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Discussion Starter #1
Been around the interweb and stumbled on a "lowering" kit for the superbike.

Now, I'm a little bit height challenged but I feel okay (not great) on my bike. I would love it if I could be flat footed when stopped (now on the balls of my feet).

Now I've heard compressing the rear suspension in order to lower the bike will cause all sorts of handling issues. This is correct right?

They claim up to 1.25" of lowering capabilities. This is accomplished by replacing that rod that sits near the rear shock with a shorter unit.

Anyone successfully lowered their superbike and it didn't affect handling?
 

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I have a ladyfriend that had that problem. She had problems with her previos monster 600, since it was too high.. Then she got a 748 so something had to be done

But they dropped the rear of her 748 with a shorter rideheight adjuster and also dropped the forks through the yoke´s, as well as replace the 120/70 front tire with a 120/60. They also did a re-spring front and rear (since she doesn´t weigh as much as the previos rider) and also put on some bar-risers.

No handling problems as I´ve understood it.

The key is probably to lower the front and rear equally, and maybe work on a thinner seat and diffrent pegs. She still has problems keeping the bike level at stop lights, but it works.
 

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I agree with Amullo,

only problem you might have is limited ground clearance. But this is mainly only a problem conserning track riding and experienced drivers.
 

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How far do you need to get a superbike over before the pegs scrape the tarmac?

About this far.

 

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level7 said:
Been around the interweb and stumbled on a "lowering" kit for the superbike.

Now, I'm a little bit height challenged but I feel okay (not great) on my bike. I would love it if I could be flat footed when stopped (now on the balls of my feet).

Now I've heard compressing the rear suspension in order to lower the bike will cause all sorts of handling issues. This is correct right?

They claim up to 1.25" of lowering capabilities. This is accomplished by replacing that rod that sits near the rear shock with a shorter unit.

Anyone successfully lowered their superbike and it didn't affect handling?
Consider yourself lucky. I could only wish to get the balls of both feet down with the machine in stock form. I'm going to probably get a lot of hate for this, but here's my take on it.

If you're going to do this, I wouldn't shorten the adjusting rod any shorter than a length equal to the stock rod minus the lock nuts. In other words, if you remove the lock nuts and crank the rod down all the way, this is as short as I would go.

I know of a lady that did this to her 996 track bike and she didn't report any ill effects. I'm sure she lowered the front an equal amount; I wish at the time that I was a little bit more familiar with motorcycle geometery so I could have asked her more detailed questions.

Armed (and dangerous) with this little bit of knowledge, I went and had a couple of custom rods made. The one that I eventually used was of a length that would allow me to use the locknuts and that would also place the adjustment in the middle of the rod end threads.

I have three lines showing above the triple clamp and I haven't really played with raising the forks yet. The way I ride, I probably couldn't tell the difference, but I want to try four lines. So far, it doesn't seem like the machine is going pitch me off.

The upside to all this is I can at least get both balls of my feet down on the ground now.

The downside is the machine looks a little squat, I had buy a shorter Cycle Cat side stand, and I probably have effected the handling (but I'm a poser so I just need to look good standing still). Oh yeah, I had to crank up the spring preload a bit, putting the adjusting "rings" in about the middle of the adjustment range in order for them to clear the rocker at the top of the shock.

Below is a photo of the two rods I had made, comparing the lengths of different rods to the stock unit. I used the rod on the left. The stock rod is on the right.



Here is a photo of the rod installed.

 

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My friend is going to do this to his CBR600RR. He's around 5'5" or so. The 600RR is real tall. Taller than even my Superbikes, which although not flatfooted I don't feel uncomfortable on even though I'm a veritically challenged 5'7".

When my friend asked his friends at the local Honda dealership about what's called I think a "T-bone" the only effects they mentioned were ground clearance if you were taking it to the track. But since he's gonna use it for street riding it won't be an issue.

When I was looking to get a new bike to upgrade from my CBR600F2 back in late 2003 I was looking real hard at a 600RR. I could get one at the time from a local dealer for like $7200 plus taxes,etc. The main reason I didn't get it is because it was too tall for me. The other reason was that I realized for a bit more I could get a freakin Ducati. Woohoo!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
grendels_arm said:
My friend is going to do this to his CBR600RR. He's around 5'5" or so. The 600RR is real tall. Taller than even my Superbikes, which although not flatfooted I don't feel uncomfortable on even though I'm a veritically challenged 5'7".

When my friend asked his friends at the local Honda dealership about what's called I think a "T-bone" the only effects they mentioned were ground clearance if you were taking it to the track. But since he's gonna use it for street riding it won't be an issue.

When I was looking to get a new bike to upgrade from my CBR600F2 back in late 2003 I was looking real hard at a 600RR. I could get one at the time from a local dealer for like $7200 plus taxes,etc. The main reason I didn't get it is because it was too tall for me. The other reason was that I realized for a bit more I could get a freakin Ducati. Woohoo!!
I tried the Japanese bikes and man, are they tall. There was no way I was going to buy one of them just for safety's sake. Trying to balance a 400lb motorcycle on tip toe is scary for me. If the wind blows wrong or you slip on some oil, BAM.

When I sat on a Ducati, I was happy that at least the height was acceptable to me. I knew then that the Ducati was going to be my bike. I'm 5-6"
 

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Not to sound stereotypical and hopefully not offend others but I can understand a Ducati being somewhat low and made for smaller riders. I mean I think Italians are generally shorter than for instance Americans. Now when you go to Japanese bikes you would think the same thing. I mean, once again excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong and sounding stereotypical, aren't Japanese people generally smaller than American people? If so then maybe the Japanese manufacturers tailor their bikes more to Americans?
 

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grendels_arm said:
.........aren't Japanese people generally smaller than American people? If so then maybe the Japanese manufacturers tailer their bikes more to Americans?
I'm Japanese-American, 5'-3" and about 40 lbs. too heavy. I think this is 90% of my problem with trying to fit on a sportbike.

Funny thing is that when you look at the Duc and my FZR600 side by side, the FZR is much taller. But I can fit on the Yamaha better, seat height-wise. However, the Duc's weight distrubution is much better; it doesn't feel as top heavy.

No offense taken, BTW. I too have often wondered why Japanese bikes don't fit the smaller (typically speaking) Japanese people better? Maybe it's evolution at work, but Japanese people of today don't look nearly as small as my Grandfather was.

Level7: I also have Cycle Cat bar risers on the Duc. With these things I sit a bit more upright so it gets my fat arse into the seat a bit more and my feet a bit closer to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
grendels_arm said:
Not to sound stereotypical and hopefully not offend others but I can understand a Ducati being somewhat low and made for smaller riders. I mean I think Italians are generally shorter than for instance Americans. Now when you go to Japanese bikes you would think the same thing. I mean, once again excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong and sounding stereotypical, aren't Japanese people generally smaller than American people? If so then maybe the Japanese manufacturers tailer their bikes more to Americans?
Don't be so PC. Offending is good :) sometimes. American-Filipino

I think the Italians sized their bikes for their likeness, the Japanese sized their bike to fit the population of what ever country had the most money ;) They did their homework.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
paulo57509 said:
I'm Japanese-American, 5'-3" and about 40 lbs. too heavy. I think this is 90% of my problem with trying to fit on a sportbike.

Funny thing is that when you look at the Duc and my FZR600 side by side, the FZR is much taller. But I can fit on the Yamaha better, seat height-wise. However, the Duc's weight distrubution is much better; it doesn't feel as top heavy.

No offense taken, BTW. I too have often wondered why Japanese bikes don't fit the smaller (typically speaking) Japanese people better? Maybe it's evolution at work, but Japanese people of today don't look nearly as small as my Grandfather was.

Level7: I also have Cycle Cat bar risers on the Duc. With these things I sit a bit more upright so it gets my fat arse into the seat a bit more and my feet a bit closer to the ground.
I got caught sleeping in an auction for a cyclecat bar riser. I could have had it for 220 or so DAMN. I cried after that one :( Brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
amullo said:
How far do you need to get a superbike over before the pegs scrape the tarmac?

About this far.

God Damn, what did you do, fall asleep going around a turn? NICE.
 

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does one really need a "kit" to lower a superbike? adjust the rear ride height bar and lower the triples (raise the fork tubes) and you're good to go...FOR FREE!!
 

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grendels_arm said:
Not to sound stereotypical and hopefully not offend others but I can understand a Ducati being somewhat low and made for smaller riders. I mean I think Italians are generally shorter than for instance Americans. Now when you go to Japanese bikes you would think the same thing. I mean, once again excuse my ignorance if I'm wrong and sounding stereotypical, aren't Japanese people generally smaller than American people? If so then maybe the Japanese manufacturers tailor their bikes more to Americans?
Yes, they are made for the majority who spends the most money on useless things outside of Japan. For instance, do we need Hummers with 26" rims that give 8miles to the gallon? Not really.. I chuckle when I see one on the road especially with gas prices nowadays. But back to the topic. If you ever visit Japan or any asian country, it is very rare to see a 600 let alone a 1000. Most people ride 125's, 250's, and 400's. This is their form of daily transportation because it's practical and that's all they want/can afford. This is a way of life and not a lifestyle. 1000's would be serious overkill. However, it is a show of wealth if you ride one. We in America take alot of it for granted. Bigger is always better imprinted on our foreheads. We buy new bikes every 1 to 2 years with outrageous horsepower. Power we'll never need or use. Maybe in a straightline. heheh... So manufacturers know this demand and build bikes for our taste, not just here but UK as well. Your majority caucasion American is over 5'8"+ so this is why you see bikes designed for their height and weight. Until there is a demand for 5'7" and shorter, you probably won't see 250's and 400's imported into the states anytime soon.

As for me, I'm 5'6" which puts me right under the nose. I'm lucky to have a longer inseam so my bike fits me fairly well BUT would love to be able to bend my knees while flatfooted like you would on a Haybusa. Either way, I can imagine some of the challenges for people shorter than I.

So here are my suggestions before you change your suspension geometry, fubar your handing, and be susceptible to clearance issues(bottoming out)..

Take your seat fairing off leaving just the subframe. Sit on the bike to see if that height is suitable. If yes, remove the seat and shave the seat foam all the way down or bring it to an upholsterer and have them recover it with thin dense foam. This will give you about 1-1.5".

Second, get thicker soled shoes/boots. Don't laugh.. This will give you an inch. Gonna be hard to find raceboots but they are out there. Another trick, line it with thicker Dr. Scholl's insoles or something similar.

Third, get some bar risers. This will put you back into your seat. Since the stretch is so far, reaching over to the handlebars and trying to move the bike forward and back on tippy toes makes it very hard. Note however that bar risers will change your steering response a tad slower. You're gonna work a little harder due to less leverage.

Last, get a race seat fairing, foam seatpad, cutout the holes for lights, and mount directly to the subframe. This eliminates the entire oem seat and hardware. This will give you the same exact feeling as if you were sitting on the subframe. You'll gain about 2.5".

So there you go. All that combined should reduce your ride height by 3-4" without even touching your suspension. Good luck!
 

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as long as you keep the weight distribution the same the bike should be cool. any thouhts about the swing arm angle in respect to the ground... the lower you go in the rear the bike the spring rate would increase......MyOpinion
 

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level7 said:
God Damn, what did you do, fall asleep going around a turn? NICE.
Alas.. I cannot take credit. This is my brother in the picture. He really gets it over when he needs to. I asked him about that corner and he seemed ro recall that his fairing was touching his leg on the inside and the tarmac was touching on the outside. :eek:
 

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Yes, you are right Amullo, these Ducatis aren't like Hondas. Honda's have tendency to scrape almost on straight road because of very limited lean angle. ;)

I mean that you probaply can lower Ducati SBK without any problems.
 

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Follow-Up: An Alternative

I asked e-mailed Aftershocks a few weeks ago about lowering via shock internals instead of the method under discussion here (shortened ride height adjuster). Here is there response I received yesterday:
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To answer your direct question, yes, the Showa shock can be shortened. We shorten them internally by adding spacers. However, if we are shortening your shock, we need to shorten the forks as well, internally, to keep the same riding geometry. You didn’t mention what you are doing with your forks, but if you are running your forks up in your triple clamps, you are going to run into issues with the front tire running up into the triples or the radiator.

The most we can shorten your bike is 2 inches. We would HIGHLY recommend revalving the forks and shock as well if we are lowering an inch or more. (You would benefit from revalving no matter how much we lower it, but especially lowering 1+ inches.) Lowering the shock will put it in the rising rate part of the link, so it is starting at a stiffer point mechanically. By revalving, we can soften the valving and make the ride smoother and more plush.

As for costs, all of the labor to revalve and lower the suspension is $540. If you bring in the whole bike and we need to do the teardown, it is an additional $175.

For parts, we will need 2 bottles of oil, which are $10.50 each. If you would like us to change your fork seals as well, they cost around $25 for the set.

If we lower the suspension only and you do not want to do the revalve, the lowering is $340. Teardown and parts and the same as above.

Thank you.

--Marra

AfterShocks - The Suspension Experts
(650) 494-8849
http://www.aftershocks-suspension.com
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I think this might be thea better alternative to fiddling with the ride height adjuster. I just need to see if a 2" drop is enough with the stock geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
paulo57509 said:
I asked e-mailed Aftershocks a few weeks ago about lowering via shock internals instead of the method under discussion here (shortened ride height adjuster). Here is there response I received yesterday:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To answer your direct question, yes, the Showa shock can be shortened. We shorten them internally by adding spacers. However, if we are shortening your shock, we need to shorten the forks as well, internally, to keep the same riding geometry. You didn’t mention what you are doing with your forks, but if you are running your forks up in your triple clamps, you are going to run into issues with the front tire running up into the triples or the radiator.

The most we can shorten your bike is 2 inches. We would HIGHLY recommend revalving the forks and shock as well if we are lowering an inch or more. (You would benefit from revalving no matter how much we lower it, but especially lowering 1+ inches.) Lowering the shock will put it in the rising rate part of the link, so it is starting at a stiffer point mechanically. By revalving, we can soften the valving and make the ride smoother and more plush.

As for costs, all of the labor to revalve and lower the suspension is $540. If you bring in the whole bike and we need to do the teardown, it is an additional $175.

For parts, we will need 2 bottles of oil, which are $10.50 each. If you would like us to change your fork seals as well, they cost around $25 for the set.

If we lower the suspension only and you do not want to do the revalve, the lowering is $340. Teardown and parts and the same as above.

Thank you.

--Marra

AfterShocks - The Suspension Experts
(650) 494-8849
http://www.aftershocks-suspension.com
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think this might be thea better alternative to fiddling with the ride height adjuster. I just need to see if a 2" drop is enough with the stock geometry.
WOW being short sure does cost money :).

I think it would be less expensive if you just went with custom boots or something. I think lowering it (this way) may effect resale as well.
 

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you could glue some thicker soles to your boots.... much cheaper ....wont upset the bike ......just stay clear of the discos :D
( I once went out with a girl that wore stacked shoes with 6"heels ...I thought I was a shortarse untill we lay down ;) )
 
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