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optytrex

lowering options for the fz07?

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optytrex
Hello ladies and gents,
Giving this bike to my wife to learn on :o and I've been making a few adjustments to make the bike lower and better set it to her height and weight. So far:
-I've taken the OEM vinyl wrap off and sanded down the OEM foam to take that tough top layer off. I could go further with this mod -- this gave us about an extra inch and a muuuuuuuuch more comfortable seat
-I've set the rear suspension to the lowest setting (I know it's pretty low stock at 3 but I set it to 1) -- this gave us about a half an inch or so closer to the ground
Will get her the proper riding boots for an extra in or so of reach and protection as well as a rider course to instill confidence but the next mods are quite serious and affect the dynamics of the bike.
From what I understand, the front forks can't be lowered without some serious modding (either grinding down the spacers or swapping out the OEM springs with something customized for her) and next is a lowering link or rear suspension customization/swap.
 
I guess the question here would be if there are any more simple things I can do to make sure she can reach the ground comfortably and learn on this bike in relative safety.
Any suggestions?
 

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yamahazaki
What is her height and/or inseam?
 
Teach her/show her how to just put one foot down at a stop. You can pretty much compensate for most any seat height doing that.
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optytrex
What is her height and/or inseam? 
Teach her/show her how to just put one foot down at a stop. You can pretty much compensate for most any seat height doing that.
Totally agree with you buddy. Just that I know the newbie concern of not being able to flat foot both sides. I suppose we've all been there and later we realize the truth eventually. She'll find out eventually I'm sure. She's 5 feet tall give or take an inch. Not exactly sure how to measure inseam but I'm about to google it lol
 

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markstertt
There is a lowering link that replaces the alloy rear suspension bellcrank, (Chinese) it would appear they lengthen the top leg that attaches to the shocks rear pivot. From my messing around with my own home made links, this will not only lower the rear ride height but also make the suspension much harsher due to the fact that the upper arm of the alloy bellcrank is now longer giving the shock more leverage against the rising swing arm. If you have the ability to make your own link, I can tell you several ways to decrease ride ht., also...if you can make your own version of the steel dog bone link, this can be lengthened to decrease ride ht. while not really effecting the shocks characteristics, not that the stock characteristics are worth preserving. By dropping the rear only you will be changing the handling a bit towards a Cruiser mode (more rake) vs. a sport bike (less rake) mode, which shouldn't be detrimental to a beginner.
 
To lower the front simply loosen the fork clamps and slide the tubes 1/2" to an inch up in the clamps and retighten...and realize that by lowering the front and back that the thin and vulnerable oil sump will now be closer to the ground and it's already pretty close.. Good luck.

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optytrex
There is a lowering link that replaces the alloy rear suspension bellcrank, (Chinese) it would appear they lengthen the top leg that attaches to the shocks rear pivot. From my messing around with my own home made links, this will not only lower the rear ride height but also make the suspension much harsher due to the fact that the upper arm of the alloy bellcrank is now longer giving the shock more leverage against the rising swing arm. If you have the ability to make your own link, I can tell you several ways to decrease ride ht., also...if you can make your own version of the steel dog bone link, this can be lengthened to decrease ride ht. while not really effecting the shocks characteristics, not that the stock characteristics are worth preserving. By dropping the rear only you will be changing the handling a bit towards a Cruiser mode (more rake) vs. a sport bike (less rake) mode, which shouldn't be detrimental to a beginner. 
To lower the front simply loosen the fork clamps and slide the tubes 1/2" to an inch up in the clamps and retighten...and realize that by lowering the front and back that the thin and vulnerable oil sump will now be closer to the ground and it's already pretty close.. Good luck.
I wish I could fabricate my own stuff. I am just planning on buying a welder to start with things like that. I do have a drill press and a grinder and several other tools but no experience actually fabricating things other than simple brackets and the like. Will start a project on my old CBR 600 f2 soon. I thought I could manage to move the forks up in their clamps but figured more than an inch will probably run into handle bar issues not turning from lock to lock. But I'll try lowering it a little (about a half an in or so) and see how it turns out.
I may purchase a lowering link but don't want anything cheap or crap in quality (unfortunately that usually means very expensive :'( ). I would only like to lower it maybe .5 - 1.5 inches more total but haven't searched a good lowering link. Some I've seen are 3 inch lowering kits and I'm really not interested (for reasons you've already mentioned + more). Any suggestions?
 

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markstertt
Raising the tubes in the clamps has no affect on the steering lock, try a 1/2" or so and see what you think, doing this without dropping the rear will steepen the front geometry and quicken steering and turn in so advise the wife of expected results.
 
3" lowering kits...really? That sounds extreme to me and I wasn't aware of such kits. Would you happen to know what dimension on which component they changed to achieve this much drop?  Knowing this would give us an idea of what this would do to suspension compliance in regards to harsher, softer and wheel travel.
 
Seriously though, lowering this bike to much is going to put your sump close to the pavement, you may want to fabricate and bond on a 1/4" to 5/16" alloy skid plate, perhaps bend it so it follows the beveled left side of the sump and across the bottom, adhere with some structural adhesive or something like PRC adhesive sealant. I've thought about this for myself as a little road insurance, just a thought and done right it would be almost invisible. 
 

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r4gnar
I believe HYPERPRO offers kits for lowering front and rear suspension up to 30mm. If every inch matters then maybe that's the way to go.

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robbo10
And remember your sidestand may then be too long reducing or eliminating lean. However, it may not need to be shortened as much as you might think. I dropped  a bike by just over an inch but only shaved about 1/8" off the stand.
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gregjet
OK.
First the rear.
http://www.extremecreations.com.au/mt-07-jack-up-plates. Because you possibly searched on FZ 07 it wouldn't have shown up as it is made in Australia ( MT here). Very well made. I bought one to raise the rear. Buy with the bearings installed if you can afford it. Or buy bearings locally and press in if you have the equipment and the bearings are cheaper . It allows you to raise it 25mm, set at stock height or lower 25 or 30 mm. It does not make the rear harsh and the suspension rate curve is a little more ramped towards the end only.
 
The front.
Because the bike has ordinary forks shortening them internally is very easy ( getting the bottom fork bolt out not withstanding as they can be a pain). You need to make a spacer to go between the head of the damper rod and the bottom inside of the fork. Std travel is not big so don't go silly. This method will not cause clearence problems anywhere in any position. I would not take anymore than 20mm travel out as that will leave you with only 100mm of fork travel. If you also slide the forks up through the triples ( no more than 13mm) , you will have a total drop of about 35-38mm. With a drop of 30mm at the rear the whole bike will be 30mm lower. The sidestand will HAVE to be shortened .And there will be some cornering clearence loss ( noticeable).
If you have the ability and access to the necessary you could put a stiffer/longer spring under the damper top instead of a solid spacer that brings the compression travel shorter. That would keep the total 120mm but part would be as drop travel. Could actually make the action a bit better around the static length.
 

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motomeek
I think everything I would say has already been said... so I'll just leave my footer sig here...

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SkH
31 inch inseam
If that is true, no lowering needs to be done.  Hell, I have a 28 (or 29") definitely one of those, and the FZ07 was my learning bike.  And I set my preload to 4 off the bat even though I'm a super lightweight (I like a stiffer suspension).  Definitely too much people put way too much stock in the whole flat-foot business. 
 
Also it should be said, if someone doesn't want to ride, don't force them to ride.  If you need to do a whole bunch of things to get someone to ride, maybe they don't want to ride?
 
 
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markstertt
OK. First the rear.
http://www.extremecreations.com.au/mt-07-jack-up-plates. Because you possibly searched on FZ 07 it wouldn't have shown up as it is made in Australia ( MT here). Very well made. I bought one to raise the rear. Buy with the bearings installed if you can afford it. Or buy bearings locally and press in if you have the equipment and the bearings are cheaper . It allows you to raise it 25mm, set at stock height or lower 25 or 30 mm. It does not make the rear harsh and the suspension rate curve is a little more ramped towards the end only.
 
The front.
Because the bike has ordinary forks shortening them internally is very easy ( getting the bottom fork bolt out not withstanding as they can be a pain). You need to make a spacer to go between the head of the damper rod and the bottom inside of the fork. Std travel is not big so don't go silly. This method will not cause clearence problems anywhere in any position. I would not take anymore than 20mm travel out as that will leave you with only 100mm of fork travel. If you also slide the forks up through the triples ( no more than 13mm) , you will have a total drop of about 35-38mm. With a drop of 30mm at the rear the whole bike will be 30mm lower. The sidestand will HAVE to be shortened .And there will be some cornering clearence loss ( noticeable).
If you have the ability and access to the necessary you could put a stiffer/longer spring under the damper top instead of a solid spacer that brings the compression travel shorter. That would keep the total 120mm but part would be as drop travel. Could actually make the action a bit better around the static length.

gregjet...that Aussie dogbone is the nicest I think I've seen and would definitely be the way to go in my book and once installed easy to change ride height for someone with longer legs or more confidence.
 
My homemade proof of concept dogbone link, works just as you described.
 
DSCN1229.jpg

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optytrex
Wow lots of awesome replies in the short time I've been offline :)
@markster, I've got no experience fabricating things. Just planning to purchase my MIG welder so that's all for the future. Would like to see proper protection for this bike but I'm not about to attempt to fabricate it quick yet. This is the lowering link I'd seen but I'm definitely not considering it as it's way too much. I'm only looking for a half inch or so more to the ground. I'm not looking to cruiser the poor thing:
https://www.amazon.com/T-Rex-Racing-2014-2016-Adjustable-Kickstand/dp/B01CITTVYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503092980&sr=8-1&keywords=fz+07+t+rex+lowering+link
Thanks for the great tip regarding the sump and the quicker steering. I'll keep that in mind regardless of who uses the bike.
 
@r4gnar, That HyperPRO kit is a great idea. Right now, only about another half inch or so matters (the boots'll bring her up another inch so it's not much more that I need)
 
@robbo10, I don't want to shorten the side stand unless I need to use lowering links/springs/etc. and I'm hoping it doesn't come to it. Thanks for the tip though, I'll keep an eye on it.
 
@gregjet asirhvnacrvlkjasopirvmksdarlkjgnvwiuaerkjlanfviojkaernsvaijksrnavsljkarfnva grrrrr!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I NEVER LOOK THINGS UP BASED OF THE MT VERSION!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I have GOT to start searching things up for this bike like that. Lowering the front forks that way seems rather easy though. I haven't seen too many parts diagrams and haven't take any other forks apart other than my old CBR's old school forks but it seems fairly straight forward. And those adjustable links look super solid. Just the link itself is a good idea. Thanks for the info overall.
 
@motomeek, all too true, just looking to make it a bit more comfortable for the Mrs. while she learns. Of all the things I'm doing to the bike, this is the one I'm emphasizing on the most. :)
 
@SkH, I love riding, always have and probably always will. This has all been my idea since the day she said she wanted to learn. I'm just making sure she has the best possible experience on 2 wheels so she ends up loving it as much or more than I do. Definitely don't want to force anything on her.
 
Believe me guys, the whole wanting-to-learn thing is all her. I'm the one just wanting to make sure she can reach the ground. I learned on a bike too tall for myself and just know it was the only thing I wish I could've changed. That's why I'm making sure she has other grips not related to her height.
 

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optytrex
OK. First the rear.
http://www.extremecreations.com.au/mt-07-jack-up-plates. Because you possibly searched on FZ 07 it wouldn't have shown up as it is made in Australia ( MT here). Very well made. I bought one to raise the rear. Buy with the bearings installed if you can afford it. Or buy bearings locally and press in if you have the equipment and the bearings are cheaper . It allows you to raise it 25mm, set at stock height or lower 25 or 30 mm. It does not make the rear harsh and the suspension rate curve is a little more ramped towards the end only.
 
The front.
Because the bike has ordinary forks shortening them internally is very easy ( getting the bottom fork bolt out not withstanding as they can be a pain). You need to make a spacer to go between the head of the damper rod and the bottom inside of the fork. Std travel is not big so don't go silly. This method will not cause clearence problems anywhere in any position. I would not take anymore than 20mm travel out as that will leave you with only 100mm of fork travel. If you also slide the forks up through the triples ( no more than 13mm) , you will have a total drop of about 35-38mm. With a drop of 30mm at the rear the whole bike will be 30mm lower. The sidestand will HAVE to be shortened .And there will be some cornering clearence loss ( noticeable).
If you have the ability and access to the necessary you could put a stiffer/longer spring under the damper top instead of a solid spacer that brings the compression travel shorter. That would keep the total 120mm but part would be as drop travel. Could actually make the action a bit better around the static length.

gregjet...that Aussie dogbone is the nicest I think I've seen and would definitely be the way to go in my book and once installed easy to change ride height for someone with longer legs or more confidence.  
My homemade proof of concept dogbone link, works just as you described.
 
DSCN1229.jpg
Oh man, I've got to start fabricating. This is some of the best stuff I've seen that could really come in handy! Might end up doing or buying something like this if I end up getting lowering links for the FZ! 

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