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Discussion Starter #1
Guys I have a 690 SMC which while it is an SM it's a far cry from a converted 450 Moto-Xer but never-the-less I want to set it up to be the best that it can be for track days and general hooliganism.

My question is in regards to the height. This thing is tall. At least as tall as a full on Moto-X bike. I'm 6' and I'm pretty much on tip-toes. I don't mind this sort of height on my Moto-X bikes but it seems to work against you on the pavement.

Do you guys typically lower your bikes?

If so, what is the proper way to lower them? Different linkage, major changes done by a suspension company, just softening everything up?
 

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I had the suspension guy lower my bike internally, both shock and forks one inch when the bike was sprung and valved for me. I'm 6'1" and have no problems putting my feet down on a 525sx in race trim. Not everyone lowers thier bikes, sometimes its a preference thing, money, and/or what the bike is going to be used for. I'd first set your race sag, ride, adjust comp. and rebound to your likeing, and go from there. You can always slide the forks through the triple clamps a little, trim seat foam, and such if your just uncomfortable with the height.
"
 

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Some of the fastest bikes in the country are lowered. The current trend is not to lower them. There is pro's and cons to both choices. I have a Husky 450smr. At first I thought it was too tall and would be better an inch or so shorter due to less pitching. Over time, my riding adapted and now Im not sure. Believe it or not Ground clearance becomes an issue with lowered bikes. More importantly you lose some swingarm droop which makes the bikes squat more on exit and make them less willing to finish the turn. My advice is you need to spend some seat time to even decide a game plan with these things and i am not talking a week or so.
 

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Suns_PSD, I'm also new to supermoto and riding a Husky 450SMR. Came from a few years of street and a little dirt experience. I've had the SMR for about a month and I'm still trying to decide how I want to change the suspension. Get some miles on it before you change anything. See if you get used to the height, or if the suspension settles a little (if it's new). Adjust the sag and ride it a bit before you do anything, imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, that gives me some good info.

Next question is related to sag. Typically a steetbike is set up w/ about 1 1/8" sag in the rear. Moto-X bikes are around 110mm. (I know I changed units on you there!)How much sag would I need to set up my SM with? Maybe if I add some sag to the rear and slide up the forks a bit I can get to a more comfortable place w/ this bike.

Please advise how much sag is needed.
 

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I'm pretty sure I'm set-up at close to 90mm. I've heard some guys running anything from 70mm to 110mm. Haha, sorry I cant give you a more exact number but hopefully I narrowed it down for ya. Yeah, I think slidin the forks up a bit and just staying a little heavy on the sag and you should be set!
 

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Unfortunately getting a bunch of guys to agree on sag figures for supermoto is nearly impossible. In my opinion for a pavement only setup you want about 65mm of total sag in the rear. You probably have more than that now so that will not point you in the direction you want. Radically increasing sag just to get the bike low is not the way to go. The best way to lower these things is to install a spacer inside the cartridge of the fork where the top out spring resides.
 

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To lower the front one inch you make a 1 inch spacer, delrin will work. You then cut an equal amount from your preload spacer and reduceyour fork oil volume some or the airgap will be too small. The shock is similar, spacer inside which limits shock stroke. I will try to repeat myself once again at the cost of sounding repetitive. This bike is taller than you are used to and will feel weird. Until you are used to it you can not properly evaluate what you have. KTM knows a little bit about these things, give them the benefit of the doubt before making drastic changes. I am not in any way saying that your bike or mine would not be better at a lower ride height because I am not sure. My first impresssion was they would be better off an inch or so lower. Now ?
 

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For road racing its common to see motards lowered as much as 3" in the rear. Typically making the front and rear more stiff is mandatory as well as cutting material out of the seat to allow for more movement on the bike. My bike is still stock, but by the end of the season I will have more input on what i have done to get the most out of my 625. I'm only 5'7" so if you feel like ur on ur toes imagine how I feel!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm bringing this thread back to life! The only things I have done so far to deal w/ the extreme height of the SMC is to properly set my sag (25% of total travel) and I cut some foam out of my seat. Both helped slightly.

Basically I finally got to ride a 450 tard and realized how short they really are after you swap 17" rims on. I also road a 450 Ape that just had the suspension set up w/ all the race stuff. The Ape is about 1" lower than my SMC while the 450 MXer was closer to 2.5" lower. Both bikes felt much lighter but I know the Ape is not actually lighter than the SMC's on the scales. The 450MXer IS much lighter but jeez you would have thought it was 100#'s lighter after riding it.

I think that some of that really light weight feel comes from just being closer to the ground. I've only scraped my pegs a couple of times and I'm a street rider planning on doing some track days so I think a small loss of ground clearance shouldn't be a big deal. Plus properly revalved suspension might compress less anyways making up for the loss in travel.

So here is my plan, send both ends of the suspension to MX-Tech (they are about to revalve my 250SX MX bike as well) and while they are setting it up have them lower it just an inch to make the bike more maneagable.

Thoughts?
 

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out of my three bikes two are lowered...which is my preference...although the lowered bikes are stiffer suspended they don't do as well in the dirt section......but still overall my preference
 

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KTM 450 and 560 SMRs are 15mm lower stock, if that helps.
 

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Cool, let us know how it works out when you get yur stuff back and get yur bike set-up again!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
out of my three bikes two are lowered...which is my preference...although the lowered bikes are stiffer suspended they don't do as well in the dirt section......but still overall my preference
How much lower are your two lowered bikes and why do you prefer it?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Pulled the suspension last night and sent it all off to MX-Tech. We will likely lower it 1/2-1" depending on their recomendations.

I'm excited about the lowering part as well as the revalve.
 

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i'll be honest i'm 5'4" and riding a drz 400sm with stock settings i'm scraping the pegs on turns so im scared to lower the bike

i just converted from a cafe bike to an sm and i was litterally on my toes on the cafe. my uncle always told me do not mess with the geometry of the bike because cornering can be alot different so i'm stickin with it. i'm on one foot on my drz it doesnt matter to me cause once it's goin it's gone i just try and limit my stops.:thumbup:
 

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sorry suns...haven't checked back in awhile:eek:

my berg is 1 inch at the front and 3/4 inch at the rear

the ktm smr is 3/4" at the front and 1/2" at the rear

my KTM SXF is stock

I think you are on the right track...I would'nt go over 1" (25 mm) on the front and 3/4 on the back, revalving is good as well...

I'm no expert by any means but the valving is done to work better on smoother surfaces and lowering is for lower center of gravity...the trend has back to full heigth only because the dirt sections are getting fairly intense...the euro's have fairly mellow dirt sections so they think a bit different...


If you rode my berg and my 450 for the RR type tracks you'd like the berg as its a bit lower and quite abit stiffer....

I have a buddy who throws 17's on his Flat track bike and its really to low....pegs fold but not that much...:lol:
RR guys and flat trackers prefer the lowered suspensions..at least the ones I have talked...
well thats all I know....:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good info.

bam671, I'm sure you have gotten use to being leaned over and on tip toes when you come to a stop, but at 6' I'm not! Also, scraping a DRZ (which I use to own) is easy while scraping an SMC takes a hero manuever so ground clearance on the SMC is not at such a premium.

Thanks for the lowering info Brain. 1 bike you lowered more in the front which kinda of makes sense while the other one you lowered more in the rear. ??? I was going to lower mine the same 3/4" front and rear.

My suspension is at MX-Tech right now and I just spoke w/ Richard. I had typed up a little letter to him and I even sent him pics of me riding so he could get an idea of what the suspension was doing. He saw a pic of me doing a huge stoppie where the front forks have only moved like 1.5" and he pretty such he was shocked at how stiff the forks appear to be from the factory.

I told him I wanted more complaince mainly.

I look forward to trying it out next weekend!
 

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From my limited knowledge the front gets dropped a wee bit more as the weight bias on a dirt bike needs to be more focused on thr front....by a we bit....your suspension guy has prolly forgotten more that I'll ever know....so follow his guidelines but I will say this....I race at alot of kart tracks..a couple do have scales, one of them uses four pads to set the wheels on.....:hmmm: so what we do is position our bikes across using two pads....my KTM is lowered from the factory and has the springs to match my weight... I have dropped the forks through the triple clamps 6 mm (1/4") on the scales two weeks ago the front had 2 percent more weight than the back...I had 1/2 tank of fuel....A good way to test the travel on the front of your bike after the suspension is done...take a wire strap and fasten it (not super tight) on the tubes...do some laps and come in...If your fork travel is halfway to five eigths down the tubes at the furthest point then I think you are good....don't ask about dirt sections:damn: thats a whole new topic....
I'm excited you are getting your forks done....I think you really understand how to make your bike fast.....most over look the suspension and go for engine HP..thats great If we drag raced our bikes:lol: good luck...re post your impression of the new set up..it WILL help someone else....:eek: Besides I'd like to know as well...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bike handles very well w/ the new MX-Tech suspension. The front end settles much better and it doesn't skip as much when you hit a bump mid-turn while cranked over. I didn't even notice the changes in the rear except it felt a bit more squatty.

I had scraped the pegs a very few times when it was stock but I haven't scraped it w/ the new suspension even though it was lower. I think it is plusher but the valving holds it up a bit better.

And my forks move now!
 
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