Short legs , Tall bike - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 25
Question Short legs , Tall bike

New member here. I only have a 30" inseam so it's either make bike shorter or me taller. I used elevated boots (reg bike boots with 1-1/2" of sole added) Sort of worked, but lots of ribbing, as they do look a bit Glam Rock. So, we've got lowering links and saddles. Would love feedback if you are of similar stature and fixed the height issue. How extreme can we go ? Modify the frame? Smaller wheels? Something hydraulic to power the bike down low at stops like a bus does to give access to impaired passengers? Would love to hear from y'all. The option of just hanging off is ok, I can do it, but not in waterproofs over kneedraggers over jeans which is common in cold riding. Thanks!! N
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Same as me, I'm a 34/30 in pants.

I lowered my bike 2" in the rear originally (this is my first bike) and 1" in the front. I've since raised it so it's just lowered 1" both front and rear, since my girl started riding with me and we noticed that with both of us on the bike we were rubbing the tire on my FMF pipe. Stock muffler might not have that issue at any height - this lowering link set I got even lets you lower it 3" - definitely not possible with my FMF muffler.

Even before I lowered it though, note that I originally had the rear shock preload set to 1 (out of 5) and it lowered the seat enough with my weight on that it wasn't bad. I'd try that first if I were you-
The shock plays a critical role, it's the preload on the shock/spring.

Also, note that as you lower the bike, the geometry of this cantilevered suspension system works in such a way that the more you lower it, the softer the shock/spring get through the forces of leverage.

- With the bike lowered 2" in the rear, the suspension compressed under my butt as easily with the preload set to 5 as it did when the bike was stock and set to 1.
- With the bike lowered 1" in the rear, the suspension is probably that soft if I have the shock set to 3.
- With the bike lowered 0" in the rear, I'd suggest setting your shock preload to 1.

Lowering the rear is easy - just buy lowering links. Two bolts to remove, replace the stock links with the lowering links, replace the bolts. I'd go with 1" or 1.25", if you don't get a funky set like mine that have three settings.

Lowering the front isn't hard either - loosen the bolts on the triple tree, and slide the shocks up. I think I actually brought mine up 1.25", which lowers the front an equivalent amount. Retighten the bolts - the torque is in a thread here that I was asking for.

Definitely nothing extreme needed like you are thinking.
Good luck!
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I'm going to get it all sorted in the end
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
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I see nice looking lowering links on Ebay for $30, and as much as $100 on some of the specialty sites. Eagle Mike looks to have ones that are 1.25", which would be nice since the front goes down about 1.25" before you start to get interference between the top of the shocks and handlebars. That might be by design.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-21-2013, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
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I was also thinking - I've got an aftermarket seat that is wider and lower (more comfortable), that came on my bike.

Here's an extreme version - might help:

Mine is a Sargent that doesn't look that fancy but is very nice. Comes in a special "low" height (I don't know that mine actually is that):

Something else to look into that isn't that extreme.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-26-2013, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Buffalo, NY
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FYI - $25 for 1.5" links, shipped.
Buy those.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 09:36 AM
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I'm short. 29" inseam. I've owned three KLR's over the years.

I lowered my second KLR, but didn't like the look so I un-lowered it. This was done with lowering links and dropping the forks. I actually ended up selling it because I thought it was just too tall for me.

Currently on my third KLR and I'm using a Corbin Dual Platform seat that lowered it about the same as the lowering links. This setup allows me to get the toes down on each side at the same time. Then I installed a Progressive rear shock and added back about an inch or so. Now I can barely tip-toe it.

I'm used to riding a big bike so for me it's no big deal. Just something that you have to learn. I mostly just put one foot down when stopped.

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post #8 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 25
Thanks for the input . I am leaning towards your solution, low seat plus technique. I am a bit of an inventor and might just put together a custom mechanism that drops the bike at traffic stops 4" at the touch of a button. I will post it if it ever comes together. If it works well, I might even market it as a retrofit kit.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-27-2013, 12:51 PM
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my .02

Just put one foot down when you stop.

Dual sports have higher ground clearance as a design feature. Lots of positves:

Suspension is softer intially, soaks up the small stuff.
Suspension has longer travel, for the bigger stuff.
Bike sits higher, better visabilty in traffic.
Ground clearance is a good thing off-road.

Really the only time you need both feet down is off-road and paddleing through stuff. At stops keep your foot on the brake lean to the left and stick that foot down.

Try riding a dirt bike. There's no way to get both feet down. Heck most of the really fast guys are small they almost need a leg up to get on the bike!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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