Saturday, May 1, 2010



Dear Dr Phil: I have just brought a second-hand Suzuki DR-Z400E. It has had the rear shock spring changed to a heavier one and had the whole suspension professionally tuned to my weight, however it is a bit tall for my short legs. I was looking at getting a lowering kit that says it would lower it by 25mm. However my worry with this is that at the moment it is the smoothest, most comfortable bike I have ever ridden and I don't want to lose any of that, but it would be good to be able to touch the ground easier in the tight spots. Will installing a lowering kit change the ride and handling much or will it be the same?
-- Ian Tierney, via

Thanks for your email, Ian. Yes, a lowering kit will slightly change the 'stance' of your bike, however much of the change can be counter-acted by pulling the fork tubes UP further through the triple-clamps. Now, I can’t remember just how much you can get with the fork tubes on a DR-Z400E, but you’ll certainly get something that will help adjust the bike’s attitude once the lowering kit is installed, and in any case, lowering your bike is essential if it’s too tall for you. As for any changes these mods will deliver to the stance of your bike, well, you’re just going to have to get used to them, and in any case I don’t believe there will be any great discomfort. The more important point is you must lower the rear end to be able to feel more comfortable -- don’t live with a bike that’s clearly too tall for you. Enjoy the ride!
-- Dr Phil, (email your tech questions to me at:

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