A listener from the Pace Podcast emailed me recently, asking me how I've modified my SV650 to fit me. My answer is probably not what you'd expect from a shorty like me... "I've been listening to you on the Pace podcast and want to thank you for doing what you're doing! I love the fact that you break down in detail you review of products instead of the typical simplistic responses of "Great" or "Lame". Anyhow my question is not about gear, but about your SV. I love the look and V-twin sound of the SV. I'm not so crazy about the seat height, I'm only around 5'4" w/appox 28" inseam. I used to ride a 93VFR - which I could flat foot a single foot and was *OK* doing so. Do you have any mods on your SV to lower the seat height? If so, what do you find works best? Do you have bar risers? I'd like to use a bike like this to commute. The 2012 Ninja 650 is on my short list as well but it lacks the "coolness"/vibe of a V-twin - but the ergos are much closer to what works for me."
I also have a 28" inseam.
I've never modified my bike, ever (or any of my previous bikes). My best friend has been my Daytona boots as well as my riding experiences since I started on a scooter back in 2003. For me, spending time on a ninja 250 for a couple years after that, and then a ginormous z750s made me appreciate the nimble and lightweight abilities of the SV650s. I never even thought about modifying it.
Are you wearing protective footwear? If so, the traction on them will give you extra leverage and help compensate for the lack of height. If you aren't, something like these will give you an extra inch, easy: http://motonation.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=7&idproduct=6326
I also wear Sidi Fusions, and they offer absolutely no additional height. Actually, they took away a good inch from me. I really had to modify my riding technique (focus on smoother breaking) to adapt to them and be comfortable with just relying on my left foot.
Even in my daytonas, I still can't flat foot both feet in those, even with the additional 2 inches. I'm flat on my left, and that's all I've ever needed on that bike (or any bike for that matter). It has such a low center of gravity and is so light that I've gotten used to the weight distribution and just using one foot. Being a twin certainly makes things a lot skinnier between um, your legs. :P
I guess I'm a bad person to ask about this, because I've actually lost vertical height but haven't done anything to my bike to compensate for it.... I've just modified myself!
I can only recommend checking out www.SVrider.com to see what others may have done to modify/lower their bikes.