Raising the rear? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-05-2009, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Raising the rear?

Has anyone tried raising the rear of the '09 VN900 classic to improve ground clearance and get it to turn a bit quicker? It feels heavy to turn and I'm constantly grounding out the running boards and sometimes the board mount. Is there a longer shock from another model or an aftermarket one or maybe a link?

Last edited by uktech1; 12-05-2009 at 10:25 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 12:35 PM
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I am not the super-tech-expert here, but the way I understand it is this. Bike engineers in general design cruisers so that with the proper tires and rims, the foot pegs (floorboards) will drag the ground at about 45 degrees of lean. This is the point where you have the same amount of downforce as you do side force in a turn. The idea is that if you drag a peg, it will be a warning not to lean any further because you are flirting with a lowside wipeout. Sport bikes are supposed to be set to handle about 50 degrees of lean due to the type tires they use. Raising the rear may give you more room to lay it over, but you will run the risk of a lowside.

If you do drag a floorboard, you should shift your body farther into the turn like you see the guys on racing bikes do. Don't drag a knee or anything, but moving your body just a bit will raise the bike's angle while keeping the same track through the corner.

Lastly, the tightness of the arc that a bike can make through the turn is also determined by the wheelbase and front wheel rake. If you read the web pages on counter-steer it explains this in very precise detail. But have some asprin ready for the headache you may have after the overload of kinematic physics. The basic idea is that longer wheel base bikes are more stable but make longer turns, just like luxury cars. A shorter wheel base is less stable but will make tighter corners. Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input but I'm well aware of all the do's and don'ts. Lots of cruiser riders are happy to fit wider tires which generally means a taller tire (quicker steering) but a wider tire will slow the steering, so more ground clearance but no quicker steering. Keeping the same tire but raising the rear ride height will give more ground clearance and make the steering easier. It doesn't need to be a big change to make the bike feel lighter, 1/2 inch would be more than enough.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 02:31 PM
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Maybe you need a sport-touring bike instead of a cruiser.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 07:41 PM
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I second that. I've slightly dragged my floorboards about a half dozen times now. As stated, I took it as advice from my bike to ease up just a bit or use a little more body and a little less bike through the turn, but then I'm not an expert rider by any means. Cruisers are not hot rods or sport bikes. I'm sure most experienced riders can tke it a bit further than the pegs/boards allow and I can understand wanting to do that... to a point!!! Different bikes render different styles of riding and even the tire on the front makes a differance. To the initial question, I've seen lots of lowering kits, but none with any sort of lift linkage for the rear (and I can't imagine wanting to do it just the same). A longer fork would raise it, but then the rake and steering effeciency comes into play. At any rate, good luck with that.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 11:32 AM
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Hey, maybe you should check out 4wd.com . They have lots of lifts for my Jeep. Maybe you could make one work for your bike. ROTFLMAO Sorry, just joking.

On the serious side, it shouldn't be much harder to lift a bike 1/2 an inch than it is to lift a Jeep. Just put in a spacer at the top shock mount. Good luck!

'07 VN900 Classic
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Torque is the source of all good things.
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