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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my 2011 Vaquero this spring and it has the Kaw Touring Gel seat on it. I am 5'10" but with my riding boots on my feet aren't 100% flat footed when stopped. Is there an easy way to lower the bike some to make me a little more sure footed when stopped?

Thanks for the help.
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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I just got my 2011 Vaquero this spring and it has the Kaw Touring Gel seat on it. I am 5'10" but with my riding boots on my feet aren't 100% flat footed when stopped. Is there an easy way to lower the bike some to make me a little more sure footed when stopped?

Thanks for the help.
It's probably easier and cheaper to raise your legs than lower the bike, i.e. get riding boots with elevated soles. Lowering the bike decreases your max lean angle, which is already to little to begin with. I laid into a left turn yesterday and the frame scraped so hard I almost lost it.
 

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well, if you don't want to spend the money for new front and rear springs from progressive to lower the bike you could always have your seat modified to sit you a little lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well, if you don't want to spend the money for new front and rear springs from progressive to lower the bike you could always have your seat modified to sit you a little lower.
I am willing to spend some money if I have to to make the bike fit me better. I just wanted to see what options exist to accomplish this goal.

Thanks
 

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I am willing to spend some money if I have to to make the bike fit me better. I just wanted to see what options exist to accomplish this goal.

Thanks
Reshaping the seat is actually an effective and economical option to accomplish your goal, and as a bonus, you don't lose any ground clearance or lean angle.
 

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I am willing to spend some money if I have to to make the bike fit me better. I just wanted to see what options exist to accomplish this goal.

Thanks
sorry, I probably worded that wrong. I wasn't implying that you didn't want to spend any money, just that a cheaper option then new springs would be to have the seat modified. Hope you find something that works.
 

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Saw a thread a couple weeks ago about removing a bushing of some sort at the top of the rear shocks to lower the bike about an inch. Think its in the 1700 forum, free lowering? Do a search, see if be something for you.


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I bumped up the preload on the rear shocks to create more cornering clearance. Bike turns in better too.

If money is no object, why not get an air ride system with on board compressor. You can have the ride height for the curves and then with the press of a button the bike drops down for putting your feet down or showing off in a parking lot.
 

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It's probably easier and cheaper to raise your legs than lower the bike, i.e. get riding boots with elevated soles. Lowering the bike decreases your max lean angle, which is already to little to begin with. I laid into a left turn yesterday and the frame scraped so hard I almost lost it.
I've dragged the floorboard drag tabs on both sides several times, but the floorboards fold up to such an angle I can't imagine getting the frame into the pavement :eek:
 

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Someone on a 2012 voyager lowered their bike one inch by removing the wire clip that hold the spacers on each of the rear shocks. Did it to my Vaquero and worked well. Will look for the thread and post.
 

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Here's a copy of the thread:

Lower your 2012 1700 Voyager - Free

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Hi everybody, I just want to post some info for those who might want to lower your 1700 Voyager. My good friend just bought a 2012 Kawi 1700 and needed to lower it. I read all the threads on this site and it boiled down to purchasing a new set of shocks for a bunch of $$, and/or shave or change the seat. Well, since we are up in age and a couple of know-it-all fix it your-selfers, not to mention mechanics, we took one of the shocks off. We noticed the space at the top of the shock spring and thought that all we have to do is to remove the ring-clip hidden behind the upper washer holding the spring from moving at the top. The idea is to remove the clip letting the spring slip upwards the extra inch thereby dropping / lowering the bike an inch. Well using a 'huge" pair of channel lock pliers, (approx. 15"), I was able to grip the washer & squeeze the spring downward exposing the ring clip while my friend removed the clip with a small screw driver. We installed the shock and did the same on the other one without even removing the shock. It took about 2 minutes. The bike sets an inch lower, zero cost, and we did not disrupt the integrity of the suspension. Next we will shave the seat and be done. I hope this helps someone.

Questions answered:
According to the owner, the ride and handling of the bike hasn't changed. There is still plenty of clearance from the rear at the lowest point of the pipes, so, no dragging. The bike has a softer ride since the spring is extended and you need to step up on the dampening adjustment on the shock to compensate. He and his wife weigh in at about 300 lbs, and he hasn't noticed any problems. He has only the minimum air (15#) in the shocks as well. He is a long time biker and very particular.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's a copy of the thread:

Lower your 2012 1700 Voyager - Free

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Hi everybody, I just want to post some info for those who might want to lower your 1700 Voyager. My good friend just bought a 2012 Kawi 1700 and needed to lower it. I read all the threads on this site and it boiled down to purchasing a new set of shocks for a bunch of $$, and/or shave or change the seat. Well, since we are up in age and a couple of know-it-all fix it your-selfers, not to mention mechanics, we took one of the shocks off. We noticed the space at the top of the shock spring and thought that all we have to do is to remove the ring-clip hidden behind the upper washer holding the spring from moving at the top. The idea is to remove the clip letting the spring slip upwards the extra inch thereby dropping / lowering the bike an inch. Well using a 'huge" pair of channel lock pliers, (approx. 15"), I was able to grip the washer & squeeze the spring downward exposing the ring clip while my friend removed the clip with a small screw driver. We installed the shock and did the same on the other one without even removing the shock. It took about 2 minutes. The bike sets an inch lower, zero cost, and we did not disrupt the integrity of the suspension. Next we will shave the seat and be done. I hope this helps someone.

Questions answered:
According to the owner, the ride and handling of the bike hasn't changed. There is still plenty of clearance from the rear at the lowest point of the pipes, so, no dragging. The bike has a softer ride since the spring is extended and you need to step up on the dampening adjustment on the shock to compensate. He and his wife weigh in at about 300 lbs, and he hasn't noticed any problems. He has only the minimum air (15#) in the shocks as well. He is a long time biker and very particular.



This sounds awsome. Has anyone else tried this? I don't want to do a mod and find out the shock wasn't designed this way for a reason?

Thanks again!
 

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This sounds awsome. Has anyone else tried this? I don't want to do a mod and find out the shock wasn't designed this way for a reason?

Thanks again!
Of course it wasn't designed that way for a reason. That doesn't mean you can't mod it. Hey, while your at it, put a car tire on, a 21 inch front wheel and a rake kit.

The mod may be perfectly safe, but that mod was not tested by the engineers who designed the bike.
 

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If it was designed that way it would of been that way from the factory . To each there own I guess.


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Discussion Starter #15
If it was designed that way it would of been that way from the factory . To each there own I guess.


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Wow...you guys are tough lol! Sometimes engineers design systems with the ability to make adjustments and what comes from the factory is a setup to fit the majority of people. I am no suspension expert but thought maybe someone out there had some more knowledge and could attest to the saftey or design capabilities of the shock if this ring clip was removed. It may be designed to be able to be used without this clip in place but kawasaki felt by adding the clip and raising the bike another inch that this would fit more customers.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

Jerry
 

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Everthing engineered is done with a safety margin, and has its compromises when produced for a mass market. Weather its putting 34 lbs of air in your rear tire instead of the 32lbs the factory recommends, debaffling your pipes or lowering the bike 2". You may be reaching the end of your safety margin, but that doesnt make it unsafe, it just means you do so at your own risk. Lowering a bike also has its compromises, you give up cornering clearance for easier control when stopped, or for that certain look.
 

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Of course it wasn't designed that way for a reason. That doesn't mean you can't mod it. Hey, while your at it, put a car tire on, a 21 inch front wheel and a rake kit.

The mod may be perfectly safe, but that mod was not tested by the engineers who designed the bike.
Yeah ... or a trailer hitch, aftermarket bulbs, taller backrest or heated seats. None of those were designed into the factory bike either.

Come on ... my pipes are "for off-road use only" yet they work on the road all the time.

:nailbiting::&
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When I bought my bike a few weeks ago I had the dealer put the Kawasaki touring gel seat on before I took it. I have read that this seat raises the rider up about an inch. So, I figured I would put the original seat on and see how much an inch helps me. What I found out was all the mounting hardware for the seat (rubber grommets, etc) must have been removed from the original seat and put on the gel seat. Is this typical that the seats don't come with their own mounting hardware? Can you buy these as a kit? I'm afraid of damaging the rubber grommets switching them between seats as the wife likes the gel seat.

Thanks again.
 

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When I removed the clips on my shocks, which was tricky but easy enough, I really didn't noticed a difference, except now I'm flat footed when stopped. I did adjust the shocks puting 10lbs in each to help stiffen the difference in the springs. As for safety, having a good footing at a stop or backing up was my reasoning.
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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When I bought my bike a few weeks ago I had the dealer put the Kawasaki touring gel seat on before I took it. I have read that this seat raises the rider up about an inch. So, I figured I would put the original seat on and see how much an inch helps me. What I found out was all the mounting hardware for the seat (rubber grommets, etc) must have been removed from the original seat and put on the gel seat. Is this typical that the seats don't come with their own mounting hardware? Can you buy these as a kit? I'm afraid of damaging the rubber grommets switching them between seats as the wife likes the gel seat.

Thanks again.
Bart, that is apparently the standard protocol, with the gel seat NOT coming with the rubber feet. That's the way mine came, too. How incredibly CHEAP of Kawasaki for doing that! I cuss them every time I switch seats. I find the stock seat a tiny bit lower and softer, and only use the Touring Gel seat if I take a passenger. To help not to damage the rubber, I use a shot a silicone on each one before removing and reinstalling them from one seat to the other.
 
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