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NoobieRider

Short rider looking for lowering suggestions

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NoobieRider

Hello all,

I'm a total newbie with bikes and am currently taking an MSF course for familiarization and for obvious licensing reasons. Anyway, before taking my course I bought a 2017 FZ-07. I wanted something I could develop my riding skills into without having to upgrade down the road anytime soon. I found the stock height to be a bit too high for me causing me to tippy-toe and that's not comfortable. I'm 5"4" tall and weigh between 150-155lbs without gear. In my class I'm using a Honda Grom and that's the perfect height for me. If anyone could help me, what should I do to lower my bike to an acceptable level where I can flat-foot the ground? I've searched and found an adjustable lowering link by Soupy and a kit made by Hyperpro but I would rather get some input from the more experienced riders out there. And as I have not ridden the bike yet (Odometer states 0.8 miles :D ) I really have no experience into how the suspension feels either. Many say the setup is just bad but I wouldn't know just yet. Is the stock suspension suitable for daily commutes mostly on paved roads or should I look into a more refined setup? Thanks in advance!!

Edited by NoobieRider

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sen07

Hi there fellow shorty. Im 164cm barefoot, 5’4  should be close as mine. I also bought the bike bfre taking the 500cc> License class. Ive always want the 07 since 2015 but only have the money this year so..im noob too so here’s my take, you dont need the lowering kit. U could do just fine with your height. Yes it would be awesome and jealousy sometimes to see other rider to be flat footed at stops and traffic light but dont let it down ya. 

 

We’re ‘shorty’ sometimes better than those talls one, how so? We do more planning! We plan where to stop and when. Know which to plant what foot better. When to take off at the perfect time. Yes it would be frustrating sometimes but u will get use to it.. give it more times and you’d get better at it. It takes time alright, if i can do it so can u bro. Confidence is the key, ride slow first. You’ll progress! Good luck!

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thedriver1

I'd say the suspension should should be fine, especially for a new rider. I weigh about 130-140 lbs without gear and I've been commuting on the bike a few times a week for the last year, plus a few longer rides. I replaced the seat to make it more comfortable but aside from that it works perfectly in traffic.

 

Just ride it and enjoy it, then you can make upgrades where you personally feel the bike is lacking. If you need it, some companies make lowering links though I have no experience with those.

 

One mod you might want to consider is frame sliders, if you drop the bike coming to a stop or maneuvering in a parking lot (been there), it won't damage anything.

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Thrasherg

My wife is 5'2" and like you found the bike to be a bit high, I purchased a lowering kit (new dogleg for rear shock) and an adjustable side stand, from a local Dallas company called T-rex, cost was about $220 and it worked really well, the kit lowered the seat about 3cm (just over an inch) and I dropped the forks 1/2 inch in the yokes, the adjustable side stand now means the bike still leans at a reasonable angle when parked (stock stand was too long after lowering the bike). She can touch the floor very easily and it seems to handle fine, no sign of any steering wobble and the steering does not seemed to have slowed, so a good compromise. I did relocate the stock number plate and lights as they seemed very close to the rear wheel after lowering it, with a tail tidy kit, so it looks better and fits its rider better. a very worthwhile job for those with short legs.

 

Gary

Edited by Thrasherg
spelling mistakes.
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markstertt

The aftermarket lowering kits that use a modified 'dog leg' upper link will have a lengthened upper leg that will not only lower the rear but also give a stiffer ride due to leverage ratio change. If this is a problem for you, then a better way to go would be the aftermarket or homemade lower steel link (dog bone?) which will lower or raise the rear end depending on choice of position while not actually changing leverage ratio. I found that a 6mm shorter lower link raised the rear approx. 3/4", I have yet to try the longer setting but would suspect about a 3/4" lowering of the rear. These specs were for a homemade link, I'm not sure how they compare to the store bought links dimensions. Just for grins I tried a 1/2" shorter leg for the upper run on the alloy dog leg lever which resulted in about 7/8"-1" raising of the rear and a slightly more compliant ride due to the leverage ratio changing in favor of the swing arm over the shock, like going to a softer spring of say about -25# or so. This also resulted in more rear wheel travel but there was still room under the rear for full travel. Just thought you might benefit from my experiences in case you noticed a change and wondered what was up.

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mjh937

I cannot speak to lowering as I do not have that problem, but as a new rider when I bought my bike three years ago I thought the suspension was fine.  A year or so of experience made me think it needed work and I am getting to the point we I am planning on doing something this winter.  As you gain experience and confidence you will start to see the shortcomings of the suspension and eventually decide to do something about it.  The good news is there are a lot of options (actually that is a mixed blessing as it means a lot of research is required to find the best solution for you...I am still not sure what I want to do to upgrade mine but I expect I will figure it out). 

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pattonme
On 11/1/2017 at 7:53 PM, NoobieRider said:

what should I do to lower my bike to an acceptable level where I can flat-foot the ground?

there's gotta be half a dozen lowering links. Wilbers makes some. Flat-footing a bike is highly overrated IMO. Getting the balls of your feet solidly down, I won't argue with. Some people buy thicker soled shoes, others learn to slide their butt over when stopping. Others just never stop (3am, run red lights). But whatever gives you peace of mind is what matters most.

 

The seat is already paper thin so unfortunately that's not a fix. Take 10mm out of the preload tube and drop it another 5mm at the clamps. If you need more, you can put a spacer under the top-out spring. As a new rider though the thing to do is ride, ride,and ride some more in all environments and circumstances.

 

I wouldn't spend any kind of serious $$$ on suspension upgrades even though the shock could desperately use it (Wilbers, K-Tech, Hyperpro all make shortened shock bodies) until you've got a solid 3000 miles under your belt. You can of course send me money sooner than that, but your #1 cost should be gasoline for the next 5 months.

 

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yamahazaki

I'm short, I learned to ride with one foot down.  Was fine.  FZ is my first bike as well.  My girl is even shorter, I taught her to do one foot down, and that's all she does.  She rides the FZ fine as well.  Her sister is even shorter (5'0") and she rides an unlowered R6, quite possibly one of the tallest 600cc supersports out there.

 

One foot down is the ticket to happiness.  Both feet down flat foot is nice but overrated and not needed for shorties.  I personally would never lower any bike, but that's my own feeling.  And if you learn how to put one foot down ("learn" is really the wrong term- its so easy), you can ride any bike, even extremely tall bikes.  Unlike lowering a bike in which you are committed and afraid to jump on any bike.  Not a good bike life to live.

 

Since you are new to riding, it will be very easy to get into the habit of one foot down.  Once you do it, the first time, it will be normal thereafter.  And both feet flat foot down as a confidence booster is pure bs imo because I have several bikes, surf several forums and there are way too many 6 foot newbies who drop their bike (no exaggeration).  Flat foot didn't do anything for them.  Its the rider themselves, not their feet.

Edited by yamahazaki
this is not a sig, I promise.
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NoobieRider

Thank you all, I really appreciate all the input from you guys. I did do a small practice run around my apartment complex (it's about 1/2 mile long according to google) doing the one foot down method and it really isn't as bad as I thought. I did loose my balance going up hill when I came to a stop and dropped the bike in what seemed like an out of body real-time slow-mo experience (if that makes sense lol). I was like that youtube cat video going "No no no no no no no no" all the way down lol.  I think i'll forget lowering the bike and focus more on getting a feel for the bike as you guys mentioned.

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yamahazaki

Its usually stopping on a downhill that is the hard one, not stopping uphill (as far as footing goes).  The only obstacle stopping uphill is going forward again.  You need to find a uphill and downhill that has low traffic and practice your footing in those situations as well as learning to moving forward again after stopping uphill (keep your right feet on the brakes, give it more throttle than usual and ease off the clutch until you feel the bike move even with your foot on the brake, then slowly release the foot brake.

 

Also if at all possible, look for cambered roads.  You'll want to switch which foot you put down depending on what angle the camber tilts down.  The good and bad thing with cambers is, wrong foot down and it will be a *****, correct side foot down and the ground will be much higher in your favor.

 

ps., do you know your inseam measurement?

Edited by yamahazaki
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blackout
3 hours ago, NoobieRider said:

Thank you all, I really appreciate all the input from you guys. I did do a small practice run around my apartment complex (it's about 1/2 mile long according to google) doing the one foot down method and it really isn't as bad as I thought. I did loose my balance going up hill when I came to a stop and dropped the bike in what seemed like an out of body real-time slow-mo experience (if that makes sense lol). I was like that youtube cat video going "No no no no no no no no" all the way down lol.  I think i'll forget lowering the bike and focus more on getting a feel for the bike as you guys mentioned.

Something free to try would be to remove all the preload from the rear shock spring.  A spanner wrench is included with your bike to do this.   Check the manual.  That would give you more sag.  The rear suspension would compress a little further when you are sitting on the bike.

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gregjet

There is quite a few posts on this topic. I have had a fair bit of experience with short partners and getting the bike to be right.

Here is one of mine  with pics that still work. There are heaps of others.

 

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