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Old 05-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #16
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with you wife being light you could use the same springs in the forks and just cut them for the shorter stroke, which will save quite a bit. so 300-400 dollars.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by muddyrabbit View Post
with you wife being light you could use the same springs in the forks and just cut them for the shorter stroke, which will save quite a bit. so 300-400 dollars.
I'm not a suspension guy, but I believe cutting springs will end up making them stiffer. There is less spring to compress over a certain distance. So although the bike might sit lower, they are going to end up with a stiffer ride which isn't going to work well for a light rider either.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:07 AM   #18
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It has a lot to do with how much it will be lowered, and how much weight overall the bike will carry(and I really didn't convey the whole thought very well posting from my phone either). Yes, shortening the spring is going to effectively make it a stiffer spring, but if you are only taking an inch off it won't make that much difference. Combined with the fact that most bikes are pretty lightly sprung to begin with. Also factor in that in addition to her weight there will be the weight of whatever luggage and gear she is going to have on the bike, a bit stiffer may be good.

Case in point, when we did Mala Bunny's WR250R we shortened the fork stroke by 1 inch, which required a 1 inch shorter spring. Her riding the bike by herself in stock form the forks springs were about right, maybe a little soft. But then we added an oversize gas tank that carries 2.5 gallons more fuel right up front, and luggage, and whatever she packs in the luggage, and she needed a slightly stiffer spring. So cutting the stock spring happened to work out pretty good. It could actually be a bit stiffer, but she does not use it for very difficult trail very often, more like a super lightweight adventure tourer. But if she had been a 180 to 200 pound rider (instead of the significantly lighter weight she is which shall remain undisclosed, because, you know she's a woman and would kill me), then we would not have been able to get away with cutting the stock spring once you factored in the added weight of the tank and luggage.

So knowing how the math worked out for Mala's WR, and that she could have a heavier spring rate to make it "perfect" and knowing that Mainjet's wife is 120 pounds which makes her XX.x pounds lighter than Mala, if he were going to equip a WR250 in a similar way shortening the springs would likely be pretty good. If not there is always the option of replacing the springs, which will add about $100-$120 to the cost of doing the forks.

When it came to the rear of the bike, we did three things. First, the WR has a threaded height adjuster on the bottom of the shock, setting that all the way to the lowest setting helped, she could at least tip-toe one side without hanging completely off the bike, but it was not enough for her to be comfortable. So we did the lowering link next, we used a Yama Link, same thing as a Kouba, except it's blue and matches the bike, and well, she's a girl... Better, but still not there. So we opened the shock and did an internal spacer to shorten the stroke a bit. Any decent suspension shop will tell you this is the "right way" to lower suspension. One of the reasons we did a combination of lowering link and internal spacer is that to do it internally and get it low enough for her we would have taken away a significant amount of suspension travel. So in this case after checking clearances the combination was the best solution. Once again after doing all the math on the spring rate, factoring in her weight, accessories, amount of pre-load adjustment, and most importantly riding style, we were able to keep the stock spring (it did not need to be shortened). It should also be noted for anyone doing a lowering link that since you are changing the length of a LEVER in the suspension it affects your spring rate. Whenever you put in a lowering link you are making the spring rate softer because you have given the forces working against the spring more mechanical advantage. Honestly, Mala's SHOULD have had a stiffer rear spring put on, but once again she doesn't ride it on hard off road very often.

muddyrabbit screwed with this post 05-13-2013 at 07:28 AM
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #19
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Shorter bikes

Check out a post here about two Texans do the TAT. Jordan and his wife went through this same scenario. She rode a nicely equipped KLX250 and she was a petite lady. Super nice folks and were more than helpful when my wife was looking for her ride.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:06 AM   #20
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The Honda CRF230L is a great bike for a shorter person. 267 lbs, and a 31" seat height. My wife rides one, and is very happy with it. Pretty gutless at speeds over 60 mph, but great for off road and around town.
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