Lowering 2015 V650 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Lowering 2015 V650

Just took delivery of a 2015 V650 ABS (brought home in an enclosed trailer - lots of salt & cold weather here in OH) and was surprised at how much higher the bike sits than I remembered at shows & showrooms. The rear shock is set at full soft, but the seat is still higher than I'd prefer & am considering a lowering kit. Have any of you done this and, if so, how much does the 1 1/2" drop affect the appearance of the bike? I installed lowering links on my '99 KLR650 years ago, but was very unhappy w/ the "look" & ended up raising the rear w/ shock spring pre-load some and not sliding the fork tubes quite as high as recommended. I ended up somewhere between the all-out lowered and stock heights. Any photos would be appreciated.

I may end up doing a seat change for one w/ more comfort and lowering instead. Any recommendations on seats that would accomplish both would be also be appreciated. I know Sargent offers a really nice seat, but because it's wider, your legs end up being even further from the ground than w/ the stocker or at least from what I've read.

Jim in NE OH

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 11:20 AM
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My '15 V650 has settled a bit lower after 6 months of riding. I'm 5'10" and 155 lbs, so even with the rear set to full soft it rides high. With the luggage attached and 5 or 10 pounds of stuff in them the bike rides enough lower that I can pretty much flat-foot it with both feet.

So your bike may settle a bit with some miles on it.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping that to be the case and thought possibly the bikes on display at shows have had enough people getting on & off to settle things too. We're about the same height and weight and my normal pants inseam is 32". I read a lot of reviewers talk about their 31" inseams being able to sit flat footed - maybe they slide forward, I don't know. Thanks for responding.

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My '15 V650 has settled a bit lower after 6 months of riding. I'm 5'10" and 155 lbs, so even with the rear set to full soft it rides high. With the luggage attached and 5 or 10 pounds of stuff in them the bike rides enough lower that I can pretty much flat-foot it with both feet.

So your bike may settle a bit with some miles on it.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:13 PM
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Check-up on "setting your sag". When it's correct you'll find the bike 'settle' about 1.5 to 2" when you get onto the seat.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Fast Eddie - I'm familiar w/ setting sag on conventional shocks, but have the spring pre-load adjust at the softest setting on mine. Pre-2015 I'd know what to do, but not sure how to do anymore than I've done w/ the adjuster - is there something I'm hopefully overlooking?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 07:33 PM
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My preload is set at the lowest, too. At 155 lbs I'm just not heavy enough to get the rear suspension to sag enough to flatfoot.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity, where do you have your fork pre-load set? Winter has returned to Ohio w/ a vengeance & all I've done is install a Battery Tender pigtail & set the clock. I plan installing a zip tie on the fork tube & measure the sag now & w/ the lightest setting to see if that affects the ride height appreciably w/o violating the 1 1/2" desired sag. I have to admit, after owning dozens of bikes over the year and (11) now w/ (6) ridden regularly in the street, the quality & workmanship on this bike is just incredible. My last new bike, which I still have, is a 2012 Triumph Thruxton & there is no comparison in the two frame finishes - very impressive!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesman77 View Post
Out of curiosity, where do you have your fork pre-load set? Winter has returned to Ohio w/ a vengeance & all I've done is install a Battery Tender pigtail & set the clock. I plan installing a zip tie on the fork tube & measure the sag now & w/ the lightest setting to see if that affects the ride height appreciably w/o violating the 1 1/2" desired sag. I have to admit, after owning dozens of bikes over the year and (11) now w/ (6) ridden regularly in the street, the quality & workmanship on this bike is just incredible. My last new bike, which I still have, is a 2012 Triumph Thruxton & there is no comparison in the two frame finishes - very impressive!
I have to agree, I wish I could say the same about the wire length, many places it could be 1 inch or more longer. As to incorporating auxiliary wiring into the harness , top notch , possibly the person following the engineer specs was trying for brownie points by saving millions of dollars by reducing 12 inches of wire , and then installing two extra aux. wiring harnesses in the mix----yup, makes no sense to me either.
On another note, I can't believe how much more room there is under the fairings on the 2015. And yes, the workmanship on the frame of what I have seen is top notch.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 09:12 AM
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My fork settings are set to whatever the dealer/factory set them to. The compression seems a bit soft to me, with a bit more nose dive than I'd prefer when I get on the front brakes, but on the other hand it soaks up bumps perfectly. The rebound seems ok. I'm not any kind of expert on setting up the fork, so as long as it is working ok for me I'll leave it alone.

The bike appears to be sitting level, with a bit of forward tilt to the seat that everybody complains about causing them to slide into the tank.

Basically, I don't want to stiffen up the fork preload and end up even less able to flat foot it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 12:20 PM
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Thanks Fast Eddie - I'm familiar w/ setting sag on conventional shocks, but have the spring pre-load adjust at the softest setting on mine. Pre-2015 I'd know what to do, but not sure how to do anymore than I've done w/ the adjuster - is there something I'm hopefully overlooking?
You set it up pretty much the same way as on Gen 1 and 2s, bearing in mind the "remote" adjuster on the shock, which makes the rear EASIER!


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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2016, 06:18 PM
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I sat on a black 2016 today, and it was lower than my lowered (in the rear only) 2012! It felt perfect to me: 6'-0" 32" inseam (and shrinking.) I think the dealer said 31.5" seat high.

Maybe the 2015 is lowered too (probably.) I'm glad Kawasaki is listening the Vs. 650 rider's feedback!


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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You are the perfect person to ask a question that's been nagging me for some time. By lowering only the rear, how did that affect your steering? If memory serves me correctly - that should slow it down. Did you notice much difference and how does it look - is it noticeable? I figured it would get me flat-footed and stop the dreaded sliding forward at the same time. Do you have any photos from the side you could post?

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I sat on a black 2016 today, and it was lower than my lowered (in the rear only) 2012! It felt perfect to me: 6'-0" 32" inseam (and shrinking.) I think the dealer said 31.5" seat high.

Maybe the 2015 is lowered too (probably.) I'm glad Kawasaki is listening the Vs. 650 rider's feedback!


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kawdog View Post
... I'm glad Kawasaki is listening the Vs. 650 rider's feedback!


What feedback ?

Lowering of the bike in general !?

A lot of V owner buy the lowering footpeg kit from Motowerk because the seat is too low ...

They should raise it instead



Well that's my 2 cents

LOP
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 10:19 AM
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Being 5 foot 7 with a 30 inch inseam, I'm glad I got Speedy's lowering block.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Did it change the "look" of the bike appreciably? When I lowered my KLR650 years ago - it was too much; looked really weird to me. So I raised it about haf way back to stock by not sliding the tubes up as specified and cranked on the rear shock spring to raise it about the same.



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Being 5 foot 7 with a 30 inch inseam, I'm glad I got Speedy's lowering block.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 05:19 PM
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I don't think it changed the "look' all that much, really...
But it does sit more vertical on the sidestand.

Before:



After:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20160305_165938.jpg (20.7 KB, 62 views)

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesman77 View Post
You are the perfect person to ask a question that's been nagging me for some time. By lowering only the rear, how did that affect your steering? If memory serves me correctly - that should slow it down. Did you notice much difference and how does it look - is it noticeable? I figured it would get me flat-footed and stop the dreaded sliding forward at the same time. Do you have any photos from the side you could post?
The handling was incredible, much better than lowering the shock spring 2". Just with the rear lowered, it should be approximately 1.6". Just make sure you don't make a turn at an intersection in first gear with your foot under the shifter making a left-hand turn. Other than that, no big deal: except many fold better handling (I have a Progressive rear shock but same geometry as oem, just heavier duty.)

The looks was one reason I did not lower the front, but it would also be diving down on braking. I always thought the Vs. 650 leaned forward anyway. So FOR ME, it fixed a lot of handling and seating posture problems all in one, plus the lower center of gravity too. It sits up and looks bad to the bone now The new angle softens up the rear shock, so tighten it down good and it will still be softer than stock shock angle (it's kind of trial and error, but with the new shock angle, it would be hard to over-tighten the rear shock.)

Do not hesitate in doing it: of course I have Speedy's risers and lowered foot-pegs to round the package out. It works like magic! Just don't get a Pyramid hugger because it's too big and will break (even though it's the best looking) and the hugger most get is Powerbronze (Joe and HondaGalToo are my cornerstone experts) because you can retain your 2 screw chain-guard to align your chain and rear sprocket easier. Givi hugger will work too, but I like to go with the consensus of experts here and save as much heartache as I can later: and dollars out the window too.

Here is a front, left, and right shot on my 2012 Ninja side stand. I don't know your height or inseam, but if close to me, try it out first. The good thing is, if you have to lower it, it will improve the stock handling angles






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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2016, 04:41 PM
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Lowering story, worked out fine...

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I don't think it changed the "look' all that much, really...
But it does sit more vertical on the sidestand.

Before:



After:


Ok,
I've been reading all the threads about lowering, etc.

So I was going to put on speedies (MotoWerks) lowering link and lower the bike. Getting the link on was easy I took it slow and easy.
I put the link on by myself in one evening on the porch.
Next day my best bud came over and we lowered the forks. Actually raised the forks in the triple clamps.

Rode fine, but sure didn't have much lean at rest on the stand...(Note "after" pic above).
it's going to rain all week so after all the reading I've done I decided to buy a Ninja 650 kickstand ($20.00) instead of cutting mine down off a brand new bike.

So a used 2015 Ninja 650 stand came in on Wednesday.
A little over an inch shorter than stock.


Strapped up so she can't fall over :


Then I had to modify it as didn't clear the rotation, up and down.
The opening in the top of the stand was not deep enough to clear the mount and have full swing. I needed to be an inch of opening from bolt center:


I could have got it on in the down position only so I had to make room for it to swivel so I spend another 22 bucks on a factory refurbed side-grinder and a small wheel and got after it.

I fitted it up this morning and it's all good.
I left all my stock parts alone, and only took grinder and dremel to the used stand I bought. I do think I will raise the front end about a quarter-inch as it just feels a little too low.

So, I am happy! Decent lean when on the stand now...


Easier to move around for a short old phart like me.
Next, I'd like to know about the Madstadt shield on a '15 V LOL
I'm thinking going for the 20 In. version....

OkJohn
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Last edited by OKJohn; 03-12-2016 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Typo!
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2016, 08:51 PM
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There are some bikes that don't have decent lowering options. If you were thinking of lowering, there's no reason not to, with the availability of Speedy's kit (which is a work of art, and one of the best lowering links I've seen, for a more complex fitting than just dog-bones). My recommendation would be to raise the forks (through the triple) an equivalent measure, to keep the trail and rake geometry the same. (This keeps your cornering stabilized to the original specs). I'm 5'9" w/ a 29" inseam... I can now flatfoot the bike with boots (I also have a standard Sargent seat which is a bit narrower forward). One of the best handling bikes I've ever owned -- didn't want to mess with the handling...

Ride safe...

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 11:07 AM
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Ok,

Next, I'd like to know about the Madstadt shield on a '15 V LOL
I'm thinking going for the 20 In. version....
I just put on an 18" Madstad on my '15 V650. I'm 5'10" tall, 30" inseam.

All my previous bikes were naked, so the stock windshield on the V650 impressed me with how well it worked up to about 50 mph. But I found there was a lot of turbulence hitting my helmet at highway speeds.

The Madstad has cured the turbulence. There is definitely airflow, but not the turbulence. I've found that the screen needs to be in the fully tilted back position rather than upright. Or, in other words, if you're getting turbulence you haven't found the right angle yet. I will try fine tuning the angle but am very happy with it at that fully tilted angle. This is for highway speeds in cool/cold weather, with the shield in the highest position. In hotter weather I'll experiment with it lower to see if there is more airflow for cooling.

I'd say the Madstad is well worth the $ if you do highway riding and don't like the turbulence off of the stock windshield.
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