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Thread: Further lowering a factory lowered G650 GS

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! shonuff's Avatar
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    The flatfooted vs tiptoe/tripod argument comes up fairly regularly here. As someone who can't even flatfoot a 250 Ninja, I've learned to be comfortable doing the ballerina toe point thing. Even on 2-up goldwing. It just time and practice to become comfortable with it.
    SHONUFF

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  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    As SoCal LabRat mentioned, I'm the resident BMW-single nerd. Mine is a 2004/2006/2001/2005 bike. Started as a 2004 in Germany with factory low suspension, got an engine transplant from a 2006, a frame from a 2001 US bike so I could register it here, and is now riding on normal height suspension from a 2005. So I do have quite a bit of experience with these things and am happy to comment and help as needed. If you really get stuck, please PM me and we can call.

    A few odds and ends....

    1. Get a 50# sack of rice or rocks or something and leave it on the seat overnight when you are not riding. The Showa shocks will settle and/or extend over time, depending on how they are loaded. So if you are riding daily, the bike will actually "live" lower than if you are riding not as often. I found this incredibly odd when I was screwing around with my bike. I would set it up and be like "oh, damn, that's tall", and 50 miles later, back to earth. It has to do with how BMW designed the adjustable preload. Not a negative, but it can be a surprise. I would say this accounts for at least 1cm of ride height for my current setup, if not up to an inch. So if I spend a week on the Sherpa, I come back to a BMW that has magically grown up to an inch. This is the same for both suspensions I have run on this bike.

    2. Preload!! Did you reduce it to all the way soft? Crank it down as low as it will go. Invariably when I put a new shock in, preload has to go to zero. Then it's start bringing it back up slowly as the shock settles. If I'm off the bike for a week or two, back down. Then back up. Thank goodness for that stupid knob. Then put a bag of rocks on the seat.

    3. My personal opinion is don't lower the chassis any more. Work on the seat. Over on f650.com, low seats are plentiful and usually in the $125 range. Grab a spare seat and hack away at it. Remove foam from the SIDES/EDGES, not the middle. This will allow your legs to go more straight down, instead of trying to curve around the wide, but comfy seat.

    4. Look into a pair of Daytona Lady Pilot GTX or Lady Star GTX boots. An excellent touring boot with 6cm of inside heel and sole. Pricey, but I have never heard a single complaint about Daytona boots. They are a boot for life.

    Have fun!! It's such a great and often overlooked bike. People think of big GSs, and forget that the baby ones are the fun ones!
    Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
    2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

  3. #13
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    If you don't have a 50# bag of rocks handy, you could probably make do with a motorcycle tie-down and rig that to compress the suspension over-night

  4. #14
    RiderCoach Wannabe 4000 Posts! Chench53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trials View Post
    ... how good are you at walking on high heels?

    From another who is just under 5' tall - High heels put you in a tip-toe position. Yes, you get more 'sole' on the ground, but you're still tip toe, and if you're not comfortable tippy toeing, make sure to take time to get comfortable with it.

    Gerry
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  5. #15
    Thanks for the tips! Atomicalex, are you in Detroit now? I'm also in lower MI (around Ann Arbor area).

    The preload was the first thing I went for, and it was already all the way soft when I picked it up from the dealership. As mentioned in my "okay I rode it!" post, the bike is definitely rideable for me, and even over the course of just one ride I got a lot more comfortable tiptoeing it. I'm learning a number of new things about having a larger, taller, heavier bike (I'm used to throwing around a 170lb dirtbike, and the bikes in the MSF course were GZ 250s). I don't have the reach to stand it upright off the sidestand when it's fully fueled and I'm on it without seriously riding the struggle bus. I have no standover on this bike, but I could get it off the sidestand astride it when it was dry at the dealer. But if I stand it up and then get on and put the kickstand up, I'm fine. I can live with that! I can get the very tips of my toes down at stops, and can walk it a bit on flat pavement. More practice will get me more comfortable, so I'm less concerned about the height than I was initially. Still wary of the big hills crowned with stop signs on my commute though (especially if traffic is lined up down the hill), but I plan to get a lot more practice in before attempting them. Our driveway has a hill that I can practice starting and stopping on, fortunately.

    Since I'm always on my toes on this bike, heels aren't going to do me a whole lot of good unless they are seriously stacked, and any kind of heels in general remove sensation from my foot, which I don't like. I do need to get proper boots though; the boots I have now have high tread, and can get a little caught on the pegs. :/ I've heard good things about the Daytonas. They are pricey, yes, but maybe if I ask for them for the holidays from my family... haha.

    I was going to send the stock seat to get carved by an upholstery and trim place that does motorcycle seats, but if you think I could snag a spare and do it myself, I'm totally willing to try that instead! It won't be as pretty, but might be cheaper.

  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmai View Post
    ..... maybe if I ask for them for the holidays from my family... haha.
    ....
    Seriously. The absolute best way to get gear and farkles! Order it yourself and collect the funds from others. That's my M.O.
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  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmai View Post
    Thanks for the tips! Atomicalex, are you in Detroit now? I'm also in lower MI (around Ann Arbor area).
    Let's ride!! I'm in Troy. We could meet at the dealer in Plymouth and drink their coffee and chat up Audrey and then do Hines Dr and then a bit of gravel if you want, or ride out your way to Irish Hills.

    BTW - I need to learn the stand it up and get on thing. I have the luxury of some legs, and am lazy. I'll want to watch this in action.

    f650.com is the place to go to look for cheap used seats.
    Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
    2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

  8. #18
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! liberpolly's Avatar
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    Just trade it in for Honda Grom, both you and the next owner will be happier

    (Accidentally, googling for G650GS brought me back here. Hi everybody!)
    "The better you're prepared, the luckier you get".

  9. #19
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    I sat on a Grom last week - first the dealer had gotten in that wasn't sold before it arrived. Probably gone now. Far too small for me. Handlebar hits my knees well before the steering lock.

    Doesn't mean I have decided to not buy one.... Handlebars are adjustable!
    Jeff

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