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Lower seat height

VA Sean

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Sorry for the cross-post with other forums, but was suggested that I search here:


I am 5'8" (yeah, that is WITH my boots on, stop laughing already!)... and I have the 2004 Coppa with a 31.5" seat height.

I am not a gear-head, though I know that with my front and rear Ohlins I have a fully adjustable suspension.

My question is, can I safely adjust my seat height DOWN about 1" so that I have full boots on the ground instead of the balls of my feet? it sure would make backing the bike out of parking spaces a whole lot easier.

Next question... Which way to adjust?

Finally -- Will I go in over my head or should I just let the professionals do it?

(Note: I will be going in for the first (600 mile) maintenance this weekend).

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There is only an inch of foam in that seat to begin with. (Under the bum area.)There is no way to lower the seat and maintain comfort.

You could look at sliding the forks up in the triple clamps and perhaps a softer rear suspension setting? But that would affect handling and ground clearance.

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  • 3 years later...
Guest ratchethack

Hm. I don't have the problem, since I can more than easily sit flat-footed even with a raised ride height (for increased ground clearance), AND with a wool saddle pad seat cover for those longish rides that adds another ~1 inch. . . Yeah, I know -- easy for me to say. . . :P


HOWEVER, (and this is just me), but since handling at and near the limits (the boundaries of which, with today's superb tire choices, are absolutely determined by ground clearance) is a priority for Yours Truly, I'd never consider compromising any part of the best handling the V11 has to offer by either:

1. backing off fork and shock preloads, thereby ruining handling and road manners by throwing laden/unladen sag ratios waaaaaaay out o' whack, and/or:


2. installing a custom or adjustable length rear shock, thereby allowing proper laden/unladen sag ratio's, but which would offset the invaluable (some, including Yours Truly, would say mandatory) advantage of a properly tuned chassis by taking on what (at least for me) would likewise result in insufferably prohibitive limitations of decreased ground clearance.

Unfortunately, other than carving up the seat to put your butt lots closer to the seat pan, as Rich Maund indicated above nearly 4 years ago, these^ are the only 2 reasonable choices for reducing ride height -- unless of course you're willing to give up substantial available suspension travel. :(


If something simply must be done, I b'lieve my overwhelming first choice would be to tune the suspension properly, to the best of my ability to match it to my weight and riding habits, leave both it and the ground clearance 100% intact, and simply scooch my butt over on the seat to put a foot down when stopped, and get off the bike to back it out of parking spots whenever necessary.


I've seen lots of guys (and particularly gals) do it. How hard could it be? :huh2:

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Let's establish one immutable fact here.


Tall people suck. <_>


But we know that already, eh Sean?


Anyway, you've got me by 2 inches there "Stretch" so I don't want to hear whingin' about flat-footing or any other such nonsense. ;)

I haven't flat-footed a motorcycle since a 1988 Superglide and it really isn't all that much bother IF you're a resourceful, cunning lad.


Don't nose in at parking spaces unless you can pull it back yourself.

Make sure your stops at lights and stop signs are decisive. Glide up to the stop then brakes full on & get a foot down.

Usually make sure it's your left in the US...don't want to put a foot in the gutter........don't ask.

And it's all about riding, not standing over the thing so...


But I sympathize with your plight and I've been trying to come up with some solutions myself.

Other than lowering the subframe there's not much to do I'm afraid that won't ruin the handling.

I'll be having a look at the subframe myself but I don't want to screw the aesthetics up either.


For now, just know that there are gray, old, furry trolls riding these things who are shorter than you. :oldgit:

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I am 5'6" with a 29-30" inseam. My solution was to order a Corbin Gunfighter seat and ask them to bring the seat pocket as far forward and low as possible. This was a significant improvement both in reaching the ground and handlebar/controls over the otherwise nice Rich Maude upgraded seat that came with the bike. I had contacted Rich first and received the same advice as noted in this thread. Corbin rounds the front section as well so your legs don't have to spread as much when reaching the ground. I am not quite flatfoot to the ground now but at least not tip-toeing either


I should also note Corbin seems to have fixed their earlier seat pan fit problems as, other than shimming the seat latch pin, I had no fitment issues whatsoever (much to my relief given I had no other good options). The Corbin seat pan does clear the OEM battery and apparently allows some lowering of the seat "bucket" when moved forward.


The good news - they do not charge extra for this "customization". The bad news is Corbin has raised the price of the MG V11 seat considerably since I purchased mine at about $240.


I have to agree wholeheartedly with Ratchet on lowering the suspension. I refer to the Guzzi as a "Harley done right" (no offense to those who love the brand!) in that its old school but still handles and stops. I would not want to give up cornering clearance.


Hope this helps.

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  • 10 years later...

I too am 5" 8" in my old age and find my 2001 Cal. Special top heavy making slow U turns. (Even dumped it once - embarrassing as that was at a Guzzi rally)  I have had a Stone rider who was taller than me make the same complaint. I have no problem with seat height and the rear suspension rides nice so not interested in shorter shocks but if you look at the bottom of the engine the rear of the oil pan is at a good height but it angles up to about 8" at the front which is way more than needed for a road bike. I have talked to staff at the two main Guzzi parts stores (Harpers and MG Cycle) and a local Guzzi expert and  been told there is nothing I can do to lower the front about 1.5" which is my goal.  MAYBE a 1" smaller diameter front wheel if such even exists but that would only lower 1/2" and look bad and affect the handling. I could probably safely raise the fork tubes  1/4" but that would only lower the front of the engine about 2/3 of that distance.  Any way to use a shorter fork spring? I am willing to sacrifice an inch or so of travel as i usually am on smooth paved roads.  I think one needs to cut the steering neck and lower the rest of the frame before welding it back on a la Orange County Choppers but I am no welder and worry this could suddenly break due to the heat affecting the metal temper and if not done very carefully be vertically "off" .  Another idea of  mine is to get custom made fork crown and yoke (or modify the stock ones) to allow tubes to sit higher up yet retain the stock rake and trail but this sounds very expensive.  But if there is anyone out there who has the equipment and expertise let me know. This is my only complaint about this excellent bike, plus with the low rider seat and high pillion seat riding my 5''8" gal pal around I never feel at ease as that is a higher COG at the back of the bike.  If I raise the seat height to catch up to her then I can't put both feet firmly on the ground.  Rand M

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