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To lower or go roadie? The adventures of a short Irishman with sand in his vag.

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by ubermick, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Christ sake.

    My 2016 XCA is a fabulous bike, beating the absolute bejesus out of the F650GS it replaced in every way except for one - comfort. Or rather, confidence.

    I'm stupid short - 5'6 but with a 28" inseam - and was about to pull the trigger on an XRT with low seat, but a buddy of mine convinced me to get the XC instead adamant that the extra 2" of height would be something I'd get used to pretty quick. That doesn't seem to have happened though - have already pulled the seat on the XCA and replaced it with the factory low one. I don't need to flat foot, but on the XCA I can get the tippiest of one toe down, and aaaaaaalmost scrape the other one. But try as I might, it still feels a bit too tall for me, and get the shits stopping on cambered roads and hills. To the point where I'm finding myself not riding - coming up with excuses. Its pissing me off, and don't like the feeling that I'm actually FORCING myself to get out and ride, and even when I do I'm not having a good time. I'll be absolutely loving it blasting along, and then I have to get out of the happy zone and plot and plan for a stop coming up. Fuck sake. I've already gotten into the habit of putting left down instead of right to account for cambers, which makes it a hilarious sight trying to take off again.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Eating dinner, and the wife asked me if I was going for a ride this weekend. Mumbled a bit, said "Nah, probably not, too hot" and she called me on it. "When you had that BMW, I couldn't keep you in the house for an hour on the weekends, what the hell's going on?" and confessed "That thing out there intimidates me, and I can't get confident on it." And in true wifely fashion, offered a solution "Knock the sand out of your vagina and keep at it, or sell it and get a bike that works better."

    She has a point.

    So brings me to the dilemma. I've made a conscious decision to get out on the bike a half dozen times in the past two weeks, albeit just short 1-2 hour rides around Sonoma County. Goddamn the roads are awesome here. But still, same shite different day. Putting myself in situations with stop signs and the like, even deliberately picking routes where its flat as a pancake, and find myself over thinking it, in the occasional case panicking, and eventually getting pissed off. I'm a bit tired of banging my head against a wall, so time to make a change. Either lower it via Soupys links (and replacing the stand) I actually had a set of lowering links in my hand last year, but thought it's an idiotic idea to buy a taller bike just to lower it to the spec of a different bike - no point in having something that's more designed for off-road use when you strip it of the clearance in the first place. But have to do something now.

    Or the other option - which I kinda think I got spousal approval for - sell the XCA, which should fetch $10k considering its got just 7k on the odo and get myself a shiny new XRT with a fancy pants TFT screen.
    #1
    72 Yamaha RD350 likes this.
  2. Rmor85

    Rmor85 Adventurer

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    Sep 14, 2017
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    US
    I was kind of in the same spot here. Glad I'm not the only one. My inseam is closer to 29-30" and I lowered mine 1.5". I still can't flat foot, but it's a world of difference. I used a solid dogbone, so if I wanted to go more I'd have to get new ones.

    I would like to try out a low seat before adjusting anything else but it's not real high on the priority list right now.
    #2
  3. andrewhpty

    andrewhpty Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Panama
    I’m 5’7” with 29” inseam, just recently bought an XCA and to begin with I felt exactly the same - I was worried about using the bike, in case I somehow got stuck with it or fell off at the traffic lights. I even fitted TKC80s from new, which made it even worse!

    I fitted some Soupys adjustable links and dropped the forks about 4cm through the yokes, it has made a huge difference to the feel of the bike. The links I have left at the factory height, about a 1” drop, I had to adjust the preload a few times to get the rear suspension feel right, but overall extremely happy, they transformed the bike for me. Highly recommended.
    #3
    wilfred likes this.
  4. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,459
    Location:
    Johns Island, SC
    Do you ride off-road much, if at all?

    If the answer is no, get the XRT if it's in the budget.

    I'm 5'7" with 30 " inseam and bought a 15' XRX because I was honest with myself and knew I wouldn't take it on anything more off-road than forest service type roads and the added height of the XCX would cause me exactly the issues you are experiencing.

    I eventually went with suspension work and now my bike rides just as well as the longer suspended XCX and the cost for suspension work was less than the price difference between the XRX and XCX.
    #4
    outdoorsman and ubermick like this.
  5. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    No. Part of the "Dude, you need to get the XC over the XR" was that it was so much better off road. I pointed out that "Well, I never really go off road apart from the occasional fire road or gravel" and the response was "But yeah, if you had the XC you'd be doing it much more." But the reality is that it's such a combination of tall/top heavy that I wouldn't dream of taking it on singletrack or anything rough. If I ever pondered a BDR, I'd get a DR650. (Which is ironically taller, but nowhere near as top-heavy, and less underpants-threatening)

    Curious about the suspension - I know that's been a big knock on the XR in the past, that the Whites on the XC was SO much better than the Showa. With my BMW I was able to throw a Wilbers in there (or Ohlins, or any number of off-the-rack shocks, and modify the forks with progressive springs/Ricors) but wasn't able to see a whole lot of options for the Tiger, beyond pulling the shock and mailing it off for custom work.
    #5
  6. MapleRoad

    MapleRoad Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    734
    Location:
    San Jose, Calif
    Do you like tubed tires? If no, then the XR seems like your best bet: lower and more in-line with what you want it to do.

    Check with a local suspension place for upgrade options. They'll know.
    #6
    ubermick likes this.
  7. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Not really. My bike is highly unlikely to ever be on terrain that will need the benefits that tubed tyres give.

    So that's the way I'm leaning at the moment. It makes little sense to take the XCA and basically turn it into an XRT by lowering and futzing with it when the wife has given me the option of getting a new one. I just need to figure out what to do with her, whether I should sell privately or just trade it in (knowing I'll take a bath) and also figure out which farkles will transfer and which won't. (Wonder if my Arrow exhaust can move?)
    #7
  8. outdoorsman

    outdoorsman Lets Ride! Supporter

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    Jan 19, 2011
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    Elk Grove, California
    @ubermick I'm 5'4" with 27" inseam. I win! LOL

    Seriously, I have a 2015 Tiger 800XRX with stock suspension. I get one foot down at stops with just the ball of my foot. I've taken it off-road many times, not just fire roads with full luggage and camping gear. Sell the XCA and get the XRT. You'll be happier and will ride more, which is good for the mind, body, and soul.

    I'm taking my XRX to Alaska this week. Let's ride when I get back in 5 weeks.
    #8
  9. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam Supporter

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    I had my forks revalved and with new springs installed and bought a Penske rear shock set up for my weight and riding style.

    Work was done by Traxxion Dynamics. I sent them my forks and they shipped them back to me along with the new rear shock. I opted for the revalve and springs rather than the new cartridges as the cost was a good bit less and I wasn't all that unhappy with the stock suspension.

    https://traxxion.com/?make=4402&model=4462&year_id=4467&post_type=product&action=vpf-search

    https://traxxion.com/product/axxion-valve-upgrade/
    #9
  10. RichardD

    RichardD Long timer

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    Unless they improved the suspension over my 15 XRX don't trade bikes. I spent $2000 at Traxxion Dynamics for AK20 fork cartridges and a Penske rear shock . I hated the stock suspension on my XRX I was ready to sell the bike. I would try lowering your bike first since it's by far the cheapest way to go. I'd even consider a new suspension like a shorter shock if you didn't like how it rode after you lowered it. Trading bikes will be by far your biggest loss financially. My bike is amazing now and I've been riding it for four years.
    #10
    ferals5 likes this.
  11. CharlieBarley

    CharlieBarley Adventurer

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    Jan 8, 2019
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    10
    Location:
    Oxnard, CA
    I feel your pain. I have a 2018 XRt and I'm 5'8" with a 29" inseam. I haven't done anything to my bike but I got the Daytona M-Star GTX boots, and they have given me the ability to flatfoot both feet at stops! They are pricey but they are amazingly comfortable and are of the best quality. I've since stopped using my trusty Sidi Canyon boots I've worn for years.
    #11
    ubermick likes this.
  12. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Bwaaahahaha - you even have the same boots as I do. Am fine not completely flat footing though, as long as I can get balls of both, I'm good.
    #12
  13. Timps27

    Timps27 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Missouri
    5’8” on a 2012 Xc, I wouldn’t change a thing, she’s a leggy gal but I love her to the end.
    #13
  14. RichardD

    RichardD Long timer

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    Since both of you own those boots , please tell me about sizing. I hear they run big.
    #14
  15. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    I don't have the Daytonas, I have the Sidi Canyons. Absolutely love 'em. Wear a 9.5, they're 43, and they fit me perfect.
    #15
  16. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Long timer Supporter

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    Come on over to The Motorcycle Shop in Santa Rosa and check out the lowered Roadie we have for sale (FSBO actually, but on display at our shop).

    The ad for this bike on Craigs, not sure whether I should post it here, but you'll find it easily enough.

    Brian
    #16
  17. RichardD

    RichardD Long timer

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    The first day I had my 15 XRX 800 I scraped the footpegs . As soon as I put the new suspension on , it never happened again. I can't imagine the low version not scraping trying to have fun in the twisties .
    #17
  18. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Brian!! Good to hear from you again. I think I sold you those Soupys links last year?

    Checked out the bike on CL, but am looking for a newer 2018-19.
    #18
    lvscrvs likes this.
  19. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Long timer Supporter

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    Yup, that was me Mick. The Soupys have come in real handy, thank you for those.... if you change your mind stop by and check out the one at our shop.... you'll have lots of $$$ left over for beer ingredients..... :D
    #19
  20. Hollywood D

    Hollywood D Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
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    278
    Location:
    Colorado
    Custom seat shops can trim a seat down for you. Not sure how much extra you will get but it’s an idea. Maybe not a good one......
    #20