Any downside to lowering my 2009 Versys - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Any downside to lowering my 2009 Versys

I am thinking about lowering my Versys. I'm just under 6 feet tall and don't have trouble getting feet on the ground at stops, but with the Seat Concepts seat, it is a bit hard to get on the bike. Just getting stiffer in my senior years. I've done some searches and cannot really find any reason not to do it. Has anyone lowered their Versys and gone back to stock? if so, why? Thanks
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 06:10 AM
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- Smaller pegs clearance, you'll be scraping them more in turns (unless you're a relaxed rider)
- Generally lower clearance might make it more stressful to negotiate tall curbs
- If you only lower the rear and leave the front as is you'll alter the geometry, effectively increasing rake and thus reducing nimbleness and turn-in speed, perhaps also other unintended behaviors (due to the suspension now working in a slightly different way than designed)
- Combined with the increased rake, the lower center of gravity might mean you'll need more force on the bars to initiate turns

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 06:21 AM
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You'll need to lower the fork tubes in the front to maintain handling. You'll also need to adjust preload and damping in the rear as these will change with the lowering link installed due to a change in the shock angle wrt the swingarm. The stock Versys has so much ground clearance that lowered, the bike still has enough clearance for cornering hard. Do not shorten your kick stand, you'll probably find the stock kickstand is fine with the bike lowered. You'll find the bike leans faster when lowered and the center of gravity of the bike is also lower.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 09:42 AM
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I bought and installed that lowering knuckle for the rear shock, and then lowered the front by an inch.

Not a professional racer - so I didn't notice any difference in handling.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 10:55 AM
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When i lowered my 09 i also did the forks then after about 2 weeks put the forks back to the stock position. Liked the bike much better that way.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 11:07 AM
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I find it handles better lowered. It's probably just the slightly lower center of gravity I feel. regardless, I certainly didn't find any drawback to it.

I lowered the front as much as possible, which isn't too much past an inch. I was concerned since the front couldn't be lowered enough to match the rear, that it might slow up the turn in, or feel less stable, but if anything I think the opposite is true. It turns in really nice and feels quite stable.

If you ride really aggressively, the reduced peg clearance could be an issue, but it hasn't been for me.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 01:16 PM
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mines lowered and i see no problem with it unless you NEED that extra 1.3 inches of ground clearance, the change in foot pegs VS. lean angle is irrelevant

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 01:54 PM
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After 7 years of riding at the stock height, I lowered mine, front and rear. I like it lower. The only downside is the "look" of the right side of the bike. The rear shock is no longer "in-line" with the swing arm and frame. That visual line is interrupted by the discontinuity of the "lowering link", because it moves the lower shock mount out of line with the frame. But, I'm getting used to the look...
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 03:30 PM
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Any downside to lowering my 2009 Versys

Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
When i lowered my 09 i also did the forks then after about 2 weeks put the forks back to the stock position. Liked the bike much better that way.

And here I find myself agreeing with weljo. I lowered just the rear of my bike mainly to have a better angle for the seat so I wouldn't slide toward the tank. I have not had any problems in the twisties or any other handling problems. I have found it very satisfactory. I would not even think of going back to stock. And also lowered my foot pegs with motoWerks peg lowering kit. I am much happier with all the changes over the stock bike. You can always change the front forks from stock to lowered or vice versa at any time and see how you like both positions. I just like mine the way it is so much that I don't even want to try lowering the front forks.




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Last edited by E327; 09-21-2015 at 03:33 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I knew about lowering the front, but this is the first I've heard about leaving the front stock. Interesting.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 12:06 PM
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I would also suggest to do the kick stand....I found that the angle could be a bit iffy depending on where you park your bike.

I have not had mine that long, and I am a short guy, but I also have a bit of battle damage and it was a bit hard for me getting on and off the bike....lower I am actually starting to like the bike.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 01:28 PM
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I lowered mine - front and rear - and replaced the kickstand with a Ninja 650 kickstand that I found on eBay for $20. I works better than the V kickstand (up, down, standing, angle).
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 03:56 PM
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And here I find myself agreeing with weljo. I lowered just the rear of my bike mainly to have a better angle for the seat so I wouldn't slide toward the tank. I have not had any problems in the twisties or any other handling problems. I have found it very satisfactory. I would not even think of going back to stock. And also lowered my foot pegs with motoWerks peg lowering kit. I am much happier with all the changes over the stock bike. You can always change the front forks from stock to lowered or vice versa at any time and see how you like both positions. I just like mine the way it is so much that I don't even want to try lowering the front forks.




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How have you found the seat since lowering. I would like a flatter seat but there,s not much padding in the stock seat to remove so maybe the lowering could solve the issue.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVBry View Post
How have you found the seat since lowering. I would like a flatter seat but there,s not much padding in the stock seat to remove so maybe the lowering could solve the issue.

I used fasteddys method of raising the front of the seat to reduce forward slide which greatly increased comfort and at an older 5' 10" I can still swing the leg over or step across the seat with no problem. Will still probably get a seat concept seat sometime down the road.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 12:49 AM
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You will compromise handling a lit bit if you lower the bike. The problem is when we lower we just do it on gut feelings and rough calculations and not by calculating all angles/setting for safe handling as per design. a slight compromise here and there make the bike a bit unsafe. I have lowered and than went back to stock and feel the bike handles better stock...by the by i am 5'9''

Just watch moto GP and it take about 2 days to set a bike for a race and these guys are pro's in the field..
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:15 AM
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Any downside to lowering my 2009 Versys

If you lower it, I would highly recommend getting MotoWerks kickstand kit - it has a larger footprint and gets the bike at a much safer angle when parked. Unless you are a foot peg scraper and/or knee dragger
you probably won't notice any difference in handling but ease of use and comfort could be much better. It all boils down to what is most important to you and your style of riding. For me, it was perfect.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 08:37 AM
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Doesn't the lowering link make the rear suspension stiffer by changing the leverage?
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Nazium View Post
Doesn't the lowering link make the rear suspension stiffer by changing the leverage?
No scientific equipment besides my 50 year old butt, to me it felt much softer....and that was a good thing...no make that a VERY good thing.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 12:28 PM
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No scientific equipment besides my 50 year old butt, to me it felt much softer....and that was a good thing...no make that a VERY good thing.
I would never argue with a 50 year old butt
The first site I found when I googled the subject said that a lowering link stiffens the suspension ... but then several other sites said, no, it softens it ... and some sites said it's better to shorten the shock ... I'm confused. If it's possible to lower the bike a little bit and get a softer ride, I'd be interested, but I'm not going to do anything until I talk to a pro mechanic (or two).
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 12:42 PM
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Jim - you CAN get a new rear shock that will lower your bike.

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