Am I a girly man if I lower my F800?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Scooter1942, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Scooter1942

    Scooter1942 Average Dude

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    I'm throwing myself at the mercy of the hive. Please be gentle.:wink:

    I'm 5'6" with 29-30" inseam. I normally ride a Triumph Bonneville that allows me to flatfoot at stops. However a couple of weeks ago I broke down and bought an F800GS with the low seat.

    Essentially, it is everything I can do to get the balls of both feet on the ground at stops. It's actually more like ball of one foot, toes of the other. I'm learning to just shift to one side, but I like the confidence of being able to put both feet down. With a passenger or luggage I get some compression on the springs, but not much.

    Of course the salesmen at both shops I went to, scoffed at the idea of lowering the bike or going with the low seat. They also promised that it would compress a little over time. They said simply that I just needed to get used to it and learn to ride a big bike. Ok, maybe so. However, one of the shops had one last '09 F8 in stock with the factory low seat, so I snagged it.

    My plans are to use the bike for some mini adventures that will consist of mostly paved roads with 10%-20% gravel or packed dirt. I don't plan, nor do I intend to ride this like a dirt bike. I don't currently have the skill or desire for this.

    With that being said, I'm seriously contemplating buying the 2" Hyperpro lowering kit and then buying the Sargent seat. I'd gain two inches with the Hyperpro but then lose an inch by going to an improved stock seat with the Sargent. Of course, I'd lose two inches of ground clearance and shock travel, but I'd gain an inch of leg room in the box. I have no idea how handling would change.

    So, what say the hive? Man up and learn to ride a bike that "feels" to big for me? Or, drop it down and gain some confidence and a nicer platform for my ass? Will I get used to the taller bike and gain confidence with use, or is it just a matter of time before I drop it at a light?

    Please advise.:ear
    #1
  2. brian81

    brian81 Adventurer

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    If you're not doing a lot of off road riding why didn't you go with the F650GS? Same bike but more street oriented, and cheaper:evil
    #2
  3. Dert Gerl

    Dert Gerl Been here awhile

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    My advise would be to ride the bike for a while and then make your decision. I'm about the same size and have the low seat on mine and am comfortable with the bike. I come from the dirt bike side of things though so I'm used to a tall bike.

    I'd be willing to bet that you find yourself comfortable on it pretty quick.
    #3
  4. RogueClimber

    RogueClimber "Tacticool"

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    You should be fine. Get out and ride it until you are comfortable. On my GSA there is no way for me to have both feet solid on the ground. I had to take the steel toe caps off my boots for fear of slipping, yet I ride on.

    So just get out there and love your ride!!!:clap
    #4
  5. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

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    I also come from a dirt background, so some seat height isn't too scary for me. I learned to stop with just one foot down, and the other on the peg and it's just stuck with me I guess. I find that even though I could get the toes of both feet down, I'm way more comfortable with the left foot on the ground and the right stays on the peg/brake. If I've misjudged the terrain or am about to tip right, I just touch down on that side instead. I think you'll get used to it and end up wanting all the ground clearance you can get.
    #5
  6. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    I have a shorter or equal inseam to you and with my upgraded suspension the F800GS sits higher than stock :eek1. I can barely tiptoe the thing and usually captain morgan it at stop lights. I am sure the cagers behind be think it's funny and wish to see me slip on the oil stain in the middle of the lane and go down. Why do it do it?... I don't want to compromise the suspension and when I am on the pegs it doesn't matter.

    Besides... if I dump it at ultra low speeds where I want to put a foot down there will be no damage because of the crash protection (i've done it a few times already...) BUT if you hit that stump, stone or pothole and case out you are gonna wish you had those inches.


    In all honesty, I am not that good off road and I am kinda talking out my ass, I just don't want to compromise the suspension that I hopefully will be able to fully utilize when I get the required experience, skills, or balls. :wink:
    #6
  7. Scooter1942

    Scooter1942 Average Dude

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    Originally, I was going to go with the 650 for that very reason. However, I decided that the extra horsepower of the F800 would be better for those occasions when I'm riding two up or carrying a load.
    #7
  8. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I have been facing this question myself for some time, and I have decided to go lower even though I am taller than the OP and I can get both feet down (not flat) on the bike with a heavy rear preload (which I think is necessary for this bike to work right off road).

    The primary reason is the ability to spin the bike around comfortably off road. I have had my F8 off road quite a lot, and there are times when you decide that the trail is simply not working out. Those are the times when you want to plant a foot, angle the forks over, and spin it around. It is a bit too tall and heavy for me to do this manuever without some drama. I am going to go lower and take my chances with ground clearance. Stepping off and trying to work the bike around is just too painful.

    If I was spending most of my time on the street, I would leave it as is.
    #8
  9. Road Sailor

    Road Sailor Regnad Kcin

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    I used to own a KTM 640 AdventureR, 37.5" seat height:eek1, me I'm 5'-10" with a 32" inseam. Coming to stop on pavement with such a difference in height definately gives one "pause" before coming to a complete stop. I got used to sliding my butt to one side and getting a foot down while the other was on the peg. I never dropped it on pavement, even with a full tank of gas 9 gallons!:gdog But I was always worried that I would drop it at a stoplight, a healthy dose of fear keeps us alive.
    The key is to ensure visually that the foot that's going down is on ground without oil, gravel, sloped, etc.etc.etc. I'd say give it some time, but you gotta trust what your gut is telling you.
    #9
  10. ADK

    ADK master of the casual pace

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    yes
    #10
  11. BlackHammer

    BlackHammer Celtic Canadian

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    Yes you are , Are you hot at least ??:lol3
    #11
  12. Road Sailor

    Road Sailor Regnad Kcin

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    I'd also recommend doing whatever you can to build up those quads a bit, there's a lot to be said for more muscle when you need a hand against gravity.
    #12
  13. Scooter1942

    Scooter1942 Average Dude

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    Smokin':D
    #13
  14. v8toilet

    v8toilet Nothing to see here.

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    Being able to get a foot down is not something a salesman should scoff at.

    Get the bike, do what you need to to make it work for you and apologize to no one. :deal

    "It will compress over time" there's a lame sales line... I think they meant to say the suspension will 'wear-in' and then 'wear out...'
    #14
  15. Road Sailor

    Road Sailor Regnad Kcin

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    Maybe BMW will offer an option like the Piaggio MP3, push a button and it stays upright!:rofl
    #15
  16. brian81

    brian81 Adventurer

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    Yes ! :rofl
    #16
  17. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

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    Well...you became girly the day you bought the GS...jaja...kidding.:lol3

    Do what you have to do to feel confy in your bike. Its yours!!!
    #17
  18. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    I agree with the spinning around problem, my 31" inseam and skinny legs don't give me a lot of confidence for that manuever. But after a week of riding dirt roads on my GS8 earlier this month I pretty much mastered the multiple Y turn on those roads and trails that didn't go where I wanted to...or quit going anywhere. As long as you don't run the front tire up the berm so far that you can't touch the ground on either side, 2-3 iterations of forward & backwards with a little turn each time will get you around without dismounting. I get the best U-turn I can (usually easier while standing on the pegs), then finish it with as many Ys as necessary.

    On another note, I have the Sargent seat and it does seem to keep my feet farther off the ground than the stocker due to wider sides. Much more comfy, though. On long days in the saddle my butt only starts to think about hurting at the end of the day instead of within an hour of breaking camp. And it's not in the way while standing.
    #18
  19. T

    T --------------

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    You're not a girly man, you're just short.:lol3

    For the price of the GS they should put the lowering kit and the seat on for you- NO CHARGE!

    Go back to both of those Stealerships and kick the salesmen in the balls- if you can kick that high....:D
    #19
  20. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Look at the torque/power curve. Unless you are carrying that at 100mph+, or with the tacho near the stops I THINK the 650 will still come out ahead.

    Pete
    #20