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Old 09-26-2007, 01:42 PM   #1
vicki_xb12r
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Question I'm tip-toeing on my bike!

Alrighty, here goes...

I just started riding. I took the MSF course, got my license, and I have a bike. It's a Buell xb12r. And I'm a 5'4" 115 lb female. The problem I'm having is that I'm tip-toeing on the bike. Otherwise, the bike fits me fine (I can reach the handle bars comfortably, I can turn easily...ect). When I sit on the bike the heel of my foot doesn't touch. To a somewhat experienced rider, I guess you could get by with that. I could probably get by, but it makes me a little nervous (mainly when I come to a stop). I've already dropped it once, and my hubby is gonna have a cow if I drop it again. Thankfully I was already completly stopped at a stop sign; boy was that embarrassing. Ended up with only a broken footpeg and a scratch on the turn signal.

We've talked with the guys up at the Harley dealership about getting the bike lowered. Problem is that they've never lowered a Buell and they aren't sure it can even be done. I've talked with some guys here at work, and they say it can be done but it will screw with how the bike handles. We have a friend who has a friend who works as a tech for Buell and he said if I give him my height and pant inseam he will try and build me a custom suspension. The only other thing I can think of is to wear some really thick-soled boots, but that's going to screw with the shifter. And the only thick-soled ones I can find are thoes gothic-looking ones at Hot Topic.

So I guess what I'm asking is for anyone's advice on what I should do. Or if they've had this problem, and what they did about it. Or if they've ever lowered a Buell before, and how it turned out.

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
BrowningBAR
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Probably why a 95hp, 10 grand bike isn't a good choice for a first bike. If you had more confidence in riding "tip-toeing" wouldn't be an issue. You chose poorly for a first bike and you should have sat on more bikes and ridden more before purchasing this bike. You should also prepare yourself now for the heartache after dropping the bike and denting/cracking the tank and quarter fairing.

I don't know who told you this was a good first bike choice, but they really pointed you in the wrong direction.

If you have any extra cash, by a small bike that fits you better. Learn on that and than transition to the Buell. Buy a used bike on craigslist for 1500 and go from there.
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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Find another dealer that knows what they're doing Buell sells an XB12cg which is a lowered version of the standard XB12.

I'm sure those parts are available. In the meantime you can bring it over to my house and I'll ride it around for you.
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:39 PM   #4
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If you have the money for a custom suspension to lower the XB, you can afford to park it for a while and buy a much better learner bike. Better to get one of those, learn to ride on it, not worry so much about dropping it, and then get the XB back out when you're ready. When you're finished with the learner bike, sell it for what you bought it for.

Or you can just take a bunch of air out of the tires to lower the whole thing. Make sure you do both front and rear though, otherwise it'll handle funny.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
trenttheuncatchable
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You want to be able to have both feet flat on the ground, whether you're experienced or not. Don't worry about the bike's handling changing because you've lowered the bike, get it lowered. Just make sure that it's lowered the same for both front and rear. You might have to get the kickstand shortened also. I'm not going to ask how much your friend is going to charge you for that custom suspension; you'll have to decide whether he's taking you to the cleaners or not.

The previous suggestions for learning on a different bike before riding the 1200cc Buell are good ones. Get a Kawasaki Ninja 250. The new 2008 model is what I'd like to suggest, because it's way cool. But, of course, you really should get a used bike, so an older model is what makes sense.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenttheuncatchable View Post
You want to be able to have both feet flat on the ground, whether you're experienced or not. Don't worry about the bike's handling changing because you've lowered the bike, get it lowered. Just make sure that it's lowered the same for both front and rear. You might have to get the kickstand shortened also. I'm not going to ask how much your friend is going to charge you for that custom suspension; you'll have to decide whether he's taking you to the cleaners or not.

The previous suggestions for learning on a different bike before riding the 1200cc Buell are good ones. Get a Kawasaki Ninja 250. The new 2008 model is what I'd like to suggest, because it's way cool. But, of course, you really should get a used bike, so an older model is what makes sense.
There is no need to have both feet flat on the ground. My GT1000 is pretty high (I'm 5-10) and my feet aren't flat on the ground and I'm fine. The Hypermotard is even higher and I had no concerns while riding it in city traffic.

For a beginner I'd say yes. If you're experienced, it would be impossible on a lot of bikes unless you're 6-4.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #7
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+1 on lowering it and not worrying about the handling. Only a pro rider on a track might tell the difference.

BTW. You have been given a valuable clue. Many dealers and mechanics don't have the slightest idea what they are talking about and just make stuff up as they go along.
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Last edited by seruzawa : 09-26-2007 at 04:23 PM. Reason: grammar... do'h!
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seruzawa View Post
+1 on lowering it and not worrying about the handling. Only a pro rider on a track might tell the difference.

BTW. You have been given a valuable clue. Many dealers and mechanics don't have the slightest idea what they are talking about and just make stuff up as they go along.
That's why my wrench friend calls them "parts changers."
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:52 AM   #9
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I second the XB12Scg. Is that the model you have... or the standard model? The dealership should have pointed you in the direction of the Scg. It has a lowered suspension (which means it can be done) and a lowered seat. Perhaps a speed shop or suspension shop might be able to help a little more.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:21 AM   #10
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I think you should go with the platform Goth lookin' shoes. It will work and I bet they look smokin'.
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