Heck being short! - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Heck being short!

Hi all. Former H/D rider and virgin to sport bikes. Respect to my former m/c brand, but need a change to something that CAN fly. (Hogs don't, as they say!) Looking hard at the Concours, but have noticed that on all the bigger sport/touring bikes a short guy is just not considered. Sort of surprised me, but I will deal with it. God still loves me.
Read old threads (2010), but before I put out 15 grand on a new Concours, I'd like to be a little better informed.
Any solid info about how to overcome the 31.1"(I think) seat height would be much appreciated. I'm only about 28" inseam on a good day when the sky is blue and the birds are chirping and Jupiter aligns with Mars. I'm used to riding a big, heavy bike (was a motorcycle cop, instructor and rodeo rider), but the H/Ds were only about 29" in seat height. Stopping and putting the bike on the side stand wasn't even an issue for me in most cases (except maybe sideways on a hillside). But going to a Kawi dealer for the first time ever last week and sitting on a Concours (among others) was slightly intimidating. Once up, I know I won't have too many issues, but the thought of stopping the bike on the street (heightwise) makes me nervous. I've heard that a different seat might help, or that bone linkage can be changed to lower the bike up to 4", and this wouldn't upset the performance too badly, but I know nothing about any of that. Even the dealer seemed unsure about this. Can anybody help with good info on this matter?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 01:00 AM
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Hey new2cows. I too am interested in lowering links, but I've never seen any that drop the bike as much as 4 inches; the normal drop is 0.75-1.5". The Concourse 14 may be one of the least friendliest sport-touring rigs for short riders like me and you. Have you tried looking at FJR or R1200RT? The big Conc has a 32.1" seat height whereas the Yamaha and BMW both have a 31.7" seat height. Not only that, I feel it doesn't splay your legs out as far which also aids in being able to reach the ground.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 06:29 AM
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New2cows, I'm in a similar boat. 5'7". First accept that a rider does NOT HAVE TO BE FLAT FOOTED to safely operate the motorcycle. Second, lowering a Concours 4" is an extremely bad idea, especially for the sole purpose of being flat footed. They only have ground clearance around 4.9". Lower it 4", you're scoot is 1" off the ground. That's insanity.

IMO as long as you can get more than tip toes down on both sides you should be OK. Check the preload, my 14's preload was cranked to the max (I was told they do this so that the suspension doesn't feel soft, and in case a couple wants to ride it) and didn't need to be. This got me a 1/2" lower. Consider a reasonable 1" lower link. Anything more than that on a tourer wouldn't make sense. Between those two things, you should be able to at least get the front 1/3 of both feet down. Another option is dropping the front forks 10-15mm (15 max) which is about 1/2". That's the last thing I'd do though.

I touch with the front 1/3rd of both feet on even pavement on my 14R. I do mostly urban riding. I stop/start frequently. I use safety techniques taught by MSF, and part of that is scanning the area you're going to stop for things to avoid (gravel, oil, dirt, pot holes, etc.). Probably not statistically, but as a non-flat footer I feel like I need to be even that more perceptive about where I'm putting my feet down. I do know first hand flat footers fall over sometimes too.

Like Rick84 says, you should check out different makes and models too. Concours has a strong following, but there are other bikes out there that are very similar and might cut you a little more slack. If you're deadset on a Connie, I'm sure you can make it workable.
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