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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys this might be the dumbest question ever, so excuse my ignorance.

I'm shorter(5'6") so when I realized that the shocks on the 350 were bad i found shorter 11" eye to eye on the internets.

Ok so that will lower the ass down, now about the front.

I dont want the forks sticking way up if I lower it 2"......so...Can I cut the fork springs with a dremel or something to lower the front end?

Sorry if that was a dumb question, its just that the springs are in good shape so I dont need to buy new ones, and I've seen other people lower their bikes in the front and the forks end up sticking up over the gauges....I hate that, so I think cutting the springs will be nice and clean. Also, Im not that heavy....maybe 145 soaking wet.


Thanks, Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WHAT?!?!

wait it can actually be done?

Explain more please!

Tim
 

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I've seen shortened forks for choppers and such and a buddy of mine actually did it for a bike. Here is my limited knowledge.

if you cut the springs the front suspension will get softer so you don't actually want to do that because you will bottom out more. My buddy did that and eventually he had to have shortened springs made (they were from another bike so the costs weren't that bad). Also if you just sink the tubes into the lowers they will bottom out before you run out of clearance (because your forks are soft). Instead get shrt springs with the proper resistance and cut and rethread the tops of your forks so that the bottoms sit in their normal place but the forks are just shorter overall.

now about pushing the forks up through the trees. if you look at most modern sportbikes they have the forks sticking up through the top clamp at least 1/2 an inch. Why do you not notice this? well they hide it by attaching the clipons on the part of the tube that sticks past the top clamp and sit flush. Looks clean, solves the problem, and at most costs you $100 for a really nice pair of vortex clipons (billet style clamps look like they are part of the fork tube).

that being said, lowering your bike kills the handeling and cornering clearance. I am not sure why you went with 11" shocks when 12" and 13" are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the info Geeto!

I didnt actually buy the shocks yet, but I want to be comfortable on this bike and be able to flat foot at stoplights.

so maybe 12" shocks and clip ons will do the trick?

when the time comes I shall be experimenting and of course asking more questions haha!

Thanks again!

Tim
 

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if you cut the spring, each coil has to carry more weight than it previously did. When we used to cut the front springs in cars the cars suspension got softer. Heat distortion from cutting can be attributed to some of this but mostly each coil has to support more weight until it is fully compressed.

less coils on a spring that is designed to handle the weight will have a faster rate than a spring with more coils holding the same rate.
 

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i know this might sound dumb. but an old harley guy told me this once. if you take out some of the fork oil it will lower your front a bit as well. don't crucify me if it's not true. cause once again second hand knowledge.
 

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yeah it does work a little but it is inadvisable since the fork oil is the dampning in the fork and removing some will make your front end springy.
 

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Tim,

At 5'6" I can't think you'd need to lower your 350 a whole bunch. Keep in mind that if you put a bumpstop style seat on it you'll typically lose an inch or two of seat height there.

If you do need to lower it and are happy with the handling at stock ride height just do it in such a way that it doesn't change the neck angle, i.e. an inch at the rear may not end up being exactly an inch up in the clamps at the front due to the angle of the dangle.

You will lose cornering clearance. What you have to ask yourself is how often do you drag hard parts on the street vs how many stoplights you come to and what that tradeoff is worth. You will lower the CG height which will make it a bit slower in side to side transitions, but come on it's a 350 if you can't bend it over.... The upside is that with a lower stance may not fall over in your driveway as easily.

Removing coils from springs makes them stiffer. Of course in a telescopic fork situation you need to make spacers to regain the lost height. I suppose if they were just bouncing around in there they'd feel softer.

As long as the holes in the damper rods are covered the forks don't know how much oil is in them until they approach full compression. But still don't lower your bike this way.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

if you cut the spring, each coil has to carry more weight than it previously did. When we used to cut the front springs in cars the cars suspension got softer. Heat distortion from cutting can be attributed to some of this but mostly each coil has to support more weight until it is fully compressed.

less coils on a spring that is designed to handle the weight will have a faster rate than a spring with more coils holding the same rate.
I don't want to harp but this is incorrect.

Here is a coil manufactures explanation: http://www.pagedezigner.com/bluecoil/rate2.htm

Here is another at allpar: http://www.allpar.com/eek/coils.html

The perception can be that the spring is softer because a stock shock absorber often cannot handle the higher rate spring(When I cut springs on my autocross cars, to stiffen them, I also switched to higher rate shocks. On a moto fork you can raise the oil weight to combat this(This has more effect on rebound) For compression on older forks, they often have simple open porting and you can braze and redrill the holes smaller but it can require a couple of times testing and taking apart to get it right.

You can cut a coil with a torch but the best way is to use a chop saw, you can also flatten the top of the coil with it.

Most people cut coils on a car to lower it but because of the increased rate it can back fire and the car might even sit higher.

I have used this trick, along with solid spacers(to make up the cut difference or tune preload to stiffen forks on motorcyles and downhill bikes for years.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

if you cut the spring, each coil has to carry more weight than it previously did. When we used to cut the front springs in cars the cars suspension got softer.
cutting a spring makes it stiffer, not softer. the shorter the spring length the stiffer the spring.
example from the fake internet - http://www.strappe.com/spring_rate.html
 

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yeah but if the OP was a decent lurker he would have found a decent recent thread on this that would also give him a clue as how he should really shorten the forks

and I concur that shortening a spring makes the spring rate higher, not lower
 
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