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Online VA-CB500X

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Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« on: February 07, 2020, 10:40:44 PM »
I am shopping for my next bike and today I had my first opportunity to inspect the CB500X in person up close.  I REALLY liked it!

Due to a short inseam, one aspect that is important to me is seat height.  And I am aware that seat height increased by 0.8 with the introduction of the re-vamped 2019+ models.  I like all the other improvements that were made but increased seat height is potentially problematic for me.

As it turned out, the dealership I visited had both a 2018 and a 2019 on the showroom floor.  So I was able to test both the old and new seat heights.

What I discovered was - - no difference.  Yes, the seats are different heights.  Yet even though the spec height is taller for the 2019, because the new seat is narrower, the effect was identical with respect to how much of my foot made contact with the ground. 

That is the good news!  The bad news is they are both too tall for me.  I will definitely have to lower this bike around 30-35mm to make it fit me. 

Im sure others have offered the same observation previously.  But I just though Id add another data point by sharing what I learned today, in case anyone else has similar concerns.


Offline Lancs-lad

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 12:00:46 AM »
Ive a 29 1/2" inside leg & find the 19 model better for me than my previous 16 model.
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Offline Oyley

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 10:28:39 AM »
Lowering link is the answer then plus move the forks up a tad through the yokes....in the UK,Lust racing provided mine.I am sure I'm shrinking as the years pass by and my inseam is now less than 30" but my waist has expanded !! The lowering link does allow me to virtually flat foot though.

Online VA-CB500X

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 11:56:56 AM »
*Originally Posted by Oyley [+]
Lowering link is the answer then plus move the forks up a tad through the yokes....in the UK,Lust racing provided mine.I am sure I'm shrinking as the years pass by and my inseam is now less than 30" but my waist has expanded !! The lowering link does allow me to virtually flat foot though.

Thanks.  Did you lower it yourself, or did you hire it out? Also, do you remember which size lowering link you used?  Ive been pondering this and may go as much as 40mm...

Online JMo

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2020, 05:47:32 PM »
*Originally Posted by VA-CB500X [+]
Thanks.  Did you lower it yourself, or did you hire it out? Also, do you remember which size lowering link you used?  Ive been pondering this and may go as much as 40mm...

Hi VA - be aware that if you lower your bike as much as 40mm, there is every chance you'll hit your sump on the ground during full compression...

If you have an earlier bike you can lower the bike by about 20mm for free by swapping the linkage plates from side to side and rotating them 120; and then sliding the forks through the triple clamps to match as Oyley suggests.

With a 2019 bike you will need longer dog bones to lower the rear of the bike, as the linkage design is different/more traditional.

Honestly, if the bike is 'almost' right for you already, you'll get used to it - like any new bike. 'Adventure' bikes by their nature tend to have taller seats than regular road bikes, as they also have correspondingly more travel and ground clearance.

If you're concerned about seat hight, consider a 2013-18 model with the 17" front end and fit the [lower/reshaped] 2019 seat to it (they are $160 for a complete OEM seat), or consider an aftermarket 'low' foam and set cover kit.

Hope that helps...

Jenny x
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 05:48:34 PM by JMo »
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Online VA-CB500X

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 06:12:09 PM »
Jenny,

Thanks for that feedback and info - - much appreciated. 

I am shopping for a new 2019/20 model CB500X, so the suspension mods for the pre-2019 bikes wont apply to my situation.

Your comment about potentially bottoming out the sump is duly noted.  My thinking on the 30-40mm suspension lowering was that the 2019+ already has an extra 1/2 (10-12 mm) or so of ground clearance over the earlier bikes.  A suspension drop of 30mm would leave it with the same ground clearance as an earlier bike with a 20mm drop, with 40mm being akin to 30mm on the older bikes.

I have seen references to folks who used 30mm lowering links in the pre-2019 bikes, reportedly with satisfactory results.

I have a 28 inseam, which makes fitment challenging.  Im not comfortable on tip toes nor even the balls of my feet.  My goal is to have one flat foot and the other on the ball, with a slight angle at stops.  Im willing to give up some ground clearance to achieve this.  If that means I have to stick to tamer off-road riding, thats a trade-off Im willing to make.

I do plan to fit a skid plate.  Anything else I should be considering or that my thinking has overlooked?  Im a novice so am genuinely open to suggestions and critique.  Thanks.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 06:14:37 PM by VA-CB500X »

Offline Oyley

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 06:33:47 PM »
Lust Rscing only list one kit for the 2019  (19" front wheel) model year and that is the 30mm lowering kit.
It's a simple fit but as I have a current knee injury...I had the dealer fit it as part of the deal...no way I can kneel right now.
I doubt I would bother to lower it had I not have the knee injury as having owned some 25 plus big trail/adventure style bikes over the years I just got used to the higher seat heights ..
Mind you,I was younger and fitter and bikes such as original 650/750 Africa Twins and variants of Cagiva Elefants (yes,correct spelling) had shorter travel suspension but the original KTM 640 Adventurer I owned did have what was described by MCN as an absurdly high seat height of 945mm ! And what seemed like a piece of 3"x2" timber for a seat...I made it at least 12mm higher with a gel in a bag under saddle (horse) pad....there were non fir bikes in those days.
How I used to ride to Andorra in those days and spend all day riding old smuggling trails I have no idea....I will own up to having a few stationary tip overs...mainly on off camber stops where the earth moved for me.
Back on topic,I would agree with Jenny on the max mm drop .I suspect that Lust racing have stopped at 30mm for a reason...above that could have the potential to bind up somewhere...even more so with a passenger or used off road where travel is tested.
I have ordered the 40mm units from RR Products for my T7....strange that nobody is offering shorter or modified sidestand for either bike....The CB needs a shorter or cut and shut with the 30mm lowering kit...even more so if you add luggage/passenger as it sits too upright ..if one is not careful,mounting the bike whilst it's on the sidestand and lowering your weight could result in the bike suddenly tilting over to the right as the weight is transferred to the sidestand as opposed to the suspension...its a very sudden shock.
Easy job to shorten with a steel sidestand...there are adjustable steel ones available for earlier CBs but not for the 19my...to my knowledge .
Harder job with a cast alloy sidestand on a T7...companies not offering shirtey alloy sidestand are missing an opportunity there...Jenny,have a word are RR selling 40mm units for T7...well Yamahas 20mm lowering links are almost tipping the bike to vertical...maybe they could buy in some stands and shorten and offer an exchange unit for a fee...better still, offer steel units.

Offline Oyley

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2020, 06:41:51 PM »
Please forgive any typos etc in previous posts..I was responding on my phone and the letters etc are so small.

Online JMo

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 06:58:16 PM »
*Originally Posted by VA-CB500X [+]
Jenny,

Thanks for that feedback and info - - much appreciated. 

I am shopping for a new 2019/20 model CB500X, so the suspension mods for the pre-2019 bikes wont apply to my situation.

Your comment about potentially bottoming out the sump is duly noted.  My thinking on the 30-40mm suspension lowering was that the 2019+ already has an extra 1/2 (10-12 mm) or so of ground clearance over the earlier bikes.  A suspension drop of 30mm would leave it with the same ground clearance as an earlier bike with a 20mm drop, with 40mm being akin to 30mm on the older bikes.

I have seen references to folks who used 30mm lowering links in the pre-2019 bikes, reportedly with satisfactory results.

I have a 28 inseam, which makes fitment challenging.  Im not comfortable on tip toes nor even the balls of my feet.  My goal is to have one flat foot and the other on the ball, with a slight angle at stops.  Im willing to give up some ground clearance to achieve this.  If that means I have to stick to tamer off-road riding, thats a trade-off Im willing to make.

I do plan to fit a skid plate.  Anything else I should be considering or that my thinking has overlooked?  Im a novice so am genuinely open to suggestions and critique.  Thanks.

Hi VA - it's a common misconception, but really very obvious when you think about it... yes the 2019-on bike has more ground clearance, but that is because it also has more travel - the fully compressed distance [from the ground] will be the same - so if you lower it too far without also restricting the actual travel too, the bottom of the engine will hit the ground.

Put simply - 150mm travel and 180mm ground clearance = 30mm margin at full compression.

150mm travel and 140mm ground clearance (because you've lowered your bike 40mm) = smashed sump.

Hope that stops you making an expensive mistake!

Jenny x

ps. Don't even think about lowering it 30mm either (some twat on ADVrider was arguing recently you could 'technically' lower it 29mm - erm, nope) as you'd still touch the sump on anything other than a fully smooth surface - this is why lowering links tend to only offer a modest reduction to keep within the manufacturer's designated margin - although to be totally honest, even 20mm would be touch and go, since 10mm clearance is nothing if the ground is rough or your tyres are compressed due to weight, breaking etc.

Ultimately if you want to lower the seat - lower the seat, don't lower the bike - the manufacturers design that much margin for a reason, and it's particularly important on a bike like this which might tbe used on rougher terrain.


pps. before anyone wants to argue the toss about this bike in particular - be aware that the listed travel is 150mm for the 2019-on bikes, although as John found when he'd disassembled the forks, the actual swept length of the 2019 damper rods is only 141mm, so you do have a 9mm margin in there in 'real world' conditions... however, that is still pretty tight if you've fitted a 30mm lowering link, and I'd be very careful if you start hitting big bumps really hard with that much reduction in ground clearance...
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 07:05:42 PM by JMo »
It's not a unicorn as such, just a little mule with a bump on it's head... www.CB500Xadventure.com

Offline Oyley

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Re: Seat Height Comparison: 2018 v. 2019
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 07:24:32 PM »
I'm ok with the 30mm as I don't really intend to take this bike off road,I need the comfort level of being able to get on and off easily and less weight to hold up...those are my priorities.If I was intending to go off road,I would be more concerned with ground clearance.
I originally only got this bike until my knee gets sorted but I really gelled with this bike so for now,its a keeper and vaey dangerous logging on the RR website...my Paypal account has suffered a few times on there.
I was going to do the suspension upgrades as standard..its basic at best,but Ill wait until I can ride the T7 (if ever at this rate) and just keep the CB for road and a bit of solo touring.
I accept that the type of riding that Jenny indulges in would likely ground out with 30mm lowering kit...but highly unlikely on black top roads.
I will be fitting a skidplate soon and should I venture on some mild trails,and contact for sure will only ever be at almost standstill speeds.
If ever a saying was applied to motorcycling,none would be more applicable than 'horses for courses' I learnt that when I took a Yamaha XS1100 shaft drive off road a few times and thought....this is bloody hard work so it went and a new Honda XL500 (first Pro-link one) took its place...and that was the beginning of my preference for trail/adventure bikes..

 


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