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hitman21988

Step by step how to lower and do it right?

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hitman21988
I hope i named the subject of this post right... but here we go... 
 
As any member knows with a little searching is that these are what we need..
 
1. lowering links
2. Must adjust front forks for custom weight of rider/ new internals to adjust for rider.
3. possible upgrade of rear shock?
4. And most important is maintain ride characteristics of the stock ride but also not over lowering because of ground clearance in aggressive riding.. 
5. at what drop is when we have to consider getting  a new kick stand?
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So for new riders this is all is new and scary at the same time because we don't want to adjust our bike and that be the reason why we may go down, for whatever reason.
 
  Soo.. here is the questions...
1. Lowering links- Best brand?(new riders dont know whos brand to trust), what is the max for lowering? Saw a post somewhere some ones wife did i think 2" or something? also stock seat height is 31.7 so 1" would equal how much lower for example 31.7-1=30.7? Simple math i would pressum but double checking 
2. at what point do we need to adjust the fork internals? .5? oil weight or new internals? this will change from rider to rider and their weight, but at what weight does one need to start factoring in this?180-250?.
3.besides everyone saying we need to upgrade the sucky stock one, haha. at what point in the lowering processes we need to get a new rear shock?
 
 
So what i am getting at is what is the formula we need to follow to lower the FZ correctly and keep it as close as possible to factory riding characteristics?
 
 
 
The point of this post is to give someone who is thinking of getting this bike or someone who already has it and needs it just a little lower. As people post i will be updating and adding questions. I have also done a search on the forum of example "lowering" and have read post about fork internals and aftermarket shocks for the rear but unless i have missed some info while reading it been mostly people upgrading and never good info on how to go about lowering your bike and having a good formula to do so. I guess it would be called a detailed manual on how to lower the fz-07.
 
 
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pattonme
A2. less than 120lb, greater than 180 for shock but frankly greater than 160 for fork springs. Fixing the front damping is a 'should' (oil, GVE, or cartridge) no matter rider weight or height but you knew I was going to say that.
 
@gregjet is the chassis guy and he no doubt has the leverage ratio all figured out which can address the rest.
 
I'm curious though how people perceive handling and stability if you drop the seat by say 1" and leave the forks unchanged.

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hitman21988
i was hoping you would chime in this post. :) but to get your mind working, lets say .5 or 1", should you adjust or swap out the rear shock? Lets say you had a certain price limit you wanted to stay by? Example lets say I wanted to Do a 1" drop what would you personally recommend? lets say the rider is 170(not me personally as i am 140ish before gear) what would you recommended as a formula? do they do shocks or lowering links? Price Point set at, lets say, $600? how far could they get by before doing forks and shocks? what is your recommendation on how to proceeded? Heck any bike hacks you could recommend with caution behind them?

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pattonme
You can always summon the 'matt' with at-sign username. Like I did above with gregjet.
 
0.5-1" just do the dog bones, aka links. Should be able to do that for $30. Dropping 2" you'll need to pull the forks up a bit and have to deal with the shock in some manner - maybe just re-spring it or otherwise live with the worsened bump compliance.
 
If you have the money and want to enjoy good performance, I would ring up Traxxion, GP Suspension, or FastBike Industries and have them build you a shortened shock, and have gregjet compute the optimal linkage ratio and spring rate to use which may or may not include alternate dog bones.
 

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gregjet
Pattonme makes the most valid point about dropping the rear and not the front. Although we both don't currently entirely agree about the fork trail problems with this bike, we definitely will agree about the problem of the soft rear AND a lowering Link. And yes I am very familiar with the short rider set up problems as my girlfriend is 5'3" and we have had to balance out the competing problems lowering to get standover and changes to ground clearence.
First if you really need a link these guys make a very useful one. The links on the MT are not a simple set of plates (dog bones) . The linked link has 4 positions and is considerably lighter and very well made. Bolt positions for 35mm lower, 25mm lower, stock height and 25mm raised. It would allow you to try on inch down to see if it was enough and still have the option of 35mm down if it wasn't. Simply change the shock bolt hole. I have one on my MT to RAISE the rear. http://www.store.extremecreations.com.au/mt-07-jack-up-plates. BUT BE AWARE if you need to use the bearings from the stock link they are very hard to remove and put in the new link. Not a basic DIY job. Not dofficult for a proper equipped workshop. For mine, probably better to purchase new stock bearings to put them in. I used my stock ones a) because I can and b) because the bike had only done a few hundred Km when I did it.
I am not sure how much adjustment you can get from a adjustable shock but remember there is a multiplier because of the geometry involved.The lever ratio IS 2.36:1. Say the shock adjustment is 10mm , you will have an ride adjustment range of 23.6mm. You can sometimes get a shorter shock as well for the same stroke if you approach a sympathetic shock dealer/tuner. A shock shorter by 20mm will be drop the axle by 47mm. REMEMBER the seat is not directly over the axle so will only drop the seat by a portion ( though a good portion). You will have to check tyre bottoming at that drop. And without a front end drop it will tend to tend to cruiser handling ( although Pattonme has an issue with the stock trail and it would actually improve it if he is right).
You will have cornering and vertical clearance issues as well.
My thoughts are go for the lowering horseshoe link and go 35mm down to start with. That is pretty low as this bike has a low seat height already.
There are other things you usually can approach to get lower.
Thinner seat. Don't be caught by the thicker is more comfortable arguement. Bicycle seats have next to no padding and ( if you get the right one) you can sit on them for hours and bikes don't have big suspension travel ( OK MTB's do but the surfaces they encounter are way rougher).
What matters is that you sit bones ( ischial tuberosities) are protected from harsh transients. So a thinner seat pad of a good material can give you more stand over.
Tyre size Unfortunately Yamaha in their "wisdom" put a huge rear tyre on this on a correspondingly huge rim. Going to the next size down ( 180/55-170/60) is actually a radius INCREASE. So that's out. BUT you can lose a bit of tyre height at the front by going to a 120/60 instead of a 120/70 (6mm lower) and it will lose a little rotating mass at the same time. Not much but something. If you have the skills to make a new lower front mudguard you could lower it to stop and interference by about a centimetre and then you could drop the forks down about 12mm to help balance the rear drop. REMEMBER all of this is compromising you ground clearances.
BTW Pattonme when I went and stripped the spring off the stock MT07 shock i found it is rebuildable! tap-in cover with a circlip upper shock seal below it. You could get a little more travel by turning down a flatter tap-in cover as well ( about 8mm or 19mm more travel) handy for touring.
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pattonme
Pics @gregjet on the shock? My visualization headset is not working. Rebuildable is indeed a bonus.
 
Nevermind, there's a thread for that.

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modmaster
This is a very interesting conversation for me that you all are having. I recently replaced my OEM link. That's the L shaped bracket that goes between the end of the shock and the dogbone. It was designed to lower the rear wheel by 2". It did do exactly that and I loved the way the bike sat and felt while riding after this. But I immediately noticed that the rear suspension felt more harsh and did not seem to absorb the bumps as well as the OEM one did. From what it felt like and from pushing up and down on the rear seat. It was normal for about the first inch or so of movement, but after that it got very stiff quickly. Almost like it had a rising rate of compression. The greater the movement the stiffer it felt. Not good for smooth riding which is what I value above all else. I'm 230lbs. and it would not bottom out on any bumps that I took it over. No need to worry about the tire hitting the inside of the wheel well. Any way, I took the link off and was thinking about getting a link that would only lower 1" and then put on a replacement shock that was a bit shorter to lower it a bit more. I really think all I would need would be 1" to 1&1/2" lower and I would be happy as long as it would ride smoothly. The link was very easy to remove and get at and so is the shock. Is there a replacement shock that can be adjusted even 1/2" or so shorter? I talked to Carpimoto about a shorter shock like a Matris but they said Matris would not build one. What do you experts think about all this? I await your comments. If you please. Oh and please don't try to tell how badly it will handle if I do this because at 2" lower it turned and cornered great for me. I bought it for it's light weight and torque as a commuter not a neo-super sport. Just saying.
 
modmaster
 

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pattonme
Jri suspension. They'll build you whatever you want .

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gregjet
The extreme creations link will do exactly as you want. Looks pretty good as well ( if that's important).
I am NOT trying to build a neo sport. Just finished replacing the rear seat with a carry plate and modding my old BMW Givi pannier racks to bolt on. Now where around here for fun hard riding.
The big problem with dropping the rear is not just the rake increase but the fact that the rear spring is very soft AND has a rear weight bias. Dropping the rear and not the front will cause even more sag in the rear transferring even more weight off the front. That causes the forks to get effectively "stiffer". A lot of Motard bikes have this problem. The front feels like it's a brick and the rear like a soggy balloon. DRZ400SM's are like this . The rear is so soft and the travel so long the you can ride on the road and the forks will just about not move and the rear is wallowing up and down. They have an excuse as they are meant to be ridden standing up and you weight well forward. The MT is not.
In a nutshell if you get a lowering link get a decent shock as well and most of the bad effects will be mitigated. Believe me I have been through all the compromnises with Sally. It is easier admitted nowdays as she is a much more sedate rider since destroying her ankle so razor handling isn't so much of an issue.

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norwest
Curiosity question here, When lowering with links you have not done anything to reduce the travel so are there any issues with ground clearance or tire to inner fender that may take place at the most inopportune time?
 
Terry

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gregjet
Not on the MT, the TR650 or the KTM. Biggest issue is the sidestand being too long and some small loss of cornering clearance
 
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modmaster
I have lowered my FZ by 3/4" by purchasing a custom made lowering shock. It worked out great. I recently sold the bike but saved the shock. It's made by Wilbers in Germany and was made for my weight 190 to 200lbs. It's for sale in the classifieds on this forum if your interested.
 
modmaster

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pattonme
Wilbers offers -20mm and -40mm (seat height changes) shock lengths.

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markstertt
Modmaster, could you tell us the difference between the custom lowering L arm and the stock arm? I'm having a little trouble visualizing which dimension they changed to lower the bike. I'm curious because you said the change made the shock harsher after about an inch of travel which is the exact problem I have at 150# with the stock linkage geometry and since I want to raise the rear and soften that later compression hit, then maybe doing an L arm with dimensions in the opposite direction of yours would be worth experimenting with or at least thinking about. I know that you can raise and lower the rear with the variable position dog bone link but I haven't heard how it may or may not affect shock response.

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pattonme
I think you want to summon the ghost of @gregjet and the merry band of mc-chassis-list to answer that question.

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gregjet
Again if you want to raise or lower Extreme Creations makes a raise 25mm, stock position, 25mm lower and 35mm lower. It' what I used and works well.
 
The shorter shock will also work, but will change the load curve. It will have a slightly higher rate and rise to a higher rate from what I can remember, but can't remember how much at the top. It is slightly more linear curve as well ( std is slight raising rate). I am firmly in the raising rate preferred camp , but plenty like more flat rate.
 
I lost all my static figures for the 07 when my SSD bricked itself ( NOTE: don't store ANY data on your operating system drive...ever). Otherwise I could plug the figures and give you proper calcs.
If you mean by the "L" arm, the suspension knuckle ( in the 07 a block of Aluminium) changing just one dimension on those is a bit problematic. It IS a very good way to go if you have the ability to machine one BUT you need to model it properly. It can be used to change not only the ride height but also the rate, rate curve, actual travel breakaway, anti squat. Change just one dimension by making it longer will change ALL of these. Because they are all arcs relative to each other and the bike components, it requires actual mock ups and testing. Easy to go backwards, or worse, end up with an over centre arc or near ( even Honda's racing team did that one).
 Sally's KTM Duke would have been better done that way, but she rides very sedately nowdays and I don't really have a milling machine I trust that far.
Tony Foale's suspension software can help you model it. It is expensive and VERY work intensive to get the initial data. It is also not intuitive to use, but if you are willing to work at it , it will give you huge modelling power and help avoid mistakes. It can also lead you in counter-intuitive directions like the trail problem on the 07. It isn't the problem it should be because the rear weight bias counteracts a lot of the effects.
One reason why the new 07 Tracer will probably be a better handler than the MT/FZ07 is because it has a longer swing arm. That was one of the first things that showed up in the software modelling very early. With any luck Yamaha will quietly put the longer swingarm on the 07. But then  stiffening the rear shock will be even more important.
 

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markstertt
Thanks for that info gregjet, I don't think I'm up to doing the work required to design new linkage but am capable of carving one out if given the correct dimensions. The problem I'm having is that the high speed compression is to harsh, at first I thought perhaps I was bottoming out but with the help of my gopro I realized that wasn't the case but that the high velocity compression was to stiff.
 
When modmaster commented that the lowering "L" arm made his ride harsher, it made me wonder what dimension they changed, so I could try and understand what was going on. I imagine they probably lengthened the top leg but not sure.
 
I guess I'm of either camp, linear or rising rate as long as the shock is set up for either and for my wt. etc., I just need a more compliant ride so that rough patched roads don't beat me up. I'm now playing with an adjustable damping shock but it's not as cut and dry as I thought, however, I do like the rear raised by 3/4"-1", makes the turn in more neutral and doesn't feel like it wants to stand up and run wide any more.
 
Gregjet, what is the problem with the -07's trail? Since I haven't experienced any adverse handling issues at sub 100 mph is this trail issue of more concern to racers?
 
 
 
 

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pattonme
Well it was me who stuck my nose into the Trail thing. Somewhere I posted the numbers and it's super aggressive to the detriment of rider confidence - it's transitions easily but doesn't stay planted. Some people notice, others don't. Gregjet thinks that the rear-bias mitigates the effect it would otherwise have if the bike were more even. Seems like a reasonable assertion.
 
What shock are you playing with @markster? A while back you were looking at maybe spending $$$ but I missed or not hitting the right search terms to find an update.

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markstertt
Well it was me who stuck my nose into the Trail thing. Somewhere I posted the numbers and it's super aggressive to the detriment of rider confidence - it's transitions easily but doesn't stay planted. Some people notice, others don't. Gregjet thinks that the rear-bias mitigates the effect it would otherwise have if the bike were more even. Seems like a reasonable assertion. 
What shock are you playing with @markster ? A while back you were looking at maybe spending $$$ but I missed or not hitting the right search terms to find an update.
So what you're saying is that the -07 has very little trail for the rake? The only thing I noticed on the stock bike, with the oem Michelins and now Dunlop Q3's was a tendency to stand up and run wide in corners, once I raised the rear 3/4" of inch the handling became more neutral, much better . So basically, I decreased the front rake but at the speeds and style of riding I do I haven't noticed any issues with insufficient trail such as head shake. 
I'm trying a Penske 8983 with a 650# spring, very good rebound control and adjustability but still working on the high velocity compression, just waiting for the rain to let up to test latest iteration.
 

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gregjet
pattonme, HaHa see, toldya toldya, It's not just me. ( kidding mate lol).
One point Matt is very right about though , with this trail, a soft underdamped rear will make the bike wallow and weave on bumpy corners. Probably won't get uncontrollable BECAUSE the long rear weight creates a long pendulum, but unnerving. With your good shock should happen though.
I noticed the stand up and run wide with the stock Bridges as well. But they are as harsh as Dumlops ( uncharistic for that brand). Strill has a trace of it with all the changes. I will be interested to see if the super compliant carcass of the PR4's helps solve the problem when I can get them.
I am wondering if much stiffer front springs AND lower preload my help as well. I have Matts cartridges so I have a bit more control to experiment. Just have to find the time.

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markstertt
I have lowered my FZ by 3/4" by purchasing a custom made lowering shock. It worked out great. I recently sold the bike but saved the shock. It's made by Wilbers in Germany and was made for my weight 190 to 200lbs. It's for sale in the classifieds on this forum if your interested. 
modmaster
Modmaster, I considered your comments on the type lowering link you used and have studied the geometry of the stock linkage to try and determine why you experienced the harshness. I'm going to assume that the upper leg of your aluminum L link (what I shall call a bellcrank) was LENGTHENED  from the pivot attach at swingarm to the shocks after attach point. This should result in 3 things, first it will lower the rear as desired, second it will increase the leverage the shock has over the swingarm and also move the bellcrank a little farther upper/forward in it's arc, both causing the increased harshness and third, the longer arm will use more of the shocks stroke per increment of swingarm travel which will lessen your rear wheel travel before shock bottoming.  Now had you used  the longer dog bone link you would have lowered the rear but not changed the ratio of the bellcrank so shouldn't have realized a change in harshness or maybe just slightly because the bellcrank would still be up in it's forward arc a bit so you might loose a little of the initial compliance you were used to depending on sag. 
So why is this important to me? Well, I weigh 150# and  I'm desiring the exact opposite suspension changes as you, I want a raised rear height of about an inch, less shock authority over swingarm (less harshness akin to lighter spring and or compression damping since I've done both already) and lastly a bit more rear wheel travel which are all doable when raising the rear by SHORTENING the top bellcrank arm.  Note that I'm using a Penske shock and although I'm trying different springs/valving, I'm still not convinced the stock linkage isn't part of my tuning issues. So...I read that you've sold your bike but was wondering if you remember the difference in your aftermarket bellcrank vs. the oem bellcrank...specifically if the top leg , between pivots was lengthened...thanks  , Mark
 

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modmaster
markster, I had taken a picture of the stock link and the aftermarket one side by side but I must have deleted that pic after returning the link to the place I bought it. If I remember right the link was longer at the top portion where the shock attached to it. Other than that I don't remember much else about it. Sorry
 
momaster

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Snoopy
I have lowered my FZ by 3/4" by purchasing a custom made lowering shock. It worked out great. I recently sold the bike but saved the shock. It's made by Wilbers in Germany and was made for my weight 190 to 200lbs. It's for sale in the classifieds on this forum if your interested. 
modmaster
Hi have a lowered Wibers shock and forks in the front and love it. Bike rides perfect with better shocks. One of the best investments I made so far on the bike. Additionally I added a new and shorter kick-stand from Pyramid to adjust the bike. This is a great shock, I can only recommend it. 
 

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markstertt
Thanks modmaster, That's what I figured so I am in the process of making a new one with a shorter top leg as an experiment.
 
Thanks snoopy, I appreciate the input.

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