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).