Lowering seat height w/o less suspension travel?

Fred T

Mi. Trail Riders
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Mar 23, 2001
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#1
OK, here's the deal. I am about 5'3" and I've ridden the KDX all summer. I have no problem riding the bike until the terrain gets real gnarly and you have to put your feet down often. I’ve had the opportunity to help with some Enduro trail layout for the Jackpine Enduro and now working on the National Enduro in Wolverine, MI. In these sections there are off camber down hills with trees so close together you have to feed your handle bars through them while going over logs and it’s not easy or possible without putting your feet down, so I just fall over often. Falling on the downhill side is not fun getting the bike back up and finding a place to get it started so I want to figure out a way to lower the seat height but at the same time I don’t want to mess up the suspension travel or geometry of the bike by lowering the fork tubes in the clamps and putting shorter dog-bones etc. on the rear linkage. We ride a lot of whooped out ORV trail sections and I need all the travel I can get to keep ripping down the trail. So the only thing I can think of doing is taking a belt sander to the seat foam and getting the seat down an inch or so for those “special situations” where I need to be able to touch the ground like every other normal sized rider. So has anyone tried this? Does it mess up the seat? Is there any smaller seat foam available? Ideas?
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
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#2
Shaving the seat foam is perfectly fine, you can get another inch or so of leg lenth without making the seat so thin that you sink through to the frame rails.
 
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#3
Ah the old seat foam shaving trick! I used a electric knife & cut the underneath of the foam so the upper was un-blemished.

You can also look at lowering the seat rails before the tire will hit the guard, the removable side is easy & the pipe side looks easy too.

Take your boots to a cobler, like a decent one & get him to put a 2nd sole on or a packer under the original making you instantly ½ an inch taller.
 
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Aug 29, 2001
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#4
Where do you find down hills in the tri-city area? ;)

Just kidding, my family is from Midland...

Go ahead and attack the seat, but be careful not to take too much out or you will either suffer from a bad case of monkey butt or creat a hole in the saddle that won't let you move around. Try to maintain the original profile as much as possible and you should be able to pull the seat cover tight.

Also, depending on your weight, you may want to go a little more on the sag. You will not lose much in the whoops as the spring rate will not change much. If needed, cut a little off the spacer tubes in the front forks, say a 1/4" at a time.

Finally, the double sole trick sounds good. I would be a little worried about how well your foot fits around the shift lever though.

BTW, what year is your KDX?
 

canyncarvr

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Oct 14, 1999
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#5
Yep..sanding/removing foam is indeed the 'ah the old ..trick'.


re:
so I want to figure out a way to lower the seat height but at the same time I don’t want to mess up the suspension travel or geometry of the bike by lowering the fork tubes in the clamps and putting shorter dog-bones etc
Replacing the stock pull rods won't 'mess up' anything. Installation of Devol rods in the 'long' position will lower the bike about 1/2". If you order a set, keep in mind they REQUIRE KX250 attaching hardware (bolts). Maybe Devol includes them now, maybe not..they didn't used to.