Inseam/ Seat Height / Lowering / Question for the Ladies - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question Inseam/ Seat Height / Lowering / Question for the Ladies

I have a height/weight question for the ladies here. I'm considering trading in my F800ST for a Versys 650 LT. The bikes have a height difference of about an inch. I am 5'6" and have a generous inseam (It's 31" or 32"). I can flatfoot my BMW when I'm in my boots. I'm pretty sure, on the Versys 650, I won't be able to get my heels on the ground, and that's OK.

Here's my question, assuming that the lady riders here have shorter inseams than mine: The Versys is going to be more top heavy than my BMW, which has the gas tank under the seat. When you're on your toes, did you find the top-heaviness overly challenging on the Versys? If not, awesome! If so, did you 1) deal with it, 2) opt for a lower seat, 3) opt for lowering the bike? Basically, I don't see a lot of ladies on this forum or riding this bike, and I'm trying to understand why. I also know that guys don't, necessarily, have the same issues we might WRT dealing with a top heavy bike, even if we are confident on our toes or the balls of our feet.



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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:45 PM
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 01:56 PM
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im not a female , but i have a 32" inseam and the motowerks lower kit on and i can flat foot both feet and have about an inch of gap inseam to seat,

yes im a guy.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 02:46 PM
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What is it about the Versys that is drawing you to it despite the height and weight issues you might have to overcome? I personally don't understand people buying bikes that they are going to have a challenge handling on perfect terrain, nevermind uneven terrain. What are you going to do when you stop at an intersection and there is a dip in the road where you want to put your foot?

People should stick with bikes that are within their strength and height limits. Just my opinion, but bikes are dangerous enough without adding additional challenges.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 03:12 PM
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Take seat height measurements with a grain of salt. You've really got to sit on one (and preferably ride it, too)to see if it'll be OK for you. Obviously, rear shocks and seats sag when you sit on them, and preload affects it a little bit, too, so a published difference of 1" may end up being either quite a bit more or less than you're used to. As for top-heaviness, to me, the Versys' CG feels very low, but I'm coming off many years of riding inline 4s, which are top-heavy by design.

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 03:16 PM
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I have a 29" inseam (not a lady) and lowered mine strictly for easier traffic control. Other than that I would've kept the tip-toe stance.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 07:33 PM
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When I test rode it I had no problem with the weight and I think you will like it. I have not bought one I am debating on this and the NC 700x. The NC gets better gas millage then the versys and I will not be going off road with it.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by txcyclist View Post
I have a height/weight question for the ladies here. I'm considering trading in my F800ST for a Versys 650 LT. The bikes have a height difference of about an inch. I am 5'6" and have a generous inseam (It's 31" or 32"). I can flatfoot my BMW when I'm in my boots. I'm pretty sure, on the Versys 650, I won't be able to get my heels on the ground, and that's OK.

Here's my question, assuming that the lady riders here have shorter inseams than mine: The Versys is going to be more top heavy than my BMW, which has the gas tank under the seat. When you're on your toes, did you find the top-heaviness overly challenging on the Versys? If not, awesome! If so, did you 1) deal with it, 2) opt for a lower seat, 3) opt for lowering the bike? Basically, I don't see a lot of ladies on this forum or riding this bike, and I'm trying to understand why. I also know that guys don't, necessarily, have the same issues we might WRT dealing with a top heavy bike, even if we are confident on our toes or the balls of our feet.


Probably the reason you do not see a lot of female riders on the forum is because of the initial seat height of the bike, although there have been a few very active female riders on the forum from time to time. There will be a noticeable increase in CG (center of gravity) with any taller bike although you quickly adapt to it and it is not even noticeable above 10mph. I would consider lowering the bike 1inch with a lowering kit (Speedy's lowering kit @ ~$100) and also dropping the forks 1 inch to match the rear if you are much under a 32in inseam. Also do not forget to adjust suspension preload and damping for your weight as this makes a big difference. Lowering the bike will also noticeably lower the CG. I have a 32inch inseam and prefer the bike at it's standard height although I've experienced it lowered too as it initially came in a lowered state. I can just flat foot the bike with a 32in inseam. Most taller bikes slope the seat downward at the front as well as make it narrower there to make it easier to reach the ground. If you find your self sliding forward in the seat while riding it could be because you need to move the bars back. There are lot's of aftermarket options for this.

Also I highly recommend investing in a set of SW-Motech engine bars to protect the bike and your leg when you tip it over on it's side - something we all do from time to time, particularly with taller bikes. They will pay for themselves in prevented damage and saved cursing.

Last edited by twowheels; 02-07-2018 at 09:54 PM.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 08:00 AM
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Not a lady, but I do have a 32" inseam and my heels in my riding boots are just off the ground where my legs naturally fall. This also happens to be exactly where the pegs are located. If I move my feet in front or behind the pegs, I can flat foot. I also have a bad shoulder that is not nearly as strong as my other. This creates a disadvantage in strength, but it poses no problems handling the bike as far as top heaviness applies. The ladies' mileage may vary.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all. I've been keeping my eye on a new, previous year model, and an eye on the weather to find a Saturday without a soaking rain on which I can swing by and check it out. I know what my options are for lowering, and I was hoping some ladies might give me their personal experiences with them. Depending on how my seat test and test ride go, it sounds like lowering the bike, or getting a low seat might be my best options.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by txcyclist View Post
I have a height/weight question for the ladies here. I'm considering trading in my F800ST for a Versys 650 LT. The bikes have a height difference of about an inch. I am 5'6" and have a generous inseam (It's 31" or 32"). I can flatfoot my BMW when I'm in my boots. I'm pretty sure, on the Versys 650, I won't be able to get my heels on the ground, and that's OK.

Here's my question, assuming that the lady riders here have shorter inseams than mine: The Versys is going to be more top heavy than my BMW, which has the gas tank under the seat. When you're on your toes, did you find the top-heaviness overly challenging on the Versys? If not, awesome! If so, did you 1) deal with it, 2) opt for a lower seat, 3) opt for lowering the bike? Basically, I don't see a lot of ladies on this forum or riding this bike, and I'm trying to understand why. I also know that guys don't, necessarily, have the same issues we might WRT dealing with a top heavy bike, even if we are confident on our toes or the balls of our feet.


My inseam is about 31" and I'm about 180# BEFORE putting on my gear (ATGATT EVERY ride), and after I "set the sag" properly (around 45mm), once the bike 'settles' I am very close to flat-footing, tho' I can ONLY touch my toes until it settles....

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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When I test rode it I had no problem with the weight and I think you will like it. I have not bought one I am debating on this and the NC 700x. The NC gets better gas millage then the versys and I will not be going off road with it.
From what I understand, the NC 700X is a very tame ride compared to the Versys (and just about every other bike). Also, with the gas cap under the pillion seat, I figured fill ups while on trips would be a pain, because I usually have some kind of luggage bungied back there. Those are the reasons I'm considering the Versys so much. Have you test ridden the NC, and if so, what did you think?
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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My inseam is about 31" and I'm about 180# BEFORE putting on my gear (ATGATT EVERY ride), and after I "set the sag" properly (around 45mm), once the bike 'settles' I am very close to flat-footing, tho' I can ONLY touch my toes until it settles....
That's very good to know, and very helpful. Now I get to learn how to set all that stuff.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Not a lady, but I do have a 32" inseam and my heels in my riding boots are just off the ground where my legs naturally fall. This also happens to be exactly where the pegs are located. If I move my feet in front or behind the pegs, I can flat foot. I also have a bad shoulder that is not nearly as strong as my other. This creates a disadvantage in strength, but it poses no problems handling the bike as far as top heaviness applies. The ladies' mileage may vary.
When I get one, I'll let you know how this lady feels about the top heaviness.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:18 PM
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Not sure if this video will help but I think in it she talks about her height vs the height of the Versys as she does a review of it...


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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Brate. I actually watched that video, and some of her others in which she's riding. That's one reason why I wanted to talk to other ladies, since she does mention parking challenges, and the height and weight. I was hoping to get additional details. Sounds like, maybe, either lowering it or getting a low seat might be the way to go for me.

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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 11:11 AM
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From what I understand, the NC 700X is a very tame ride compared to the Versys (and just about every other bike). Also, with the gas cap under the pillion seat, I figured fill ups while on trips would be a pain, because I usually have some kind of luggage bungied back there. Those are the reasons I'm considering the Versys so much. Have you test ridden the NC, and if so, what did you think?
I did test the NC 700, and besides the low revving, the gas cap location was a definite DO NOT BUY for me.



BTW - how much do you weigh?

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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 05:55 PM
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What is it about the Versys that is drawing you to it despite the height and weight issues you might have to overcome? I personally don't understand people buying bikes that they are going to have a challenge handling on perfect terrain, nevermind uneven terrain. What are you going to do when you stop at an intersection and there is a dip in the road where you want to put your foot?

People should stick with bikes that are within their strength and height limits. Just my opinion, but bikes are dangerous enough without adding additional challenges.
Because some of us with shorter inseams do not want to ride cruisers, that's why. As a woman rider, unless I wanted to decrease the ground clearance by lowering the bike, I learned to deal with it. Especially on the race track, I do not want to compromise ground clearance. It's rare I can flat-foot a bike, but I've been riding for 30 years and you learn techniques and how to deal with it.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 06:00 PM
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I'm a woman rider with a 31-32 inch inseam. As someone else mentioned, the pegs are right below where you want to put your foot down. I've always ridden sportbikes, so it's rare I've flat-footed any bike I've owned. That being said, the Versys is tall, particularly when you add in the foot peg placement. It's not too bad. I had lowered it with Speedy's link, then I could flat-foot it. However, I removed the link and opted to lower it a bit less with Hyperpro springs/ raising the forks. Instead of the nearly 2 inch lowering with Speedy's link, it's now about an inch lower. Most every bike I've owned has had a 32" seat height. The Versys, at 33, while I could have managed, I figured I'd drop it to a height I've been comfortable with. The balls of my feet are on the ground and that's not a problem for me. I like the way the Versys handles, it satisfies the sporty riding urge, but, unlike my sportbikes, the seating position is comfortable for all day riding.

Additionally, Sargent makes a low seat for it. I opted for the regular seat, as the low seat has less foam. Might still be comfortable for long trips. I've had good luck with Sargent seats on multiple bikes.

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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 07:51 AM
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Because some of us with shorter inseams do not want to ride cruisers, that's why. As a woman rider, unless I wanted to decrease the ground clearance by lowering the bike, I learned to deal with it. Especially on the race track, I do not want to compromise ground clearance. It's rare I can flat-foot a bike, but I've been riding for 30 years and you learn techniques and how to deal with it.
There are other options than cruisers out there. I would say staying as light as possible is a good option. Also lower CG bikes is a good option. My FZ-07 is 400 lbs wet and sits lower than the Versys, but also has a nice seat. Standards like the Bonneville, Honda CBs, Ducati Scrambler are more compact.

Saw a lady once wearing custom made platform boots so she could touch the ground. She used a heel-toe shifter which is the only way she would be able to shift. All was fine until the stopped bike got a little off center and fell over on her leg. Good thing she was wearing leather pants or she would have had a nasty burn.


...and 31-32 inch inseam is not short. With riding boots on you should have no trouble touching down. Do you have the static sag set up correctly?

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