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Thread: Further lowering a factory lowered G650 GS

  1. #1

    Question Further lowering a factory lowered G650 GS

    Hello!

    I have a BMW G650 GS, factory lowered, that needs to be even lower. I am barely 5' tall and weigh 100lb (weight possibly relevant for concerns regarding potential suspension modifications). I can only get one foot down on the bike, and can't really tiptoe it. Even in boots with insoles to give me extra height, with one foot planted, the other doesn't even reach (maybe the toe barely scrapes the ground). As a total newbie to street riding and heavier bikes, I really need to at least have both balls of my feet on the ground to feel comfortable enough to take the bike on my daily commute. (Hey, my dirtbike only weighs about 170 lb.) I have several hills with stop signs at the top on my commute, so I would really like to be able to come as close to flat-footing as possible.

    Given all of this and the current height/seat positioning of the bike, I'd love it to be a good two inches lower for me to get enough of both feet down and planted. I've done research on aftermarket or shaved stock seats and installing lowering links, and have concerns about lowering links greater than 1"... but ultimately it seems, at least from what I've read, that lowering links are likely the closest I'll get to cutting off 2" when I already have the low BMW seat and the bike is factory-lowered. I know skill will come with experience, but I'm used to having no problems on my dirtbike and I have zero experience on the street, so my confidence there is not built yet.

    Koubalinks recommends only using the 2" lowering links on the taller Dakar, OR if you're a "lighter, non-aggressive rider". I believe I consider myself the latter, but I'm not entirely sure what "non-aggressive" actually means. People have indicated that it can result in wheel rub at the bottom of suspension on rough terrain... and I do ultimately want to be able to take the bike over rough terrain on adventure rides (husband rides a Super Tenere and we definitely like to go off the beaten path on trips). Granted, I weigh about 100 lb, but I'm really not certain how much weight vs. terrain will play into the end result. (Also, it is possible that I could get a different bike for adventure riding and keep this one as a primarily-paved commuter... so it's not a deal-breaker if I need to keep it on smoother roads, I just want to know HOW smooth.)

    Anyone have any suggestions or personal experience with getting a G650 GS that much lower? Granted, things might change a little as I become more familiar with the bike... we have enough land and quiet country neighborhood for me to ride the bike as-is around home, I'm just concerned about taking it into the city on my commute with so many hills and stop-and-go.

    As a side note, when I'd been looking at bikes, there was an F650 GS that was sold out from under me, also factory-lowered, that I could get both balls of my feet down on and would have felt comfortable with. But the G650 GS, although it still feels great, was not quite the same story regarding the ability to get feet down...
    Last edited by kmai; 09-19-2015 at 10:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Kootenanny's Avatar
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    As you say, with time and experience you'll probably be OK. But for now...hmmm. Do you know what BMW has done to "factory lower" the bike? Is it just a seat and factory-installed lower links, or do they change the spring, shock, and forks? You might get better answers from a BMW-specific forum (is there one called "Chain Gang" or something like that for F650s? Alex?)

  3. #3
    I did just find this thread: http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthr...Lowered-G650GS which supplied me with some additional information. It seems like the "safest" thing to do would be to go with the 1" links and maybe try having the stock seat shaved, since aftermarket seats are costly and it seems that they might not change anything. I imagine this is going to make the seat incredibly uncomfortable though. I can get a great deal on lowering links because husband works for a powersports dealership, and since they can be removed fairly easily, I might try that. I'm going to be starting to ride the bike around closer to home and hoping to build confidence too.

  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Remember that the lower you modify a bikes suspension, the less suspension travel you will have. Don't go over-board lowering the bike just so that you can plant both feet when you are stopped. You will risk altering the bikes handling significantly. Removing material from the saddle to make it lower and more narrow will not affect the bikes handling in the least.

    how good are you at walking on high heels?


  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Most motorcycles that are intended for use on the street and not specifically designed for race tracks, have relatively compliant suspension spring and compression dampening rates. Fast riding in corners will compress your suspension almost as much as bumps and once the swing-arm is past the horizontal aspect, hard acceleration will further compress the rear suspension because the drive chain is pulling on the rear wheel at an acute angle. This is as much what they are referring to as aggressive riding, it's far more then just bumps and whoops.

  6. #6
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! SoCal LabRat's Avatar
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    If you do use lowering links to take another 2" off its height, you will also need to take some inches out of your side stand. Getting it up on the centerstand will also be a chore, you will feel every pound of the weight of the bike doing so unless you roll the back tire on a 2x4 or something first.

    Atomicalex on this board actually reverted her factory lowered F650GS back to standard height. She can tell you what was involved with doing so, and may have good perspective on what you might need to think about if you decide to further lower it.

    You could also consider selling your G and getting the older (<=2007) factory lowered F650GS.
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  7. #7
    Thanks for the information! Although I don't have experience on street bikes beyond my MSF course so far, I do tend to corner fast on dirt and took that with me into the MSF course (I was yelled at for it, actually) so that might be something I may indeed have to take into consideration. I'm looking into what I can do about the seat, and have been seeing mixed reviews regarding some of the more popular aftermarket options for low seats. I'd like to get more information or anecdotes about the Sargent low options before I drop half a G on any of those though. I'm looking into upholstery and trim places to see what can be done to the stock seat (without making it impossible to sit on for longer than 10 minutes), but I'm open to suggestions or recommendations for places I can send the seat, if anyone has any!

    (And I'm not particularly good at walking in high heels, haha. I have insoles inside my boots that give me about another inch, but it's not nearly enough, alas!)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal LabRat View Post
    If you do use lowering links to take another 2" off its height, you will also need to take some inches out of your side stand. Getting it up on the centerstand will also be a chore, you will feel every pound of the weight of the bike doing so unless you roll the back tire on a 2x4 or something first.

    Atomicalex on this board actually reverted her factory lowered F650GS back to standard height. She can tell you what was involved with doing so, and may have good perspective on what you might need to think about if you decide to further lower it.

    You could also consider selling your G and getting the older (<=2007) factory lowered F650GS.
    Thanks-- I would like to avoid 2" lowering links, so I'm looking at what I can do in combination with the seat / 1" links to get it down that way, since there is no danger of bottoming out then. I have sat on the pre-2007 factory lowered F650 and could easily get both balls of my feet down, but I'd like to make it work with this bike before I resort to selling it just for the sake of putting my feet down. I'm also sure that once I gain confidence on the street and on the bike itself, I'll be able to ride it as it is, but in that "need-to-gain-confidence" period, I'm definitely looking to get it lower.

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    You shouldn't be riding on your bum all the time anyway if you're doing it right, you should be up on your toes more, whether they are on the pegs or the ground at the time.

  10. #10
    So, I took the bike for a spin yesterday. Upright, I can barely get the very tips of my toes on the ground. But I had a blast. The bike feels great and I'm in love with it! I learned two things: I definitely need a taller windshield, and I will not need to lower it as much as I thought. I'd figured this would be the case one I'd ridden it, and am glad it was true. I managed to negotiate all stops alright on my tiptoes. My husband rode with me on his Tenere to coach me and pick the bike up if anything happened, and nothing did. I also don't mind carving down the stock seat now because I think that thing is pretty high on the uncomfortable scale already, haha. I'd probably want to find something aftermarket before tackling any long trips, but that's a ways out regardless. I'm looking into the Sargent low though, to find out more about it. Does anyone have one? If so, what do you think of it?

    In any case, I feel a lot better about the situation now and I think I can get away with lowering it maybe an inch.

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