SES say that the service is always top notch. You can buy them directly from SES, but it’s always worth having a look on eBay as you can often pick up a bargain.

On my newer Honda CBR1000RR I have Harris rearsets. Once again they they are great quality.


Rearsets then are in fact more important to your riding than being something pretty to bolt on to your bike (though they do look damn good) and if you’ve found this page while looking for information on rearsets then I’m guessing you had an inclination of this already. So to confirm, they are indeed a worthwhile upgrade for any track bike and should be a serious consideration for someone looking to improve their riding position.

Photo by Steve