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ZARINELLI
06-16-2007, 03:30 AM
The wife is interested in upgrading from her current F650GS to an R1200R or R1200RT. She is "height challenged" (28" inseam), and would need the low seat option and probably lower the bike around 1"-1.5". Are there lowering options available for these bikes? If so, how much lower would it get her?

ROTTEN
06-17-2007, 01:46 PM
Check out the Wilbers site http://www.wilbersusa.com/wilbers/index.htm

pgods
06-26-2007, 12:03 PM
Check out Works Performance. My girlfriend is 5'5" tall, 115 lbs - otherwise described as petite. She has an R1150R, uses the low saddle, and had the Works short shocks installed. She can almost "heel" the ground with both feet in 1 1/4 inch boot heel.
She LOVES her bike!
The only drawback is that it ain't cheap...maybe $1300 with installation. The up side: a petite woman can finally get a helluva bike under her bum that performs and rides like nothing she can imagine.
I can send you a photo of her on her bike if you like.
PS. my mechanic recommended to not install shocks MORE than 1 1/2 inches.

deilenberger
06-26-2007, 02:00 PM
Has your wife actually tried the new Roadster with the low seat? She has 1" on me for inseam (I'm 27" on a tall day..) and the stock suspension with the low seat works great for me. I'm almost flat-footed on it.

As an alterative to lowering it - if she still feels the need for more secure footing, I'd suggest she consider boots that will raise her up 1"+..

At the RA Rally I was speaking to a few lady riders - and one suggested the following - she showed me how much it added to her height: https://shop.helimot.com/shopexd.asp?id=73 - it was over an inch.. These look like absolutely normal boots - and I'm considering the mens version for my next boots.

Less costly than custom suspension, and these will travel with her from bike to bike.

Just a thought..

pgods
06-26-2007, 11:16 PM
I agree with trying the boots first. While my girlfriend did resort to the lowering kit, and it worked out wonderfully, if higher heels and a lower seat will work...by all means. Again, it isn't cheap. And...more shock = more absorption.

ZARINELLI
06-27-2007, 02:37 PM
Wife here - Thanks for all the replies! The boots are indeed a good idea - so good, I already have them :thumb and have been using them for several months. I have sat on the new R1200R with the low seat and I still need at least 1-2 inches more before I can even get the balls of my feet down - or one solid foot down at a stop. I have stopped listening to advice from people who tell me their inseam and then say a certain bike fits them and therefore I should be fine - depending on how a person measures their inseam, they can be as much as 3 inches off from my measurement. I used very specific instructions when I measured my inseam and it seems lots of people don't use the same method because I have read many many posts saying this bike or that bike should fit and when I sit on it, it comes FAR from fitting me - as in I can't even get it off the kick stand and my right leg is swinging in the air like 6 inches off the ground. It gets very frustrating.

Pgods - if you could send a photo of your wife on her bike that would be GREAT! =)

deilenberger
06-27-2007, 02:52 PM
I have stopped listening to advice from people who tell me their inseam and then say a certain bike fits them and therefore I should be fine - depending on how a person measures their inseam, they can be as much as 3 inches off from my measurement. I used very specific instructions when I measured my inseam and it seems lots of people don't use the same method because I have read many many posts saying this bike or that bike should fit and when I sit on it, it comes FAR from fitting me - as in I can't even get it off the kick stand and my right leg is swinging in the air like 6 inches off the ground. It gets very frustrating.

Pgods - if you could send a photo of your wife on her bike that would be GREAT! =)I simply go by the inseam that my tailor has to shorten all my pants to.. (no one makes off the rack 27" inseam pants.. even Haband and Hagar..)

One or two caviats on lowering the bike:

- It will make the centerstand difficult to impossible to use.

BTDT on several bikes and have the pulled muscles in my lower back to show for it. It may be possible to lower the centerstand - haven't looked to see if there are any conflicts with other parts of the bike if you do this. One trick to park it in your garage on the regular centerstand is to run it up on a ramp under the back wheel when you pull in. That restores the ground/frame/centerstand height that the factory figured in when designing the centerstand. Did that for years on my lowered K bikes. Just don't plan on using the centerstand without the ramp... deadlifting 500lbs isn't good for your back (DAHMHIK..)

- It will make the sidestand stand the bike up way straighter than it does now.

Right now with stock suspension - the sidestand isn't awful - but for parking on a crowned road edge, it can be difficult or impossible with the suspension normal height. Shortening, or changing the lean angle of the sidestand would probably be a very good thing to consider doing if you go the lowered suspension route.

ZARINELLI
06-27-2007, 03:12 PM
I simply go by the inseam that my tailor has to shorten all my pants to.. (no one makes off the rack 27" inseam pants.. even Haband and Hagar..)

That would explain it, my inseam measurement is not by pants measurement. I used the measurement method suggested by Corbin when measuring for a custom seat which usually makes my inseam 1-3 inches "taller" than people who use their pants inseam measurement. I used the method of: stand with back to a wall (no shoes), take slim book and put between legs as far up as possible - just short of painful - make sure back of book is flush against wall - measure from floor to top of spine of the book.

I planned on having the side stand shortened and I believe the center stand can be shortened - but not as easily as the side stand. The ramp is a good idea.

FredRydr
06-27-2007, 09:57 PM
...Pgods - if you could send a photo of your wife on her bike that would be GREAT!His girlfriend might not like that.

Fred

pgods
06-27-2007, 11:11 PM
Hi Zarinelli-
Send me a quick email (paul@paulgodwin.com) to get your address and I'll send the photo of Susan on her bike.
I'll also include her email so you can direct questions to her if you have any.
The center stand is an issue and does inhibit an easy lift. It can be done, but most likely by someone of sturdy stature. On the sidestand, the bike is fairly upright - so you do need to be thoughtful when parking. Susan has not had any cutting & welding on either stand and has managed fine for 2 years riding it.
Paul

ZARINELLI
06-27-2007, 11:45 PM
His girlfriend might not like that.

Fred

:doh - sorry - girlfriend :laugh

Michele

WLPMD
06-28-2007, 01:19 AM
My wife just sold her F650GS and was looking at the R1200R but instead went for the F800ST. With the lower weight and the low seat she manages the bike great. we also installed more upright bars making it more comfortable for distance riding. then again the R1200R is a great bike!!!! :thumb

ZARINELLI
06-28-2007, 01:57 AM
My wife just sold her F650GS and was looking at the R1200R but instead went for the F800ST. With the lower weight and the low seat she manages the bike great. we also installed more upright bars making it more comfortable for distance riding. then again the R1200R is a great bike!!!! :thumb

Michele here - I sat on the F800ST and it was so tall - 31.1 inches! The low seat on the R1200R was much lower (30.3 inches) and with a lowering kit I think it will work out fine - believe me, that 1 inch makes all the difference in the world, especially if I already have to lower it to make it fit. I just don't get why BMW has to have their seat heights for giants - us midgets like to ride too :laugh

pgods
06-28-2007, 02:12 AM
girlfriend, wife....at this point it's one in the same.

Just a chime in to concur that I absolutely love my bike. I could not get my feet down but in addition to the lowered saddle and bike, I wear heeled boots and that helped. I was quite adamant about having flat feet until one day, hand on throttle, I was ready to ride, when Paul said "do you want to change your shoes?" and I looked down to find I was in my hiking shoes without having even noticed. Once you're used to it, it doesn't matter as much. I used to ride a Honda Shadow 650 - my R1150R changed my riding altogether. As an aside, I also recommend the touring windshield.

And then.....you may find your husband has a hard time keeping up with you!

Susan

donkes
06-28-2007, 02:49 AM
I lowere my 1200 RT by an inch w new shocks. Expensive, but it works great.

ZARINELLI
06-28-2007, 02:00 PM
girlfriend, wife....at this point it's one in the same.

Just a chime in to concur that I absolutely love my bike. I could not get my feet down but in addition to the lowered saddle and bike, I wear heeled boots and that helped. I was quite adamant about having flat feet until one day, hand on throttle, I was ready to ride, when Paul said "do you want to change your shoes?" and I looked down to find I was in my hiking shoes without having even noticed. Once you're used to it, it doesn't matter as much. I used to ride a Honda Shadow 650 - my R1150R changed my riding altogether. As an aside, I also recommend the touring windshield.

And then.....you may find your husband has a hard time keeping up with you!

Susan

Thanks Susan! I used to ride a Shadow 600 VLX before my F650GS and was flat footed. Since getting the F650 I have become accustomed to stopping with one leg down. Sometimes I put both toes down but not often - I can't even get the balls of both feet down on the F650 so flat footing was given up months ago :laugh . I am glad you like your bike. I planned on getting a larger windshield as I noticed the R1200R's is rather small. As for hubby keeping up with me - he rides a 1200GS and with all his thousands of miles, I suspect he could leave me in the dust riding a Rebel 250 :laugh

Michele

ggfossen
06-30-2007, 10:29 PM
I lowered my rear shock by constructing an adaptor with which to raise the rear shock mounting eye about 3/4". Works for me. I also shortened the side stand. Be carefull on that one 'cause it's easy to take off too much. I removed the stand, cut off the tubing, and re-welded. I did nothing to the center stand, but it does take a lot of "grunt" to get it up.

GAry

deilenberger
06-30-2007, 11:05 PM
Gary - that's a considerable amount of shortening for the rear since there is a ratio between the shock and the rear-wheel.. how much did this actually lower the rear of the bike? (If I had to guess - over 1.5".. since I think the ratio is more than 2:1)

Was there any effect on the handling? It would seem without lowering the front the same amount, you're increasing the rake on the forks which will tend to make the bike turn slower and wider.. anything noticeable?

ggfossen
07-01-2007, 01:36 AM
Don,

I think your math is close. The shock mounting eye is close to the center of the bike, and that would make it 2:1. I didn't actually measure, and I probably should. Also, I ride with the ESA in the low position, so the drop is the full amount.

Your concern about fork angle was also voiced by the beemer shop. I have not, however, noticed any adverse effect. Although I have ridden for about 24 years, I don't consider myself anywhere close to"expert," so my knowledge of "adverse effect" may not be entirely correct.

No oscillation, and shake, no problems. The biggest problem is putting it on the center stand, but that's were my short stubby, and a bit too heavy, body comes in handy.

My lowering process is easily reversable, so it can returned to "stock" quickly.

I'm trying to do two things. Separate my rear from my feet because of bad hips and knees, and get my feet a little closer to the ground. Next, I'm considering pulling the cover on the seat, and grinding off a little foam where my thighs strike. It that helps much, I may be able to return the bike to it's original position. Much tinkering to do.


Gary

WLPMD
07-02-2007, 12:58 AM
Michele here - I sat on the F800ST and it was so tall - 31.1 inches! The low seat on the R1200R was much lower (30.3 inches) and with a lowering kit I think it will work out fine - believe me, that 1 inch makes all the difference in the world, especially if I already have to lower it to make it fit. I just don't get why BMW has to have their seat heights for giants - us midgets like to ride too :laugh

Hi again! My wife, erika, purchased the low seat for the ST which she says made it 1" shorter. I believe her inseem is a little over 1/2 an inch more than yours so that may make a difference. Although she now rarely wears them she has the "tall" boots HD as a back up. she finds it easier to manage the bike.... pushing it around in the parking lots and stuff. either way i am sure you will enjoy whichever bike you get!!!!

PS: we kept the stock seat so i can ride less cramped and more comfortable. i find the ST lots of fun and a nice "cool" bike for north carolina.:brow

ZARINELLI
07-02-2007, 01:35 PM
Hi again! My wife, erika, purchased the low seat for the ST which she says made it 1" shorter. I believe her inseem is a little over 1/2 an inch more than yours so that may make a difference. Although she now rarely wears them she has the "tall" boots HD as a back up. she finds it easier to manage the bike.... pushing it around in the parking lots and stuff. either way i am sure you will enjoy whichever bike you get!!!!

PS: we kept the stock seat so i can ride less cramped and more comfortable. i find the ST lots of fun and a nice "cool" bike for north carolina.:brow

Unfortunately, the 31.1 inches I quoted for the F800ST was the low seat and I couldn't get it off the kick stand because I had no leverage and my right leg was swinging in the air :cry

deilenberger
07-02-2007, 01:46 PM
Unfortunately, the 31.1 inches I quoted for the F800ST was the low seat and I couldn't get it off the kick stand because I had no leverage and my right leg was swinging in the air :cryIn my informal sit-tests. the F800's are taller than the Roadster... low seats on both of them.

blackhillsrider
01-05-2008, 04:37 AM
Max BMW said Wilbers from Germany is the best. Don't lower much more than an inch, bottoming out becomes an issue.

deilenberger
01-05-2008, 05:11 AM
Max BMW said Wilbers from Germany is the best. Don't lower much more than an inch, bottoming out becomes an issue.

And Max sells Wilbers - I wouldn't expect them to say otherwise.

I've owned almost every brand of aftermarket shock made for BMWs.. Ohlins, Wilbers and Hyperpro are the top of the heap. ALL of these are excellent. Some of them have different/additional features that are desirable if you know how to adjust your suspension. Quality is first-rate on all of them. Ride and handling are first rate on ALL of them.

Was the statement about bottoming being an issue from Max's? The progressive wound spring that Hyperpro uses (vs Ohlins and Wilbers linear wound springs) helps to alleviate that problem. BTDT, hasn't really been an issue.