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  #1  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:48 AM
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Default Lowering the bike vs handling

I'm a shorter rider, and am getting my 2012 v-strom lowered a little bit.
My mechanic has advised that this is likely to badly effect the handling of the bike though. I see a number of people on the forum have lowered their bikes.. how did you find the result?

Also.. how much did you end up lowering the forks vs the rear?
My mechanic was suggesting a 3 to 5 mm change in the forks, for a 20-25mm change at the rear.. which sounds wrong to me. Shouldn't it be a similar amount?
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:26 AM
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I have mine lowered 3/4" or 19mm at each end. I would suggest the same amount at each end as the Glee doesn't have the aerodynamic issues of the Vee and Wee. The slightly lower center of mass improves things except for the possibility of scraping a peg.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
I have mine lowered 3/4" or 19mm at each end
Sorry if this is naive but.. to lower it 19mm at the front, do you bring the forks 19mm through the clamps? Or is the lowered amount proportional (but not equal) to that?

Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:50 AM
 
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You are on the right track. Since the forks are not perpendicular, sliding them up thru the tirple clamps by 19mm(measured at the top edge of the clamp) will not work out to an exact lowering of the BIKE by 19mm. It will be slightly less. This affects the rake/trail relationship slightly. Generally speaking, a slight increase in rake(think chopper front end) will add to high speed stability in the form of slower steering. Compare the front suspension of an MX(motocross) race bike to street bikes and you'll see how the axle is mounted forward of the lower fork leg(ours are mounted center on the end). Why? MX bikes don't typically get above about 60mph on an MX track....they are designed to handle extremely rough terrain while going as fast as possible so there is a trade off in high speed stability. Pulling in RAKE(more perpendicular) makes the bike turn quicker/sharper, which Suzuki's MX racers are known for...but they suffer from frontend twitch on high speed straights and when they land from hard jumps. Motorcycle handling has many factors involved in attaining a certain goal. If you want high speed stability, look for a rake that is less perpendicular(to a point).....want a canyon carver, look for a steeper rake. Consider this, as we ride along and hit dips or more severe depressions in the road, our wheelbase is a constantly changing length which upsets the bike. Have you ever found yourself going thru an unfamiliar curve at 50mph only to find a dip in the middle of the turn? Do you have faith in the bike's suspension? Faith in your skill to compensate for that sudden dip and how it will affect your bike? What Greywolf knows is that the bike's supension geometry needs to stay near stock to retain good handling. Lowering one end of the bike without equally lowering the other end changes how the suspension works and how the bike handles. You can easily see this by setting your suspension for you riding alone and then take a passenger who weighs 150lbs....and see what difference it makes. The steering gets slower because the backend squats which increases rake....etc.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:17 AM
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You can also remove the rubber blocks under the seat and glue some rubber or felt pads on instead. That's between 1/2-3/4" and doesn't affect geometry.

Pete
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteW View Post
You can also remove the rubber blocks under the seat and glue some rubber or felt pads on instead. That's between 1/2-3/4" and doesn't affect geometry.
Ah, I've actually already tried that. It helped a little, but I'm still just a bit short
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boit4852 View Post
You can easily see this by setting your suspension for you riding alone and then take a passenger who weighs 150lbs....and see what difference it makes. The steering gets slower because the backend squats which increases rake....etc.
Boit (and others), are you advising against setting preload to the highest level to achieve maximum sag for the purpose of reducing seat height? Just because it affects cornering stability, or any other reasons?
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:21 AM
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I lowered the rear 1/4" and then slid the forks up through the triple 1/4" and the bike handles extremely well. I noticed after I lowered the bike cornering has improved and the bike dives into the curves now.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:25 AM
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Boit, thanks for all the info.
I'm feeling pretty nervous about playing with the suspension at all now! My mechanic didn't want to drop the front by any more than 3-5mm because he thought it'd mess up the handling; so changing it by 20mm to match the back seems like heaps.
At the time I was ordering the longer struts I didn't think it'd be all that much, but now it's sounding like 1" is going to be a big change, and perhaps hard to set up correctly.

I think I might delay the mod for now, and perhaps look at getting the seat remolded to be 25mm lower. (and maybe see if I can swap the 25mm-lower struts with someone for some 15mm ones, which sound a bit less drastic).

That said - Greywolf and others seem to find things OK still with their mods, but most people seem to be doing 8 to 18mm, not 25. Maybe I aimed too far?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:21 AM
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I know I don't have a 2012, but I lowered my Vee 2 inches in the rear and 3/4 in the front. The handling was still great but for one thing... When loaded with passenger or otherwise, the bike WILL bottom out very easily and bind the chain horribly. it seems like the suspension just reaches a certain point and gives completely, given, my bride and I weigh over 400 pounds but I didn't like t and raised the rear back to stock. Afterwards I found that with only the front lowered, I can still reach the ground easily, and my slow speed maneuvering is effortless, if not slightly too positive in handling. I love it like this, with wife still handles great, and it never bottoms out.

Just try lowered your forks in the clamps, it makes a bigger difference than you would think. Also, unrelated to what you are attempting to achieve, my high speed stability has increased tenfold, I ride at 110 and it feels like 80, after that is not even that bad. I've maxed my speed at 145 (all indicated speeds) and the wobble associated with heavy decel is barely noticeable, definitely not as dangerous as before when I experienced it. And I have the original Tourance front and rear, new in front.

Last edited by Texas Oilman; 10-30-2012 at 09:24 AM.
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