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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Lowering Question

These may be dumb questions, but here goes:

I love my Vulcan - a lot - but find that it can be a little tough for me to handle if I get just a skosh too far past the center line (upright center). For the most part, it's really not a problem. But I find that if I have to stop quickly - say, in a parking lot - I'm often in danger of dropping my baby. FWIW, I'm just over 5'7" and fairly strong - but this is clearly a leverage issue.

Sooo, I was talking to someone (shorter than I am) about her Sportser over the weekend, and asked her how in the heck she's able to manage that bike (which I think is top-heavy). She said her husband installed a lowering kit on it "and it is easier to handle than the Honda Rebel I once owned." I was stunned - I mean, the Rebel? And she thought the "kit" was just shocks, but was unsure.

So, is there any truth to the notion that lowering the rear will give me a little more flexibility in terms of just how far over the bike can tip before it drops? Intuitively, that doesn't make sense to me (the top-heavy part seems to be the front), but if someone could explain it that'd be awesome.

Secondly, does lowering really only involve changing the shock length?

If true, then finally, any suggestions for lowering the 750? How much? Which shocks? etc? I've been rebuilding the guest bathroom all summer (slow process, but have learned a lot about home plumbing ), and haven't had a chance to finish putting my engine back together. But this might be just the ticket to get me away from drywall!

Thanks in advance!

C
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 10:35 PM
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Cindy, I just recently lowered my bike... was hopeing for 2" but it came out closer to 3"... the first thing I noticed about the bike after riding was how much better it handles in the twisties.. second thing I noticed it is easier for me to push around the parking lots and the drive way. Stops are a lot less stressful obn my muscles. and lastly I will never go back to stock I love it so much better. I lowered mine with the lowering bracket pdf file found on this sight. I did however mod it a little because of people complaining of the axle length. I used 1/8" steel plate to make my triangle pieces then used another piece of 1/8" plate to make aan outer support bar, then bolted a spacer the width of the shock to make the lowering bracket into a shackle (like found on a leaf spring of a car). for more info check out Lowered the Creep Show. ohh one more thing... i didn't touch the front suspension.. I left it stock hight.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 12:40 AM
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I am about the same height as you Cindy and I lowered the front of mine by dropping the trees down 3/4" below the top of the tubes and retightened the clamps,this is an easy way to find out if a little lower is good for you and completely reversible.There have been people who say not to do this but I rode mine for two seasons like this and loved it,I didn't lower the rear at all.
I am sure I out weigh you considerably and this doesn't affect the load carrying one bit ,it does lower the center of gravity making it easier to muscle around.
I also changed to a lower handlebar,which let me use my shoulder muscles more ,than just my arms.think about it this way,you can exert more force with your arms below your shoulder than above or level with them.
Also wider bars will give you more leverage too.I recommend dropping the front first and the amount I dropped the front of mine makes the bottom of the Frame rail almost level along the length of the bike,I don't know about any more than that without lowering the rear,and you are correct about dropping the rear only it will increase the overall rake of the front end,making it seem more nose heavy.I hope this gives you a few ideas to start with.BTW I sold mine to a woman about 5'3" and she is riding it every where.She loves it and all she had was dirt bike experience.




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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Slim and Denny! I'll think I'll give the front-lower a try and see how that works out. I have been thinking of switching to drag bars, so maybe if I did both of those things I'd feel more comfortable. Denny, what bars did you get? And did you have to put on risers or anything?

C
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crobins365 View Post
Thanks, Slim and Denny! I'll think I'll give the front-lower a try and see how that works out. I have been thinking of switching to drag bars, so maybe if I did both of those things I'd feel more comfortable. Denny, what bars did you get? And did you have to put on risers or anything?
I bought a set of bars from JC Whitney That were called a Daytona Bend .They were black and Had about a 2 inch rise on them and the pull back was not nearly as much as the mini Apes.
I didn't ave to use risers but i did have to use a Kz1000 clutch cable that exited straight instead of turning down where it came out of the hand lever ,I also rotated the right hand control back,moving the throttle cables forward to clear the tank,
I chose mine by going to a local bike shop and actually putting hands on new bars and looked goofy holding them out in front of me ,I actually looked in the dirt bike parts to find the ones that had the feel I wanted,but they were 79 bucks so I checked the height and width and pulback measurements and Looked through the JC whitney Cat.and found the ones I used ,with close to the same measurements for 19.99 plus tax.Another cheap rout is to find a dirt bike that some one is parting out and buy used.Good luck!




If you see it on my bike I did it
VROC#30324
92 vn750(sold)
Current ride 05 1500 Classic FI
lovin' the new scoot



Quote:
"When all is said and done,usually more is said than done" UNK
Click on one x and drag to the other to read between them.

Psalm 40:1...
XI waited patiently for the Lord; and he turned unto me, and heard my cry. X
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 09:02 AM
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Hi Cindy,

My 2 cents worth of answers for your questions:

Re: Parking lot tipovers:

Key factors in not dropping your bike when doing slow maneuvers in parking lots - Keep your eyes level, the bike wants to follow where you're looking. (Don't look down or the bike will tend to follow your eyes down too.) Also when you squeeze your front brake and clutch levers, be sure you're squeezing with your hands and not pulling the levers from your arms or shoulders. Just squeeze with your hands. You may find it easier to apply slight pressure from your arms and shoulders with your palms forward like doing a pushup, so that way you can focus on squeezing the controls with your hands only. When you pull from your arms and shoulders you will pull the front tire away from being centered which at slow speeds can to lead to tips overs.

So basically what I'm saying is the standard MSF stuff, keep your eyes up and stop with the bars square.


Re: ride height and bars:

I'm just about 5'3" and have a short inseam. Currently I use the stock seat and stock suspension, although I am toying with the idea of raising the fork tubes in the triple clamps by 3/4" to 1" to quicken steering and lower the seat height slightly.

Last week I completed installing a different set of handle bars that are much lower and much wider than the stock mini-ape hangers http://www.denniskirk.com/jsp/produc...fCatId=&mmyId= and took it out for a test ride last weekend. WOW what an amazing difference in handling! I am sooooo glad I ditched the stock bars!

The handlebar switch housings have what can be described as small pegs sticking out of their interiors that fit into holes on the stock bars. These keep your switches from being able to rotate around on the bars. The new bars that I purchased didn't have any pre-drilled holes so I had to carefully measure and carefully drill them myself (a drill press and a second pair of hands helped a lot).

Luckily these bars work with the stock length cables and wires, as a whole new set can get pricey. The handgrips do however come very close to stock gas tank now at full lock turns (like parking) but that doesn't really cause any problems with normal riding. People with longer legs might find that these bars touch their knees while making tight turns. The mirrors are now way out of proportion though and they need to be swapped for ones with much shorter stems.

If you were to swap out your stock bars I would recommend a few things:

- Take a wire coat hanger and bend it into the approximate position that you would like your new bars to be in. This will help you visualize where your new bars will position your hands etc. and help you take measurements so you can decide which new bars to use. Remember the VN750 uses 7/8" bars, not 1" bars.

- Do what Denny6006 did, go to a bike shop and ask to handle any spare bars they have to get a feel of what you're looking for.

- Have a look at this site for ideas http://www.sideroadcycles.com/Import...ckBarsOne.html

- Wider bars give you more leverage and make leaning the bike easier. Narrower drag bars will have the opposite effect.

-Sloppy

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Last edited by Sloppyburpfest; 09-01-2010 at 09:20 AM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Sloppy. I appreciate your input on the dropping thing, but it's as much a physics issue as anything. Men have longer legs than women, so how we each handle the bike is actually very different. With more leg, you have better leverage on a lean-over; we're left to try to upright the bike with upper body strength, which is just going to be less - so we can get to that point of no return kinda quickly. Some of the manufacturers are starting to realize that women are a viable market and are changing their specs accordingly (the V-Stars, for example, have a very low center of gravity), but the 750 is still built "old style," if you will. You'll see the same thing with competitive bicyclists - the guys are riding with longer crank arms and shorter stems, women are generally the reverse.

That being said, the stock 750 is close to how I'd like the bike to handle, but it's not quite there; so I'll take you guys' advice and see what I can find to do some mods. Can't hurt!

C
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 10:12 AM
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Seriously I my inseam is about 26" Cindy. The lower wider bars give a lot more leverage.

You can at least get away with wearing high heels not an option for me.

-Sloppy

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloppyburpfest View Post
Seriously I my inseam is about 26" Cindy. The lower wider bars give a lot more leverage.

You can at least get away with wearing high heels not an option for me.

-Sloppy
Wow! Okay, your legs are shorter than mine by far! But the bars should make a difference, so I'll give 'em a try.

As for those high heels...I would cause myself a whole lot more damage just walking in 'em, much less trying to ride a bike while wearing them!

C
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Crobins365 View Post
Thanks, Sloppy. I appreciate your input on the dropping thing, but it's as much a physics issue as anything. Men have longer legs than women, so how we each handle the bike is actually very different. With more leg, you have better leverage on a lean-over; we're left to try to upright the bike with upper body strength, which is just going to be less - so we can get to that point of no return kinda quickly. Some of the manufacturers are starting to realize that women are a viable market and are changing their specs accordingly (the V-Stars, for example, have a very low center of gravity), but the 750 is still built "old style," if you will. You'll see the same thing with competitive bicyclists - the guys are riding with longer crank arms and shorter stems, women are generally the reverse.

That being said, the stock 750 is close to how I'd like the bike to handle, but it's not quite there; so I'll take you guys' advice and see what I can find to do some mods. Can't hurt!
I f I were in your shoes, I would lower the front and back of the bike proprtionatly.. use some HD 10 1/2" shocks in the rear and drop the fork tubes in the trees, or better yet get 2" lower progressive springs.. you would be happier using the springs.. I have seen some prety nasty stuff from rasing the fork tubes through the trees to achieve a lower stance.
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