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Cruizin

Hello _jdirty

 

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_jdirty

Howdy folks! Been lurking for a little bit on here and have just been reading up/researching suspension info. 
An about me/ short story time since I have nothing to do at work but all this caffeine is making want to do stuff:

 

Let me preface by saying that I have no motorcycle riding experience at all. bicycling, sure, but nothing motorized. If you want to be generous, I went two up before when i was a kid and the two more times was when a buddy of mine let me ride his cruiser and just let it move on it's own with a little clutch play. I've always wanted to get a motorcycle but never really got around to it. Instead, i put wrench time in for cars since i feel like working on those don't necessarily require a garage. I felt that way after having done a cylinder head swap out in my apartment's parking lot under the Vegas summer sun.

 

I eventually got my own house and have some garage space now. The motorcycle desire never went away so for the past couple of months, I've just been watching and reading things about the FZ-07/MT-07 and was so sold on it. I wanted it so bad but was hesitant after looking it up and realizing that the seat height was a little bit over my inseam of 28". So i convinced myself to not get an FZ and at most build a used 90's bike, cafe it out or  streetfighter and not really feel bad knocking it around since I didn't have any riding experience and it was pretty much too tall for me. 

 

Last week i got a letter in the mail saying that I had to take my car to the dealership for an airbag recall. At first i was a little skeptical like what the f@#k? The device that's supposed to increase my chances of survivability  actually turns into a pillbox that shoots shrapnel straight to your face, neck, wrists and other fleshy bits. I laughed and thought that I might as well wear a helmet while driving. Unfortunately, this recall was in fact true and accurate so off to the dealer I went. On the way back home, I passed this motorcycle dealership which i've always seen and told myself, I might as well sit on some bikes just to maybe get this bike dream slash pipe dream all out of my system. 

 

Went in, scanned the showroom floor, avoided eye contact and bee lined for an Fz to sit on. Sadly, it was more of climb on affair and not exactly a, lemme swing my leg over it type deal. Cycle-ergo wasn't lying. I really am by the tip of my toes. My big toes to be exact. Let me jump off and just get out before somebody catches me. "Hey what's up man?!"  f@#k. I was spotted. How do I get myself out of this. This kid who ended up catching me trying to slink away was pretty cool and we end up just shooting the shet and eventually come across a Honda Grom on the Showroom floor. He motioned to give it a go and since i've never been on one, i figured might as well see how it feels. It seemed right. Maybe it was mostly because I could definitely flat foot the thing so easily or maybe because it was super light, or both. 

 

I ended up going home with a Red 2015 Honda Grom as a play thing. I had to have it delivered since I didn't have insurance for it. I wasn't expecting I'd be able to nor even want to get anything that day. On the way home i was just giddy with excitement. Driving behind a dually truck that was pulling a a trailer that had my first "motorcycle" on it. Imagine a 125cc pit bike looking thing with an extended swing arm sitting on a trailer that looked like it was made for a bunch of dirt bikes or for 3 side by sides to be lugged on after going at it on the dunes. It was definitely a hilarious sight i wish the stoplights actually turned red on the way home so i could snap a photo. Nonetheless i was excited to get on it. As soon as i got home and the delivery guy rolled the Grom off the trailer and into my garage, I rang my insurance right away and got everything set up. 

 

I waited for night time since that's usually when there's less traffic in my neighbourhood. As the sun set, I put on my helmet and gloves in true squid fashion. I opened the garage and stalled barely getting out of the garage. I think at that point I was actually rolling because the driveway was a bit of a very tiny decline. Hah.. nobody saw me. All is good. I find the friction zone and figure out the clutch and throttle balance on this tiny 125cc. Realzied that clutch alone wasn't enough to make this 125 move on it's own. Before I knew it, I was going through all the four gears that the little Grom had. It was amazing. I'm such a f@#king badass. No wonder a lot of people have been getting these things to mess about in. The aftermarket support for Groms are ridiculous. Bigbore kits and what not. 

 

For a week now, i've just been riding around the neighborhood and sometimes even on the main streets to familiarize myself with the bike, it's little quirks, and to gauge my wanting for a bike. Do i really want one? Is this just a phase? Did i do it for the hype? Who knows. Only time will tell right? I guess it is true that knowing how to drive stick does help newer riders understand clutch friction points but that's about it. Maybe that's why i felt so comfortable on it. It may be arrogance, or just sheer stupidity but i went and returned the Grom and got a Silver 2017 FZ-07. Again, I asked myself, is this a phase? Did I do it for the hype? Who knows. Only time will tell. Hopefully, I'm the one to telling it, not the news, and not the daily paper's obituary section. 

 

This is pretty much why i've been lurking the site's suspension discussions. Lowering links, horseshoe style, the most i could get away with raising the fork through the triples, and even shaving the seat or just learning to one foot/hot potato the bike.I want to lower the bike asap because I actually tried to ride the bike this morning to work only to end up tipping over at the end of my driveway when I was slowing to a stop. Remember my buddy's cruiser? I did the same thing to it. Good thing it was in his grassy backyard. It's a challenge to catch a bigger bike let alone stopping a tip over with just your big toe. luckily enough I was able to slow the bike down substantially and just ended up scratching the bar end and brake lever. Nothing bad. But oh well, i wanted bar end mirrors and shorty levers anyway. 

 

tl;dr
Very little riding experience, bought a 125cc , rode it for a week, returned it, got an FZ-07. I'm probably an idiot for doing that.

 

I don't have much but I'll upload photos for those interested. I Don't have full leathers but I got a decent flame suit on so any criticism is welcome! 

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gregjet

How tall are you and what is you stand over height. I have lowered the seat height for a few girlfriends so I have some experience. My current girlfriend in 5'3". and she has a KTM 690 we have lowered PROPERLY..

The 07 has a few links available. I have one on my bike but use it as a raising link ( I like steep fork angles). Extreme Creations link. Heights: -35, -25, 0 and +25 ( the one I use).  http://extremecreations.com.au/mt-07-jack-up-plates.     

There are other people making them now. Ignore any comments about a change in spring rate from the lowered link, as I have modelled this one on suspension software and there is extremely minor differences and it actually flattens the spring curve.

DO NOT jus get a shortened spring.

A height adjustable shock is another option, though you need to remember that both lowering link and height adjustable shock will change how the chain torque affects the bike ( just a difference in feel really unless you are racing) and how you tension your chain, as the swingarm sits in a different neutral position.

It's a pity someone can't talk Kouba link into making a lowering link for this bike as they make such beautiful links and they would sell a heap.

 

There is only about 15mm SAFE room to slide the forks through the triple clamps. The mudguard will hit stuff anymore than that BUT there is room to lower the mudguard. Evem more if you go to a lower 120/60 front tyer ( actually a good move anyway on my opinion): 12mm lower. Shortening the forks is pretty simple with the stock ( aweful) forks. A spacer between the mushroom of the damper and the topout spring OR a longer stiffer top out spring will help. The second option will maintain the reasonable short travel the first is the easier to achieve but you will lose some of the travel. If you go to a cartridge front you will need to talk to someone like pattonme, or one of the other suspension people on THIS forum ( and there are damm fine ones here), as I ahven't ever shortened an afternarket cartridge sustem.

 

You WILL need to shorten the side stand if you lower the bike. And you lose clrnering clearance but the 07 is not a bike that require extreme leans anyway for a number of reasons. Shorter pegs will help though.

 

The seat can be lowered slightly as well BUT you WILL need to go to an aftermarket pad as the stock Yamaha one is too soft stock and cut down will be worse.  One thing that will help is removing some of the pad against the tank. This will allow you to move more forward to where your legs are not pushed as wide apart when on your feet and give you less curve in your legs.

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_jdirty

Hey @gregjet. I would say that i'm 5'3" with a 28" inseam. I never bother to really measure my height since i know it'll never change. Maybe actually decrease as i turn into an old man. hah 

 

It was one of your many posts about proper lowering that brought me here and keep lurking. Originally, with my limited motorcycle understanding, i was fixated on just lowering the rear via Soupy's Lowering Link because of that -1"~ -4" range but was immediately put off by the disclaimer about binding past -1.5 inches/ -38.1mm which made me look at the the Extreme Creations since at most, the limit would be -35mm on a fixed plate. Looked awesome too. The EC one was a little bit more than Soupy's even without the bearings pressed in so i kept looking. I stumbled across T-rex racing's lowering link that even included an adjustable kickstand which i thought was a great bonus since I'd be able to put away the stock one if i ever wanted to revert things. I haven't really read much about that type of lowering link and it's cons to using one or how involved it is to even mess with either type of lowering link.

 

Then I stumbled across one of the posts here discussing how light the front end is. That was a little concerning since FZ-07s loves to wheelie. Makes me feel more and more that I didn't do enough research and just went with a terrible idea in general. Way over my head. I don't even have any stands yet. So, i'm really not sure what to do with the height dilemma. I thought that the safest bet would be to go -15mm down all around and shave the seat to keep geometry at the same(?) and lower the bike as much as possible and not to eat away that much clearance form the bike even though i'll really just being using it for a tame commute so a new rear shock being redone as well as forks is a little overkill for what i'll be using the bike for. Wouldn't want it to be like my daily (car) that has full coilovers in case I felt like taking it out to the track or auto cross. It's been two years like that and it's never been to the track. lol 

 

I tend to type too much at times. 

 

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gregjet

Jdirt,

Looks like you have been doing your home work. Just a point...I am NOT the messiah>>

 

However you look like you are getting a good handle on this.

Some points. The irrational desire of the 07 to wheelie on whim is a combination of several things. All but one are fixable or mitigatable.

The Loki inspired throttle response is completely fixed with a quality reflash. Makes the bike WAY nicer to ride, and it will wheelie only when required.

The soft rear suspension assists the front lift. Proper spring rate ( and appropiate damping) will stop the wallow lift. Also make the bike nicer to ride. Plenty of options and good people supplying aforementioned. It will also help with maintaining more cornering clearance when leaned over. Please do the front end at the same time. If you find a good suspension place they should be able to internally shorten the travel by 10mm, though if you shorten the travel , you WILL have to stiffen the spring rate to compensate.

 

This is a picture of the damper rod ( wow high tech...not). You can use a longer top out spring or a stock spring and a spacer . I wouldn't go longer than 10mm for the spacer or the new shorter set height. The good thing about this way of lowering is the total travel stop is the same so won't foul anything. A well designed longer top out spring actually will improve the ride slightly on the road, as it improves drop travel and small bump compliance.

59e7bcd96be12_rod-spacerandorlongertopoutspring.jpg.2829d57c292728c7f3c28c1cf12351f4.jpg

 

 

I would be very surprised if you need more than 35mm dropped rear and 12mm fork drop and a 120/60 tyre on the front. Going to a slightly higher boot sole will also help. If you go 35mm rear down,  you will have to have a  shortened stand.

 

Fixing the rear bias is another matter altogether. If you are short AND light though this will help because it reduces the total bike/rider rear weight weight bias. If you are heavy , it will make it worse. They fixed in on the Tracer with a longer swingarm. If we are lucky they might put on on the 07 from now on. The bigger fuel tank would also help, but I suspect that is pretty much a dream.

 

PS I am 64 and I have shrunk 40mm...

 

 

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_jdirty

I appreciate all of your input as well as what other members of the community have posted on here. It was just that Yours and Pattonme's posts were mostly what I would end up seeing while I researching suspension and lowering things in general. 

 

Honestly, i mess about with the bike in my garage without the seat on and it feels more manageable. I don't know if that's anything worth mentioning since it's not actual riding but it just feels better, height wise. hah I really just mess with the clutch friction, trying to balance the bike. Just random things while i think of what to do with the bike entirely. 

 

After reading more stuff, I'm almost inclined to just drop the front first, see how it is and possibly just get a "stunt" cage or something along those lines so that If and when I end up dropping the bike, it's not so vulnerable. I feel like the chances are a bit higher since slow maneuvering might be what i need to work on first. 

I'm glad that you actually brought up weight because at most i'm 140lbs without gear. With gear, not really sure how much i'd be adding on. I dont have jacks yet so I haven't really adjusted the rear for static sag/ rider sag as I'm curious as to how much 140lbs would make a difference. I'll be honest, i've been staring at the pic you sent me and will probably need to stare at exploded diagrams later when i get home to fully understand that. Thanks!

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motomeek

Hi and welcome to the forum, officially!

 

I'm the same height, similar inseam. 

 

In your lurking, did you ever come advice I've given in regards to an exercise of using one leg when stopped? If you have, I hope it'll help you in your confidence of balancing the bike at stops. 

 

I know for me, it's just something I make due if I want to ride the bikes I want to ride. 

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_jdirty
50 minutes ago, motomeek said:

Hi and welcome to the forum, officially!

 

I'm the same height, similar inseam. 

 

In your lurking, did you ever come advice I've given in regards to an exercise of using one leg when stopped? If you have, I hope it'll help you in your confidence of balancing the bike at stops. 

 

I know for me, it's just something I make due if I want to ride the bikes I want to ride. 

Hey @Motomeek! Yes! That is actually one of the things that i'd like to start practicing as well. Although I didn't need to, i actually did this on my tiny little Grom. I would cover the rear brake while i had my left foot down at a stop and swap sides when it was time get in gear. Ideally, i would like to be as confident as you are when it comes to not having to flat foot a bike but in time i guess. hah 

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gregjet

At 140lbs the springs are not going to be as bad for you. Damping still sucks both ends though. I suspect you are in the weight range the bike was originally designed for.

If you are trying to balance the clutch to stop the surge and untentional wheelies, you are in the wrong area. The problem is the fuelling.

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_jdirty

I just mess with the clutch to familiarize myself with the friction zone. That's pretty much what i've been doing lately on my driveway/ garage. Fiddling with Throttle, Clutch, and Rear Brake while trying not to flop sideways. 

 

I might just go at it by dropping the front by the 15mm max for now and getting this crash cage and just dealing with the tiptoe/ 1 footing. 

 

Doing that 

  • helps with actual geometry
  • doesn't seem as involved to do!
  • I'll need some sort of protection regardless of lowering/not lowering

And.. because i saw this video!! 

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gregjet

Be aware that there are some suspension people on this forum, that are very knowledgeable, that believe the trail on the 07 is too short anyway ( made worse if you drop just the front). I disagree about it one this bike for some complicated reasons, but their reasoning is basically sound. Be aware that steepening the front ( from stock) may not be a good idea for a newer rider.

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_jdirty

Haha yes. I have seen those conversations about trail. I think I’ll just try to give myself more seat time on the stock bike instead of overthinking things. Cage and drop link haven’t been ordered anyway. Thanks again for all the advice @gregjet!

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