F800GS with 30" inseam?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by maximuski, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. maximuski

    maximuski Don't Follow Me I'm Lost2

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    Well, I'm another "inseam challenged" (I'm 5'6" and 30" inseam) and I can't decide about buying a new F8 because of the seat height. I don't trust much in specifications because I used to have an Africa Twin (seat height 33.9 inches according to specs) and although both feet barely touched the ground, actually I didn't have any problem riding the bike.

    However I tried a F8 with low Seat (33.5 inches according to specs) a couple of weeks ago here in Canada, And I couldn't touch the ground with one foot. I know the seat height is not the only factor, the bike shape and the seat shape also influence ... I've read some posts about some custom seats (such as corbin) that could help with height limitation, but I want to ask directly...

    ..do you think a 30" inseam is really a limitation for the F8?? Could I really compensate my lack of height with a Custom seat and/or thicker sole boots??

    I really appreciate you opinions, after the Honda AT was discontinued I couldn't find the "right" bike for me... and the F8 is my last hope !

    Thanks for you help!

    Cheers! :kbasa

    Julian
    '98 Suzuki XF650 - Gone
    '99 Honda XRV750 - Gone and still hurts!
    '07 Suzuki DL650 - Gone
    #1
  2. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    My Corbin is lower but wider so makes it more difficult. Maybe the Touratech low seat would work. I'm 5'11" but a long back means a 31" inseam. Anticipation and control is everything. Ride it, don't 'paddle' it. I only have to careful on cambers and ridges in the road. The 800GS has a relatively high centre of gravity so you do need to be assertive but you should be able to manage it.

    You can also lower the suspension.
    #2
  3. foobar

    foobar I remain calm

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    I'm 5'7" with 30" inseam and have been riding an 800GS for a year or so with no problems. I have the low seat. I'm not completely flat-footed at a stop but that doesn't bother me.

    I don't know about custom seats but I was considering adding some gel or other extra padding but can't do it since it adds .5 - 1" to seat height - something to consider.

    I've seen this topic come up before and I recall there's quite a few inseam-challenged riders on the 800GS. I love the bike and have no regrets!
    #3
  4. Maddaddy

    Maddaddy Greg

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    :becca

    I'm 5'7" with a 30" in seam.

    Get the low seat, or...

    I have the stock seat. I had an upholstery guy dish it out and make it more narrow for $30.00. I ride with a bead rider on top of it for comfort.

    You will not be able to flat foot both feet, so get used to it. Practice your Captain Morgan stance at the stop lights.

    Don't let some ass-clown talk you in to some sort of lowered suspension either.
    #4
  5. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    5'9", 30" inseam, F800GS with standard seat. Works for me.
    #5
  6. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    :brow
    #6
  7. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    It has been proven time and again that lowering a suspension to "fit" is the single best thing you can do to any motorcycle to increase rider confidence and enjoyment. Only a fool would advise against lowering if it is indicated. Touratech peddles a Hyperpro lowering kit for the F8 which claims 2". In actuality it is about one inch. It is the best thing I have ever done to the F8 for both the performance improvement as well as confidence/handling. I am 6', but have a 31" inseam.

    I have many friends and GF's who have lowered their suspensions, and the feedback is uniformly positive.

    If I rode only pavement or fire roads, I would have left mine alone. I suspect people who claim to be doing fine with an F8 and a 30" or less inseam are simply not riding it on agressive off road venues such as Lippincott Road and Steel Pass in Death Valley.
    #7
  8. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    I am 5'9" - 30" inseam. I raised my seat 3" in the center ( but kept it narrow where I stand) with a custom seat builder to avoid the dreaded uncomfortable ski slope stock seat. My seat is flat now and very comfy. I could not touch the ground except on my very tips with my legs very close to the bike.
    Since the stock front suspension is horrific & unusable in bumpy conditions at speed and the rear is only acceptable I did the following:
    Hyper pro rear shock with high speed & low speed compression dampening and rebound dampening and hydraulic preload and adjustable length from -15mm to -25 mm shorter than stock length. Traxxion Dynamics AK-20 fork cartridges with 25 mm shorter stroke, new springs with rebound and compression adjustments on the fork caps. These forks use oil weight thru traditional oil dampening ports. They are absolutely the closet thing you can get to dirt forks handling at this time. So in a nutshell if you may want to budget $2,700.00 to get the suspension near perfection and while you are at it lower the bike 1" and get a low sargent seat. 30" inseam will be no issue at all then. Note that when you shorten the rear shock you still get 8" of suspension travel it just does not start at the same point. The fenders have plenty of clearance. This way you end up with 8" of suspension on each end which is adequate for everything but brutal off road single track which I would not take a 400lb dirt bike on anyway.
    #8
  9. CrazyMike

    CrazyMike ***42***

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    I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam.
    I have no problems riding my F800GS with the standard height seat.

    No modifications have been made and despite being the ideal weight the suspension was designed for (185lbs) I still adjust the preload up by at least 5 turns.

    Oh yeah...I'm tippy toe on both feet at most stops...still not an issue.
    #9
  10. Maddaddy

    Maddaddy Greg

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    it's not the inseam, it's what's in between. But I guess all of us shorties can't handle it eh? what ever chief. You're the man. let's all line up and kiss your ass. :fitz
    #10
  11. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    I have a 30" in seam and have no problems riding aggressive mountain passes here in Colorado! Have I dropped the bike because I needed to dab and got air. Yeah, so that will happen on EVERY bike you ride off road! It can't be helped.

    Skill and confidence has a lot to do with it. I've ridden my 800 through things that others have paddled through and subsequently tipped over. The bottom line is that people need to honestly and seriously evaluate the type of riding they are going to do. Then they need to know that they will eventually run into something that they will FUCK UP and deal with the consequences!
    #11
  12. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    Hey, if you can do it I take my hat off to you. Not all of us are Jimmy Lewis. I readily acknowledge that an excellent rider can manage the bike while never leaving the pegs. I can't. I am not that good. I need to dab in many technical situations. My post was not meant to either insult people with short legs or extoll my own abilities. If I was a better rider I would not have lowered the bike. I am not going to become that good in my lifetime, and I want to enjoy riding the bike in difficult terrain. I suspect the majority of F8 owners are at my general skill level, and to those of them with short legs there is no reason not to get your feet closer to the ground.
    #12
  13. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    I agree 100% with TMex. For all practical purposes 30" inseam guys need to find a compromise between ground clearance and contact. I lowered mine 1" on each end and now I can get the balls of my feet to touch. That is what I need for dabbing in the nasty jeep trails. I too am not Jimmy Lewis but I am also not a noob when it comes to off roading.
    #13
  14. Dr. Zaius

    Dr. Zaius It's a mad house

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    5'10" 30" inseam...
    7,000 miles and counting with a standard seat (now I have the standared TT aftermarket seat for comfort). I also come from riding really tall MX bikes so I am used to reaching for the ground.
    #14
  15. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    I'm 5'11" with a 30" inseam. The standard height works just fine for me.
    #15
  16. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    I think I am 5'9" with a 28" or 29" inseam (not exactly sure how to check but I know i'm short :photog.

    I've got modified suspension but only the progressive springs and heavy oil so that might even raise the bike a tiny bit. I just captain morgan it at stop lights and carefully choose my stopping points on the trails. Sure I have dumped it a few times because of my reach but I take it in stride. When I am on the pegs it feels great!!

    BTW I use the low seat and I just got back (12 hours ago) from a 2 day, 1000 mile trip which consisted of every type of road including 300 miles of dirt/gravel in the Ozarks! (And my ass isn't falling off lol). Look for my ride report coming as soon as I get these pics loaded :1drink
    #16
  17. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    Indy, with your current stable

    Current Stable:
    2010 BMW F800GS

    2007 Husqvarna TE610
    2003 KTM 525 MXC
    2003 Yamaha WR450
    2002 Yamaha R1

    I would venture to say that you didn't buy the 800 to go balls to the wall true off road riding! Certainly you could take it to ride Red Cone but why would you when the 525 or 610 would be a far better ride??? IMO this bike isn't meant to be thrashed like a 450! And it certainly will not take you to the same places!

    There is no need to lower an 800 if you are riding 70% street 30% dirt with those occassional aggressive off road adventures. I'll take it Baja and "explore". I certainly won't ride it like I would any 450 off road machine in Baja because again in IMHO is not what the bike was meant for.
    #17
  18. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    I would probably skip red cone on this bike but I would do webster but that would be my comfort limit on the F800GS.:wink:
    The reason I added this bike to my stable is for state to state adventure riding and a future Mexico & Alaska trip. I ride the 525 out of the house to Red Cone and do 200 - 300 mile days on it. Across state I love my TE610. I can do 300 - 400 mile days on it and run around the state in a 4 day trip. However I am not comfortable asking either of those bikes to run around the western states and come home in 6 or 7 days. I plan to run the F800GS 50% dirt or more if I can and when you are a long way from home I don't want to get rejected on forest service roads because I am on a street bike with street tires. I prefer to find all dirt roads when planning my rides but no matter how much I plan you end up with a fair bit of tarmac!:D
    #18
  19. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    For me the criteria for being able to take a bike off road comfortably is the ability to spin a donut so you can change directions easily when things are deteriorating. This manuever is needed going uphill, downhill, and flat. Prior to taking an inch out of the suspension I was about 70% depending on terrain - hills being easier by nature of their intrinsic bias. After lowering I can spin a donut easily anyhwere and safely and quickly turn around without looking like a dork making a ten point turn. A lower seat would not work well for me since the pegs with the standard seat are perfect for the sitting to standing transition. With the Touratech risers I am standing nearly all the time off road.I would be cramped with the low seat - I tried it.

    If I had to "Captain Morgan" the bike, I would not ride it. Whatever works for you is the right answer.
    #19
  20. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Long timer

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    The only reason I want both feet on the ground is for loading passengers. I'm not a big guy @ 135lbs, but at 5'7" I have been blessed with a 32" inseam and even with that a passenger getting on or off my bike can pull me over.
    #20