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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

This is my first post here so please be gentle with me :) I have been lurking for a while and constantly holding back and torturing myself about the next bike I want but I think the time is very close now.

My first and current bike is a L0 Suzuki SV650 sport that I've had for almost 1 year, it a nice little v-twin thing that I have got on with quite well but the suspension sucks and I want better, something more upright and comfortable with a lot more ooomph. So I have now short listed an SM-T along with Aprilia Dorsoduro 750, BMW F650/800GS and Tiger 800 Standard/XC....all pending test rides at the mo....but without riding anything I am pretty certain the KTM, if it meets my height needs, will be the one!

So...I took a trip to my local KTM dealership today and didn't get much help, but it was immediately obvious that I was far from comfortable reaching the floor when sat on one, I was on tippy toes and not well footed at all. Unfortunately the main man is away until next week and no one else was there in the know enough or willing to adjust suspension height on the bike for me to get a feel for it properly (the rear shock was tightened up quite a way). So, I figured I'd ask for your expert opinions of possible (and sensible) ride height adjustments for the SM-T?

I've searched and read that a 10mm reduction in height on the front forks is do-able and safe also, and further work with the rear shock can be done for the shorter rider, and I could always get the seat shaped too, but really wanted to know what that means in ride height and what has worked for you....?

I am 5'10" and have an inside leg of 31" and am wondering if there are any of you SM-T owners out there with similar leg length that are riding without issue? What did you do to get the bike sorted for yourself and how much did it sting you?

Seat reshape?
Front fork adjustment?
Rear shock adjustment?
Rear shock replacement?

Cheers
 

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Have you tried strapping wooden blocks to your feet like that Chinese guy out of Indiana Jones?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you tried strapping wooden blocks to your feet like that Chinese guy out of Indiana Jones?
I might just have to just so I can have one :)

I just got off the phone with a helpful dealership after my crappy local experiences and I have been re-assured. I think the issue is that the bikes in now are all brand spanking new and have not bedded in the suspension or seat, I did sit on one towards the end of last year and I am sure it was a more comfortable fit that what I had today (wishful thinking?) I may well be riding 80 miles to my next closest dealership tomorrow just to sit on a worn in one....unless anyone close to Norwich would like to offer me a bike to sit on and gauge my fit properly?
 

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The suspension can be safely shortened by a suspension specialist or the factory. My riding buddy is a 5'1 short arse and she is riding a Buell Ulyses with factory shortened suspension and re-sculpted seat. She can touch the ground just fine. I have a 32' inside leg, but I am 6'1 and I can get both feet flat on the floor, just. Maybe speak to Gear4, they might be able to help as they are local to you (unless this was the unhelpful local dealer). Otherwise, pop down to see Bracken's. They will definitely be able to help. My local suspension guru is Mark Hammond in Corsham. He is an absolute legend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Get a street triple chief
Why? I'm not so keen, and anyway the Tiger fits me fine with it's adjustable seat I can almost flat foot the thing, so it would be that over a naked for a start...Ultimately though I want the low end torque which I doubt the triple will give me looking at the specs....still yet to test ride a tiger though which I will do before buying anything (waiting list til June for an ABS tiger though)

The suspension can be safely shortened by a suspension specialist or the factory. My riding buddy is a 5'1 short arse and she is riding a Buell Ulyses with factory shortened suspension and re-sculpted seat. She can touch the ground just fine. I have a 32' inside leg, but I am 6'1 and I can get both feet flat on the floor, just. Maybe speak to Gear4, they might be able to help as they are local to you (unless this was the unhelpful local dealer). Otherwise, pop down to see Bracken's. They will definitely be able to help. My local suspension guru is Mark Hammond in Corsham. He is an absolute legend.
Thanks! I have spoken to Gear4 and Jim Aim, both were much more help than my very local dealer. Gear4 had a look at the 2011 seat too and they think it is shaped slightly different to the older models, or atleast looks that way, it is a bit beefier they think...so they've offered to swap out to the older version seat if that would help a great deal. I want to test ride but it will have to wait if I am going to have to go that far out of my way...I have a wife expecting to give birth any moment :)

By all accounts I think with 31" inside leg, an older model or ergo seat (can anyone confirm that the 2010 seat is different to the 2011 one?), bike's bedded in and the rear shock adjusted a little it should be sorted...I shall find out soon when I test ride one!
 

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Ultimately though I want the low end torque which I doubt the triple will give me looking at the specs....still yet to test ride a tiger though which I will do before buying anything (waiting list til June for an ABS tiger though)
I took the road going Tiger 800 for a spin 2 weeks ago, the engine is fantastically strong, I am used to a Fazer 600 mind. I didn't think it handled that great though, was a bit unstable on fast A roads and I didn't get much confidence from that 19" front wheel. I've gone for the SMT in the end as the Tiger looks cheaply built and the front brake was awfull, either all or nothing. Still gave me a big grin every time I gave it the beans though :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I took the road going Tiger 800 for a spin 2 weeks ago, the engine is fantastically strong, I am used to a Fazer 600 mind. I didn't think it handled that great though, was a bit unstable on fast A roads and I didn't get much confidence from that 19" front wheel. I've gone for the SMT in the end as the Tiger looks cheaply built and the front brake was awfull, either all or nothing. Still gave me a big grin every time I gave it the beans though :D
Thanks for the info, I had a look/sit on a tiger not too long ago and thought it was okay but then I have a cheap Suzuki right now which lets be honest is probably at the bottom end of the quality scale....comparing the tiger to your old fazer do you still think it's cheap build quality? I know the KTM can't really be beaten for quality :)

Also I am guessing cause you're coming from an IL4 you'll notice the improved torquey characteristics of a triple, but for me I have a grunty little 650 twin already and so wont be so impressed with the high rev req'......TBH I really can't get on with an IL4 anymore, I find I am searching for the right gear/rev range all the time....but I will give the tiger a go even it will just show me how good the SM-T is at what it does :)

SMT, inside leg 29 inch no probs, standard bike,
Really?! does the suspension adjust that much? Not even being allowed to adjust the rear shock I couldn't tell how much height I could lose on the bike for it to fit me. What have you done to the bike? I assume you can actually reach the floor with both feet?
 

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I have a SMR with SMT seat, forks 10mm through the clamps, I took out the 13 mm spacers in the fork so I could reach the required static sag and soften the front slightly as our roads are rough, it is perfect now.

Set the static sag on the rear as well, I do wear boots with a higher heel on them and it is fine, I am 5'7" with a 30 inch inseam ... just, still a little tippie but good enough to negotiate the bike around.

I think once set up correctly for your weight etc you will be sweet as.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a SMR with SMT seat, forks 10mm through the clamps, I took out the 13 mm spacers in the fork so I could reach the required static sag and soften the front slightly as our roads are rough, it is perfect now.
31" inside leg here as well on a 950sm,dropped the front through the forks and got some TCK Infinity boots with a solid thick sole,initially it was a bit difficult to mount but after a while my crotch muscles stretched and now it's ok.
So you guys had to go to a little more lengths to get the height lowered as you're talking SM/SMR not SM-T. Another 1" higher still.....I think it's safe to say then that I can fit on a SMT comfortably even if a little messing is required :)

The next concern is trying to get a test ride where I can feel a little secure with my footing...I don't want to buy without trying but I also don't want to drop the bike and get whacked with a £1000 excess! Would you expect any serious dealership to atleast adjust the rear shock down a bit and maybe fit an ergo seat to help? Or is that asking too much?
 

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You can't adjust the rear shock preload as standard without removing it from the bike, so it's actually quite a lot of work for them, I guess that's their reason. I have the aftermarket preload adjuster on mine which then makes adjusting a doddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ah, I didn't realise the shock has to come off....that explains an awful lot. That preload adjuster sounds like the ticket (this the jobby I assume: http://www.gear4direct.co.uk/?i=118410) doubt I'd want one long term though unless I am going to take pillion or go offroad now and then I guess...

edit: Still, they should be able to reduce ride height using a C spanner, or can you not even do that with the shock fitted? Or atleast swap out the seat for a ergo one assuming they have one maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
After all this I thought I would just check that the bike would fit width ways through the gate (unmovable) in the side alley into the back of the property and I am gutted, I can just squeeze 30" and a bit through which is under the 32" width I need!

What a thing to miss before I got my heart set :( Looks like it'll have to wait until we move in 6 months or so...

Thanks for all your assistance but I think this has well and truly put a dampener on things, I am no way going to leave the bike parked out the front of the house for all to see so I will have the torment of having to wait longer still!
 

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Sorry, I lied (having a bad week, was thinking of the adjuster instllation). You can adjust it with a C spanner but you have to take all the weight off the rear end, which they should be easily able to do in the shop for you. Sounds like they might be being a bit lazy.

Shame about the width :(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry, I lied (having a bad week, was thinking of the adjuster instllation). You can adjust it with a C spanner but you have to take all the weight off the rear end, which they should be easily able to do in the shop for you. Sounds like they might be being a bit lazy.
No worries, I had one of those last week :)
I think laziness at the dealerships is it, 1 out of 3 was willing to make adjustments for me for a test ride...it would need to go into the workshop for 10 minutes, if that...

Shame about the width :(
Still coming to terms with it, it's like I've lost a relative that I haven't met yet lol

I am desperate to have one so I may yet have a test ride with the local dealership when the boss is back next week (if they can adjust the thing for me!) and bring the bike home for 10 minutes just to make damn sure I can't get it through! It does mean I need to test locally though...
 

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You don´t have to worry.
I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and i haven´t had any problems at all (09 SMT).
The bike is so easy to control at low speeds that tippy toes at standstill are all you need. If you want to move the bike around though, you have to step off unless the surface is really flat.
 

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After all this I thought I would just check that the bike would fit width ways through the gate (unmovable) in the side alley into the back of the property and I am gutted, I can just squeeze 30" and a bit through which is under the 32" width I need!
Have you thought about seeing if there are any narrower aftermarket bars you could fit ???
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