Extreme Customization (Chop a Rocket) - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Extreme Customization (Chop a Rocket)

Alright, here is the problem. I love sportbikes and so does my wife, the problem (not really a problem) is that she wants one of her own.

Now for the real question. My wife is only 4' 11" tall and will not fit on any bike, at least none that are bigger than a 50cc.

I would like to get her a 600 and some how chop it down small enough so that she could ride it.

Does anyone have an idea of who could do this for me??? I would like to find a place somewhere in the AZ, or southern CA area, but I am willing to send a bike anywhere in the US.

Please let me know of any companies that I could try.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 12:11 PM
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I think you are out of luck with that. The aluminum sportbike frames are not amenable to modification and you need to make a smaller frame. Changing the frame dimensions would require a jig and someone very experienced with welding aluminum with a mig or tig welder (preferably the latter). The suspension geometry would change if you lower it, and the only way to minimize those effects would be to use a cruiser frame because the rake and trail numbers are bigger.

She sounds too short for a sport bike. However, if she found one that almost works, she can have a custom seat made that would decrease (maybe only slightly) the crotch to peg and crotch to ground distance.

If you did find a shop that wants to try this, I suggest getting references and contacting them first to see if they have been satisfied with similar work being done on a sport bike.

I saw a bike one year parked at Cannery Row during World Superbike, in Monterey, and this was a normal large displacement sportbike that had vestigial "training wheels". The guy riding it had no legs. Right, no legs. If he can do it, your wife can find a way to ride one of those sportbikes without major customization.

Have you thought of just getting her a Sportster (sorry)? They fit short people.

Fuster

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Last edited by fuster; 02-05-2004 at 12:14 PM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 12:19 PM
 
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you can't "chop" a sportbike, (i am sure someone can or has, but that is all just a technicality), but you can lower one. you can adjust the suspension to lower the ride height. Sport Rider magazine has an article on how to do this. i can't remember what month's issue but it is in the latter half of 2003. i still have the mag at home and give you a more specific month. however you can lower one but it does reduce your clearance, meaning she is going to scrape the hard parts at less of a lean angle than what it would take on a stock bike.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 01:02 PM
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The problem with lowering any bike is like Scotteroo said, the clearance reduction, and a couple of other things. The suspension travel changes. The way the suspension responds also will change with lowering. In general, handling is always worse with lowering, unless you are talking about a sports car which has four wheels, and you have camber plates to compensate for the effects of the lowering.

In a bike, while you do not have camber issues at all, you will likely be using shorter springs, and I have to question whether they will behave the same as the stock spring length.

In any event, one example will illustrate my point: a friend of mine who is short has had bikes lowered. He has owned many bikes. The last one was an Electraglide. Granted, it weighs a ton, but the end result was that the bike handled differently and he crashed the bike at slow speed twice, then sold the bike.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 07:06 PM
 
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ive got 2 friends (brothers) who are 4'11 and 5'1 and they both drive yamahas. ones got the r1 and ones got an r6. they both bought new ones, and had the dealership lower them practically to the ground when they got them. while it seems problematic, they both said theyve had no clearance problems, or handling problems.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 05:20 AM
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We had an F4 lowered for my wife. Just took it to a shop that did race work and they were able to lower it just under 2 inches total. It did have a bit stiffer suspension, but even after lowering it I rode it and my fat ass never bottomed it out, even over bumps. It seemed to handle fine after the work was done. The shop told us that as long as you lower the front and rear the same, handling should be fine, but you do lose a bit of lean angle. I was scraping parts just about every turn I made. The only thing scraping though were the pegs, which could be somewhat fixed by rearsets. The bike was stolen before we got a chance to do that though.

As it was, my wife never had a bit of problem with the bike. We used Lindeman Engineering in Cambell, by San Jose. A bit of a drive for you, but not too bad. It took a few weeks and cost about $600 total. I am not entirely sure I would recommend them though. Shortly after the work was done the fork seals started leaking, so I wonder if they did a piss poor job reassembling them. The bike had less than 10,000 miles on it and never once wheelied or any other stunting. Everyone I talked to said there was no way the fork seals should have been going out that early, and must have been something with the lowering.

Anyway, good luck!

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 06:03 AM
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What about Tranmotorsports?

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Give that man your bike for a week and I am sure he would be able to do a stellar job of lowering it.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spicerke
What about Tranmotorsports?

(Da Duck748 on here)

Give that man your bike for a week and I am sure he would be able to do a stellar job of lowering it.
Oh yeah....duh!

Definitely send him a PM. If it can be done to your bike, he'll know how to.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spicersh
We had an F4 lowered for my wife. Just took it to a shop that did race work and they were able to lower it just under 2 inches total. It did have a bit stiffer suspension, but even after lowering it I rode it and my fat ass never bottomed it out, even over bumps. It seemed to handle fine after the work was done. The shop told us that as long as you lower the front and rear the same, handling should be fine, but you do lose a bit of lean angle. I was scraping parts just about every turn I made. The only thing scraping though were the pegs, which could be somewhat fixed by rearsets. The bike was stolen before we got a chance to do that though.

As it was, my wife never had a bit of problem with the bike. We used Lindeman Engineering in Cambell, by San Jose. A bit of a drive for you, but not too bad. It took a few weeks and cost about $600 total. I am not entirely sure I would recommend them though. Shortly after the work was done the fork seals started leaking, so I wonder if they did a piss poor job reassembling them. The bike had less than 10,000 miles on it and never once wheelied or any other stunting. Everyone I talked to said there was no way the fork seals should have been going out that early, and must have been something with the lowering.

Anyway, good luck!
But is your wife 4'11"? That would require substantial reduction of seat height, I would suspect. More than what shortened springs could accomplish.

I used Lindemann for my last fork reworking, on a heavy bike. So far, anyway, everything is great, I would recommend them. I agree that fork seals should last longer than 10,000, but when Race Tech did the forks on my ZX9 it had less than 10,000 miles and the technician told me the OEM seals were toast.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fuster
But is your wife 4'11"? That would require substantial reduction of seat height, I would suspect. More than what shortened springs could accomplish.

I used Lindemann for my last fork reworking, on a heavy bike. So far, anyway, everything is great, I would recommend them. I agree that fork seals should last longer than 10,000, but when Race Tech did the forks on my ZX9 it had less than 10,000 miles and the technician told me the OEM seals were toast.
She is a few inches taller, but the 1.75" they lowered it for us was not the lowest they could go. This was also without shaving any padding from the seat or any other tricks to lower the seat height.

I very much doubt that in this particular case that they could ever make a bike comfortable for the would-be rider, but they certainly could modify one so that she could ride it. Who knows though, just because she is 4'11" and my wife is 5'1"-ish, doesn't mean they don't have the same inseam. We're all built different.

As far as Lindeman, I am still up in the air as to whether or not I'd recommend them. Living in Indiana now it's safe to say that I personally will never use them again.

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