Q:I ride a 2006 Suzuki DL650, which I lowered using a 3/4 lowering link on the rear suspension and by raising the fork legs in the triple tree an equal amount. I can flat foot when I stop, and with lowered footpegs the ergonomics are perfect. The new 2018 Suzuki DL1000 is on my short list for a new bike but is a little tall. When a motorcycle is equipped with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) can you safely make these type of changes, or am I limited to a lowered seat and footpegs?
MARK THOMSON STITTSVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA
A:As in previous replies, I am not a fan of lowering bikes. There are many bad trade-offs that occur when a bike is lowered, not the least of which is the possibility of dragging something sturdy when you least can afford it and jacking one or both wheels off the ground. So if you must, do the very minimum lowering that you require. First check your sag height. If you weigh less than the average person, you should reset this lower first.
Suzuki’s IMU is part of a new system on this model year, so my expert suspension guys don’t have much experience with it as of this writing. But as long as the height adjustments you make are small and don’t largely alter factory spring rates, compression damping, or pitch of the bike, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Before going this direction, consider a thinner seat, proper riding boots with thick soles and heels, and some trials riding techniques, which will all go a long way to making a tallish bike less daunting.