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Discussion Starter #1
I know its been discussed a lot but I saw a video today and the guy stated that the low suspensions 50 mm lowering makes the rake and trail different and stiffens the suspension making it not as comfortable. Any truth to this or if you've had both bikes any comments would be appreciated.
 

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Guess: to lower the suspension total suspension travel is reduced. To avoid bottoming out the suspension must be slightly stiffer. Both front and rear struts are changed with the lowering option. I would not expect the rake to change unless front and rear were lowered by different amounts. The wheelbase will get a little smaller.
 

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I thought they actually "corrected" the geometry for the OEM lowered bikes. I've never ridden a standard height GSA, but based on my "butt", I find the ride to be just fine, this is even off-road on some really nasty washboard. I've had other ADV bikes including the Africa Twin, Super Tenere, and Triumph Tiger XCx and I would say it handles very well onroad and off-road....

I know its been discussed a lot but I saw a video today and the guy stated that the low suspensions 50 mm lowering makes the rake and trail different and stiffens the suspension making it not as comfortable. Any truth to this or if you've had both bikes any comments would be appreciated.
 

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Some of the info I find on the web in regards to lowering a bike often refer only to lowering the rear suspension. This would cause the rake and trail to change. It would be best to clarify whether the author of the video was talking about lowering both the front and rear or only the rear.

Edit: I test rode both the standard and lowered heights of the GS and didn't notice much difference. (I bought the lowered version)
 

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I’ve been doing a fair bit of research on this exact thing. As far as i’ve been able to work out, the only difference between the standard ride height and lowered version are the shocks (and the low version has the low seat as well). The low version has shocks that are 1” or 25mm shorter.

The frame and all other bits and pieces are exactly the same between the 2 versions of the bike. I used a BMW parts fiche to examine this difference.

I visited a dealer yesterday and they had a low version on the floor. I’m 5’ 7” tall with a 29” inseam and even with trainers on, I was almost flat foot on it.
 

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I’ve been doing a fair bit of research on this exact thing. As far as i’ve been able to work out, the only difference between the standard ride height and lowered version are the shocks (and the low version has the low seat as well). The low version has shocks that are 1” or 25mm shorter.

The frame and all other bits and pieces are exactly the same between the 2 versions of the bike. I used a BMW parts fiche to examine this difference.
Aren't the stands any different?
 

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I recently took delivery of my new R1250GS with OEM lowered suspension. My previous bike was a 2017 R1200GS (standard suspension). I have definitely noticed a slower turn-in, immediately from leaving the dealership. I have no reason to attribute this to the lowered suspension, and I have researched the issue but have found no connection. But I can't help wondering.

Thinking it might be a slight spec change in the new model, I have checked the specs for the old R1200GS and the new R1250GS and notice that the critical rake/trail specs and wheelbase dimensions are identical. I assume those dimensions are essentialy the same for the lowered-suspension version but have not been able to verify that fact.

I am wondering if it can be put down to the diferent tyres - the new Michelin Anakee Adventure on the 1250 as compared to the Michelin Anakee III on the previous bike. The new Michelins are quite a bit chunkier, but not extreme.

The difference in feeling with the handling on the new bike is quite marked and I preferred the old one which felt more "agile". The new one feels less inclined to tip-in so readily. The feeling is similar to that of an under-inflated tyre, so I will definitely experiment with higher pressures, but currently I have them at recommended pressures.

Has anyone else had this experience?
 

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I recently took delivery of my new R1250GS with OEM lowered suspension. My previous bike was a 2017 R1200GS (standard suspension). I have definitely noticed a slower turn-in, immediately from leaving the dealership. I have no reason to attribute this to the lowered suspension, and I have researched the issue but have found no connection. But I can't help wondering.

Thinking it might be a slight spec change in the new model, I have checked the specs for the old R1200GS and the new R1250GS and notice that the critical rake/trail specs and wheelbase dimensions are identical. I assume those dimensions are essentialy the same for the lowered-suspension version but have not been able to verify that fact.

I am wondering if it can be put down to the diferent tyres - the new Michelin Anakee Adventure on the 1250 as compared to the Michelin Anakee III on the previous bike. The new Michelins are quite a bit chunkier, but not extreme.

The difference in feeling with the handling on the new bike is quite marked and I preferred the old one which felt more "agile". The new one feels less inclined to tip-in so readily. The feeling is similar to that of an under-inflated tyre, so I will definitely experiment with higher pressures, but currently I have them at recommended pressures.

Has anyone else had this experience?
Thats the tires! Have experienced the same thing with a change of tires....I felt I was just gonna tip
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I started this thread awhile ago as I wasn't sure I wanted another std GSA. My 2009 felt unconforatble in certain situations (mostly parking and uneven ground when on the side stand). I was thinking that the lowered unit would be a better suit for me. So after buying the STD GSA in June just a few notes on why I went with the standard instead of the lowered unit. First of all I just felt the lowered unit didn't feel right for me. Secondly what really convinced me is that you can set the suspension on minimum on the new bike and it lowers the bike enough for me to flat foot the bike. That and now days the side stand keeps the bike more upright making getting of the side stand a snap. Really enjoying the 1250 and am glad I went with the standard GSA.
 

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I found your observations interesting because 13 years ago I bought a new GSA and after struggling with the height eventually swapped out the dual colour standard seat for the black GS Low seat. Back then factory low seats and low suspension for the GSA weren't available options but, and I could be wrong here, I believe that the bike was built slightly lower than the current model. Either that or I've shrunk over the years!
Fast forward a few years and I bought a used 2012 ESA bike with the low seat installed which I found to be incredibly uncomfortable. So much so that I sold the bike on after two months because a 2018 factory low suspension bike came up for sale. At least that's the reason I gave to the Minister for War and Finance for raiding the piggy bank again.
Personally I don't find that the ride on the 2018 is any firmer because of the reduced suspension travel although the more comfortable seat could easily be cancelling some of that out. What I do find is that moving that low suspension bike around, wheeling it out of the garage etc, feels much more comfortable. I appreciate that we don't buy bikes to lug them around but the lower c of g is what convinced me I had to go down this route.
For anyone else who is vertically challenged and debating which is the best bike for them I suggest finding a friendly dealer who has both low and standard bikes in stock. Just lift them off the stand and move them around the shop floor and the difference is immediately obvious. To me at least they were chalk and cheese and I have no regrets going with the lowered suspension machine.
 
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