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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm wondering if I should lower the bike, but I'm concerned about the effect on the handling.

My feet touch the ground flat. That's not an issue. I can't move the bike to park it (the pull forward, back into a spot way). I won't park with the rest of the bikes, or my husband will park it. I also can't move it in my garage.

A few people have told me to lower it, but I have resisted this.

Since I still have my Harley, I'm going to trade it for either an R3 or an Indian Scout (both of which I can move) so at least I can ride by myself.

Opinions on lowering the FZ?
 

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given peg position stock id be loath to lower it if you like cornering.. I haven't taken possession yet but rear sets are already on my shopping list, my 01 is taller and i touch pegs on that..

guessing coming off Harley cornering is not going to be as big an issue perhaps though.
 

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Jen, I lowered mine almost a year ago I think. I'm and old guy, I weigh about 215 with gear on. stock suspension about 2 steps down from max preload. I have 28 inch inseam. I have some posts about what I did to lower my bike. I bought Soupy's lowering links which I thought lowered it too much. Then made a pair of links that lowered it less and they have been on the bike ever since. I also made my kick stand adjustable for any height I need which was handy when the new tires went on. I often ride the 20 mile loop twisty road around our local lake at what I think is a fun pace. My chicken strips are just over 1/2 inch on my Pilot power 3 on the rear. I have yet to drag a peg and do not scrap over speed bumps if I go slow. And my oil plug has no marks on it. I also turn it off, bump it in neutral and find it the best way to sit on it and move it around the garage. My seat is the Seat Concepts Carbon flavor. That's about all the relevant details for you to compare with your setup.

good luck in your search for confident footing.
 

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your bike your choice, but stock height already bottoms out on speedbumps, so my opinion is don't. I don't understand how you can touch flat footed and are not able to move the bike, its super light, im thinking this is a poor technique thing.
 

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Jen, I don't know what your technique is. So, please forgive me if you've tried this.
I'm 5'8" and weighed about 165# when I bought a new GL1800. There was no way I could hold up and push/pull a 900+ pound bike around the driveway with just my arm strength.
So, I learned to lean the bike slightly toward me and put a hip into it for support. That way, I could use my legs to push the bike a bit while using my arms to guide it with the bars. Forward was still a bit more upper body. But, backing up was a breeze. It worked well and I never dropped that huge beast. I now employ a similar technique on the Super Tenere. In contrast, the FZ09 feels like I'm moving a Schwinn! =)
 

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I ^^ agree leaning the bike on your hip and it gives you more control with the balance point. I had to learn this the hard way on a dirt bike in the mud it gets stuck you have to push hard to get it out. Once you push it past the balance point to hard you fall on the
bike not only does it hurt but on a street bike something is going to break.
 

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i'd be very concerned about the oil pan given the issues some members have already had - you're likely a much lighter rider than most of us Jen so i doubt you're truly maxing the suspension out in anyway - but that damn oil pan drain bolt is low....
 

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Jen,
If you can ride it comfortably and can reach the ground comfortably while sitting on the bike, you should NOT lower the bike. That will change the handling.

I suggest instead that you focus on why you feel you can't move the bike around and address ways to solve that.

Just as an observation, don't know if this applies to you, but many women I have mentored as they begin riding motorcycles are afraid of dropping their motorcycle and this undermines a lot of their confidence. The issue for most is they are afraid they might not be able to pick their bike back up, if they drop it. So the solution is to teach them how to pick up their bike.

There is no reason anyone that has a reasonably healthy back can't pick-up a motorcycle.

Check out these videos of small women picking up motorcycles:






 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
your bike your choice, but stock height already bottoms out on speedbumps, so my opinion is don't. I don't understand how you can touch flat footed and are not able to move the bike, its super light, im thinking this is a poor technique thing.
I'm like 115 lbs. Try being female, not being huge, and moving this bike. You are stronger than me. Four hundred pounds if you are like 100 pounds is a lot of weight. I've never had the bike bottom out. I can move a Ninja 300 or a Suzuki s40, but not this thing. I can also move the 500 lb Indian Scout. My inseam is 29 1/2 so with boots, my feet are just flat.

I can't support a bike leaned against me.

I'm not afraid of dropping my bike. I don't drop bikes but I'm sure at some point it's going to go over and I will ask some guy to pick it up (you people are really nice like that!) If i did, I couldn't pick it up because I do have back issues after getting rear ended twice in my car while I was stopped, so I have a herniated disk. Thanks for the videos though.

I love the FZ, just can't move it.

Why are people able to lower the super sports so much but not the FZ? I saw an R6 earlier today that was lowered by a few inches. I've seen a bunch of the SS bikes lowered. Are the oil pans in a different location etc?
 

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even if your bike is lower, you'd still have to pick up the same amount of weight - i get that you just want to mitigate the risk of dumping it due to its ride height but I think that uneasy feeling is more rooted in your familiarity with cruisers and their low ride height over anything else.

My buddy has been riding harleys for 15 years - he's a good rider but he feels very uncomfortable on my bike (and felt the same on my SV650). Naked bikes are all i've known so it's a much different experience for someone like me - i actually feel more awkward trying to walk a cruiser than i do our bike. I think lowering the bike further and changing of those ergonomics would do more harm than good but YMMV.
 

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I'm 5'6" 70 kg and have one leg an inch shorter than the other.I can't get my feet flat on the ground.I also have a GSF 1250 and I'm really on tippy toes on that one.
I can paddle the 09 around on flat ground.If I need to move it in conditions that I can't get enough traction to paddle it,I get off and wheel it with the stand down,leaning it against me slightly.
I realise this may be difficult for you,women do not have the upper body strength of men and a back problem will make that worse.
What no one has mentioned yet is that high bars make it even harder.You might consider lower bars.
I would only lower the suspension as a last resort.Even then it may not help much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
even if your bike is lower, you'd still have to pick up the same amount of weight - i get that you just want to mitigate the risk of dumping it due to its ride height but I think that uneasy feeling is more rooted in your familiarity with cruisers and their low ride height over anything else.

My buddy has been riding harleys for 15 years - he's a good rider but he feels very uncomfortable on my bike (and felt the same on my SV650). Naked bikes are all i've known so it's a much different experience for someone like me - i actually feel more awkward trying to walk a cruiser than i do our bike. I think lowering the bike further and changing of those ergonomics would do more harm than good but YMMV.
I'm not worried about dropping the bike!!!

I can't park it!! That's the problem. I have my husband park it unless I don't park with everyone. I can't pull forward and back into a spot.

It's not a huge issue. I love the bike. I just look ridiculous 'cause I can't move it, but it is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You don't have to yell :(
You guys think I can't ride and it's so frustrating- not being able to move the bike has turned into me being afraid to drop it or my "bad technique."

I do appreciate those of you who are giving me advice about the pros and cons of lowering it. Thank you for that.
 

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Jesus - take it easy. I apologize i didnt read every single post here - i obviously read the wrong one to comment on. I've never seen you ride and given i've only been riding for 4 years - i'm not in a position to call myself an expert or judge others for that matter.

Not being able to park a bike but being able to have your feet touch the ground is not a common problem based on my experience. My point was that the bike weighs the same regardless of how high or low it is, if your feet touch the ground, i'm not sure what even lower ride height would net you - it's still the same bulbous piece of metal you have to maneuver. Praticing in a parking lot may be the best way to just get more antiquated with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I can move my other bikes, just not this one. I can move my Harley or the Shadow or anything else I've ever been on except for this bike. It's also the tallest bike. I just wanted to know if people have lowered this bike since I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. That's it. People get lowering links all the time for sport bikes. You are lucky you have never had this issue.

Giraffes have purple tongues. I can't deal with this anymore. That's a more pleasant topic. Have a good day, Beck, I'm going to the gym.
 

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If you lower the bike, make sure you do it right. Remember any change in height front or rear will upset the geometry and center of gravity. handling will either to difficult to steer or too sensitive. If you lower the bike, as long as the geometry and center of gravity remains balanced you can maintain good stability and handling characteristics.

This may be overkill for you, but the Suspact software can aide you in figuring out how to easily balance the lowered bike before you lower it.

They have the FZ-09 in their database.

http://www.suspact.com
 

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How about a custom seat? If you had even 1/2" taken off the seat height you may find the room you need to walk the bike a bit easier while straddling it.
 
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