You will have to make the lowering links yourself. 1/4" X 1" bar stock works great. Just drill the holes a little farther apart than stock. Every 1/8" you spread the holes gets you 1/2" lower. Don't go too far as it will have an effect on handling.
i could swear iv seen a guy on ebay selling lowering links. it says for the ex500 but who knows how well they are made. and personally, i dunno how safe id feel about just walking down to the ol store and buying any old peice of steel and subjecting it to all that stress.
if you can make it work, id suggest shaving your seat. i was about to go the route of lowering the suspension untill i read the negatives of it. i took 2+" out and im almost flat footing but comfortable enough with everything. thats my .02
thanks for the help. these mods are for my girlfriend who is pretty short. i've seen that guy on ebay selling lowering links for the ex500. he doesn't have any specific for the 500, you have to give him dimensions and he can get them/make them. i plan on trying to shave the seat first, but if that's not enough then i have to look into getting some lowering links. i shaved the seat on my 636 and it gave me at least an inch. i also agree that lowering isn't a good idea. i lowered my 636 as well and raised it back up because it ruined the handling in the twisties. thanks for the help.
why not get your girlfriend to try it without the links?
i have a 250 that is actually raised to be as tall as a 500 (we put in a stiffer suspension for more agressive riding). my inseam is 29 inches and the seat height is about 30.5 / 31 inches. i have to take off and land on one foot, but with a bike that weighs about 300 pounds, it's not too bad. throw a pair of work boots on and i can tippie toe with both feet. usually, tho, i wear racing boots and have to do the one-foot. see if she's willing to give it a try- she may get used to it a lot faster than she thinks.
she's about 5'1 with probably like a 25" inseam or so. i've been teaching her to ride on the 500 and she's dropped it a few times. she can ride fine but whenever we practice hard braking she has a hard time keeping the bike balanced and once it's leaned over a little, down it goes. it's mostly mental, i know she can do it, but just the fact that she can barely touch the ground and she's not that strong she gets nervous. hopefully the shaving the seat will allow her to get comfortable.
well, i hope so too! it will cost you two a lot less to just shave the seat! (laughing)
i know it's mostly mental for girls. when i first got my ex, i thought it was heeeaavvvvyyyy. i hated walking it backwards or getting it out of the garage. now i pick it up with one hand when it falls down! it turns out it was just perspective and lack of experience!
you might want to try too (if the seat shave isn't quite enough) that exercise they do at the msf with clutch control. spend an afternoon rolling the bike forward with the clutch only, stopping and putting only the right foot down, etc. a little muscle memory will go a long way in this case!
check into some of the sidi and icon ladies boots as well. you can get a variety of nice sport touring boots with thicker soles on them.
if its any conselation im about the same height as your g/f (but with a taller inseam and im a guy). i think shaving the seat will do the trick nicley. i know i got a good ammount of clearance from my experience. i went from a little better than tippy toes, to having 3/4 of my feet down and being able to comfortably sit there with no hands and relax just balancing the bike between my feet.
and the fear of dropping it comes from anyone who has either nearly, or has infact dropped their bike. i still have a slight fear of sharp or fast right hand turns just cuz thats the only times iv almost dropped her. shes just gonna have to work things little by little and get over that fear.
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