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Thread: Too tall or too short - my dilemma

  1. #1
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Too tall or too short - my dilemma

    I've had my GSA for almost a year and still not comfortable around town and/or a slow speeds. I'm 5'11" tall but I only have a 30" inseam. I'm on my tip toes when I stop and really struggle when trying to move the bike while sitting on it. I've been told not to worry about it and that I'll get use to it over time. But that's yet to happen.

    I have a KLR that has a seat height that's about the same as th GS but it's weighs significantly less and a lot easier to handle around town. I know people have lowered standard GS bikes but not aware of anyone doing it to an Adventure. My question is that if it can be done what are the pros and cons and approx should I expect to spend?

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    Let me know if you are considering selling it as I am always in the market for a GSA. Thanks.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  3. #3
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    A friend had a GSA-P and he is like 5'7" He was pretty short with it. He put a low seat on it and adjusted to it. He one footed it at stops. Just got off and walked it if he needed to back it up and loved it. It was totaled when a 90 year old without a license driving a dually pulling a 30" trailer came up a ramp going the wrong way. My friend survived just fine. The bike went into a field however where it did many wonderful aerial displays until it collasped in peices.

    Buy a low seat. See if it works. Sell it if not so you won't be out much cash.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  4. #4
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    I also have the GSA and a 30" inseam. I just had Bill Mayer fixup my extra low sat to make it wider so it is more comfortable on long trips. Now I feel a bit too short. So I'm going to put lower shocks on it. I have ESA. So I'm going with the Wilburs. They can drop the GSA by as much as 3". Let me know if your interested.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  5. #5
    Quiet One
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    I had a GSA and lowered it with lower wilber shocks, a low sargent seat, and gs side and center stand. It worked but ultimately I still found it too heavy and intimidateing. I am not a novice rider but I decided that I just was not enjoying like I should. I traded recently for a 2012 R1200R and I am really enjoying it short and much lighter, gives me more confidence. I have ridden a KLR and DR650 and their lighter weight with height is easier than GSA. I wish you luck and if you look hard there are people willing to swap shorter parts to gain your taller stuff that is how I did it.
    Andy
    2013 R1200GSW
    BMWMOA # 155500
    1st John 4: 7,8

  6. #6
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Hey Andy:
    Thanks for the advice. What prompted you to buy a 1200 R vs a RT? Most of my riding is around town with one or two over-night trips a year. Do you ever take your bike on the road? What about wind pressure and/or protection on the road.

    I've been looking at and thinking about trading for an R1200RT. With the liquid cooled engine coming out in '13 I'm going to wait and see if it's what I want or go for a '12.

    The Wilbur's are an interesting thought and something I'll consider if I decide to keep the GS.

  7. #7
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    for around town, and rare short trips, a naked (R) or sport-tour (RS or S) is a very good alternative. you get all the performance of the RT, minus the weight/size/bulkiness. yeah, you get some wind buffeting above 80 or so, but its really not that much of an issue (this, rated from my F8GS. The R11S is fine up to stupid fast speeds; that minimal fairing does an outstanding job of deflecting most of the air around you).
    those of us that grew up riding naked bikes (about all that existed in the 70's) do not seem to be so worried about experiencing nature as part of the ride.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Even with no seat on the GSA, I could not flat foot the sucker. Tried this at a dealer. The solution is to lower the suspension front and rear. The price of doing this is reduced ground clearance if you're actually gonna take it off road.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  9. #9
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    Huge ground clearance is highly over-rated. Just ask us short people.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  10. #10
    Nickname: Droid
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    Flat footing a bike at stops is over rated. I'm 5'-6" with almost a 30" inseam and I have no trouble riding anything lower than a R1200GS Adventure. Left foot always gets flat to ground and its enough for me. I ride a 94 R1100Rs with stock height Wilbers shocks. Wouldn't want it lowered.

  11. #11
    Quiet One
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    I looked at a RT also, but then saw that it was much higher priced than I needed. My R1200R was around 17,000 with all three bmw bags and a z technik windscreen, all the RT s they had were 22,000 plus more to add the top box, more weight and heavier. I use my bike for local commuting and several trips a year, the R1200R just seemed to appeal to me , for the money the weight and it seems sportier than my GSA was. I have not put the windscreen on yet but I could live with the clean air for a long distance trip if we had no bugs flying through the air LOL. I really enjoyed my GSA this is just a different style and it seems to fit my life at this time and place. Hope this helps you and does not confuse you
    Andy
    2013 R1200GSW
    BMWMOA # 155500
    1st John 4: 7,8

  12. #12
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stkmkt1 View Post
    I also have the GSA and a 30" inseam. I just had Bill Mayer fixup my extra low sat to make it wider so it is more comfortable on long trips. Now I feel a bit too short. So I'm going to put lower shocks on it. I have ESA. So I'm going with the Wilburs. They can drop the GSA by as much as 3". Let me know if your interested.
    With the lowered suspension what do you do about the side and center stands? It seems that the center stand may then be too tall and hard to get it up without breaking your back or at least needing help.

    Have any of you who've lowered your bike had any problems?

  13. #13
    Nickname: Droid
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    With lowered suspension you'd have to shorten the centerstand and sidestand. At Nick's BMW (Wilbers dealer) they have done a number of lowered bikes and each time they shortened both stands by cutting the tubing of the legs and then re-welding them.

  14. #14
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    I put a 20mm shorter shock on my 1985 R80 .

    To make it easier to put on the center stand in the garage I took two pieces of 3/4" thick plywood about 12" wide and 18" long, put a 45 degree bevel on the ends and sides.

    Simply roll the bike up on the planks and deploy the center stand as normal.

    I am considering looking for another stock center stand and having it cut down and re-welded, or maybe a ride off stand if i can find one for a mono shock bike.

  15. #15
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Flat footing a bike at stops is over rated.
    I tip them over even when I can flat foot, but the incidence is a lot less. The ground also has a habit of not being level.

    The problem is ripping my shoulders when trying to save them from the fall. I know it's too heavy once it starts to go, but the reaction is too strong.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

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