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Discussion Starter #1
Although I am happy riding my AT with a low seat, after a few hundred miles I think another 25mm (1 inch) or so off the height would help me a lot.

I am 162cm (5ft 4in) and even with the low seat I am on tip toes, obviously this is not a problem when moving but when I stop I have to be very careful, especially with the current lack of decent crash bars.

I will happily live with it as it is but wondered if anyone has looked into lowering options?

The only thing I have found are these instructions:
http://www.whaccessories.com/PDF%20Files/Lowering%20Kit%20Africa%20Twin.jpg

which are for the kit mentioned on their site:
http://www.whaccessories.com/Lowering-Kits-Honda.htm

However I don't really understand how this kit installed or how it works. They claim a reduction of 30mm which would be perfect for me.

 

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How comfortable is the low seat to ride on?
Don't know....but I've order one with my bike so I can get both feet on the ground. Was cheapish at AUD243.

I've just stepped off a Hyperstrada and it was high...I purchased the lower seat and only used it for a month till I was comphy with the bike...then went back to the normal seat. I'm thinking that the AT will be the same for me.

My understanding of the AT lower seat is that you get another 20 mm (maybe a little more)....to me this is a better option than lowering the suspension, which will alter handling and ground clearance. Sure it's only a small change but I purchased this bike to get off the tar. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How comfortable is the low seat to ride on?
Hard to say as I have not tried any others and I have not done any really long rides yet, for the rides I have done its fine. Its no less comfortable that any others I have tried on other bikes, but its not exactly an armchair either ;-)


I do also have a standard seat which I have not tried yet however I expect that to be to high for me to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Today I have lowered mine using a replacement spring plate, it was a bit of a pain to do as getting the shock/spring assembly out took longer that we thought and then we had to go and buy a motorcycle spring compressor as my car ones were too big.

After reassembly and only very rough measurement it looks as though my AT is about 15mm lower but sitting on it it feels a bit more than that.

I used this http://www.metisse.de/lowering-kit-honda-crf-1000-l-africa-twin.html[/URL

Also installed my Garmin Zumo GPS ans connected it to the switched supply in the front of the fairing, again a bit of a pain as a lot of dis-assembly was required.
 

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I prefer the seat in the high position because of my bad knees but this puts me on my tip toes with my 30" inseam. I solve the problem by just having one foot on the ground, then I can get most of my foot down. Been doing this for years so it's second nature. Just takes practice.
 

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I'm actually very interested in what route you'll be going with this as well. I'm like 5'3" so you can imagine my struggles
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm actually very interested in what route you'll be going with this as well. I'm like 5'3" so you can imagine my struggles
Yes I am about that as well, pretty happy with the bike now. It was OK with the low seat but the 15mm+ just removed is really useful when I am stopped especially if the ground is not flat. The seat height on mine is now just under 800mm which is the same as my earlier bikes.

The reason I wanted some extra lowering was that this bike is fairly heavy, no problem at anything above walking pace but I wanted to be sure of my footing when stopping especially after a couple of occasions where I ended up on a non flat bit of road and holding a lot of weight and then having to start off from an awkward position.

Obviously this sort of bike is always going to be more tricky for short people like me but I think I have now lowered mine sensibly without losing too much of its clearance. For me its now a better bike.
 

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Nice so replacement spring plate it is then. And that's with stock seat as well correct ??

For some reason I didn't really consider clearance, but glad to hear that there's a sufficient amount, especially in awkward areas.
 

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hi

just to share what i did ...

trimmed stock seat by abt 2 1/4 inch
sides also trimmed..
manually turned the suspension to low

by doing these, i'm almost flatfoot on the bike..

i'm 166 by the way..
 

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Hi all, as a new Forum member I thought I would join this thread. I have had the DCT AT since April this year, and wanted to lower it as I am only 5”8” with short legs, but when the AT first came out I could not find anyone who did a lowering kit. Now I have found three – (and I see in this thread a fourth, HyperPro in the Netherlands). Metisse in Germany do a very simple rear spring spacer that they say lowers the bike by 30mm so I purchased this but I reckoned it would only lower the whole bike about 20mm at most, so haven’t fitted it (I see that someone else has tried this and the lowering was only 15mm). Wilbers in Germany and their various agents throughout the world also now do complete replacement rear and front shocks for 30mm and 60mm lowering – probably very good but also very costly. In the end I used Krooztune here in Boronia, Victoria, Australia who fitted a new NC machined rear “dogbone” U link, modified front fork internals but same stock springs for equal lowering front and back, and a shorter side stand. The result is a lowering of 40mm overall with the high quality kit, which suits me perfectly, and does not compromise the ground clearance and lean angles too much. I don’t intend to do really serious offroading but do like to lean on open roads, so lean angle is more important to me than ground clearance and suspension travel.
I am a professional mechanical engineer so a bit anal about design, but for those who are interested in figures here are mine, based on fairly accurate measurements. This is based on the standard DCT AT with the default suspension settings, without any heavy accessories fitted, tank half full, myself as the 95kg rider sitting on the bike, and standard seat in the low position. The slightly rounded figures are mm and degrees before/after lowering. Seat height 840/800, ground clearance 220/180, static lean angle 50/45, front shocks stroke 230/195, rear wheel travel 220/210. If I fully wind up both front and rear springs to max pre-load then the bike height increases by 8mm, and oddly enough if I wind back both the preloads to zero then the bike lowers by 8mm also. The overall vertical bike stiffness is 3 kg/mm, so with a 95kg rider the bike lowers by 33mm. Since the mods done to my bike use the same stock springs, the above differences should be closely the same for the standard bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Vaughan, Thanks for you summary of the options and description of your solution which sounds very good.

I have still not accurately measured my seat height but I think it may be nearer 20nn lower rather than 15 that I suggested, with the spring plate.

One thing I have noticed is that the lowest part of the seat (I have a low seat) is further back than it was on my CRF250L, with the CRF250L I got into the habit of sliding right to the front of the seat when I needed to put a foot down and I continued to do that on the CRF1000L however now I don't and it certainly helps me when I put my foot down.

How did you lower your side stand? I still haven't done mine but I need to as the bike is a bit too upright (although I have now fitted a centre stand). How much did you chop of the sidestand and was it easy to get it welded? I think its cast Aluminium so will need a decent TIG welder to weld it.
 

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Hi whtco0, yes the standard side stand is made from high strength tempered aluminium so although not impossible cutting and welding up again would be very difficult and I would always be worried about the strength at the weld which would be considerably weaker than the parent metal unless post weld heat-treated and not many could do that correctly. For me Krooztune made a complete new one by NC machining from similar HS aluminium bar stock. They now include that shorter stand as part of the lowering kit. I understand they are doing two lowering kits about 30mm and 50mm so each with a different new side stand, for mine the stand is about 40mm shorter. At my suggestion they may be doing a conversion kit for the welded steel tube centre stand as well so the owner cuts the existing stand himself and Krooztune provide inside joiners and bolts which are inserted into the cut ends of the steel tubes. Not done yet - my bike is their donor bike. I now see it was you who tried that rear spring spacer - this seems to be the Metisse one even if sold by someone else. I have done a lot of work on the AT suspension geometry and I concluded that you would only get about 15mm reduction from that spacer, and then a further 5mm if you raise the front forks by 11mm in the steering head triple clamps as per the Metisse instructions - so a total of 20mm if you do both, but that was not going to be enough for me. Note that with the Honda centre stand fitted the real ground clearance is reduced by about 35mm from the figures quoted by Honda, but that is located closer to the back wheel. In Australia the bike was initially going to be sold without the centre stand but at the last minute for some apparent legal reason they decided to sell it with the centre stand - and that caused some delays for many here while they waited for the stands to arrive and fit them.
 

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I have always maintained that lowering the suspension a good bike is almost like castrating a good dog. Neither are quite the same after it. This would particularly apply to a bike like the Africa Twin whose strongest point is its suspension.


Lowering the front also carries the risk of the fender hitting a crashbar under the headlamp on full compression under braking, or a severe hit, or both.


Personally I would go for the lowest possible seat, suspension on its lowest practical settings, Thicker soles on my boots etc etc.


At the end of the day the height is only an issue when one stops. The enjoyment of the bike is in the riding. My KTM 690 R was waaay to tall for me. When stopping I used to have to find kerbs or suitable slopes to help. Sometimes a couple of laps of petrol station forecourts were necessary before I found the correct spot. However the pleasure of using its suspension to the full in the dirt was well worth it.


Just some thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi whtco0, yes the standard side stand is made from high strength tempered aluminium so although not impossible cutting and welding up again would be very difficult and I would always be worried about the strength at the weld which would be considerably weaker than the parent metal unless post weld heat-treated and not many could do that correctly. For me Krooztune made a complete new one by NC machining from similar HS aluminium bar stock. They now include that shorter stand as part of the lowering kit. I understand they are doing two lowering kits about 30mm and 50mm so each with a different new side stand, for mine the stand is about 40mm shorter. At my suggestion they may be doing a conversion kit for the welded steel tube centre stand as well so the owner cuts the existing stand himself and Krooztune provide inside joiners and bolts which are inserted into the cut ends of the steel tubes. Not done yet - my bike is their donor bike. I now see it was you who tried that rear spring spacer - this seems to be the Metisse one even if sold by someone else. I have done a lot of work on the AT suspension geometry and I concluded that you would only get about 15mm reduction from that spacer, and then a further 5mm if you raise the front forks by 11mm in the steering head triple clamps as per the Metisse instructions - so a total of 20mm if you do both, but that was not going to be enough for me. Note that with the Honda centre stand fitted the real ground clearance is reduced by about 35mm from the figures quoted by Honda, but that is located closer to the back wheel. In Australia the bike was initially going to be sold without the centre stand but at the last minute for some apparent legal reason they decided to sell it with the centre stand - and that caused some delays for many here while they waited for the stands to arrive and fit them.
Interesting would you be able to post a photo of your new side stand? I wonder if Krooztune will sell the shorter stands separately.
 

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Here are a couple of photos of my shorter stand - excellent quality on par with the original and very solid. This was from Krooztune who now do a complete lowering kit for the AT that includes the shorter side stand and an insert for the centre stand that you cut yourself then get welded or could bolt it. Attached is a photo of my bike with the full lowering and stand mods.
 

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