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Old 02-27-2004, 4:53 PM   #1
 
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lowering front end does what ?

how does lowering the front end of your bike effect the handeling and ride ? what would setting the rear down do? just curious. thanks
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Old 02-27-2004, 5:08 PM   #2
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by n.e.o. rider
how does lowering the front end of your bike effect the handeling and ride ? what would setting the rear down do? just curious. thanks
Lowering the front end reduces both ground clearance and trail. Ground clearance may not be an issue, but reducing the trail (particularly on a 929/954) is usually not a great idea, as it also reduces the bikes straight line stability. Some riders seem to feel that it also puts additional weight on the front wheel, but in reality, it is typically less than a few ounces (even with a fairly drastic drop on the front end).

In my experience, actually RAISING the front end along with raising the rear of the bike (via an adjustable shock) is a much better way to go, as this increases the ground clearance at both ends and depending on the amount the rear is raised, may also make the "turn in" require less effort.

Some of the common myths about lowering the front end are that it makes the bike turn in faster and (as mentioned above) loads the front wheel. The bike will not "turn in" any faster by lowering the front, it will turn in "easier", by requiring less effort at the bars to initiate counter steering.

Raising the rear has very similar effects to lowering the front, although as mentioned, it actually increases the ground clearance. Lowering the rear will increase the trail, and increase the effort required to turn the bike. Raising or lowering the rear will also affect traction on corner exit, as it will change the fulcrum point of the chain/swingarm pivot/rear axle relationship.

Typically (but not always, as it depends on several other factors in the geometry and suspension), lowering the rear will increase the bikes ability to "hook up" on corner exit, while raising the rear will increase the bikes tendancy to spin the tire on corner exit (sometimes referred to as oversteering, although the term oversteering actually can be applied to several handling characteristics).
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Old 02-27-2004, 6:07 PM   #3
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

'Mazing.. very informative.

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Old 02-27-2004, 8:51 PM   #4
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Abtech gives a great description but I'm thinking he's asking because others are doing it. Namely drag racers to cut down by any means the tendency to wheelie under hard acceleration. And top speed pilots who lower the bike overall to reduce drag.
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Old 02-28-2004, 1:20 PM   #5
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

thanks for the information and insight. i was asking because i wanted to know if lowering the front end would make the bike more agile on the streets and cornering. being that these two bikes are very different i had no idea how it would affect the 954 but i did lower the front end on my vfr800, about an 1", and it seemed to help my cornering ability. the bike would need less effort to corner.
steering with my knees was easier. thanks again and since i have you here can i ask what the race sag should be? and maybe you could refresh my memory on how to set it. im familiar with off road but never set up the sag on a street bike.
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Old 02-28-2004, 2:41 PM   #6
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

On just about any bike, lowering the front will make turn in easier as I mentioned, but if you get spirited with the front end lowered on your 954, chances are you will start dragging bodywork and hard parts as this bike is already "clearance challenged".

Regarding the sag, my personal experience is around 1.25" to 1.5" loaded sag up front and around 1.125" to 1.25" loaded sag in the rear. Many people feel more or less is ideal, but this has always worked for me. There are several sites that have elaborate procedures listed for setting the sag, but I will give you a reasonably easy and fairly quick outline:

Step 1: Find 2 (preferably strong) friends to give you a hand.

Step 2: (This step is debatable, but I have found it to be useful for repeatable results): Carefully turn both the compression and rebound screws or adjusters to full soft (CCW) at both ends. Be careful with these, as they can be broken rather easily. If you had previously made careful adjustments, you may want to count the turns and document the original settings for a starting point once the sag is set.

Step 3: Starting with the front end, lift the wheel completely off the deck and measure the open amount of exposed tube between the seals on the forks and write this measurement down as open length.

Step 4: Bounce the front end by pushing down on the bars and releasing a couple of times to remove any stiction based interference and remeasure the exposed tube. Write this dimension down and mark it as static sag.

Step 5: Put on all of your riding gear and get on the bike in a normal riding position while your 2 friends hold the bike and measure the exposed fork tube again. Write down this measurement as loaded sag.

You should adjust the loaded sag to be within your desired range (as mentioned above for a guideline: 1.25" to 1.5") by turning the preload adjustment nuts in or out as required and repeat step 5 until within range. Once you have this dialed in, then remeasure the static sag (as in step 4) and if the difference between the open length and static sag is less than 10 mm (around 3/8") or over 16 mm (around 5/8") then your springs need to be changed and the entire procedure repeated.

The procedure for the rear is essentially the same, except you measure between the axle and a fixed position on the rear subframe (like the frankenstein bolts).

Once you have set the desired sag, remember to reset your compression and rebound adjusters. A good starting point is 1.5 turns out from full hard (or CW until they stop and then back 1.5 turns).
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Old 02-28-2004, 4:47 PM   #7
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

hey that is a huge amount of information. i really appreciate the time. thanks again.
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Old 02-28-2004, 5:58 PM   #8
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by Athens954
'Mazing.. very informative.

Do you mind if I download your brain? Just the bike knowledge. You can keep the rest
But the rest is the good part . . .
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Old 02-28-2004, 6:08 PM   #9
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Thanks Ab
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Old 02-28-2004, 6:15 PM   #10
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by abtech
is already "clearance challenged".

.

I thought he was talking about Bacchus for a minute
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Old 02-28-2004, 7:48 PM   #11
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Mine is lowered 1.75" both front and rear but its due to the fact that I have "Bacchus Syndrome"
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Old 02-28-2004, 9:29 PM   #12
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by alexandra
Mine is lowered 1.75" both front and rear but its due to the fact that I have "Bacchus Syndrome"
Just so that I know I'm in the clear, what are the symptoms of "Bacchus Syndrome" . It sounds very contageous
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Old 02-28-2004, 9:45 PM   #13
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by Athens954
Just so that I know I'm in the clear, what are the symptoms of "Bacchus Syndrome" . It sounds very contageous

Well there are many sypmtoms but some of them are; always having to ask someone to get you something from the top shelf, having to jump up to high five your buddies, people sometimes mistake your head as an elbow rest, must strap wood blocks to your shoes to drive the car.....the list goes on.

I am ashamed to say that I caught it by sharing shrooms with him


<this turned out to be a hijack>
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Old 02-28-2004, 9:52 PM   #14
 
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Re: lowering front end does what ?

Originally Posted by alexandra
Well there are many sypmtoms but some of them are; always having to ask someone to get you something from the top shelf, having to jump up to high five your buddies, people sometimes mistake your head as an elbow rest, must strap wood blocks to your shoes to drive the car.....the list goes on.

I am ashamed to say that I caught it by sharing shrooms with him


<this turned out to be a hijack>


Looks like I'm immune then. Unless I shrink by about two feet then I know I caught the Syndrome
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