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Lowering (no choice)

Old 04-18-2005, 03:41 PM
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Lowering (no choice)

Hello everyone. I'm new to this group. I just traded-in my Kawasaki Ninja 500R 2003 for an '05 Hawk (yay!) It has 1 mile on it, which is supercool. Paid MSRP, which is fine with me, and the Ninja good paid-off.

Because I'm 5'6" and my inseam is 30" or so, I had to have the bike lowered. Now I'm aware there's kits out there, lengthening the dogbone and whatnot. The place I took it to does something with the suspension without hardenning or softenning it, I'm not really sure, as when I lowered my Ninja 500R, I just let the forks top-out to the risers (they don't go thru the triple-clamp like most bikes) by about 3mm and got a slightly shorter rear tire (about 3mm).

Seems he's going to attempt to lower it up to 2" for me. Since the clearance of the bike is, I believe, 5.1 inches, I lose 40% of the height, and then, I believe, 40% of the possible lean-angle?

Is this correct? I haven't taken geometry in some time. (21 years).
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Old 04-18-2005, 03:51 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

I just noticed I was ranked as "squid" for a user and I'll have you know I wear COMPLETE gear, thank you very much! 8)
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:26 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

You should be ale to drop the triple tree down on the fron fork tubes 1/4" (5mm) or maybe a little more, i don't know of much in the rear other than the dog bone mode you mentioned. a friend of mine did the fork and dog bone mod on his bandit and is very happy. He is about your height.

I wouldn't buy a corbin seat as this seat actually raises you back up a little higher, don't know about the Sargent seat.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:30 AM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

Apparently he adjusted the "suspension linkage". I've been a rider for quite a bit but I've actually never heard of this technique. I've heard of dogbone kits and triple-clamp lowering by about an inch or so, or even smaller tires, but not his way.

I found the bike handled exactly the same as new, not better or worse, which is unusual. He did not adjust the preload but left it the same. Suspension felt good.

What are the pros and cons of his method?
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:43 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

I always thought that if you dropped the front down that the bike would be more prone to tank slapping?

Changing the bike's geometry scares the hell out of me.

BTW - Im 5' 9" with a 31" inseam (short legs, long body) and feel alright on the bike. I lean over a little bit at stop lights, no biggie. What about some heavy soled boots with a thick insole?
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:23 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

Well, I've ridden the bike about 50 some-odd miles now in the last 24 hours in heavy Denver non-highway traffic, reaching speeds of 60mph in spurts, never going over 4k rpms as I generally don't need to anyway.

Apparently he adjusted the linkage in the suspension and lowered the bike 2 inches without adjusting the front forks whatsoever. Again, I've never heard of this but the suspension softness was not sacrificed somehow, and the front forks don't protrude out the triple clamp whatsoever. Geometry was not changed except bike is lower. Amazing.

Today we re-shortened the kickstand by cutting it and (I think it was called something like mid-weld) it back. Worked amazingly good and praised the guy for his skill.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:34 AM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

Maybe he just cut the springs down? Hawk Hottie should hear about this mod as she was asking specifically about it. She's 5' 2". You think you have a short inseam.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:40 AM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

well, there is no magic - he must've had cut not springs, but spacers in front forks.
That would change static sag, but will not change stifness - preload of spring does not make it harder or softer, it'll just change sag.
At rear if you adjust preload it'll give same effect, or of course he could've changed one of links.
I think it actually easier to drop forks, as it gives you "relatively" higher position of clipons - bike drops, but clipons staying at same height.

I am 5.6...I don't know abut inseem but I am definitely not long legged
I have raised tail and improved suspension by using 4-way adjustable shock and also dropped Hyperpro springs in front without dropping forks.
As result my Hawk is as quick to turn as my previous Hornet 600 (599 is a new version of it in US?) and comfy...no tank slappers.
Changing geometry in such small range not a problem, Kawasaki for example even selling shims for rear shock of their sports to adjust height...
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:51 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

Thanks guys for the info!
This bike is certainly under rated! Wow. I've had a few bikes before this over the years: Honda CBR 450 (1972), Suzuki Katana 600, Ninja 250, Ninja 500. This SuperHawk handles almost as quick as the Ninja 250 with infinity more power and nice happy low torque.

I've noticed the plastics and overall feel seem far more professional than the Ninja 500 which seems "kiddy" in comparison and cheaply built. It's so confident in the turns whereas the Ninja500 would slip-out low-side (or start to) if pushed, even with aftermarket tires under higher speeds. It's like the SuperHawk asks, "Oh, you want to go that way at that angle? Sure, no problem!" Amazing.

I really don't see why anyone would buy anything else. How could another bike be so smooth? 0-60 is "nuthin'" and the V-Twin vibration is only barely noticable in the tank and not the handlebars whatsoever or the seat. It's so tame a vibration to anything else, and more of a warm throb than a spazzy vibration. Great counterbalancing on Honda's part.

The bike is a little slippery when it's wet out, but that could be a lot of things, like the oils from the road coming out after a long dry spell here in Denver, or my tires are brand-spankin' new and haven't been scuffed enough yet. Anyone ride in wet alot that can attest to better traction after break-in?

This forum is fantastic and WAY better than Ninja 500 forums.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:07 PM
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Re: Lowering (no choice)

dear mike,
traction in wet weather with our types of motorcycle is called your other form of transportation! i have worn dunlop 208s and they slip if pushed beyond any thing less than very easy in wet or cold weather. good luck and ride safe!
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