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Thread: Does anyone know what you lose with a lowered suspension R1200GS?

  1. #1
    Cowboyatheart
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    Does anyone know what you lose with a lowered suspension R1200GS?

    obviously ground clearance,

    But does that mean cornering ability (e.g. heads hit ground sooner on pavement?)
    or any of the electronic goodies, like ESA or cruise control for example?

  2. #2
    Cowboyatheart
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    the answer is, according to the dealer...

    apparently you loose NOTHING except ground clearance, cornering is still good, AND no loss of any features (including ESA and cruise)!

    Lowered suspension takes the unladen seat height down to 790mm. I might just be able to fit that.

    I will try one out in a few weeks when they get some new ones in.

    The other option is a F700GS with regular suspension and low seat, that fits me well, from a seat height perspective, but I haven't ridden one yet.
    Neil
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  3. #3
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    With factory lower shocks, they definitely ride harder. I also think a GS feels better balanced and more agile at low speeds with the lowered suspension.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    The way BMW does lowered suspension doesn't change the minimum lean angle. The lowering comes off the travel of the shock - off the fully extended position. The maximum compressed shock length remains the same as a standard suspenion's shock. This does require a higher spring rate to prevent the shock bottoming out, so the ride will be firmer. I don't know if ESA is available with the lowered GS suspension, but a dealer should be able to answer that question.

    That's the short answer..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Haven't looked at a GS, but on the RT the lowered version comes with longer "feelers" on the driver footpegs.

    This suggests reduced cornering lean angles to me.
    Kent Christensen
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  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Haven't looked at a GS, but on the RT the lowered version comes with longer "feelers" on the driver footpegs.

    This suggests reduced cornering lean angles to me.
    Kent - never noticed this. I can't imagine BMW reducing clearances since that would open them up to liability.. (that they knowingly made a bike that touched down sooner than another one of the same basic design.)

    I'll have to look next time I see one..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I think the police bikes get the longer feelers, too. Maybe something to do with all the guard bars.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  8. #8
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    We have a lowered GS '08 and thru '12, they came without ESA only. I don't think my wife noticed anything except that she can get her feet on the ground. I THINK I read on ADV that the new water cooled GS when ordered lowered, requires ESA.
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  9. #9
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    It's hard to conceive that with a lowered suspension cornering ability would not be reduced. When the bike is lowered, the entire suspended part of the bike is closer to the ground, loading of the machine being constant.
    This probably is mitigated somewhat when the bike is lowered due to a rider having shorter legs (why else?), probably will often be a smaller & lighter person. The lesser pre-loading of the lowered suspension by the lighter person might result in a loaded ground clearance equal to stock with a heavier rider on board.

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amiles View Post
    It's hard to conceive that with a lowered suspension cornering ability would not be reduced. When the bike is lowered, the entire suspended part of the bike is closer to the ground, loading of the machine being constant.
    This probably is mitigated somewhat when the bike is lowered due to a rider having shorter legs (why else?), probably will often be a smaller & lighter person. The lesser pre-loading of the lowered suspension by the lighter person might result in a loaded ground clearance equal to stock with a heavier rider on board.
    IF the maximum compressed length of the suspension isn't changed (which is how BMW does it) - the minimum cornering clearance isn't going to change.

    At full compression both a normal and lowered suspension done BMWs way will leave the hard parts the same distance from the tarmac. You will lose suspension travel since the lowering has to come from somewhere, and it's coming off the top. Generally lowered suspension also gets a stiffer spring, which hopes to compensate a bit for the shorter travel by providing more resistance to fully compressing (bottoming out) the suspension. The stiffer spring, along with less suspension travel results in a firmer (some call it harsher) ride quality.

    As far as rider weight vs height - actually - I know a number of rather rotund riders who require a lowered suspension, they have short legs to begin with, and the additional girth of their thighs means their legs can't go as straight to the ground, effectively making them even shorter. And the variations in body proportions (inseam to height) is enough that people who are actually rather tall (an old friend was 6' tall, had a 28" inseam) means there is no general rule of thumb. It's all about the inseam length, not the riders height.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  11. #11
    Cowboyatheart
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    Thanks Don,

    I think you answered this well, twice.

    I also confirmed with the dealer that nothing is lost in terms of electronic goodies. Even keep the ESA.

    I will be trying one out in a couple of weeks, whenever the dealer gets their new shipment.

  12. #12
    Dixie, the land of cotton
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    The lowered suspension does affect the lean angle

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Kent - never noticed this. I can't imagine BMW reducing clearances since that would open them up to liability.. (that they knowingly made a bike that touched down sooner than another one of the same basic design.)

    I'll have to look next time I see one..
    I have ridden lowered 2005 r1200gs for years and it does affect the lean angles. The pegs do scrape a lot earlier.


    It just make sense that is the pegs are lower to the ground that they will scrap earlier.

  13. #13
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    So what is being said here is that the normal uncompressed suspension height is reduced (let's say by snipping off a coil or using a shorter or weaker spring) to gain footing for the too short rider? The minimum ground clearance of the bike (maximum compressed height of the suspension) remains unchanged thus the absolute minimum ground clearance remains the same while the suspension travel/rate are altered in the modification?
    The pegs & everything else would be lower to the ground than stock, but having the same lower "limit" as on an unmodified machine. Reaching that limit at a different loading/rate probably a bit earlier than stock.

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by espressoforyou View Post
    I have ridden lowered 2005 r1200gs for years and it does affect the lean angles. The pegs do scrape a lot earlier.

    It just make sense that is the pegs are lower to the ground that they will scrap earlier.
    To me that's an indication your suspension is under-sprung. You might want to look into that.. I assume the lowering was done via aftermarket since there was no factory lower option I know of in 2005 (that started around 2008 or 2009 I believe.)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  15. #15
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amiles View Post
    So what is being said here is that the normal uncompressed suspension height is reduced (let's say by snipping off a coil or using a shorter or weaker spring) to gain footing for the too short rider? The minimum ground clearance of the bike (maximum compressed height of the suspension) remains unchanged thus the absolute minimum ground clearance remains the same while the suspension travel/rate are altered in the modification?
    The pegs & everything else would be lower to the ground than stock, but having the same lower "limit" as on an unmodified machine. Reaching that limit at a different loading/rate probably a bit earlier than stock.
    Sort of - with one important difference to your description. I'll try and make it as simple and understandable as possible:

    Correct - - BMW makes the suspension "lower" by making shorter shocks. The full extension of the shock is less than a stock one.

    BMW also provides a shorter stiffer spring (not weaker) made to fit that shock. The reasoning behind the stiffer spring is to resist compression more since the shorter shock results in shorter range of suspension travel available to the rider. Given equal weight riders on both bikes - if the spring selection and setup is done correctly - the ride height on corners under cornering suspension compression force should be close to equal.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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