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Discussion Starter #1
I went to the dealer a couple weeks ago to order my Vince's and the owner came out as I was leaving asking how the bike was bla bla bla. I told him it was too friggin' tall and that I had shaved the seat and would he mind turning my rear shock to 1.

After he was done he offered to "have the guys lower the front fork 1/2"' for me when I bring it in for it's 600 mile check up. Which is tomorrow morning. So, should I do that? He's doin it for free. I really dont want to raise my risk of a tank slapper - which is my 2nd biggest fear, 1st being hit by a cager. But I digress.

I can reach with one foot flat and one on the balls of my feet. I can park and back up and all that jazz but being closer to earth is appealing. I'm torn and I want to know what ya'll thought.

Discuss.
 

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Saratogian
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Lower it and don't worry about the slapper...you've got a good amount of rake.

Raising the forks in the triples will give you quicker turn in and make it easier to stoppie (good or bad depending on your pref.). This will also move the weight bias more towards the front and give you the slightly lower ride you desire.

EDIT - so when do we get to see those pics you keep talking about?
 

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lower it...

the fact I've either lowered or raised any vehicle I've ever owned is in no way affecting my view... ...ok, yeah it is. but lower it anyway. You wont regret it. I did, however, regret lowering my rear to 1. After riding to work on 1, i immediately raised it back to 3. I wasn't to fond of the increased stiffness.

pic for reference... Ignore the clip-on but rather look at the fork on the right. its probably an inch or so.

 

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butt marker
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I lowered mine 1 1/2 inches with stiffer springs and installed clip ons. It was a positive change for me. It really makes the bike handle a little quicker on the turn in.
I did have one and only one "slapper" (if you can call it that) but it was really mild. It was one of those see how fast the bike can accelerate in second, the front wheel was light on the road, and I hit a bad bump. I don't think too many people have them and most of them are rider error. You really have to be riding hard and they are completely avoidable, so I wouldn't concern yourself about it. A half inch isn't going to change anything except make you more comfortable, so just lower it and ride. There are so many other things to worry about. :beer
 

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Beware the drop bears
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I agree with lowering, I did it to my previous ride,a '98 cbr 600 and it turned much quicker and no ill effects at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
awesome. I'm doing it and totally stoked about it now.

Thanks a lot for the input.



And as far as the pictures go, MAYBE Friday. The photog is a little on the busy side for some odd reason. I'm dying to do the shoot but he's the hold up.

and moving my shock to 1 was not noticible to me...
 

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I would not recommend it but it's not my bike and you will do it anyway.
Remember when those racers suddenly flip over like a raging horse ? well it's what your exposed to since shit will probably happen when you brake like mad (you usually brake like mad when your life is in danger already), the front suspension will bottom, the rear will stretch(and they do a lot), then the rake will become negative, the handlebars will go to full lock to one side, this will induce a unrecoverable spin since your rear tire barely contact the ground, the bike will flip over and the hell happens then...
And I have the chance to warn you before.

Best is to maintain the original suspension geometry intact.
Rule : lower the bike=turn a fine tuned chassis in a backyard engineered garbage

Miss Em said:
...but being closer to earth is appealing.
Oh and yes, it will bring you closer to the ground :lao
 

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changing the spring to a 1 only changes the preload, ie. softens the spring when weight is put on the bike - and from the looks of your avitar you probably don't compress the spring a whole lot even on a 1 setting. this does not change the actual height. i met a couple in the mts. and the girls husband had took the rear shock off and cut part of it off to lower the bike. i don't know of any lowering kit avaliable for our bikes. yes- lower the front by dropping the forks in the triple tree. but personally i wouldn't go much more than 30mm , you won't have any problem with head shakes.
 

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Sidehacker Extraordinaire
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I'd suggest putting the preload back to it's proper setting for you and learning to be comfortable with the bike the way it is. Learn to one-foot it, it's something every rider should be able to do at all times. As far as backing up, there are two strategies: plan ahead so you either don't have to back up, or let gravity do the work for you; get off the bike and walk the bike back. It's not hard.

IMO changing the geometry for the sole reason of being able to put your other foot flat on the ground is a band aid for poor riding skills.
 

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The Flying Finn
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jeepcoma said:
I'd suggest putting the preload back to it's proper setting for you and learning to be comfortable with the bike the way it is. Learn to one-foot it, it's something every rider should be able to do at all times. As far as backing up, there are two strategies: plan ahead so you either don't have to back up, or let gravity do the work for you; get off the bike and walk the bike back. It's not hard.

IMO changing the geometry for the sole reason of being able to put your other foot flat on the ground is a band aid for poor riding skills.
+1... my bike felt tall for a bit. I'm only 5'6" and I can only keep one foot flat. In fact you look like you've got longer legs than me (still waiting for pics! :eatpop ). So I say ride it for a while before you decide to lower it.

just my $.02 of course
 

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Theres no I in threesome
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Dropping the front forks considerably will also mean you will probably need a new sidestand or have it cut shorter.
 

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butt marker
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wow, 1/2 an inch doesn't make a huge difference, you guys are gonna scare her. 1 inch wouldn't even be too much of an issue. She doesn't look like a porker ,so I don't think with the stock springs she will have to worry about bottoming out.
You might want to get a lower rear shock, one of the guys on here (lilcurverider) here did this . It may be worth looking into since you can get an r6 shock cheap. If you lower both ends it will keep the bike very similar to stock.

Edit: Killernoodle, with mine lowered 1 1/2 in the front, the stock kickstand is fine.
 

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Track Junkie
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gboezio said:
I would not recommend it but it's not my bike and you will do it anyway.
Remember when those racers suddenly flip over like a raging horse ? well it's what your exposed to since shit will probably happen when you brake like mad (you usually brake like mad when your life is in danger already), the front suspension will bottom, the rear will stretch(and they do a lot), then the rake will become negative, the handlebars will go to full lock to one side, this will induce a unrecoverable spin since your rear tire barely contact the ground, the bike will flip over and the hell happens then...
And I have the chance to warn you before.

Best is to maintain the original suspension geometry intact.
Rule : lower the bike=turn a fine tuned chassis in a backyard engineered garbage



Oh and yes, it will bring you closer to the ground :lao
Pretty sure body position has more to do with flipping the bike over.
 

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mbodell said:
I did have one and only one "slapper" (if you can call it that) but it was really mild. It was one of those see how fast the bike can accelerate in second, the front wheel was light on the road, and I hit a bad bump.
Hmm... now that you mention this I think I had the same thing happen. I never realized it was a tank slapper till reading what you wrote. I was accelerating in 1st a little hard, and the handle bars started shaking. I thought I went over some weird bumps and it was causing the front to shake, but I only recall the back going over one bump. Well at least we both got out of that unscathed. :beer
 

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MrPostman said:
You wont regret it. I did, however, regret lowering my rear to 1. After riding to work on 1, i immediately raised it back to 3. I wasn't to fond of the increased stiffness.
Lowering the rear to 1 will make it really soft, not stiff. 4-5 for someone 175-200 is usually a good sweet spot with this bike. 1-3 are for you feather weights. :neener
 

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f5nix said:
Hmm... now that you mention this I think I had the same thing happen. I never realized it was a tank slapper till reading what you wrote. I was accelerating in 1st a little hard, and the handle bars started shaking. I thought I went over some weird bumps and it was causing the front to shake, but I only recall the back going over one bump. Well at least we both got out of that unscathed. :beer
The bike that I rode over the weekend, had the front forks raised in the tripple trees and it seemed to handle fine to me, but to be honest I didnt know how it was supposed to handle. (Im 6'2 by the way.)

As for "the tank slapper" what yall are describing is what I call head shake. The front end gets light enough and something throws it off it the bars just start to wobble. This can be easily fixed by installing a stearing stabilizer. I had the same issue on my KX 250, but I saved my money from working at McDonalds for like 4 weeks and bought a W.E.R. system. No more head shake and it helps correct alot of errors. I wont ride a bike hard with out one now.

A tank slapper, IMO, is when you see these guys racing and the ass end gets light and the back end starts goind side to side very violently. The whole bike gets out of shape and with that voilent whiping action is where the tank slapper term came from. I have only seen one rider ever save the bike after getting a tank slapper, usually the rider is highsided when the tire finally grabs one good time.

-bryan
 

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I don't want to scare her, but I consider that's a lot to trade off for a very little benefit since she have fairly long legs already. I insist that one would not find a real difference in 99.9 % of the time. Some testing is needed to see if the rake can become negative in an emergency situation, but I would rather compromise traction by shortening the rear than messing with a potentially deadly feature.
I had the chance to ride a lowered bike myself, the girl was really small and the guys wanted to sell her their crap bike so much that they dropped the front 1 1/2 on a gixxer 750, the bike was unridable in my own sense, specially for a unexperienced rider. As for the weight, the bike's weight alone and a bump while braking is enough to bottom the front end.
It WILL make the bike more unstable, it's a geometry fact, how much I have no clue.
I question the practices of your dealer, rear suspension settings, lowering forks...did they set the SAG with you sitting on the bike at all ? Ok most dealer don't give a damn, but if there is any adjustments, it's the way to go.
Get the SAG perfect, you'll feel the difference and it's way more rewarding that 1/2 " aka 3/16" since you are closer to the rear wheel than the front...
 

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BMCCRARY: You are wrong a tank slapper has nothing to do with the back end of the bike. That is a rear wobble from losing the rear tire grip. Mine went back and forth a few times pretty hard, it was not just head shake which I consider more of a bearing thing. Anyhow I hate this constant discussion, so here is the definition of a tank slapper via wikipedia:

"Wobble, shimmy, tank-slapper, speed wobble, and even death wobble are all words and phrases used to describe a quick (4 - 10 Hz) oscillation of primarily just the front end (front wheel, fork, and handlebars). The rest of the bike remains mostly unaffected. This instability occurs mostly at high speed and is similar to that experienced by shopping cart wheels, airplane landing gear, and automobile front wheels.

Wobble or shimmy begins when some otherwise minor irregularity accelerates the wheel to one side. The restoring force is applied in phase with the progress of the irregularity, and the wheel turns to the other side where the process is repeated. If there is insufficient damping in the steering the oscillation will increase until system failure. Speed changes, making the bike stiffer or lighter, or increasing the stiffness of the steering (of which the rider is the main component) can change the oscillation frequency, though only speed change is applicable in the situation."

Gboezio, a half an inch with a woman rider who isn't a whale isn't going to hurt anything. She isn't going to bottom out and it isn't a big trade off. Its an easy adjustment that only takes a few minutes, so what does she have to lose, she can always move it right back. The only thing that she probably did wrong was to blindly adjust the rear shock to 1. They could have checked the sag and figured out what was right for her. Aside from that, if you had an fz6 you would no that is doesn't have adjustable preload on the front suspension. It has variable springs only, so she would need to trim the spacers.
Japanese people are smaller anyhow and I think as a result our bikes were setup for a 150 lb person.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
gboezio said:
I don't want to scare her, but I consider that's a lot to trade off for a very little benefit since she have fairly long legs already. I insist that one would not find a real difference in 99.9 % of the time. Some testing is needed to see if the rake can become negative in an emergency situation, but I would rather compromise traction by shortening the rear than messing with a potentially deadly feature.
I had the chance to ride a lowered bike myself, the girl was really small and the guys wanted to sell her their crap bike so much that they dropped the front 1 1/2 on a gixxer 750, the bike was unridable in my own sense, specially for a unexperienced rider. As for the weight, the bike's weight alone and a bump while braking is enough to bottom the front end.
It WILL make the bike more unstable, it's a geometry fact, how much I have no clue.
I question the practices of your dealer, rear suspension settings, lowering forks...did they set the SAG with you sitting on the bike at all ? Ok most dealer don't give a damn, but if there is any adjustments, it's the way to go.
Get the SAG perfect, you'll feel the difference and it's way more rewarding that 1/2 " aka 3/16" since you are closer to the rear wheel than the front...
yeah I was kinda wondering about that exact thing. would it make the a$$ of the bike look hiked up?

I'm so conflicted. 1/2 of you say 'do it' the other half say 'don't'

I don't NEED it lower. I CAN park and stop and all that good stuff. I just WANTED it lower to get more of my foot down for parking and sitting at red lights but not at the cost of how the bike handles. And I do "one foot it". I don't have a choice, really.

and I LIKE the shock at 1. I asked him to do that... isn't that a rider's choice anyway? and our bikes dont have a 'dog bone' so lowering the rear isn't really an option without cutting into the frame and getting a new shock. which I am not willing to do.

Maybe I'll just say "f*ck it" and get new rear sets instead....
 
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