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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I have read all the suspension posts, looked at the lowering blocks for stock shocks. Nothing seems to solidify the opinions on what works. I Now have a set of Clubmans on the way and two different style and height clip ons on the bench, I am sure I can get the front riding position where I want it but having my But up in the air still makes no sense to me whatsoever so i come back in and search the forum some more... Only to have walked out and stared at the bike for what seems hours in the cold.

Who amongst the learned has chosen to go the lowered (shortened) shock length route? How much did you go?
I cant see spending almost half the cost of a set of suspenders on a set of lowering blocks to use the factory bin parts... I plan on updating the front forks at some point as well with some new springs once I know what i want from the bike.
 

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A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
 

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Ok I have read all the suspension posts, looked at the lowering blocks for stock shocks. Nothing seems to solidify the opinions on what works. I Now have a set of Clubmans on the way and two different style and height clip ons on the bench, I am sure I can get the front riding position where I want it but having my But up in the air still makes no sense to me whatsoever so i come back in and search the forum some more... Only to have walked out and stared at the bike for what seems hours in the cold.

Who amongst the learned has chosen to go the lowered (shortened) shock length route? How much did you go?
I cant see spending almost half the cost of a set of suspenders on a set of lowering blocks to use the factory bin parts... I plan on updating the front forks at some point as well with some new springs once I know what i want from the bike.
I am unclear on what it is you are trying to achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
True poolagent, True, I know what I like and what works for me. I have been very fortunate to have had a fair number of street bikes and the time to ride them on and off over the years. I still have options today. BTW the Tonka handles like its on RAILS, maybe its the training wheels!!!!!

We all have different visions for these bikes and I am lucky that I don't have to make this bike "do it all". I am trying to recapture a feel and style that I miss, (ala R90s/ R100s, cafe, and some others from my past and distant fond memory)


I am afraid if I close my mind to what others have already done I might miss some valuable advice. And besides, why try to clear cut the whole forest again when someone may have already started the path? I Need to level this bike Just a Bit, the weight bias is just to far forward to work with the bar choices I want and my aging back. I may put a R90s style fairing on soon, and I have that all picked out and ready to go, but whatever I do the level of the bars will not be much above the top level of the tank, and a fair bit narrower than the stock GT bars.
 

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Same here (re: not clear what you are trying to achieve). Your butt is only "up in the air" relative to something else - the bars, the footpegs, etc. Unless you are drag racing, the only reason I can think of to shorten the rear suspension would be if you are very short of inseam and the bike is simply too tall for you (noting, of course, that that is a matter of rider skill as much as rider height).

Work on getting the body position you want with the different bar options. Once you start changing the attitude of the bike by lowering the rear or raising the front (e.g., by dropping the forks in the triple clamps) you are into some significant geometry changes that will alter much more than the seat height. Have you already explored the options in turns of reducing rear preload? If you can take some preload out and still have enough suspension travel (i.e., you never bottom the shocks out over bumps or when cornering), that will affect your rear ride height measurably.
 

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True poolagent, True, I know what I like and what works for me. I have been very fortunate to have had a fair number of street bikes and the time to ride them on and off over the years. I still have options today. BTW the Tonka handles like its on RAILS, maybe its the training wheels!!!!!

We all have different visions for these bikes and I am lucky that I don't have to make this bike "do it all". I am trying to recapture a feel and style that I miss, (ala R90s/ R100s, cafe, and some others from my past and distant fond memory)


I am afraid if I close my mind to what others have already done I might miss some valuable advice. And besides, why try to clear cut the whole forest again when someone may have already started the path? I Need to level this bike Just a Bit, the weight bias is just to far forward to work with the bar choices I want and my aging back. I may put a R90s style fairing on soon, and I have that all picked out and ready to go, but whatever I do the level of the bars will not be much above the top level of the tank, and a fair bit narrower than the stock GT bars.
For me it is very easy to follow my own path…

Concerning changes that are cosmetically, i go my own way… if i decide to have a solution for a tail job, i will design it myself… that's my job.

Modifications in the chassis that improve riding performance is another thing.

Better springs and oil do the job for me…

The rest can be left as it is… at least to my taste.

I like the riding position… my brakes brake… my Termis make the music… and i always have some money in the pocket for a cold beer:D
 

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If you're looking to lower the back end, you will proportionally alter the rake and trail. And the effect will be to "slow" your steering. Whether the change is noticeable or objectionable is your call alone.

Mike (?) at Sel-Motion (CustomSportClassics) offers shocks in varying lengths and has some photos of a very nice GT1000 with shorter than stock lengths. He said the handling wasn't changed and the improvement in ride is the biggest difference. You may want to take a look at his website, http://www.customsportclassics.com/chassis.htm.

FWIW, I also found the "forward weight" disconcerting after a career on old-style bikes. My advice is maybe just to give it time, i have become very comfortable with the stock layout and believe the weight distribution is an important part of the handling equation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It sounds like no one has lowered the back of the GT? Somehow with all of the mention of clip ons it just seems unlikely. Yes, I understand the trade offs between turn in speed and steering geometry. Sorry if I seem unconcerned, If I want to go fast, and I want handling, and I want to play with the big dogs I Listen to the beautiful music the Laser duo makes from The K1200s. Suspension sorted, power to spare and a totally different ride from what I want from the GT. A more leisurely pace harkening back to a different time.

For me its about the ride now, and having my buttchecks above my collarbone isn't going to cut it, lean angle be darned!
I think I may have to take some measurements and make some calculated guesses here.
Thanks for the link, I like the YSS products mostly so far from what little I can see.
 

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many good points and suggestions; alter the rear without the front and you've altered your steering/ride altogether. if that doesn't concern you (which it seems like it doesn't), then a) use the lowering brackets for the rear or b) have a set of custom shocks made for your weight/height preference (WORKS shocks here in southern ca., or YSS mentioned above), or c) have someone scoop out/modify the stock seat so to reduce some of the forward lean into the tank.

but yes, as Aeolian points to, others have definitely lowered their GT's, and purely for aesthetic reasons. nuttin' wrong with that either.

see ya
 

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It sounds like no one has lowered the back of the GT? Somehow with all of the mention of clip ons it just seems unlikely.
No, quite a few have lowered the rear (with either shorter shocks or the bracket that someone here designed), but no one, as far as I know, has lowered the rear because they changed to clip-ons - in fact: quite the contrary.

AFAIK, all those here who have lowered the rear did it for their short inseam (most) or for aesthetics (some). Those who have gone to clubman or clip-on bars have usually done so looking for a more performance oriented stance, and they are not willing to give up ground-clearance, thus, no lowering of the rear. Those who wanted their torso more vertical have chosen higher bars. You just seem to be aiming for a different total result than most (or, perhaps, anyone).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The cost of the lowering blocks places them out of consideration for me, They are half the cost of replacing the stock shock with a higher quality unit with greater adjustment. I just don't see the advantage there, perhaps at a lower price point. ( I am sure that the quality of their design and material make them a worthwhile choice for some, they are a good looking unit).

Out to the shop I go once again, feeling I must be missing something, wishing the roads would clear so I could ride this beast!

O.K. With the Supersport parked side by-side and my trusty piece of plywood and tape measure I start analyzing, looking to find lost ground clearance. Also understanding the two have distinctly different overall lengths and steering geometry.

I Guess I still feel instinctively that I can lower the rear 3/4 to 1 inch and achieve a more level seating area, close the ugly gap a bit, and reduce just a bit of strain on the old body parts as I go from not having to push myself back from the tank.

I remember replacing the stock seat on the first K1200RS I had with a Russell, I sat up to high with that seat it felt disconnected, but very comfy. And then with a modified Corbin, and the light came on, I was able to use core strength to hold my body in proper riding position for CONTROL, not to just hold myself up from the bars, or position myself on the bike. I don't think I can do that if I am constantly sliding into the tank.

I was hoping someone had ordered a set of lowered shocks and could tell me what length they had chosen and what the out come was.
 

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Jester4always, when you said core strength the light came on. Get the grippy pads that go on the sides of the tank. I have a set and by unconsciously using my core strength with a good purchase on the pads there is no longer any strain on my hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. My arse also stays planted farther back on the seat than ever before.

Seriously, search tank pads. I think it may be the answer to your problem or at least most of it. For $45, it is worth a try. Someone want to chime in here?
 

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I think there are a fair few people on here that opted for lowering the rear slightly... From memory, it wasn'y by much as it alters the 'feel' of the thing with the increase in rake angle etc. Hit that search function ;)

My own experience with the GT was not all that dissimilar to yours. I felt something wasn't quite right for my tastes and went about throwing on monster bars, clubmans, light weight rims, clipons, hugger, lower guages, TMSD, tail chop, comfort seat. Had a rear luggage rack and bag for a wee while which didn't last more that a week or two. On it went until it finally dawned upon me. I was trying to change the GT into something it wasn't. I mean...it's all good to make the bike your own, but i was changing everything. It got to the point when i was about to change the rear suspension and front forks when i found a 1000S going locally at the right price. That was my solution. Now i'm happy as the preverbial pig in poo. :D

Now, i just use my GT for general commuting and the 'S' for weekend fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1Duckyboy, You are thinking of techspec gripster Panels, Sure enough. I use these on the K1200S. They sure do hold you in place! One word of caution though, if wearing a suit, (stich or the like) and try to get of the bike quick make dang sure you are disengaged from the gripsters first or the bike WILL try to follow!:eek: You also will amuse passers by doing the funny helmented:D spaceman connected by a electrical cord to a motorcycle tipping over dance...not so funny to you at the time.:D:

Stressfest, not looking to do a major change to the bike as to turn it into a sportbike, I have two of those already, no need. More to turn it into a bike more closely resembling what it already is, a long wheel based, big twin, air cooled, sport tourer of the original kind. Comfy enough to take off for a weekend, and sporty enough to enjoy the roads you find along the way.
 

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Between the sticky tank pads and a reworked seat you should get what you want without adversely affecting handling or spending a bunch. By the way, there are several different types of tank pads, some folks even use surfboard traction material.
 

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I'm on my way to get YSS 360mm(eye to eye) rear shocks, that is 20mm less than stock w. +10mm adjustability.

Couldn't give feed back yet but my reasons are:
- better performance (as other members said)
- fully adjustability (spring,compress,rebound) (city use/ weekend use)
- I tip-toe a bit, they'll reduce it
- reducing gap between seat & wheel
- geometry: not worried about loosing some handling, but in that case you can lower also the front (no center stand, so clearance should be ok). came from a VFR and GT handling is much better
- better stability in the fast ? should be (geometry+better shocks)

I recommend you asking Klaus at YSS-USA about shocks lengths cause he have plenty of experience and very helpfull advice.
 

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I think there are a fair few people on here that opted for lowering the rear slightly... From memory, it wasn'y by much as it alters the 'feel' of the thing with the increase in rake angle etc. Hit that search function ;)

My own experience with the GT was not all that dissimilar to yours. I felt something wasn't quite right for my tastes and went about throwing on monster bars, clubmans, light weight rims, clipons, hugger, lower guages, TMSD, tail chop, comfort seat. Had a rear luggage rack and bag for a wee while which didn't last more that a week or two. On it went until it finally dawned upon me. I was trying to change the GT into something it wasn't. I mean...it's all good to make the bike your own, but i was changing everything. It got to the point when i was about to change the rear suspension and front forks when i found a 1000S going locally at the right price. That was my solution. Now i'm happy as the preverbial pig in poo. :D

Now, i just use my GT for general commuting and the 'S' for weekend fun.
A GT only for commuting... poor GT:(

About 'what makes sense to change'; for me a bike is Desing+Engine+Frame, the rest are just accessories.

My GT have perfect DEF combination for my taste, and I'm just upgrading parts like suspension, style details, maybe breaks, etc.

I also agree that you can find many bikes that 'does everything fine from the box', but I don't find the design I like in those, and you miss part of the fun modding!
 
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