Gen. 1 Lowering Thread

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Mar 15, 2023
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Hey everyone. I've seen a few comments on here about lowering, but I had difficulty finding a good source that answered my questions regarding lowering.
I want to lower my '07. I want to maintain or improve the handling characteristics, look stylish, and allow me to flat foot the bike.

1. I posted this on FaceBook as well, but there were mixed answers. Does lowering the front by 1 or 2" without adjusting the rear affect handling geometry?
I have a progressive lowering kit for the front but I have yet to secure rear shocks.

2. How low in the rear can I go before the center stand becomes in compatible? How is this so? The shock will change seat height but shouldn't affect frame-to-ground clearance. Fork length of course will affect ground clearance. I am just unclear about the rear suspension dynamics.

3. Can I use the progressive lowering kit with the RaceTech gold emulators?

4. I have a lead on a set on Progressive 412 rear shocks. Lowered 2. used to an unknown extent. I know this is the cheapest option on the market for lowered rear shocks. Will this maintain or improve my handling? Will it hurt my handling?

Any opinions appreciated.
1] Yes
2] Generally-accepted lowering limit for the rear is 1.5" shorter shocks. Yes, your sidestand and centerstand will not be as-easy to work.
3] Yes
4] PS 412 is a decent replacement but I wouldn't go to 11 " from OEM 13"
Dragging parts of the bike during cornering for one. Interference with fender & other parts of the bike when at full jounce (Jounce-rebound, compression-expansion). Loss of control, levering tire contact patch off the tarmac during cornering, especially when encountering bumps.
Loss of control, levering tire contact patch off the tarmac during cornering, especially when encountering bumps.
I was aware of the front fender interference. is that an issue in the rear too? I can live with that.
What do you see as causing loss of control? Obviously, peg contact with the ground could cause a loss of traction, but outside of that the bike should handle the same. I've upgraded to Otec Rearsets which should increase my cornering clearance also.
1) Yes. If you drop the forks through the yokes or fit lowering tubes this will alter the head angle result in less castor (rake). This will make the steering more sensitive to input from the rider and from suspension movement. Take it too far and tank slappers (or worse) can result. Lowering the rear by the same amount will take the geometry back to where it was.
2) As soon as you lower the bike then getting it onto the centre stand becomes more difficult. The further the drop the greater the effort required.
3) As an alternative to the Progressive lowering kit you can do it yourself (see below). I'd suggest Racetech springs with the emulators as you can tailor the spring rate to your weight.
4) Replacing the OE suspension with decent aftermarket will improve the handling but as Mr Medic says, lowering will compromise how far you can lean and also potential issues with mudguard to radiator clearance.
5) Have you considered lowering the seat?


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Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm returning to the thread as I'm planning to tackle this project in February.

@MaxMidnight I have lowered the seat some already with the mid-level option from Sean. I forget the name he has for that one.

I'm looking into the Race Tech Gold Emulators. I attached a great read from their website. This was crucial in my understanding of how they work. For those of you that have used them, does it come with a replacement dampening rod with adjustable orifices or does it just include the emulator on top? Do I still need to adjust the fork oil to get the desired compression rate? Or rather will I be rendering the orifices in the dampening rod useless by drilling them out so that oil can bypass the holes and interact with the emulator?
Seems steep $ to be just the emulator but it is truly a genius design from them.

Furthermore, could any of you advise me on setting this up properly the first time to avoid opening the forks up again to adjust the dampening rod?


'06 max mostly stock
270lbs rider weight(solo rider typically)
Aggressive street riding and some wheelies
Enjoy the twisties so I prefer stiff forks but I need them to eat up bumps on the interstate better
Lowering 2"in the front and either 1" or 2" in the rear. Depending on handling and preference.


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The emulator takes over the job of damping which is why you drill out the holes in the damper rod. This makes their damping function redundant.

If you are going down the damper route, which I would encourage, also replace the springs with better performing options.
I used the Racetech springs with good results, others have reported good results with progressive wound jobbies.

I used the oil grade and added volume recommended by Racetech and left the emulator settings as they came out of the box.

Whichever springs you go for IMO it is essential to set static sag to suit your weight.

Once you have that done then you can fine tune the set-up but you will need to remove the fork caps and springs to gain access to the emulators.
Thanks for the advice Mr.Midnight

I already have the progressive springs so I'll run with those. I'll try the emulators straight out of the box with 10w oil.

How do I set the static sag?
The process is explained in the fitting instructions and the setting is achieved by adjusting the length of the pre-load spacer.
Use a pipe cutter if you need to reduce the length to ensure the cut end is square.
If you cut a wee bit too much off use large washers to make up the difference.

I suppose I should update you all on the woes I experienced when installing the racetech emulators.

So I ordered the S4301 according to the Racetech website. This was supposed to be the correct model for the gen 1 Vmax - post fork diameter change. Well I tore the forks apart and drilled out the orifices as described in the directions. I did the Digital Valving Service and set up the emulator properly.
I ran into a problem when test-fitting the emulator on the top of the damper. The emulator should fit down into the top of the damper with minimal play. The S4301 did not fit in the damper at all(see first two pictures). With or without the sizing circlip.
4301 stil improper.jpg 4301 fit improprt.jpg 4301 #.jpg

I took a step back and searched everything I could find and I could not find any evidence this would be incorrect. So I put the lowering kit on and left the emulators resting on top. Sealed it all back up and got it ready to ride. BIG mistake

I decided to email Racetech prior to taking it on a ride. They were confident that the S4301 was the correct model. After some back and forth with them, they looked back at their spec sheets and found that the correct model is the S4101. So I waited for them to send that one out to try.

I tore the forks down again. Test fitted the S4101 and bingo! This model fit down in the damper perfectly! I valved it according to the new DSV and put it all back together.
4101 fit proper.jpg4301 #.jpg

Went through a little trial and error getting the perfect amount of preload and static sag. I found the suggested settings on the DSV to be a hair stiff(yellow springs with 3 full turns of preload) so I dialed it back a half a turn and I am happy. Firm under heavy breaking with no dive but smooth on the highway bumps.

All that makes sense?


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    4101 #.jpg
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Still showing 4301 on the website.

I sent Race Tech an email about the error. I asked they notify me when the website is corrected. I am a Race Tech customer.
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