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Thread: Too tall or too short - my dilemma

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  1. #1
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Too tall or too short - my dilemma

    I've had my GSA for almost a year and still not comfortable around town and/or a slow speeds. I'm 5'11" tall but I only have a 30" inseam. I'm on my tip toes when I stop and really struggle when trying to move the bike while sitting on it. I've been told not to worry about it and that I'll get use to it over time. But that's yet to happen.

    I have a KLR that has a seat height that's about the same as th GS but it's weighs significantly less and a lot easier to handle around town. I know people have lowered standard GS bikes but not aware of anyone doing it to an Adventure. My question is that if it can be done what are the pros and cons and approx should I expect to spend?

  2. #2
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    Let me know if you are considering selling it as I am always in the market for a GSA. Thanks.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  3. #3
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    A friend had a GSA-P and he is like 5'7" He was pretty short with it. He put a low seat on it and adjusted to it. He one footed it at stops. Just got off and walked it if he needed to back it up and loved it. It was totaled when a 90 year old without a license driving a dually pulling a 30" trailer came up a ramp going the wrong way. My friend survived just fine. The bike went into a field however where it did many wonderful aerial displays until it collasped in peices.

    Buy a low seat. See if it works. Sell it if not so you won't be out much cash.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  4. #4
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    I also have the GSA and a 30" inseam. I just had Bill Mayer fixup my extra low sat to make it wider so it is more comfortable on long trips. Now I feel a bit too short. So I'm going to put lower shocks on it. I have ESA. So I'm going with the Wilburs. They can drop the GSA by as much as 3". Let me know if your interested.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  5. #5
    Quiet One
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    I had a GSA and lowered it with lower wilber shocks, a low sargent seat, and gs side and center stand. It worked but ultimately I still found it too heavy and intimidateing. I am not a novice rider but I decided that I just was not enjoying like I should. I traded recently for a 2012 R1200R and I am really enjoying it short and much lighter, gives me more confidence. I have ridden a KLR and DR650 and their lighter weight with height is easier than GSA. I wish you luck and if you look hard there are people willing to swap shorter parts to gain your taller stuff that is how I did it.
    Andy
    2013 R1200GSW
    BMWMOA # 155500
    1st John 4: 7,8

  6. #6
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Hey Andy:
    Thanks for the advice. What prompted you to buy a 1200 R vs a RT? Most of my riding is around town with one or two over-night trips a year. Do you ever take your bike on the road? What about wind pressure and/or protection on the road.

    I've been looking at and thinking about trading for an R1200RT. With the liquid cooled engine coming out in '13 I'm going to wait and see if it's what I want or go for a '12.

    The Wilbur's are an interesting thought and something I'll consider if I decide to keep the GS.

  7. #7
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stkmkt1 View Post
    I also have the GSA and a 30" inseam. I just had Bill Mayer fixup my extra low sat to make it wider so it is more comfortable on long trips. Now I feel a bit too short. So I'm going to put lower shocks on it. I have ESA. So I'm going with the Wilburs. They can drop the GSA by as much as 3". Let me know if your interested.
    With the lowered suspension what do you do about the side and center stands? It seems that the center stand may then be too tall and hard to get it up without breaking your back or at least needing help.

    Have any of you who've lowered your bike had any problems?

  8. #8
    Nickname: Droid
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    With lowered suspension you'd have to shorten the centerstand and sidestand. At Nick's BMW (Wilbers dealer) they have done a number of lowered bikes and each time they shortened both stands by cutting the tubing of the legs and then re-welding them.

  9. #9
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rtowne View Post
    With the lowered suspension what do you do about the side and center stands? It seems that the center stand may then be too tall and hard to get it up without breaking your back or at least needing help.

    Have any of you who've lowered your bike had any problems?
    I've done absolutely nothing. My R1200R is lowered about 15-20mm or so.. and it really isn't a problem putting it on the centerstand due to the excellent design of the centerstand. Put weight on the centerstand tang, pull up on the frame and UP it goes. It usually only is on the centerstand in my garage, just for better space utilization. When touring/riding/whatever-else, it stays on the sidestand.

    The only time the sidestand might trouble me is when I try using it in a spot where the road/parking/whatever slopes down from port to starboard (left and right for landlubbers..) In those cases the stand actually is pretty useless.. but typically by maneuvering the bike around a bit I can find an orientation that works. At least so far (or I'd be stuck on the bike eh?)

    For those people lucky enough to have a 30" inseam - don't go dissing' people who want a lower bike. Some of us are old, short of inseam (27" on a tall day), rotund in shape, and tired of fighting their bikes. It's better the bike is modified to make US comfortable, rather then trying to always overcome what can be a real problem.

    For the OP - I'd suggest an R1200R test ride. Take your checkbook. It's very quickly becoming the most popular bike in our local club. Out of about 65 members, we now have at least 6 people riding R12Rs.. more R12R riders then GS riders easily now. And almost everyone bought one because they were tired of the weight and bulk of the other bikes.

    The R12R works just fine for touring, easy to farkle up for touring, and equally easy to strip down for fun. It's the swiss-army knife of BMW bikes IMHO.. does all things quite well actually.

    BTW - if the side/center-stands really concern you, BMW sells shorter ones for their factory lowered R12R.. and it's not a big deal to swap them.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rtowne View Post
    I've had my GSA for almost a year and still not comfortable around town and/or a slow speeds. I'm 5'11" tall but I only have a 30" inseam. I'm on my tip toes when I stop and really struggle when trying to move the bike while sitting on it. I've been told not to worry about it and that I'll get use to it over time. But that's yet to happen.

    I have a KLR that has a seat height that's about the same as th GS but it's weighs significantly less and a lot easier to handle around town. I know people have lowered standard GS bikes but not aware of anyone doing it to an Adventure. My question is that if it can be done what are the pros and cons and approx should I expect to spend?
    I have 30" inseam. GSA. Sargent regular height seat. $400

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    Last edited by pfoushee; 11-18-2012 at 02:38 PM.

  11. #11
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    IMHO if its too tall to ride around town that you should get rid of it. I know that sounds like a harsh assessment, but I have been there. When I rode K bikes, I wouldn't take it out for anything less than a 50 mile ride, and even them I was always concerned about where I was coming to a stop

    When I switched to oilheads, all of that angst went away. Now if I need to go get my haircut, I jump on the bike.

    Get a GS. It's lighter and lower and will do everything that the GSA will do except have the range

    YMMV
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

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