Have you recently found the almost-perfect dirt bike for you, but found there’s a slight issue with the seat being a touch too high? You might find this is a common, but small problem when choosing or riding your dirt bike.
Lowering a dirt bike can be done in multiple different ways without the use of extensive tools. If you are lowering your dirt bike, you will need to lower both the front and the rear end of the bike so that the bike is still balanced and manageable for the rider.
Lowering dirt bikes is nothing new. We’re not all the same height after all and some of us have shorter legs and longer torsos and vice versa. So, to the lucky ones that don’t need to lower their bike, have a good day. For those of you that are looking for a solution to lowering your bike, also resulting in better track handling, read on and find out all you need to know.
How do You Lower a Dirt Bike?
Depending on the model of bike you have, lowering your bike could be done pretty easily. Many riders opt to lower their bike because the seat is just too high for their body height. Being able to touch the ground can have a huge confidence boost for a rider, especially if you’re new to motocross. And ideally, you want just the ball of your foot to touch the ground.
Here are a few ways that you can lower your dirt bike to better match your riding abilities and your height:
Trim the seat foam
This is probably the easiest way to lower a bike. Remove the seat cover, and trim down the foam in the seat cushion. Trimming the foam might bring your seat down up to 2-inches.
We don’t, however, recommend taking off so much foam that you can no longer sit on your bike comfortably. Just think how much it could hurt if you have a hard landing on a track or are riding a track with many bumps.
Easy to do yourself
Can give riders an advantage on maneuvering abilities
Might get up to 2-inches shortened depending on the original seat cushion
Less seat cushioning and less comfort
Prepare for a bruised derrière on hard landings
You may have to adjust the handlebars for balance
Add a lowering link
Adding a longer lowering link to your bike will reduce the bike’s height by bringing the bottom shock mount closer to the ground.
With a lowering link, you should be able to adjust the height of your bike anywhere between 0.5 – 2 inches. The addition of a lowering link should also not affect your suspension.
Easy to install
Can shorten up to 2-inches
Lowering the shock mount closer to the ground leaves it more vulnerable to damages from the track.
Moves the rear-wheel closer to the rear-fender
Lower the suspension
A little more time-consuming, but still doable if you’re willing to forgo some of your suspension, is to lower the suspension of the bike.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to accomplish lowering your suspension.
Remove all body panels and the seat.
Relieve pre-load on the rear shock by loosening the jam nut, rotating the lower nut counterclockwise to the desired height.
Tighten the upper not back into place.
Now the rear shock is ready.
Relieve the pressure of the forks to lower the front suspension (lift the bike under the engine).
Loosen the fork pinch bolts.
Lower the bike by sliding the forks upwards through the triple clamps to lower the bike height.
Put everything back together, tighten the pinch bolts, don’t miss a single part.
The thing about lowering the suspension is that if you don’t understand a lot of the dirt bike jargon I just mentioned, you’ll probably want to have this done by a professional.
Can customize the lowered suspension to your riding style.
Can shorten the bike up to 2-inches.
Can significantly reduce the bikes ground clearance
Expensive if done through a shop
Adjustable footpegs don’t exactly lower your seat, but you might consider them as a cheap option to see if you’re more comfortable on the bike with altered footpegs. By adding taller footpegs to the bike you're able to bring yourself higher over your seat which gives you more room and more mobility to move around the bike.
Rather than risking other, future, possible issues that might come with altering the height of your dirt bike, adjustable footpegs might do the trick.
Should You Lower a Dirt Bike?
It’s not a bad thing to have your bike lowered to match your riding abilities, weight, and height better. It’s actually a pretty common dirt bike adjustment.
Although it is fine to have your bike lowered, either self-lowered or professionally lowered, there could be some side effects that aren’t for the better.
Ground clearance is decreased
Altered handling and managing of the bike by the rider and by the bike on the track.
Further adjustments need to be made to the rest of the bike to balance out lowering of one part of the motorcycle.
Time-consuming and costly keeping you off the track longer.
Avoid lowering your bike so much that your lack of ground clearance leaves your bike susceptible to damages, resulting in further costly mechanical fixes.
Some bikes might be easier than others to lower and you may need to take your dirt bike to a mechanic to have it professionally lowered and to avoid making any drastic and unwanted changes to the handling of your bike.
Why are Dirt Bike Seats So High?
Dirt bikes are designed higher than a typically motorcycle because of the ground clearance they need to have for harsh riding conditions.
Bikes are designed to match certain types of terrain and ground, and the way they are manufactured is to keep the rider as safe as possible with certain elements. Such as higher seats on a motocross dirt bike.
The general rule in the dirt bike world is that if your feet can touch the ground, flat and perfectly, the bike is probably too small for you. Your feet should be able to touch the ground, but not entirely. The balls of your feet touching the ground is a good sign that the bike is a good fit for your height.
Obviously, this doesn’t make it easy for everyone to get a bike that fits, especially as we get older and some of us get taller. The bigger the bike, the higher the CC, the bigger the bike and the higher the CC, the taller the seat to match adult-sized bodies that can handle the higher power and energy the bike gives off.
The balance of your dirt bike, the front and rear end, is important for proper functionality in your bike and riding abilities. If you choose to lower your bike height, avoid making too many huge adjustments that will affect the way you handle the bike and the bike’s management of the terrain you typically ride on. You can adjust the height of the bike to match you and your riding abilities which can benefit you on the track greatly.
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