My lowering dilemma - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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My lowering dilemma

I'm 5'9" with a 31" inseam and I never really thought that I needed a lowering kit until I leveled the stock seat and installed an Alaska Leather Sheepskin Buttpad. This raised my seating position probably close to an inch while also pushing back into the wider part of the seat. This was just enough to make it a little precarious at my height. I ride dirt bikes so I am pretty comfortable on a tall bike but I felt like it was just a matter of time before I knocked over or dropped the bike because it was a little too tall for me.

So I installed a Speedys lowering kit (very well made btw) and can now pretty much flat foot at the proper suspension preload. The bike has lost its quick agile dirt bike feeling and rides more like my old SV650, you know more street bike like. It also has lost that supermoto tall bike look, which is one of the things I love about the bike. I don't plan on riding this bike much off road as I already have DRZ400 for that so I don't really need a tall bike. I like the better street handling the lowering kit provides and being able to have more control of the bike at a stop. I miss the better vision the taller bike provides however.

I guess my dilemma is that I really want the best of both worlds. I would like to be lower than I was but not as much as I am now. My thoughts are that I have two options, and neither is cheap. I can either get a different spring/shock that is just slightly shorter than stock or I can get a different seat. Anyone have any other ideas (cheaper hopefully) that could lower a stock bike only about an inch??

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:00 AM
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DR did you raise the front forks in the triple clamps also to match the rear? That would possibly explain some of the loss of handling. We are almost the same size at 5' 9'' and 32" inseam. I don't know what a stock Versys feels like because mine came lowered when purchased used. I feel the bike carves in the twisities with the lowering kit, albeit compared to a Sportster most bikes are going to feel very nimble to me!

How does it feel height-wise w/o the sheepskin pad?

Last edited by bearcat; 05-26-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:40 AM
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You can get a hyperpro lowering spring which might do the job you need.

2008 Kawasaki Versys 650
2007 Kawasaki Versys 650
2006 Honda CBF 600 - sold
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:56 AM
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Being able to flat foot both feet is overrated. One foot on the ground, and one foot on the peg is all you need at the stoplights.

I'm 5-10 and 30in inseam and while the bike is tall (nothing like my 2009 KTM 450 though, that thing is a skyscraper) it's not worth lowering in my opinion. I used to lower my bikes, but I feel your compromising the ride too much by doing so, with the possible exception of getting the shock cut to reduce the height. Every other solution is a sacrifice in my opinion. Put a few thousand miles on it, and you'll get used to it.. maybe not the answer you were looking for, but just thought I would encourage you to just say no to lowering.. it gets easier and you gain more confidence the more you ride it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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With it lowered with the Speedy's kit and the front forks raised .75" I lose the quickness in the steering. However once turned in it feels more more stable, probably because of the lower center of gravity. I'm pretty sure I am taking the lowering kit off as it is just too low for my tastes. I'll probably just take off the sheepskin for my daily commute and that will probably get me by for now. I'll put back on the sheepskin for the long rides as it really makes by butt happy. Ultimately I'll probably get a Baldwin seat that is lowered an inch.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 02:30 PM
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You can also get it lower by unstapling the front part of the seat cover, remove all the foam, and replace it with the gel pad from a Walmart auto gel-seat pad. It's more comfortable than stock and over an inch lower...all for about $20.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 01:09 AM
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I went from stock, to speedies lowering kit and foot peg lowering blocks and a Corbin seat.
IMO changing direction in corners has improved as well as the feel of the rear suspention. I have mine set as soft as it goes. I wish I could lower the front more as it still feels high. The view wasn't a big loss for me but I think one way to gain it back would be to raise the handlebars with a riser. That might gain the inch back in the upper body that is lost in the suspention.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 12:19 PM
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I'm 5'7", 29" inseam. I bought the bike with the OEM low gel seat. Even with a roho airhawk the seat height is ok for me. I cannot flat foot it but it works.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 01:42 PM
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I lowered my V the other day with Speedy's kit. I like it alot. I like being able to flat foot the bike. It seems more stable, especially two up. I owned a KLX250SF prior to the V. THAT bike was quick and nimble. The V of course is a different bike. It's no supermoto. I like that it is more stable in turns. I feel I can throw it over more than I could before lowering it, and feel more confident in the turns.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 02:01 PM
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Ok, this may not be he greatest idea, but here goes...
You can get riding boots that have a 3/4"-1" heel. Yes this will effect your ability to get under the shifter. So, use the peg lowering kit to fit your foot under the lever. I don't flat foot either (5'-10" - 32" inseam) I lean a little to one side at a stop to get one down flat and my other foot on the rear brake. This let's me have my hands free to scratch those places I can't reach while moving...
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 06:20 PM
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Hmmm... I lowered the bike and just raised the seat. Same dilemma. liked the stock look of the bike and appreciated the sharp handling, but sometimes felt it was a bit too high, and as it's not a dirt bike there didn't seem to be a compelling reason why. I ordered Speedy's kit- beautiful, prompt, clear install instructions. I like the bike with the lowering kit on it, handling seems more neutral and it just fits me better. As the kit lowers the back more than the front it took most of the slope out of the seat too, which is awesome. I just added some foam to the stock seat to try to get a bit more ass comfort, and also a touch less knee bend.
I too am on minimum preload with the stock shock, and someday may try an aftermarket spring or shock. This is the place for the good ideas.
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