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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, here's the deal. With a 28" inseam on my 2012 1200RT with standard suspension,ESA and a BMW low, heated seat, I'm just a little shy of being flat footed at a light. Normally this is not a big deal, however when the bike is loaded for a trip, (top case,tent and large duffel across the back seat) the center of gravity go's up and it can be a challenge backing out of a parking space or into a camp site. I've already gently laid it down a couple of times so it looks like side case crash bars are in order. Of course that won't do anything for my pride.

My question is: are there any lower seats out there that would solve this problem?
I've tried the build up the boot thing but then that creates a clearance problem with the shifter.
I'm not against having a custom seat made if it will do the trick.

O, and the reason I didn't get the low suspension model is because I wanted ESA and the sales person said that at resale time the ESA would be a plus.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

Thanks
 

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hitchfield said:
I've tried the build up the boot thing but then that creates a clearance problem with the shifter.
I'm not against having a custom seat made if it will do the trick.
First, if having a built up boot creates a clearance problem with the shifter - the boot is built up wrong. My boots are built up 3/4 in and I have no such problem in over 20,000 miles with them.

To get a seat built for you, you're going to have to make a decision. Do you want riding comfort for miles or do you want to reach the ground? The problem is the lower the seat, the sharper the bend in our knees when they're on the pegs. That also affects your lower back.

I'd suggest:

1: a peg lowering kit
2: a good seat - I ride a Russell - which sits you hight yet.
3: Illium highway pegs to get your knees straightened out some when needed.

Also 28 inch inseam.
 

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Back to basics.
1. Thick sole and shifters... positioning the shifter up or down to gain boot clearance takes about 15 minutes... if you stop to have a beverage during the process. Just get down there and look at it. Pull off the peg mounting rail. Remove the set screw keeping the shift lever in position. Pull the shifter off and move it up one spline... reinstall and ride off. Seriously.

2. Seats can be modified/re-built by any competent upholstery shop in your town. You can have reduced height/thickness of the seat AND at the same time improve comfort. Your seat builder can do this and the key-word is foam densities. If your builder does not recognize this then find another one. By seat builder I am not talking about the well-known big guys... Russel, Sargent. Corbin etc. If you live in a decent sized town there are many to choose from. The big guys can make some good seats and many here like them, but it is costly, time consuming and working at a distance may or may not achieve what you want. You can retain the seat heat even with a rebuild.

3. ESA Some like it. Some do not. Some have continuing problems getting it to work correctly. As for a re-sale advantage... I will be gentle and say, not in my experience would anyone pay one dollar more or scrap a deal because it was or was not there. Sorry.

My ride buddy went to shorter Werks shocks and gladly gave up his ESA. If you insist on it, however, current Werks models do offer shortened ESA shocks.

If you do not have ESA shocks, you may have to turn a knob under the seat to change pre-load or rebound if you are loading for a well-laden trip. Oh, the horrors of having to do that... Seriously. It is a 5 minute job or less.
 

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I have short inseam and found that the Rt was too tall for me. I found a 2008 with 40mm reduced height shocks that kept the ESA, bought it and haven't looked back. The stock seat was poor, I found one on MOA that was built for someone my size, The seller was 60 lbs heavier and needed a seat pan and a few dollars. I put it on at the high setting and my legs are in a comfortable setting. Best bike I have ever owned in 40 years. Although I still have my 78 LM 850; I only look at it!
 

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I may have a little more on the inseam, 29" but I use a custom seat derived from the low BMW seat. The OE was uncomfortable so I had it refoamed, it ended up 1/2" taller. However, I do now use it on the higher setting of two on the bike for comfort so I'm probaly in the same boat even with an extra 3/8" on the soles of my boots.

I have Wilbers installed but they are not lowered, they are standard heights.

One of the things I've worked out and consequently advise others who are a little verticaly challaged (I do some training/observing for RoSPA/IAM in the UK) is to make sure you are in control of the bike, so you tell it which way you want it to lean at a stop, this is easily done with a slight turn of the bars, left to make the bike fall right, right to make the bars fall left, It works for me. When you are confident you ahve the bike under control and know which way it going to go when stopped, it's easy to slip to one side a little to get a better flat foot on the ground.

Also, I never paddle the bike back while sitting on it. Park up facing the exit you want to go, or get off and push it back.
hth
\v/
 

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At 5'71/2" (27inch inseam) I am only able to flat foot one of my feet on my 2011 RT. with both feet down I'm on my toes with the ESA set to 2 up. I have 10k miles on the clock and I'm preparing for a 4000+ mile trip to ME with my wife in 2 days. I have never laid down my ride.

That being said,

Being a motor officer I have laid down a road king countless times. When I hear "gently laid down" I think of slow speed, just off balance, "oh shit oh shit" bike is going down, everything in your power to keep it up, cushioning the fall, now I have to pick it up "crash". My advice is to take an advance course that focuses on slow speed maneuvers and your issue with the height of the RT will disappear.

Even with a 27" inseam I find the RT completely manageable. If I think I will have issues backing out I do a fancy u-turn when parking so I can drive out. Either that or park somewhere else.

Joel
 

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RT1200-290 said:
My advice is to take an advance course that focuses on slow speed maneuvers and your issue with the height of the RT will disappear.
I mostly agree with Joel here. However, the qualifier of this statement is related to where you live/ride most of the time.

Here in the high plains of NM, we have wind gusts that come out of nowhere, and microburst issues much of the time.

Trust me when I tell you that sitting at a stop sign or light in almost calm conditions - and unexpectedly getting broadsided with a 40 or 50 mile per hour wind gust with one foot on the ground - and you will find yourself picking that motorcycle up from where it landed.

Until I moved here 25 years ago, I never gave a second thought to my 28 inch inseam and half-cheeked almost every motorcycle I've ridden since 1956 - when I was even shorter than today.

My solution was to have the soles of my boots built up enough to get two feet on the ground where necessary. It doesn't take much build up to get enough foot down to help control that stopped motorcycle.

However, as noted above, thinking about how to get the motorcycle out of where you park it solves 99 percent of the "two feet down" to back it out problem. Park it however you like - but always park it so you can ride it out, not back it out.
 

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I'm also a 28" inseam and cannot flat foot a low seat 2010 RT with ESA. Fortunately, because of the relatively low weight of the RT I find no difficulty handling it on my tip toes. If I have to back it up on an incline, I usually dismount and walk it back if I can't back it up while mounted.
 

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I ordered my 012 RT with the standard height suspension because I did not want a lowered one. Guess what? I tried a custom seat and loading the bike, 2 up, anything to compress the Showa shocks enough but no go. At 5'7 29 inseam I need a lowered RT, especially when I am 2 up. So I bit the bullet and ordered 1 inch lower Yacugar steel body rebuildable shocks with a 5 year warranty and the lowered side and centerstands (no affiliation). Now, I am on the balls of my feet one up which is fine. Two up empty I am flatfooted. I can now handle off camber and crowned road STOP signs, uneven dirt stops & intersections,wind, etc. with ease. Should I have ordered a lowered RT originally? Yes. But now the bike is very comfortable 2 up.

I am still dialing in the shocks but now I have a more versatile shock setup, better handling, ride, comfort, etc.

Do what you can to get the correct fit for your self suspension wise. You can still use your ESA setup. It is worth it.

Also if anyone needs a standard set of shocks with 4300 miles and stands please email.
 
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