Lowering link or flip triangles?

Discussion in '6th Generation 2002-2013' started by OldSchoolInterceptor, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. OldSchoolInterceptor

    OldSchoolInterceptor New Member

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    I’ve come to the conclusion I have to lower my bike. I’m barely tip toed and have to get off just to back it up plus the confidence factor. I’ve read a bunch about it but for a person who’s never lowered a bike before (I can wrench, have a full set of tools, a heated garage and a service manual and a Hanes manual) what are the pros cons of using a lowering link vs flipping the triangles? Is one easier or less time consuming to do? I’ll need an inch or so at least but not more than 1 3/4” as to not throw off the handling that much. I’ll also be lowering the triple clamps. Anyone have a success story to share?
     
  2. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    When I first purchasaed my 6th Gen ABS I almost immediately realised I needed to do something to avoid the tip-toe problem.

    Obviously you could of course resort to the usual option of just shaving down the seat foam - as that will not have any impact on the bike's handling.

    However at NIL cost I found I could achieve a small but useful reduction in seat height simply using the adjustment available as standard on an ABS model. So I just dropped the front by the same distance through the triple tree and the rear by the same amount by tweeking the pre-load, for a non ABS model you change the rear spring setting using a C spanner. The result was a useful improvement but eventually I realised I still needed to improve the front as it had a tendency to push on in corners. That was resolved by replacing the stock springs with Hyper-Pro progressive lowering springs, and then getting the SAG set up correctly by a specialist at a track day event.

    With hindsight I should have done that first as they quickly had the bike set up so it felt like it was cornering on rails. It is well worth calling any nearby track day circuits and booking a place if they will have a suspension specialist attending the session as they can sort things out so much quicker than you ever could, and then quickly test out the revised set-up with a circuit or two.

    Finally two things to be aware of if you lower the bike. You may need to shorten or modify the side stand to ensure the bike still leans over at a sufficient angle to remain securely parked especially during windy conditions, also using the main stand will suddenly become a major challenge. I found the solution to the main stand issue was to park the bike whilst the rear wheel was raised on a short length of plank. This ensures the leverage needed to raise the bike up onto the main stand was greatly reduced.

    PS if you really struggle handling these bikes - consider keeping the fuel level low if you expect to be manouvering the bike, invest in frame sliders, and make sure the mirrors and lever mounting bolts are not over tight. Forget the torque setting you really only need them just tight enough to keep them steady during normal use, but loose enough so that if the bike tips over they can rotate harmlessly out of the way - rather than snapping off. I have unintentionally tested the frame sliders on my VFR on more than one occasion :( even so I consider sliders by far the best VFM investment on my bike.

    Have fun


    SkiMad
     
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  3. OldSchoolInterceptor

    OldSchoolInterceptor New Member

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    Thanks SkiMad! I bought the bike used with a sergeant seat and a spare stock seat. Can the sergeant be shaved down? I’ve sat on 5-6 6th gen and the one I bought seems the tallest of all of them. It has Heli bar risers too. The guy I bought it from was my height 5’7” with a 30” inseam but he was heavier than me and I’m 165lbs. I used the bike ergonomics calculator and according to that I should be ball of my feet. Maybe like you mentioned the preload is set to a high degree? I’ll have to check all that out but still plan on lowering the forks in the triple tree and either flipping triangles or getting lowering link.
     
  4. OldSchoolInterceptor

    OldSchoolInterceptor New Member

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    As far as sliders, which to you recommend? There’s a ton available at almost any location with a bolt. I’d rather not drill any holes in my brand new complete R/W/B fairing set. My bike is a non-ABS model. I won’t be going to any track days. Maybe I’m not using the bike to it’s potential or my own but no way I’d be comfortable on a track with my bike.
     
  5. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Personally I have no hesitation in choosing R&G - their sliders are fitted and extensively tested by track day junkies around the planet, who more often than not, are able to drag the bike upright from a gravel trap visit and ride off with only minor road rash rather than the whole side torn off. You have spotted the downside - they do indeed involve drilling holes in the fairings - but this allows their system to directly bolt to the bike frame and effectively replaces an existing bolt which runs below the engine. The bolt is however not a cheapo steel bolt it is a high strength ductile steel rod with custom designed stand off collars and crash bungs which are designed to work together to deform and absorb much of the energy during an impact rather than pass stress direct into the frame.

    One reason why the R&G kit is not cheap is it also comes with a modified coolant reservoir to allow the slider bolt to pass through the frame which still has the same capacity as the original. The standard one gets in the way of where the slider bolt passes through the frame. Beware some cheaper solutions expect you to figure out how to modify the stock coolant reservoir which can prove very challenging.

    Sadly VFR800s are very heavy bikes, which means if, or when, they fall over there is a lot of energy to adsorb. All the "no cut" solutions I have come across remain a serious compromise with many attaching to flimsy fairing mounting clips or casing bolts which are not capable of safely handing significant loads. This probably means the mounting will fold or just fail under stress and then tear chunks out of your fairings if the bike does anything beyond a simple tip over.

    It is your choice, but if you want a reasonable chance of being able to just dust yourself off, pick up the bike and ride away if your VFR goes sliding down the road then R&G is the choice of many racers and probably offers the best protection you can get for your VFR. I am so glad I also decided to fit R&G kit to my Street Triple too as it too proved its value - even if this time I was not riding it at the time when it took a nap.

    You may not have spotted this thread - https://vfrworld.com/threads/you-dropped-it-how-many-time.44298

    As you can see I am not the only one on here who has done a fair bit of impact testing and thanks to R&G my VFR is still doing what is meant to do - clocking up the miles.


    SkiMad
     
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  6. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    You may not need to lower the bike as much as you think...... but try the triangle switch thing and raising the forks. If you can narrow up the front part of the seat your legs will be able to reach further as well. If you try all that and need more, then you can start spending money. I'm not finding it much of a challenge as I have a 32" inseam and compared to what I used to ride the bike isn't heavy.
     
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