Anton is right up to a point. You really can't effectively get more than about an inch out of the suspension. However, I did the suspension, the tires and the seat on my RT and the overall effect is around 3". The inch or so you get by lowering the suspension doesn't really come into play in cornering for me, because I never have gotten this old dear over that far, and isn't harsher because the shorter shocks are operating within their intended range of compression as are the fork springs which are just riding up a little higher relative to the frame. Trust me, you just can't balance that big, fully laden airhead with your tippy toes and getting down on your flat foo is 150% easier especially after an hour or so in the saddle. Still, if the seat was an inch narrower at the front, that would be also a vast improvement.
[QUOTE=JIMWJARMOUR;894407]Hi ,check the fork springs they may have spacers on top i have progresives in my bike, and due to age ,knees etc removed the spacers completely, a little bit better,also move the right shock forward to the top front holes and drill out the blank left side, hope this helps,Jimmy[/QUOTE]
I want to thank everybody for their suggestions...I'll swap out the seat this weekend and see where that gets me and go from there...
[QUOTE=AntonLargiader;894425]I really want to discourage you from doing this.
First, at 5'9" you are not exactly short. Being on your toes isn't that unusual; some riders only manage one toe. .[/QUOTE]
I have a little difficulty too, seeing the need for lowering. I have a 1978 R100S and I am only 5'8". I have a Corbin saddle on the bike and I never felt uncomfortable as far as touching. Compared to my other, newer BMWs, the S is light and rather easy to manage. Can't believe the RS is that much more difficult, just because of the additional fiberglass.
Faired bikes can be harder to manage when the sides interfere with your legs as you put them down.
I think it's the narrow bars that are forward enough so you don't have the leverage.
Try a mild riser kit that pulls the bars up & back, up 3" and back 2".
I designed a riser and had a machinist fabricate a set for me.
A small point perhaps but I believe that a persons inseam measurement is a much better way to see & describe the problem than their overall height is.
True on that because I'm 5'-6" and I have nearly a 30" inseam. I can ride my stock height 76 R100RS or 94 R1100RS with no issues about reaching the ground at stops. Granted if both feet are down its just on the balls of my feet/boots. Either bike I can easily flat foot my left foot to the ground for stops and holding up the bike.
Definitely inseam. When you stop and you have long enough legs you set up a brace with your feet on the ground and your butt on the saddle and can keep the bike pretty much vertical. When you're on your tip toes you have to lean the bike to touch down. When the bike starts to go over you have a little ways to go before you can set up the brace and sometimes, such as on a slope or uneven ground, you can't get it done in time and the bike just keeps on going down.
Lowered my wife's /6 years ago. Narrowed and took out some seat foam. Actually put in some new stuff. The narrowing did help quite a bit. If you have the Corbin, it's a lot wider and higher on the outside edges than stock. Still wasn't low enough for her. I then cut, maybe an inch or so, can't quite remember, off of the fork springs and cut a similar amount from the shock springs. Anyway, the bike sat like normal, just lower. Handled fine and only had bottoming problems if we rode 2 up. Twisted the shocks all the way up and she was fine.
Now, on my bike, I got it jacked up a little higher than a GS. I figure if a sidestand on one side holds up a bike, why not one leg? Otherwise, I'm on tippytoes.
Before you alter anything might I suggest that perhaps a smaller/shorter person might find it satisfactory to ride with the shock spring adjustment at it's softest setting or so.
It also strikes me that when I use the proper size tires 3.25 X 19 & 4.00 X 18, the bike seems to sit a bit taller than when using the metric so called equivalent 90 X 19 & 110 or 120 X 18.
Further if you are fortunate enough to have a shoe repair craftsman nearby (rare these days) he should be able to increase the sole & heel thickness on a pair of real leather repairable boots (Red Wing or Chippewa for example) or some equestrian ones.
Diamond gusset jeans might just let the legs position themselves a bit for better function. Don't forget to provide some type of armor if not in real riding pants.
Each of these might yield an inch or so, which all together might just do the trick.