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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 14 Sep 2005
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Bike for shorter than 5'3" little people

I am trying to get info on an appropriate bike for a person (woman in this case) shorter than 5'3". There are a number of postings that refer to shorter (5'6") but those precious 3" make a big difference.

Can anyone give me an idea of which bike would do the job and any indication of by how much any lowering kit made a difference to which ever make.

I understand that the F650 can be lowered quite significantly. Any owners of the Lowered version of this bike out there with comments.
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  #2  
Old 14 Sep 2005
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I am 173cm (dunno what feet and inches are, i use SI, anyway) and a man, a relatively a short man I have a 97 F650 with lowered suspention. it works quite well. I had no problem what so ever. You just need to change the rear suspention and lower the front ones where they attacted to the handlebar. If you go to a dealer it will cost you about £300-£350. If you do it by your self you only have to pay for a rear suspention. fofr more info check f650.com faq.

good luck

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  #3  
Old 14 Sep 2005
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Take a look at the Chain Gang.
Search their site.
http://f650.com/forums/
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  #4  
Old 15 Sep 2005
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I am going through this with my girlfriend of 5'1" now. Here is what my research has found out. The Suzuki DR 650 is the lowes factory 650 dual sport and is designed to be lowered.

I got her a DR-Z 400 and have lowered it where she can touch. First of all I backed the preload off so the sag is correct. The spring is too stiff for her weight, but that is ok for now. She gained several inches there alone. I then installed the lower gel seat. Another inch or two. I next put on a kuba link. She can now touch. I also raised the forkes in the tubes the same amount the link lowered it in the back. I haven't had a chance to test ride it yet. The link was easy to install and I am by no means a mechanic. All you do is take off two nuts, pull the bolts out and replace. I greased the berings since I was there and they needed it. Just use a second jack under the rear tire to line the holes easier.

The thing to remember about women is their legs are usually longer in relation to their bidy then men, so that means take a man of 5'1" and a woman of the same heigth and the woman usually has longer legs. This is not always the case but of course.

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  #5  
Old 15 Sep 2005
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Try with Kawa ER5, cheap, small and reliable, very good choice for girls.
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  #6  
Old 15 Sep 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnteK:
Try with Kawa ER5, cheap, small and reliable, very good choice for girls.
Beat me to it. Was fiddling with an ER-500 yesterday. Belongs to a woman not much over 5ft tall, has some foam sculpted out of the seat & recovered, suits her fine.

Easy to work, reliable & best of all, they're cheap. Hers is for sale if you're interested?

Reg'd in 2000, sub-8,000 miles, getting an MOT today, new tyres. Advertised in yesterdays MCN for £1,400 or £1,450, she would take £1,300. Bike's in Oxford.

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  #7  
Old 15 Sep 2005
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Try looking at these sites, which list bikes for the vertically challenged
http://www.vtwinmama.com/motorcycles...ort_riders.htm

http://www.supersarah.net/shortbikers.htm

or just search google for 'motorcycle short riders'
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  #8  
Old 2 Nov 2005
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Don't forget the Yamaha XT225 Serow. I did 19,000 miles on it from Alaska to Ushuaia. You can read mor about it on my site www.loisontheloose.com
It's a great bike if you're happy not to get above 55mph. Super tough, simple, reliable and goes anywhere and nice low seat height. Very popular amongst short people and ladies. The new model is a 250 so that extra 25cc might give you a tinsy bit more umph!
Cheers,
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  #9  
Old 9 Jul 2006
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This old chestnut again

So we eventually went for the Funduro for my partner:
Kouba Links $100
Hagon shock (short) £360
Cut seat out £25
Slide forks through

All resulting in new seat height of 720mm but this only leaves 35mm rear wheel travel before the swingarm smashes into the frame so the ride is a bit hard to say the least. At this height with all these mods my partner could only just get her 10 toes on the ground.

Just had two weeks in the Pyrenees (only on paved roads - Denis B). Riding was great, first trip for partner, no incidents, loads of lovely twisties. But there was no chance at all of stopping or getting off the bike on anything but absolutely flat.

prognosis: At 175kg (unloaded) the bike is too heavy for the limited foot grounding. If we had 1/2 inch lower then she could get a better footing to keep the bike stable. Now try and do this on a gravel road in africa somewhere...not worth taking the risk...

So after this very expensive experiment we are after a new bike.

Lois...thanks but the lack of speed is an issue. Most parts of Southern Africa have paved roads with very big fast trucks and we don't want to spend our time dodging truck. From your site you mention that with your lowered TTR250 you just get your toes down. What is your actual new seat height? Then again the new 250's can maintain good speed but most of them (XR, TTR, XT, XYZ) are all 890mm or higher...

We are seriously looking at options away from the cliche trail/off road bike. Seat height and low weight are imperitive.

I absoluelty love my Funduro especialy considering it is now fully overland ready (screen, luggage, protections etc) and I am very comfortable with it so I am now really torn about the recommendation of taking the same bikes. With partner most probably ending up on a wee small puney bike I will have to carry both our luggage and water/fuel etc.

So what I'm asking: Any idea of a bike to take someone across Africa with a seat height lower than 720mm, bigger than a 250cc, lighter than 140kg? Offroad, trail, custom, classic....anything so long as it can do the job.

Looked at the DR350 but no one can tell me how low it can go...same with the DR650SE (yes I have emailed Trui and Iris). Lecap...please go outside and measure one of your bikes and tell me what the lowered height is ag please man.

I don't want to sound arrogant but please please please don't repeat what every other site and thread has said about "..well this bike can go really low with cutting the seat and fitting longer links etc". If you don't know the ACTUAL lowered seat height then rather don't say anything. Alternatively if you know of someone with a lowered version of a bike you think will do the job them please send them in my direction so that we can at least go sit on the bike and see if it will do the job.

As you can see my partner and I are absolutly at our wits end and frustrated at the fact that the entire motorbike industry clearly do not cater for people that are vertically challenged...

...and no I am not going to get myself a new fiancee.
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Last edited by Bossies; 9 Jul 2006 at 21:18.
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  #10  
Old 10 Jul 2006
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Get in done pro and it should be right!

Im a 5'5" male and ride a Yamaha TT600r(the old TALL kickstart one) which by all accounts is a really lofty bike.
I first had the seat lowered by Motorcycle Seat Works in Bradford (01274 604672). I wanted it really low, but he convinced me not to drop too much, so about 1.5/2 inches. He replaced the foam with a harder type suitable for my weight and made it a bit wider. Cost about £100. He did my mates TT600r seat as well, he's 6'4" so got it made really wide with loads of padding for his bony behind.
I also dropped the forks through the yokes about an inch.
I then rode 18,000 miles with the bike in this state. I still wasn't happy though. I read about a bloke in TBM that does suspension tuning including lowering, down in Essex somewhere ( www.endurotech.co.uk ) for about £200 for the full bike.
Rather than treck down there i found UK suspension up in Keighley ( 01535 606200 )who did a similar job for £300. He shortened the rear shock and put a lighter spring on it, revalved the forks and changed the springs for stiffer ones.
Basically its a further 2 inches lower and works really great on and off road. Its amazing the difference it makes. I can only get tip-toes down, but it feels half the size/weight it did before as i can get one foot off and flat on the ground even if its not flat.
People told me not to get it done as it would ruin its off-road ability, but i dont ride fast, so the added confidence its given me and the ability to stay upright on the rough stuff is well worth it.
I reckon i'll end up having this done to every bike i'll ever own(cos i is a short ass!)
Oh yeah, get the side-stand lowered so the bike doesnt try and fall over all the time (with all your luggage on!)
TT660r's are 131kg dry (according to Yam, probably about 140-something in reality) the slightly lower TT600re, which have electric start but no Ohlins shock and cheaper forks, weigh 150kg dry.
You could probably get work like this done to any bike
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  #11  
Old 10 Jul 2006
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SEAT HEIGHT as requested.......

Been to measure it. Its still 840mm! Oh well it feels great to me now.
Im getting a ferry from Portsmouth on Wednesday night, thats near Poole isn't it? You can come give it a go if you like.
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  #12  
Old 11 Jul 2006
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Smile F650gs

I am 1.62m (around 5.3 I think?). I bought the F650GS earlier this year. The standard seat was far too high for me but I did not want to lower the bike and reduce ground clearance.
I sent my seat to www.customseats.co.uk to scoop out the foam and insert a gel seat. It lowered the seat by about 2'.

It makes a big difference as I can have the ball of the foot down on both sides at the same time. Melvin, the guy behind customeseats did a great job. So much that one of my friend, about same height than me, sent her seat (she's got a 650GS) to Melvin as well. Cost just under 200 pounds.

On subject of the bike, the 650GS is not too heavy and handle really well. It's a superbe bike.

Cheers,

Maria
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  #13  
Old 11 Jul 2006
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Thanks very much for the reply Wonky. Good idea/referral. I think I'll get in contact with those guys and see what ideas they can come up with.

My Funduro is at about 840 and my parters toes are 5" off the ground when she sits on it...thanks for the offer though. Enjoy the trip.

Norm Kouba got back to me (nice bloke) and said the DR350 might just be the thing but he would prefer the DRZ400. Due to budget constraints the 400 is out so we are now aiming for the DR350SE. There appears to be loads of inches of ground clearance so lots of room for dropping the suspension (possibly new shorter forks and monoshock) and following on your point; we are going on a RTW trip not aiming to be MX champions. So as long as the bike is comfortable and tough that's all that matters.
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  #14  
Old 11 Jul 2006
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Thanks MAria, yes the GS is really a good option. With the same things we did to the Funduro (seat, monoshock, links, forks etc) they can both get down to about 720mm (try and get BMW to tell you that...cowardly B£$%^&*ds) and as the GS seat is narrower than the funduro it could do the think....but $$$$ is a problem. I haven't seen a clean GS for under £2500.
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  #15  
Old 11 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossies
Thanks very much for the reply Wonky. Good idea/referral. I think I'll get in contact with those guys and see what ideas they can come up with.

My Funduro is at about 840 and my parters toes are 5" off the ground when she sits on it...thanks for the offer though. Enjoy the trip.

Norm Kouba got back to me (nice bloke) and said the DR350 might just be the thing but he would prefer the DRZ400. Due to budget constraints the 400 is out so we are now aiming for the DR350SE. There appears to be loads of inches of ground clearance so lots of room for dropping the suspension (possibly new shorter forks and monoshock) and following on your point; we are going on a RTW trip not aiming to be MX champions. So as long as the bike is comfortable and tough that's all that matters.
Dr350 probably a better bike for job and lighter for sure.
No need for new shorter forks and monoshock, the suspension guys will modify your originals, loads cheaper and reversible as well. I didn't understand how this would be possible until i started doing the research.
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