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I went to the dealer today and laid hands on a 2014 KLR for the first time. Man was I in for a surprise when I threw my leg over it. I would need some 6inch platform shoes to ride this thing. I’m 5 foot 8 inches tall and could barely touch the ground with my tip toes. How in the hell do you ride these things? Surely the factory doesn’t expect the average height person to have to lower a bike and buy a new seat before it leaves the show room floor. My question is how low will a lowering link get the bike? Will it need a new side stand? What the hell are they thinking? Going from Harley to KLR may be a harder transition than I thought.
 

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It's mostly about what you're used to.

I was intimidated when I took a test ride. I had the seller load it into my pickup. Then I rode. And rode. Then I had to modify the seat -- making it taller by about a half inch in front.

I still claim 5'9", but I think 5' 8 1/2" is more accurate. So I may be a little taller than you.

I've simply gotten used to keeping the KLR upright. I do have shorter bikes and they do feel handier to push around the shed or driveway. The long soft suspension on the KLR is great, though, on the lumpy roads we have this year.

Sorry, someone else will have to help you with "how low" and whatnot. I think that you can get used to the KLR if you want. It'll be a big change from a brand that has low seats as an important design goal.
 

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What do you do slide off the seat at stop lights with one foot on the ground?
Yup, pretty much! I also slide forward on the seat as far as I can to get maximum leg length. I'm around 5'9". You get used to it pretty quick, the only time it really gives me grief is pushing the bike back while seated on soft surfaces and gravel. In that case I sometimes have to dismount and push the bike.

You can get the bike about 4 inches lower with links and a lowered seat. You do have to shorten the kickstand if you use links. I had mine lowered with a low seat, but seemed to be dragging my pegs all the time in turns so I put it back to stock height.
 

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What do you do slide off the seat at stop lights with one foot on the ground?

Yes but you don't have to slide off the seat just lean it over a bit. I usually put my left foot down so I can hold the brake with my right.
 

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lukedrywalker,
Do you KNOW, whether or Not it was a Second Production Run or FIRST production run?
The Second production run 2014 has STIFFER suspension springs for two-up or heavy touring gear and a Widened Seat, at the rear 2/3rds.

The First production run 2014 has the Standard 'Softer' suspension, which is STIFFER than the old style '87-07 KLR.
Both could be lowered, 'some'. For a Fee.
You might go back to the dealership and discuss your 'options'.

The older '87-'07 models also had a softer seat, allowed one to 'sink-in' a little more. I have the 'original' 1987 -A1 with a Newer/Harder seat, even makes my 36" legs 'stretch' sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lukedrywalker,
Do you KNOW, whether or Not it was a Second Production Run or FIRST production run?
The Second production run 2014 has STIFFER suspension springs for two-up or heavy touring gear and a Widened Seat, at the rear 2/3rds.

The First production run 2014 has the Standard 'Softer' suspension, which is STIFFER than the old style '87-07 KLR.
Both could be lowered, 'some'. For a Fee.
You might go back to the dealership and discuss your 'options'.

The older '87-'07 models also had a softer seat, allowed one to 'sink-in' a little more. I have the 'original' 1987 -A1 with a Newer/Harder seat, even makes my 36" legs 'stretch' sometimes.
2014 new edition .
 

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If you opt for the "lean over and use one foot" technique when stopping, watch out for painted lane markings like turn arrows. They're as slick as snot on a doorknob when it's raining, especially if you're wearing boots with a hard and smooth leather sole.
 

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What do you do slide off the seat at stop lights with one foot on the ground?
Yup.

While I can put the balls of both feet on the ground, I only need to do that for a problem situation -- need to back up or shift into neutral or something like that.

I hope my post above didn't sound like "buck up and ride a man's bike". My intention was to say that we get used to it.

I have gotten on an '08 KLR (in '08) and I recall thinking it would work OK. If the '14.5s have both firmer suspension and firmer seat, it would be more intimidating. I still think you can get used to it IF the KLR meets your needs for gravel/dirt. There are lighter bikes better for dirt, but usually taller too. The KLR is great for distance and gravel and dirt roads.

The KLR suspension and tires can let you use the dirt roads and trails you say look inviting. For me the KLR weight and height can also make it a handful when I need to turn around in sketchy conditions. Last summer I thought I'd spend a night on trails off a gravel highway then found that I wasn't comfortable going very far down those trails alone with some weeks of camping gear.
 

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Heck, you need to shorten the side stand even if you don't lower the bike. I'm 5'11" ,but my inseam is 29". No lowering links, a sergeant seat took off an inch. Able to put both feet on the ground, but at lights I just put the left down with a bit of lean.
 

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Try being 5'5" with short legs and a 2014 New Edition! Fortunately, I have not been able to flat foot anything since I rode a Big Wheel so I have had a lot of practice. :) I have ridden Harley's, Goldwings, and currently have a BMW GTL as my primary street bike so the KLR at least feels light at this point. I have learned to shift my body and only stop with my left foot down on any bike I ride.

Side stand is too tall, especially once you put weight on the seat. I am planning on having it shortened about 3/4". I spoke to someone else that did that and it seems to be just right now.
 
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