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Crockett

Lowering mT's for shorter riders

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Crockett

I have a brand new 2021 mt07. I'm 5'8" and still stand tip-toed on my bike. Yes I bought a lowering link. Just to let you know I'm 57 and never rode before. I'm learning to ride as of this topic. I know there are options like taking seat foam out, the lowering link, maybe rear shock. I am mechanically inclined so any suggestions? Do I lower the front? Being a strictly road rider, no wheelies no off-road, do I need to give my bike the Dave Moss treatment? Thanks ūüĎć

 

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Lone Wolf

What is your inseam? I am also 5' 8" and flat-foot the MT07, with 30" inseam.

I got some riding boots that were a bit loose, tried various insoles & discovered there is a world of "height increase" inserts you can put in boots & shoes.

I got one that is half inch, one a full inch and experimented with my various riding boots. It is cheaper and easier than getting thick soles. You could get some affordable lifts and bring them to a cycle gear and try on boots to see what fits with the lift.

 

Edited by Lone Wolf

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Crockett

Obviously I forgot that. No doubt it will be helpful. It's 29" maybe a little less. Funny you should say about inserts a.k.a. lifts. I put a 2 1/2" lift in my boots and they come in different heights for different people I'm sure. Now I only paid $13 from Amazon however it allowed me to sit flat footed on my bike. Of course when I got off the bike I was a little wobbly because my heel is on halfway up my boot and the so called " cushioning" made me feel like I was in a walking crooked. I honestly which way to go ..do I:

A) wear the cheap shoe lifts and just learn to ride like it is 

B) take my seat to an upholstery place

C) put the lowering link in and adjust front forks?and how do I do that?

D) lower it by link and also by taking seat to upholstered?

Thanks ..Ride Safe everyone 

 

 

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Lone Wolf
Just now, Crockett said:

It's 29" maybe a little less.

Gotcha.  You might just try lowering the preload on the rear shock a bit (will lower the bike with your weight on it) and lower the forks in the triple clamps about half an inch or so.

People on dirt bikes learn to slide their butt off to the side a bit before coming to a stop, they are much taller than the MT07.

As for lifts resulting in odd walking - a lot of higher end protective riding boots are odd to walk in anyway. My Sidi have awesome protection against hyper extension and twisting of the foot, but are kind of like concrete boots compared to anything else. Almost like ski boots. I keep walking shoes in my saddlebag if I know I am going to Home Depot or something.

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Mt707

Definitely not what I’d do but you could always go with a seat like OORAH’s got. It’ll give you a extra inch or so. 

 

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Crockett

I'm 5'8" 220 lbs. Do I have to fix my front forks the way Dave Moss advises to? And if I do lower the rear of the bike, do I still have to lower the front? If so how much? Thanks brother..

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robbo10

On another bike (TDM 900) I lowered the rear suspension with a different link. At the front I pushed the bike down the forks - same amount as the rear drop.  The latter maintained the geometry.  I had to skim the sidestand or it rested too vertical.   It solved my problem. I am only saying what I have done.  I wonder if the seat might become uncomfortable with less foam. 


Just do it! 

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klx678

I'd say odds are the rear has enough clearance to go to lowering links.  Lowering the front by sliding the forks up in the clamps maybe an inch actually may quicken handling a shade, which, on my XSR 700, may be something you'll like.  I've always liked a bit quicker turn in on my bikes and since I'm not doing triple digit riding it's great for my use.

You should be able to knock off a bit just doing the forks alone. 

If you do anything, start out riding slowly and progress into how the handling has changed.  Be safe, not sorry.

Edited by klx678

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bartman5impson

I don't think you need to lower the bike. When I first started riding I was also concerned about not being able to flat foot the bike and thought dropping it was the end of the world. After getting injured in 2 crashes over the past 5 years I've stopped worrying so much about scratching my bike. Just get some frame sliders and forget about it. I'm 5'6 and can't exactly flat foot it but that's rarely a problem nowadays. I just avoid parking facing downhill so I don't have to push my bike back out of the spot.

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FZ not MT

OK, so I'm 5'6" with a 29.5" inseam. When I first got my bike, the seat height was OK - a little tall but doable. I added a Bitubo shock and new Michelins which together added damn near an inch to my seat height (yes, I had the shock at the lowest adjustment). I installed an Extreme Creations lowering link and set it to 35 mm reduction.  I raised the forks 25 mm, but later reduced it to 15 or 20 mm as the bike cut in too quickly at 25 mm. I'm not totally flat foot, but it's very doable.

 

 

 

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00RAH

Short rider knee down full circle (MT-07)

knees down MT-07 (short rider 5'3")

*Be careful with diy seats as you can damage your spine*

Edited by 00RAH

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robbo10

The other point to note is that the seat is narrow at the front, so when I come to a stop I slide myself forward to gain and use maximum leg length.


Just do it! 

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klx678

Flat footing sometimes gives people confidence, especially new riders.  Most riders eventually become comfortable if able to put just the balls of their feet down.  Some riders have no problem if they can just touch one foot down, leaning the bike to the one side.   We all do what we have to do.   Better to lower and gain confidence than to feel unstable at a stop and possibly drop the bike on its side damaging stuff.   

I've had the opportunity to ride my son-in-law's Indian FTR1200, but haven't.   I know it won't be a problem riding it, it is when I stop that it is a concern.   It is tall and has the S&S high pipes, bowing legs out a bit more.  I just don't feel secure on it at this time so I haven't ridden it, being a bit older with some knee issues I just don't want to drop a $20,000 bike.  

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sweetscience

The issue's with lowering the bike is loss of ground clearance for street use.  Too many speed bumps in my city.

How does the bike handle with this mod?  Being the geometry is skewed. 

And how you gonna jump that curb, to park beside the front door of 7-11?

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klx678

If the bike is lowered equally front and back the handling change should be minimal, maybe a shade more stable because the CG of the weight is lower now.  If only the front is lowered the handling will change based on less rake and trail, quicker handling for some who know what they like and want, not good for those who want max stability.  That's why I said to start into riding a modified set up slowly, to see how it reacts to steering input and stability.  

As for the curb - ride the KLX to the 7-11...  but I don't know if we still have any around here anymore.   Seems the gas station convenience stores took over.  

The good part is once a rider is used to riding the bike and quits putting both feet down flat they can always raise it back up.   I know it felt weird when I actually put both feet down flat when riding my old Zephyr 550.  I can't flat foot the XSR nor the KLX, so I'm kind of used to being usually on one foot usually ball of said foot, or the the balls of both feet.

Edited by klx678

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wollerms

57 yrs old and never rode before, if I were you I would start with a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course before worrying about lowering your bike. I'm 61 yrs old, 5' 8", 155 lbs. have ridden for 40 yrs and have no problem with the bike height. Take a course and talk to the instructors. 

 https://msf-usa.org/

My riding advice.....ride like all cars don't see you, especially crossroads. Learn how to emergency brake and practice it. Countersteering practice it, knowing it will save you if you enter a corner to fast. So much more....................read up.

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00RAH

I believe nothing will save you if you enter a corner too fast. 

Counter steering is a subconscious action, you could call it irrevelant. 

What is relevant is situational awareness, picking a safe speed and looking where youre going.

By the time youre running wide in the corner its too late... its too late.

Edited by 00RAH

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Lone Wolf
Just now, 00RAH said:

I believe nothing will save you if you enter a corner too fast. 

Counter steering is a subconscious action, it is impossible to practice it or even 'knowing' it.

By the time your running wide in the corner its too late... its too late.

Although countersteering is a subconscious action, it can be focused on and I practice countersteering every time I ride.

Push the left grip to go left. Running wide?  Push harder. 

We have all gone into corners too hot. Countersteering has saved me from dozens of corners, by consciously forcing the bike to turn.  Or turn more. You are right that it is subconscious, but it is how the bike turns and can be practiced.

If you are in an open area, and take one hand off the bars, your steering must be done by pushing or pulling the hand that remains on the bars. That is what INITIATES the turn.

Take the other hand off the bars, steer with one hand. This forces you to observe countersteering in action, otherwise we just form a habit without much conscious input.  

With that focused knowledge of how to force the bike to initiate a turn, or turn deeper if it looks like we are running wide, we have tools other than "Oh sh*t" when running wide or going in too hot. The tires can take more lean than our brain tells us they can - and that is how to survive running wide.

The Wright brothers had a bicycle shop before being the first in flight, and they spoke about Countersteering. Keith Code brought it into the spotlight with his book "twist of the wrist" in the 1980's. I knew Keith back then, he told me about it personally - and not too long after that it saved me when I was headed for a guard rail too fast. Practical application saved me from a crash, as there were no MSF courses back then.

 

Edited by Lone Wolf
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00RAH

Keith Code is machismo bs and should be burnt at the stake. (the book not the man)

Horses for courses.

I wanna say that 'heading for a guard rail' and 'entering a corner' are two very different scenarios. And yes Keith Code saved you - personally. :)

Edited by 00RAH

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FZ not MT

Just one more thing about lowering your bike.... You will need to alter your kickstand. Fortunately, I knew a retired welder that shortened my kickstand for cheap. If you are going to go this route, I would suggest getting a used kickstand on eBay as you want to make resale easier by including the original. FYI, I used the 35 mm seat reduction on my link. I needed to take out about 1.25" from the kickstand.

Regarding handling, once I got the right drop on the forks, I think it handles better now. I set it up to be a little quicker than stock.

 

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