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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry in advance for this lengthy post:

I am 5'-7", and have always found the Sport 1000 to be too tall for me. The dealer set the bike up for me by just taking all the preload off the rear shock, which really compromised the suspension and the geometry. I tried to put as much preload back in as possible, and raised the fork in the triple crown as much as possible (so the front and rear were more even), and also shaved my seat. All of that helped, but the height was still as issue for me (particularly since I live in the hills, where flat footing at stops becomes more important).

And as everyone knows, the Sport 1000 is a great bike except for the suspension. I always felt the forks were too soft, and with a lot of dive under hard braking. And because of the pre-load setting, my shock performance was already off. Anyway I was always looking to improve the suspension, but unable to afford upgrading to the Ohlins.

One last bit of history is that I am a very slow rider, and rarely ever push the bike. I just enjoy taking it easy, preferring the long gentle sweepers these days, more than the twisties. So I decided I was willing to compromise a little clearance to have the bike lowered properly.

So there is a local suspension shop here, with a stellar reputation. I had them tweak my SV650 suspension before and they did a fantastic job. I talked to them about my Sport 1000, and they thought they could improve the performance of the fork and shock, and lower the bike at the same time. They would also restore the balance between the front and rear, and get back to the original steering geometry. All sounded good.

The attached picture is what they did.

I was really concerned when I went to pick up the bike because they had cut the forks to lower the bike, reducing the travel significantly. I understand now that was the only practical way to shorten the fork, but truthfully, had I known, I probably would not have done it. I was told all the fork internals were redone to stiffen the forks, so that the same amount of force would be absorbed within the shorter travel distance, and that I really will not have any problems with the fork bottoming out.

I have ridden a couple of hundred miles on the bike since and it feels great. I feel the bumps a little more, but the bike is much more settled. It handles better than ever before. I have never bottomed out the forks. But still, seeing the short amount of available travel, I worry.

So my question is, is this an unsafe condition?
 

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I understand now that was the only practical way to shorten the fork, but truthfully, had I known, I probably would not have done it.

So my question is, is this an unsafe condition?
You could have pitched the bike forward a couple of inches by lowering the triple clamp on the forks. only downside would be the forks would be popping above the top of the clamp a couple of inches... but you'd still have the same suspension feel. Sounds like now your forks are stiffer and that's good.

there's another rider on this forum who manufactured a lowering bracket for the rear shock on his PS... if your rear is too stiff now you can possibly look into it.

I wouldn't think it's unsafe, but I think you definitely tweaked the handling of the bike in a way...

did you install the biposto clip-on risers? this could help reduce the reach for the handlebars...
 

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Well, I can't comment on safety of the forks, but I don't see why they had to cut them. Other forum members have just pushed the forks higher in the triples, either to lower the bike or to use longer adjustable forks from other models, and used the extra clearance to mount the clipons on top, making the riding position more comfortable at the same time. Of course if you like the more aggressive lower clipon position, the forks sticking out of the top of the triples would look silly, but I can't see how it would hurt anything. It seems like most shops would have at least asked you before cutting them.

If you want to lower the rear without messing up your preload, YSS, and probably a couple other companies, sell shorter shocks that fit our bikes, and are quite good, for a lot less than Ohlins prices. A search should turn up some options. You can also do a search for "Napoleon Lowering Bracket" to find another option.

I'm a shorty myself at 5'8", but I can just get the balls of both feet down on my GT, so I don't plan on messing with the suspension height. I do plan on having a custom seat made by the likes of Corbin or Sergeant in order to get an extra 1/2 inch or so closer to the tarmac without sacrificing comfort.

BTW, the bike looks REALLY good.
 

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Can't know for certain from afar, but IMHO:

The bike looks great. Somebody knew what they were doing. It has a more concentrated look to it.

Given the way you ride the bike and the stiffened suspension, I'd imagine it to be quite safe. Are you having any problems with the suspension bottoming? If not, you're probably good to go.

The only problem may come at resale time. Then again, a prospective buyer may not even notice anything (given the very right look of the bike) and may also wish a lowered look.

Would I have done the same thing? Well no, but then again, I'm 5'10".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments so far, please keep them coming.

I had raised the forks in the triple crown before, but I was told 1/2"-3/4" was the max before you had other clearance issues. And yes, it also looked silly. So now with the shortened forks, we are back to the stock setting at the triple crown.

The rear shock was effectively shortened as well, using internal spacers. And then it was revalved internally, again to stiffen the shock, so it could absorb the same load but within a shorter travel distance. The preload is now where it should be for my weight.

Fore and aft height is even now, so the geometry is the same as stock. And the front and rear suspension is now balanced, so the bike handles beautifully. And the lost in clearance below was acceptable to be. I was just surprised about the reduction in fork travel. That is what I am somewhat scared about, wondering if it is safe.

And no, the bike does not have the clip-on risers, so it is still that original extreme reach, made even more noticeable with the rear sets.
 

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Sounds like you have done quite a bit to the bike.

It may not solve your ride height issue but you could change the tires and rims to reduce the wheels' impact on the suspension as the wheels travel over the bumps which is a concern for you.

When I switched from the stock wheels to Alpinas and Pirelli Diablos, it made the ride much smoother. I got them after i modded the suspension so I could take note of the incremental differences.

For what you've done to your forks, I don't think you have an unsafe condition.
 

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Well, the good news is that it seems like the shop who did your work knows their business. Performing the operations you've described requires some specific tools and knowledge and from your report it seems they pulled off exactly what they wanted to accomplish. Maybe they could have been more transparent about the process, but sometimes that's just a communication issue.

FWIW, in my opinion you're going to be just fine. The above comments about re-selling are also very good points.
 

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Yes, there is quite a limit on raising the forks in the triples before the fender/tire will run into the oil cooler, frame, or engine.

Regardless of how it is done (shorter springs, less preload, shortened fork, etc.), moving the front wheel closer to the triple clamps must result in reduced suspension compliance. I (also 5'-7") would never want to lose that much travel, but if you want the bike lowered that much, they've done it the right way.
 

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Again, that is one good looking bike! At first, I could not figure out why. I think now that it's partly because you've reduced the gap between the top of the rear wheel and the fender.
 
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