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Lowering For My Wife?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by robindean, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    My wife is 5'2" with shorty legs.

    We're in the market to buy her a Nighthawk 250 which has me thinking, guys lower Ninja 250s for gals all the time.

    Could I lower my Seca 400 for my wife?

    Also, the controls are too big for her hands. I'm wondering if you folks have any experience/tips/suggestions as to whether or not making the conversion can be simplified.
  2. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    Boots with thick, thick heels, shaving the seat padding and a shorter mono-shock have all been discussed on here.

    As to controls, do you simply mean the brake and clutch handles? If so, then you can get different shaped Yamaha ones which do not bend away from the bars at such an extreme angle. I tried to swap a Seca handle for my Maxim handle when I broke mine. It fit on just fine but my fingers were too short to use it comfortably even after putting all kinds of extra slack in the cable. Shamus gave me an old one off his sohc and, while I had to file it down so it would rotate properly in the clamp, it was wonderful - had an even smaller angle away than the original Maxim handle (just barely enough) and I could grab it easily and comfortably.

    If you also mean the grips, you can buy thin surgical rubber grips for about $12. I got a pair at a mechanic's shop - made in Italy. Very comfy.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  3. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    Quick response ;)

    - Thick heals won't be enough.
    - A custom seat is being considered.
    - I am referring to the clutch/brake levers :)

    I'm wondering if maybe cutting the fork tubes is just too outrageous? My (more experienced than I) favorite local gurus haven't responded either.

    I like where your head's at, though ... a little bit here, a little bit there adds up to a rideable solution for her.
  4. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    Oh, I forgot, one can loosen the nuts on the top fork tube holders and slide the tubes so they pook up an inch or so.
    My Maxim came that way and 16VGTIDave pointed it out and we did the reverse - which raised everything up as high as it would go.
    I recall you would have to loosen the lower clamps too.

    I read somewhere on here that a drastic reduction in overall fork length call introduce a wobble at high speed, but an inch certainly didn't.

    Seems a reasonable thing to do though - in terms of a little bit here, a little bit there. I could notice the difference after mine was 1" higher, however, I could not perceive any handling or performance difference at the speeds I drove (rarely more than 65 mph).

    In the 2nd photo you can see the difference above the top clamp.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  5. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    Hey guys!

    Thanks again for the tips. I ended up buyin' her a bike after all. Nighthawk 250.

    Still, I might just lower it for $h!ts and giggles.
  6. I'm 5'3" and I just stand on both of my tippy toes at stops/lights :). Not too hard to pickup initially.
    My current seat is custom though, but remember same style at stops/lights with my old stock seat.
  7. Lana

    Lana XS400 Member

    my Maxim was also 4 inches too tall for me, but the price was so great, I bought it anyways. I'm 5'. After ordering another monoshock, which was the wrong one, the mechanics finally cut 1 1/2" off the coil, and reinstalled it. It's short enough for me now, however, I basically have a hard frame, and while I love it, I feel every bump on the road.
    As for hand controls, make sure you have a y shaped handlebars, and not a straight one,
    Easy fix. Hope all goes well, and tell your wife to enjoy her rides.

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