For inseam challanged newbies....why lowering links can make a difference. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-23-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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For inseam challanged newbies....why lowering links can make a difference.

For experienced riders, go back to your porn links. This is for us newbies with challanged inseams. :biggrinjester:

Stroms on paper are not ideal starter bikes because they are tall and a bit heavy.

BUT.....

They have a pretty smooth clutch, plenty of low end torque to allow for smooth starts, feul injection for smoother starts ifrom cold start-ups, ABS for thoose "oh sh!t" moments and last but not least, plenty of tupperware protection if you have crash bars. And the biggest reason of all, you don't have to "upgrade" to anything else if you don't want to. Unlike starting with a 250 cc bike, the Strom can serve any need short of challanging Hayabusas, canyon carving with GSX's and trail riding the Alps.

I had a tough time gaining confidence on the bike and after I lowered it, everything changed. Before I lowered it, I had to tip toe to keep it upright, thus, every start become an "on/off" switch between moving or standing still. The bike couldn't roll more then a few inches before I had to pull my leg up and go. If it wobbled a bit and I tried to catch it, it would throw me off balance and cause an even bigger reaction. Ninety degree turns where also "on/off" affairs that needed to much space.

After the lowering links.....

I could put both feet flat on the ground. That in itself made the bike feel a hundred pounds lighter. I could man-handle the bike instead of sitting on top of it and keeping my balance on tip-toes. In the ride, it made a HUGE difference. Instead of "on/off" starts, it allowed me to let the clutch out smoothly while maintaining the three point contact. The difference is only about 12 to 16 inches of forward movement while keeping my foot down but that is the difference between centrifugal force taking over and Mr. Pavement. Ninety degree start up turns are also much smoother for the same reason. With experience, the clutch control vs balance issue become more reflex and the height issue diminishes.

Last but not least, that extra inch can be a heart saver if you happen to stop over a sunken man hole cover and when you put your foot down, you have thin air where you think there should be terra firma.

So here is what I suggest. If you are a newbie and you are looking at your first big bike and you think the Strom is to big and heavy, get some lowering links and drop the bike an inch. Normally, you can't drop it more then that because the front end only allow you to drop about 3/4 of an inch before the fork tubes hit the handle bar. You can drop it even lower but you need to get aftermarket offsets brackets for your handle bar. I don't think it's a good idea to go 2 inches or beyond and if you do, only on a very temporary basis. Also note that it will change your suspension by making it softer.

That's my experience and suggestions.

Happy riding!




P.S. Here is a link on how it's done.

http://www.jackphelps.com/vstrom/vst...bakerlinks.htm

P.S.S. You need to cut and weld the kickstand about 3/4 of an inch AND re-adjust the headlights.
.

Last edited by Spartan; 10-23-2010 at 10:19 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-23-2010, 05:23 PM
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Glad you've been able to make it work for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
Normally, you can't drop it more then that because the front end only allow you to drop about 3/4 of an inch before the fork tubes hit the handle bar. You can drop it even lower but you need to get aftermarket offsets brackets for your handle bar. I don't think it's a good idea to go 2 inches or beyond and if you do, only on a very temporary basis.
The handlebar isn't the only reason you can't lower the front more. I don't know the exact measurement, but at some point you risk the top of the fender hitting the lower triple clamp when the suspension is fully compressed. If you have an ABS version, there is a bit less clearance because of the front brake distribution block.

If you have added a fork brace (which has a very high bang:buck ratio), you can't raise the fork tubes more than about an inch before reaching the point where bottoming the front suspension will result in the brace hitting something it shouldn't. On ABS bikes with a fork brace that is reduced to about 5/8" I believe.

Lowering the rear more than about 1.25" can result in the rear tire hitting the fender/underseat tray on full compression.

Obviously, if you never bottom out the suspension, these restrictions are less of an issue, but you should be aware of the possibility of damage if you lower it too far.

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Last edited by The Golden Monkey; 10-23-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-23-2010, 07:49 PM
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Also keep in mind that the lower link softens the rear shock as well making it easier to bottom. So if you have a big load it will bottom even easier. The greater the drop, the more it softens the suspension. So if your are "portly" and lower your suspension, you might want to think about a heavier spring rate.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-23-2010, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Golden Monkey View Post
Glad you've been able to make it work for you!



The handlebar isn't the only reason you can't lower the front more. I don't know the exact measurement, but at some point you risk the top of the fender hitting the lower triple clamp when the suspension is fully compressed. If you have an ABS version, there is a bit less clearance because of the front brake distribution block.

If you have added a fork brace (which has a very high bang:buck ratio), you can't raise the fork tubes more than about an inch before reaching the point where bottoming the front suspension will result in the brace hitting something it shouldn't. On ABS bikes with a fork brace that is reduced to about 5/8" I believe.

Lowering the rear more than about 1.25" can result in the rear tire hitting the fender/underseat tray on full compression.

Obviously, if you never bottom out the suspension, these restrictions are less of an issue, but you should be aware of the possibility of damage if you lower it too far.
I agree but by definition, newbies are not searching for the bikes limits. Well, at least the sane ones. If one drops it two inches then one MUST be aware of potentially bottoming it out AND the pegs touching pavement.

In mine, I have dropped the back exactly one inch and whatever I got from the front. I may or may not leave it dropped but for now, getting used to the bike and enjoying the bike are my "limits".

BTW, I forgot to mention something for the newbies. Don't forget to cut and reweld the kickstand about 3/4 of an inch. AND re-adjust the headlights.

Last edited by Spartan; 10-23-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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