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Lowering Options?


dschotts

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My new (to-me) '08 made a couple recent 8 hour days with its Russell Day-Long saddle a complete joy with one exception.

 

The bike with that saddle is definitely too tall for my 30" inseam, making for more than one uncomfortable moment. Lots of options to solve that problem of course but I'd love to get some feedback on my plan, which is this:

 

1 - Drop in to Corbin and try their low seat solution (done - helped a bit but was like riding on a wood bench, no thanks)

2 - Boots with more heel (done - Original SWAT 9" Hawk - (helped, but not enough)

3 - Replace Russell Day-Long with stock "Low" seat

4 - Wilburs ESA shocks lowered 50+mm

5 - Some combination of above

6 - ANY IDEAS I MISSED?

 

Would very much appreciate learning of other's experience! Looking forward to getting this figured out and having a great riding season.

Thanks!

 

 

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Shortened suspension is your best bet, as it won't change the relationship between your hips and the foot pegs (assuming you find it appropriate with the RDL), but given the leverage of the shock on suspension height, shortening 5cm (2") strikes me as far too much. 2cm should be plenty; user-adjustable length would be even better.

 

BUT, shortened suspension means that hoisting it on to the center stand will be more difficult, and the lean angle on the sidestand may be unstable.

 

Every change has consequences.

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With a 30" inseam, you shouldn't need much. I would see about having your Russell seat lowered a bit and more importantly having the nose of the seat shaved (the sides only) to make the seat narrower so when you have your legs down, your inner thighs have a direct line to the ground, not going round bulky padding.

 

Corbin calls this a "nose job" meaning a narrow nose to allow for shorter I seamed riders.

On Corbin, the website and the instructions tell you that when the seat is new, it will be very hard. It can take up to a thousand miles (usually much less) to break in and create a pocket for your rear to fit in. Much like a baseball glove.

This is why so many people who buy used Corbin seats off ebay are unhappy. They are normally buying a sun-baked seat that was broken in to someone else's rear end. Then they bash Corbin as being junk.

 

Off the shelf Corbin is good, custom Corbin is much better. The custom feature is still offered at the Cali factory at no additional charge but will not suit everyone's locale.

 

 

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BMW Low front seat - I have both the low BMW seat and regular Corbin versions installed in the low position and they are very close. Sargent has a low front seat as well to the same factory spec. There is also a BMW low 1 piece seat that you would want to stay away from - wood bench.

 

http://www.sargentcycle.com/Seats-Accessories/BMW-R1200RT-Low-Sargent-Heat/

 

You can also install Hyperpro Springs that will drop the bike 1" and retain ESA if equipped.

 

http://hyperpro.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/03/HYPERPRO-Lowering-kits-11-20141.pdf

 

I would recommend cutting down the center stand and side stand to account for the lowering should you go the Hyperpro route.

 

The seat option would be the least expensive but will not get you as low as a one piece saddle. You should be able to pick up a used BMW seat for 200.00 +/- and re-sell if required.

 

 

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I took the one piece low seat to BMS. While it did not get lowered it is now a very comfortable saddle. I can ride a full tank to empty it is so good. My inseam is slightly under 29" and my R1200RT is the factory lowered bike with the one piece low sea. I put 3/4" lifts on my boots. If the shocks ever wear out a new set lowered another 1/2-3/4 inch will be in the mix.

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I rode down to Jacksonville last winter for a fitting at Sergeant. Their low seat has almost no padding, and I took an immediate dislike to it. I went with their standard seat with a shaved nose. One of the best investments I have made on this bike, although still on the firm side; adding an Alaska Leathers sheepskin pad made the seat just about perfect.

 

buttpad.JPG

 

The usual proviso applies: Everybody's got a butt, and they are all shaped differently, so what works for me may not work for you.

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I have the Wilber's 40mm lowered WESA on my '08 and really like the set-up. My inseam is 31", but I'm much more comfortable balancing at lower speeds and with a passenger. Due to the lower ground clearance, the suspension is considerably stiffer than stock, but with an RDL, that shouldn't be a problem.

 

The one issue, though, is ground clearance. I had my center stand shortened by 40mm too, or else it would very difficult to put it up. As a result, the center stand crossbar doesn't extend past the exhaust headers, instead it sits against the exhaust header piping and is the first point of contact in a deep turn. Normally, it's never a problem, but when I took a trip to Deal's Gap last year, I was consistently scraping center stand.

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mdo905,

Do you think its at all possible to shorten the center stand in a way that it would tuck away more neatly?

 

Also glad to hear from someone who has the Wilbers on - disappointed to learn the ride is stiff, thought I'd read somewhere that they shorten the spring too so as to not have that problem.

 

Thanks!

 

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Wonder if any anyone knows if the factory low RT has specific center stand and kick stand already modified to accommodate? Perhaps BMW has a graceful solution for the difference in ground clearance and its just a matter of finding the right part numbers.

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dschotts,

 

Not sure what your asking but the factor low RT does have a center stand and side stand of appropriate specs for the height of the lowered bike.

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Max BMW's online part fiche shows a low side stand ($168 - same as the standard height) and a low main stand ($285, which is about $100 more than the standard).

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  • 2 weeks later...
mdo905,

Do you think its at all possible to shorten the center stand in a way that it would tuck away more neatly?

 

Also glad to hear from someone who has the Wilbers on - disappointed to learn the ride is stiff, thought I'd read somewhere that they shorten the spring too so as to not have that problem.

 

Thanks!

 

Hey dschotts,

 

I have thought about buying the lowered stand, however, I don't know if it's worth changing it out. From my understanding, the lowering of the wilbers is over an inch lower than the low suspension stock model, so having an extra inch on the center stand would make it a bit more difficult to put up. I bought my bike with the lowered suspension and side+center stands, so I really don't have any comparison. PM me with an email if you'd like me to send you a few pictures.

 

As for the (IMHO) stiffer suspension, I really like it. Whenever I test rode a stock height RT (both hexhead and camhead), the suspension felt too soft and took forever to lean over on turns, to the point that I wasn't quite sold on the RT. However, when I tried the lowered wilbers, I bought the bike on the spot, and still couldn't be happier.

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