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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

John here.

I used the search feature but couldn't find the info I was looking for.

If you have experience with raising the bike for better cornering clearance I would be very interested in reading about how you did it.

Thanks,
John
 

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How much are you looking at raising it? You can gain some clearance at the rear by adjusting the shock to a firmer position. And at the front you can lower the forks in the triple tree a little. I doubt you can get more than 1/2" that way. And you may gain a little more by going to a taller tire, The Dunlop 250 is taller than the stock 240 is for instance.

Most folks go lower so there's not a lot of info on raising it. I think the old Swampworks adjustable bones would raise it a little as well as lowering it, but I don't recall exactly. I have a set around somewhere and if I can find them I'll see. That still leaves few options for the front though.

Welcome to the forum too! 🙋‍♂️
 

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Would really need to know a bit more about your specific bike in order to give you an accurate/best answer to your question.
What year is your bike?
Did you purchase it new or buy it used?
If you bought it used are you 100% sure it still has the stock bones under it and was not lowered by the previous owner?
If it was lowered by the previous owner you could likely gain a couple inches height by reinstalling the stock bones.
If you are not sure, post a side profile photo of the right side of the bike while it is sitting on the side stand and we may be able to get an idea from that.

BCS
 

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Hi John,

I have installed the Arnott Airride. For good looks at parcing position i drop the System totaly down. In riding Position, the System is totaly up. It is higher than original and mutch better for cornering.

Best regards,
cruisi
 

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One could also replace the front fork springs with Race Tech springs. I did on mine. And with a 140/70 on a 4.25 front rim, I gained some additional clearance. I can tell when I roll my bike jack under the bike. Used to have to roll the front wheel onto a piece of wood to get it under. Don't need the wood any longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello Everyone,

Thank you for the warm welcome and conversation.

The bike in question is a 2006 Blue (I know that doesn't matter).

In hindsight, I jumped the gun on forum protocol, and didn't properly introduce myself in the new member's section. I do hope that is a forgive-able offense?

I do not actually own the bike in question (yet). It belongs to a younger fella (mid-30s) that lives 4 houses up from me. He bought it (sight-unseen in person) while perusing the internet in 2019. He had never ridden a motorcycle before in his life and settled on the Suzuki M109 from a Cycletrader ad on the internet. Through phone calls and emails he struck a deal with a sale's rep and he and his dad took a 2-states away trip to procure his new toy. The sales rep at the dealership 'assured' him that the bike was like 'brand-new' with only 12,000 miles on the odo and he fell for it hook, line, and sinker (so to speak). Like I mentioned, he had never ridden before and was smitten and mesmerized by what was before him. No test ride...no nothing. They didn't even crank the bike at the dealership, just pushed it up on the trailer.

Drive back from 2 states away and now freezing temps are upon us so the bike sat covered for the wintertime. Come springtime, the cover comes off, and he starts riding (learning) the bike. Being only 4 houses away I always heard when he would crank up and I always wondered why he was shifting from 1st to 3rd without using 2nd. Walking by his house one day, when he and his dad were looking at the bike, I stopped and introduced myself and looked over his bike. I ask him why I perceived that he was shifting from first to third and he told me the spill about being new to motorcycling and he didn't quite have a handle on shifting yet and he couldn't get the bike to stay in second no matter how smooth he was with it. He guessed that second would come 'on-board' as he became more familiar.

He recognized me as being the 'older' fella that lived at the end on the block and asked me to take his 9 for a ride to confirm his suspicions on the shifting. I didn't ride 3 blocks before I turned around and went back. I told him his transmission was fk'd up pure and simple. He asked how much to fix and I suggested he go to a couple of dealerships and get estimates on the repair. One was at $3500+ and the other was at $5000+. I looked on this forum to get some shared knowledge about known transmission problems on early model 9s and found exactly what I needed to know.

This is too much typing so I'm going to cut this shorter. I pulled the engine from his bike and the transmission gear interfaces for 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th were mucked up. So was the shift drum cam track (from so many kick-outs from incomplete shifts) and shift fork. I sent the transmission gears out for an undercut service at a well known and respected shop in Tennessee. I replaced the shift drum and sheared off fork for new parts. I replaced some other problem pieces while I was at it. Engine back together and shifting (probably better) than new.

On 2 rides that I led last summer I had 2 M109 riders have their bikes 'kicked out' from under them and go splat. One was in a left-hander and one was in a right-hander curve. The one in the right-hander was the younger fella up the street from me on his 'maiden' voyage since I put the engine back in his bike.

I rode his bike after that and thought that it ran out of cornering clearance 'way too early' for even an intense muscle bike like the 9.

The forks were sticking above the top triple tree at least 1/2" so I lowered them to level. I replaced his worn out rear tire last summer with a 250 Dunlop.

I removed the dog bones last year when I did the rear tire change and I thought the bones looked stock. I will get a picture of them some time this week and post it up and maybe someone can tell me if they are or not.

This bike has way too much going for it to not be able to take curves at what I consider a 'cruiser bike' pace. I'm not talking sport-bike/standard pace...just awesome cruiser pace :).

Anyway, sorry about typing your ears (eyes) off.

Thank You,
John
 

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Is the bike actually making contact with the road in the curve? Or were they just not making the corner and laying the bike down?
The M109 is a bear to get over in a tight curve until you get used to it.
Only time I personally have had issues with a M109R trying to the back tire off the ground in a curve was on a 2006 I bought to fix up and flip.
The bike had Cobra hwy bars on it and those hwy bars would contact the pavement before my foot pegs would, and they don't have any give like the foot pegs do it try's to lift the bike off the ground in a tight corner.
I have had 2 other M109Rs, one with Suzuki hwy bars and the other with no hwy bars and both of those bike I am able lay over until the foot pegs are grinding on the pavement with no issues. (Right or Left) One of these bike has stock bones and the other has 2 inch lowering bones. No issues cornering with either.
But the M109R is a bit like taking a corning in a Mac Truck compared to a lot of bikes out there.

Does the bike (or bikes) in question happen to have cobra hwy bars on them? (see photo below)
IMO this brand hwy bar is terrible and I personally would not have them on my bike after the close encounter I had with them.

Something else you might want to check is the forks, take them apart and confirm they have the proper amount of fork oil in them. (or any oil at all for that matter)
While you have the forks out might not be a bad idea to change the fork seals for sure (since the bike is 15 years old) and even upgrade the springs. (Especially if the rider is more than about 175 #)
Upgrading the springs will stiffen up the front end a lot and keep it from being so squishy/springy, and will actually raise the front end just a bit if you cut the new preload spacers just right.
When you install new fork oil use 10w or heavier. (Stock is 5w I believe)

Few other thing I can think of you just feel you cant lay the bike over with confidence is......has he put new tires on the bike? If not he may want to do that. With only 12,000 miles on the bike it could be possible it has the original 15 year old front tire on it. Check the 4 digit code on the side of the tire to determine year of manufacturer. First 2 digits will represent the week and the second 2 digits will represent the year manufactured.
Maybe check wheel bearings and the neck bearings for the triple tree as well.
(But if you are tearing down the engine and rebuilding transmissions, you probably already got this). :)

The bike should certainly be able to grind the foot pegs in a corner though. Something else is making contact before you get to that point then there is an issue for sure.
Left side should be no problem to lay all the over and grind the peg, right side can be tricky sometimes depending on what exhaust you have on the bike.
What exhaust is on the bike and does it have hwy bars?

BCS
 

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Hey John,
Welcome to the forum. I have also dragged hard parts (attached to the frame) while leaned WAY over, and it lifted the rear momentarily. Scary, but recoverable.
I agree with BCS that it is more likely that they weren't going to make the turn and laid it down, or panicked going into the turn and laid it down. This, especially with the guy on his maiden voyage.
I would not raise the bike. I would suggest that these folks take a motorcycle safety course, and spend a lot of time in a parking lot, doing figure 8s.
Just my two cents, YMMV.
Pete
 

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The only things I will add is teach him what it is and practice counter steering. It is a must with this bike if you ask me. The 250 E3 rear is a little more "elliptical" than the normal motorcycle tire but I used it for many years with no issues. There are other brands that will help it turn a little easier. I have dragged to many things to mention on my bike over the years with and without the lowering bones and never had any issues with it kicking out from under me but it does get your attention. I put the stock ones back on because it wasn't worth it to me.

You can download the shop manual from here and figure out the rear shock setting. I don't remember the correct number facing down for the correct reading anymore.

Maybe test ride a new one to see if it's his bike or not.
 

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You can look at the bones and tell if they are aftermarket or not. The stock bones have a cast finish on them, no shine. The aftermarket ones are machined and shiny, providing they aren't covered in dirt. Aftermarket also has a visible number stamped in them, though I can't recall exactly what the number is. The number is a model number and denotes the amount of drop. For instance,, 9307 may be a 1" drop and 9308 may be a 2" drop.
 

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One more thing is since you put all that work in the transmission then you should also change the shift star. Some say it smooths out the 1st to 2nd shift in the older models.
 

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There are some aftermarket transmission parts that will keep it from recurring. One is the solid shift rod that replaced the hollow one that allows for some flexing under pressure. I believe another is a hardened shift fork, but I am not 100% sure on that one. @bigpapaXCT should be able to tell you.

EDIT: I missed your post, @UVATom . I guessine is duplicate info.Tom.
 

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You can look at the bones and tell if they are aftermarket or not. The stock bones have a cast finish on them, no shine. The aftermarket ones are machined and shiny, providing they aren't covered in dirt. Aftermarket also has a visible number stamped in them, though I can't recall exactly what the number is. The number is a model number and denotes the amount of drop. For instance,, 9307 may be a 1" drop and 9308 may be a 2" drop.
4 is the stock setting. I seem to recall that 7 pointing down sets it to 4.
 

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Oddly enough, since putting the Coastal Moto rims on my bike, 10 inch rear, 4.25 front, with 280/35 rear, 140/70 front, I have not been able to drag anything, even the pegs. The rear tire is worn all the way over to where the tread/sidewall interface is. Can't really go any further than that. My stock rear shock is on number one. The Race Tech fork springs for my weight, actually lowered the forks in the triple clamps. Still don't even drag the pegs. Just the heels of my boots.

Below are before and after pictures, specifically looking at the amount of fork stanchion tube metal exposed.
 

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Oddly enough, since putting the Coastal Moto rims on my bike, 10 inch rear, 4.25 front, with 280/35 rear, 140/70 front, I have not been able to drag anything, even the pegs. The rear tire is worn all the way over to where the tread/sidewall interface is. Can't really go any further than that. My stock rear shock is on number one. The Race Tech fork springs for my weight, actually lowered the forks in the triple clamps. Still don't even drag the pegs. Just the heels of my boots.

Below are before and after pictures, specifically looking at the amount of fork stanchion tube metal exposed.
Yup, the aftermarket spring setup shows tubes way less exposed, question is, is the new setup allowing as much compression in the curve as te OEM? Maybe not, and therefore total bike "dip" innthe curve is less then OEM.. I am theoritising, I am not a biker, just an owner LOL..
 

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Rides fine. Better than it did stock. Also, as mentioned higher up, the first pic, I had to roll the bike on a piece of wood to get my jack under it. Second pic, no wood needed. Also, my forks are pulled up in the triple trees as far as they can go. I like the low rider look. A guy was passing my garage the other day, he loved the bike. Said he liked the long, low, and wide look. Said he'd never seen another bike like it. Told him "it's 15 years old".
 

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Rides fine. Better than it did stock. Also, as mentioned higher up, the first pic, I had to roll the bike on a piece of wood to get my jack under it. Second pic, no wood needed. Also, my forks are pulled up in the triple trees as far as they can go. I like the low rider look. A guy was passing my garage the other day, he loved the bike. Said he liked the long, low, and wide look. Said he'd never seen another bike like it. Told him "it's 15 years old".
How much did you push the forks through the tripple trees more then OEMs are? On the pics one cannot see the difference... And my real surprise is, that you can shove the jack easier underneath the bike. Just saying....
 

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How much did you push the forks through the tripple trees more then OEMs are? On the pics one cannot see the difference... And my real surprise is, that you can shove the jack easier underneath the bike. Just saying....
That's because in the first picture, the forks were already shoved up as high as they could go. Did that, like the second or third day after I bought the bike. :)

Jack rolls right under the bike. Never been easier. I believe the taller front tire is responsible. That 140/70 Metzeler is a pretty tall tire. Compare the two pics and you can see it. Wasn't sure I liked it at first, but it's grown on me.
 

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That's because in the first picture, the forks were already shoved up as high as they could go. Did that, like the second or third day after I bought the bike. :)

Jack rolls right under the bike. Never been easier. I believe the taller front tire is responsible. That 140/70 Metzeler is a pretty tall tire. Compare the two pics and you can see it. Wasn't sure I liked it at first, but it's grown on me.
That is probbably the reason... Most guys put on the ../60 tire.. But ../70, defeats the wish you said: " I like the low rider look"... I guess I am missing something...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
First off I just want to say that you guys (if you are a gal then the 'you guys' covers you too) are great. Too many times I have joined a bike model specific forum and when you ask a question they treat you as if your post count is your IQ level. There has been none of that from the get-go. Thank You.

1) Is the bike actually making contact with the road in the curve? Or were they just not making the corner and laying the bike down?
The M109 is a bear to get over in a tight curve until you get used to it. But the M109R is a bit like taking a corning in a Mac Truck compared to a lot of bikes out there.

2) Does the bike (or bikes) in question happen to have cobra hwy bars on them? (see photo below)

3) Something else you might want to check is the forks, take them apart and confirm they have the proper amount of fork oil in them. (or any oil at all for that matter)
While you have the forks out might not be a bad idea to change the fork seals for sure (since the bike is 15 years old) and even upgrade the springs. (Especially if the rider is more than about 175 #)

4) Upgrading the springs will stiffen up the front end a lot and keep it from being so squishy/springy, and will actually raise the front end just a bit if you cut the new preload spacers just right.
When you install new fork oil use 10w or heavier. (Stock is 5w I believe)

Few other thing I can think of you just feel you cant lay the bike over with confidence is......has he put new tires on the bike? If not he may want to do that. With only 12,000 miles on the bike it could be possible it has the original 15 year old front tire on it. Check the 4 digit code on the side of the tire to determine year of manufacturer. First 2 digits will represent the week and the second 2 digits will represent the year manufactured.

5) Maybe check wheel bearings and the neck bearings for the triple tree as well.
(But if you are tearing down the engine and rebuilding transmissions, you probably already got this). :)

6) The bike should certainly be able to grind the foot pegs in a corner though. Something else is making contact before you get to that point then there is an issue for sure.

7) Left side should be no problem to lay all the over and grind the peg, right side can be tricky sometimes depending on what exhaust you have on the bike.
BCS
1) On the wreck involving K (I'll just call him K... he was the first 109 involved wreckage from last year) we had just ridden through a more than quadruple S curve section of highway that led into a sharp left-hander with a bridge in it and then the road rose up with a hard bank right. The speed limit signs at that arear are at 15mph and what little bit I knew about K at the time...he was certainly going slower than that. K started laying it down at the end of the left-hander bridge and he separated from the bike and it slid off the right side of the road after the bridge. 35 miles after the beginning of our ride when I stopped for a bottle of Gatorade and to check on the 3 fellas following me to check on their riding preference for the day K informed me that he hated riding in curves and wanted to know what the rest of the day's riding was going to be like. 8 miles later he layed his bike down.

The second occurrence with A (I'll just call him A) on a different ride, happened maybe 3 miles before where the first wreck happened. This particular road is a treacherous and diabolical piece of asphalt (maybe that's why I like it so much) but it is so much fun if you are on top of your game (and even if you are sightseeing and smelling the roses). The speed limit through this section is at 10mph. A is a very intelligent and quick study type of person and had been doing great on his learning curve (pun intended) up to this point. It taught him a hard lesson and he is adjusting accordingly when we ride now. I offer up what I can to him but experience will be his best teacher.

2) No highway bars on the bike just basic born stock form.

3) I will move as fast on this as A's money (and my schedule) will allow. I'm 140 so I would have to guess that A is in the 175/180 range.

4) I do believe that you are correct here. Where A had the bike kicked out from under him was in a more than quadruple S section where the curves are banked just right and at the mid section of each curve the road quickly curves and cambers back the other direction which could cause a bike's suspension to squat reducing lean angle before hard parts hit/drag.

5) While I was waiting on the transmission parts to be machined I went through most of the bike checking bearings and such. Everything felt like brand new.

6) I have ridden the bike many times and not had any problem grinding left or right pegs. But these were 'gentler' roads that did not offer up the tenacity of the mountain roads.

7) Bike has stock exhaust on it.

Hey John,
Welcome to the forum. I have also dragged hard parts (attached to the frame) while leaned WAY over, and it lifted the rear momentarily. Scary, but recoverable.
I agree with BCS that it is more likely that they weren't going to make the turn and laid it down, or panicked going into the turn and laid it down. This, especially with the guy on his maiden voyage.
I would not raise the bike. I would suggest that these folks take a motorcycle safety course, and spend a lot of time in a parking lot, doing figure 8s.
Just my two cents, YMMV.
Pete
Hey Pete,

I agree with you. Thank you for the welcome.

John

The only things I will add is teach him what it is and practice counter steering. It is a must with this bike if you ask me. The 250 E3 rear is a little more "elliptical" than the normal motorcycle tire but I used it for many years with no issues. There are other brands that will help it turn a little easier. I have dragged to many things to mention on my bike over the years with and without the lowering bones and never had any issues with it kicking out from under me but it does get your attention. I put the stock ones back on because it wasn't worth it to me.

You can download the shop manual from here and figure out the rear shock setting. I don't remember the correct number facing down for the correct reading anymore.

Maybe test ride a new one to see if it's his bike or not.
Hey UVATom,

I do have a shop manual. I also noticed that you list Concord as your home base. My best friend lives 3 miles up from Concord in a subdivision by Interstate 460 toward Lynchburg. I ride up to his house as often as I can. Maybe we can hook up sometime.


You can look at the bones and tell if they are aftermarket or not. The stock bones have a cast finish on them, no shine. The aftermarket ones are machined and shiny, providing they aren't covered in dirt.
I am attaching a pic of the bones and shock at the end of this post.


One more thing is since you put all that work in the transmission then you should also change the shift star. Some say it smooths out the 1st to 2nd shift in the older models.
As I was disassembling the engine to get to the transmission, I inspected each piece as it came off. It was obvious that someone in it's past had accessed the clutch and the shift star trying to fix the problem with 2nd and 3rd gear the friction disc were new (steel plates were re-used and they were fine) and the scars from either a pair of vise grips or channel locks were still on the retention bolt/pin shaft that holds the star on to the end of the shift drum. Someone tried to do some 'external' fixes for the shifting problem on the bike. They didn't work.

It was more than apparent to me that the reason the bike was even at the dealership is someone traded it in to get rid of their headache rather than just fix the bike.

All told with everything included, parts/materials/replacement fluids, machine shop work, shipping, etc., it cost A $725 (not including his initial bike purchase cost) to have a fine and smooth shifting example of an awesome power cruiser called a M109. I didn't charge him any labor for what I did.

There are some aftermarket transmission parts that will keep it from recurring. One is the solid shift rod that replaced the hollow one that allows for some flexing under pressure. I believe another is a hardened shift fork, but I am not 100% sure on that one. @bigpapaXCT should be able to tell you.

EDIT: I missed your post, @UVATom . I guessine is duplicate info.Tom.
Ha,

It's shifting just fine and smooth now and I think (certainly hope) it will need to be a few more years before A will require my services for another teardown :).

There were some other nuances I noticed while I was inside of the engine but I will discuss them in a different post.




 
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