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Lowering your bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Jane Deaux, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Just after some advice...

    So, when I'm stationary on my bike, I'm on my tip toes. Is this ideal?
    Should you be able to have both feet flat on the ground? I'm not uncomfortable but I would prefer to be able to have both feet flat when I'm stopped/1 foot on rear brake other comfortably flat on the ground.

    Are there any 'rules'/general advice regarding having a bike lowered? Would softening the suspension make enough difference?

    Lots of questions, obviously very nooby >.< any help and advice much appreciated

    Please and thank you :)
  2. It isn't ideal but often if that is what it takes to ride that is what you do. Remember that there are very few circumstances where you need both feet down and if you can tip toe two then you can get one down pretty well.

    If you are new on tip toes it feels uncomfortable. Particularly if the bike is heavier than usual. But you will get used to it.

    I am short and my bike is tall and I have never owned a bike I can flat foot. I have also dropped my bike more than my fair share of times because of this. That is simply the price I pay for loving to ride. You may want to invest in some crash protection (oggy knobs, crash bars or engine covers) just in case.

    You can get your bike lowered but it may also alter it's handling and it can also reduce clearance so when you lean things start to scrape. Softening the suspension will also bring the seat closer to the ground when you sit on it but again will alter handling and may make it wallow in corners. Lowering can also count as a modification that your insurance company does not like. If you don't know what you are doing, seek professional advice.

    If you are new, a lot of the apprehension you are experiencing is going to diminish over time as you get more used to the bike. So practice helps. If you haven't been there try to get to the Saturday Practice sessions at St Kilda. We can't get your feet flat but we can help with hints and tips to get you more comfortable on the bike.
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  3. suspension should be set so that you have the right amount of sag.
    suspension softness can and should be independent of height.

    don't need heels on ground, but being able to put ball of feet flat will feel more stable.

    to work out how much effect lowering will have, put a couple of books or bits of wood under your feet (with someone else steadying the bike.. stuff on ground can slip - fall)
    you may find you only need an inch lowering to make a big difference.

    you can change the triangles and/or use an adjustable link....
    if you only need an inch or so, swapping the triangles with good quality steel ones will be better, then lower front by same amount, and easy.

    edit: I seem to have posted this before for this model bike :) (you'll likely need shorter (or modified) sidestand too)

    >>Are there any 'rules'/general advice regarding having a bike lowered?

    if you lower front and back same amount, you retain most of the original geometry.
    lowering just the back may make it feel a bit lazy (2/3rds of the seat lowering is from the rear)
    lowering just the front may make it feel a bit more twitchy (1/3rd of seat lowering is from the front)
    avoid the cheap alloy turnbuckle style links... cheap chinese alloy is cheap for a reason :p
  4. Actually if you only need a small amount, shaving the seat is probably a better option to lowering.
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  5. Can't remember what bike you're riding, but maybe one with a lower seat will make you comfier which leads to increased confidence/better riding etc.

    As above though, tip toes two feet means you should be able to flat foot one. I'd suggest sitting in your driveway playing "balance the bike" between your legs by rocking it side to side and seeing how much lean you can have at standstill - you may be surprised.
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  6. Thanks for the advice, guys. will look into all options. The seat idea is most appealing at the moment. Would love to make it to a practice session soon. The weather has been a little disheartening and when the weather isn't horrible I've been working [yay]. Very bummed I haven't been getting as much ride time as I would like, especially since I'm rocking the L's >.<
  7. image.
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  8. As an afterthought to my original response, people often focus too much on getting two feet down. When you are a novice ride you psychologically think you are more stable with both feet down and try to do so.

    But not only are there very few situations where you actually need to get two feet down, there are a lot of situations when trying to get two feet down when you don't need to actually destabilizes the bike and makes you more likely to drop it.

    I watch learners wanting to get two feet down when they stop, when they ride slowly, when they take off and when they do u-turns. There are always exceptions to any rule but by and large you should stop and start the bike with one foot down and the other on the rear brake pedal and when you are moving (which includes the instant you start moving and the instant before you stop) with both feet on the pegs. If you paddle when starting or when coming to a stop you are upsetting balance and more likely to cause a drop.

    The solution to these problems, like most things to do with riding is practice, practice, practice.
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  9. The point I am making is don't rush into this, When I first got my bike I considered lowering and seat shaving options. Now I tend not to notice and often ride with an air hawk which actually raises me.

    It is more about the rider than the bike.
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  10. A tip from one who's has the same problem; don't brake hard to a stop. I did that a few times on some bikes I had that were a bit tall for me & fell over.
  11. Falling over has more to do with braking incorrectly rather than braking hard or soft. Plenty of braking threads so I won't comment on correct braking here.
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  12. You haven't said what bike you are on. Some bikes can be lowered very successfully, with other's lowering crates problems. An inch or so can be done by a revised rear link on most bikes and dropping the forks in the triple clamp by the same amount. Usually that doesn't effect the handling, only the clearance a bit.
  13. CB500f :) I'm happy to be patient and suss it out as I'm still new and not sure if it's a height thing or a noob thing. So for now I'm just seeing what my options are while get some more practice under my belt
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  14. Good idea.
  15. Hi Jane DeauxJane Deaux My CBR500R had a lowering link installed by the previous owner, her hubby changed it back to the original when I bought it. I still have the lowering link sitting in the shed along with an aftermarket side stand to suit. Let me know if you're interested..
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  16. Thanks for the heads up. Will keep it in mind. Will give myself time to suss it out. As I mentioned above I'm still new so with exp I may not need to lower :)
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  17. Some people are happy to ride tip-toe all the time. These tend to be weekend sports bike riders. For those of us that ride regularly in the city and urban environments it's good to have one foot flat on the ground at least.

    Keep in mind that roads tend to slope to the left and sometimes quite dramatically. So it's not hard to be caught out at an intersection if you are only tip-toed.

    On the other side of the coin, if you have both feet flat, you are probably sacrificing comfort and/.or ground clearance. this is why cruisers end up in a gynecological riding position. If they put the foot rests in a more rearward position then their feet would be tucked under their arse and they'd grid through every corner.

    One foo flat or solid ball of one foot is about right.