Lowering The Ride Height On A CBR900 Fireblade

As previously reported I had my first ride out on my Fireblade but there was one small problem :-0  I was on tiptoes on a flat surface and when pulling up at some traffic lights my foot was flailing around trying to find the ground before me and my new bike fell over in a rather undiginfied heap 😦

This photo illustrates how much of my foot touched the floor with the bike as standard

On my ride home I was wondering how I could lower the ride height, but without physically lowering the whole machine, as I knew that growing longer legs overnight wasn’t really an option 😉  but I still needed to get my bum closer to the floor..

And then I had a brainwave 🙂

In the garage we had a spare seat from another Blade which wasn’t needed anymore, so as soon as I was home I was set up on my dining room table with the sharpest knives from my kitchen and the spare seat.   I was going to reshape the seat and carve some of the height out of it.

I very quickly removed the cover from the seat and soon had the sections of foam I needed to remove marked out

Sections of foam to be removed marked up

I then started carefully carving the foam away in strips

Shaving off the slices

This is the seat with most of the surplus foam shaved off..

Basics almost done

Now it’s time to tidy things up a little.. So with VERY careful knife cuts I trimmed and neatened the foam so that it was as smooth as possible.  This was the end result 🙂

All neatened up

The finished foam

This photo shows the seat as it was on the bike

This photo shows the stock seat height

and this one shows the seat once I had carved some of the foam out..

The new seat height

The next thing to do was to receover the seat so I don’t get a soggy bottom if it rains 😉

I tried fitting the original seat cover but it was designed to go on a flat seat and I couldn’t get it to fit properly round the new curves so a trip to my local haberdashery shop was called for.   70cm of vinyl fabric (£7.00) later and after digging my staple gun out of the shed I was ready to go 🙂

Fitting the vinyl was a bit of a barsteward as it’s quite stiff to begin with but as you start working it, it starts to soften up and give a little.  I also fitted it on the bias so that would also help the fabric stretch into the curves better.  A short time (and quite a bit of swearing) later I was done 🙂 and the newly covered seat was ready to be fitted to my bike 🙂

And this is what it looks like 🙂

My newly reshaped and recovered seat on my bike

The end result… This is how much of my foot I can get on the floor now 🙂

The end result 🙂

Once I was sat on my bike on Sunday it felt soooo much better and I’m sure it will make all the difference to my confidance riding the Blade.  I’m pretty much flat footed on the left side and even though it was a bit of a hassle doing it, it was well worth it to me 🙂

I’m not kidding when I say that pretty much anyone could do this to a bike seat, you just have to be careful and take your time ESPECIALLY when cutting into the foam.  If you don’t want to mess up the seat on your bike you could always buy a second one cheaply from somewhere like ebay and then modify it.  It’s definately going to be cheaper and easier than physically lowering a bike.

If anyone reading this needs any further advice, just drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help 🙂

24 Responses to Lowering The Ride Height On A CBR900 Fireblade

  1. […] Lowering The Ride Height On A CBR900 Fireblade « Blade Rider […]

  2. davez says:

    Brilliant, you do realise Im like your first picture on my CBR400 lol, yep Im super small. Sorry to hear you over balanced, something I dread doing. Good modification though, it looks the part.

  3. Raven says:

    Oh my.. You must be tiny lol.. Mind you they do say good things come in small packages 😉

  4. Big Betty says:

    You’ve made an excellent job of that seat and I’m sure it will make all the difference with your confidence.
    I dropped my bike on the first day and I’m now riding in a pair of huge soled Doc Martins, 2 sizes too big, padded out with insoles and thick socks. Must have given me two inches on my leg length.

  5. ash says:

    I just got a 09 cbr 600rr… I love it. Being a small female the bike is about 2 inches too high for me. My feet are like yours were. I had planned to lower it but i am afraid of changing the appearance! What are my options? Anyone please email me at ashiez143@gmail.com
    for some help! Thanks 🙂

  6. Moose says:

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! That’s what I call taking the bull by the horns. I had a CB500 and the same problem. Settled for a cruiser but am searching for CBR 400 or some such thing, I’ve been trawling through bike specs for months looking for low and light in a sports bike. Shaving the seat is a brilliant way out… if you didn’t compromise riding comfort????

  7. Raven says:

    Nope, ride comfort hasn’t been compromised at all 🙂 but the Fireblade seat was quite thick to start with, so it may vary from bike to bike.

  8. charles says:

    looks good! looking for a CBR RR myself and was worried about seat height, do they sell aftermarket seats that will decrease seat height?

  9. Boydy says:

    That’s a real tidy looking job you done there,but did you not find you feel as if your sitting down to much into the bike now and more of a stretch to the bars?,this is how i felt when i had my bike seat done.

  10. colby says:

    do you know how many inches were taken off? and how tall are you? i’m only 5-3, but would love to fit on a 600+ sport bike. thx.

  11. Raven says:

    Carving the seat took about 2 inches off I suppose which was just about the right amount for me. I’m just over 5 foot 3 inches tall too but don’t forget height isn’t the only consideration, you’ve got to think about your leg length too.

  12. Raven says:

    Hiya, thanks for your comment. I haven’t really noticed much of a difference to be honest but that’s probably because I only rode her with the standard seat a couple of times before I modded it.

  13. I love this idea! I’m…quite short. I love my small bike, a Kawasaki Ninja 250R, (perfect for a new rider such as me) but I have the whole “on my tippy toes” problem. The bike would cost way too much to lower, for I’d have to cut away from the plastics, cut the kickstand, etc. etc. I will only need to shave off about 1.5-2in…is it difficult to shave the seat?

  14. Raven says:

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I found it really easy to do mine but would recommend you buy another seat (eBay will probably be your best option) incase (a) you mess up lol and (b) you will still have a standard seat afterwards. It was just a case of carefully removing the cover, carving it and then stapling the cover back on.. I’d get a heavy duty staple gun for the re-stapling as it’s easier and the staples are stronger.
    If you need any further advice feel free to drop me a line 🙂

  15. This is such a good idea, but I don’t think it will be possible with my bike. I’ll have to take a closer look, but it’s not going to matter much if I can’t even shave an inch off :\ but otherwise this is a fantastic idea and hope that other people can use this to their advantage!! Thanks for sharing! Now I’ll know for the future 😀

  16. Greg says:

    Thanks Raven,

    I’m 5’4” and just bought a 94 CBR 900. I could tippy toe on the bike, but didn’t feel 100% comfortable. After reading your article and seeing the pictures on here I decided to alter my seat too. I’m very happy with the results and best yet I didn’t have to alter the bike. I appreciate all the info shared on here.

  17. Raven says:

    Hi Greg, that’s great 🙂 such a simple thing but it’s made it so much better for me and I’m glad it helped you too 🙂

  18. David says:

    I never even consider something like this..definitely a good idea. Thanks for the advice. I have height issues also and worst short legs..thanks again..CBR 600rr here I come!

  19. Peter Power says:

    Fabulous. I know this is a late reply to this topic but I’ve just put a deposit down on a lovely condition ’97 blade and only bugbear is of course ducks disease! (I’m 5’4″). My ZZR600 fits me perfectly but time to move on so getting the ‘blade tomorrow. This article is just what I was looking for, and I will be copying your modification. I just hope I can do as nice a job as you’ve done.
    Many thanks for sharing. I’m sure I won’t be the last to use it either!

  20. Raven says:

    Hi Peter.. Glad to help and I hope you have a lot of fun on your new Blade 🙂

  21. Peter says:

    Another mod. which can take a little more off the ‘blade seat height is to use a multitool or angle grinder and remove the four plastic “blobs” on the base of the seat which rest on the seat rails. If you’re careful you can take off the plastic which raises the base, while leaving on the parts which locate the seat on the subframe. About another 1/2″ can be gained this way. As a well known retailer says: “Every little helps!”

  22. Bird says:

    We’re in the process of doing this at the moment with the seat to my partner’s Busa. We’ve actually bought an electric carving knife for £10 and it’s making light work of the carving :o) Thanks for the great explanation and pictures!

  23. Robbo' says:

    fookin brilliant 🙂

  24. DrJellyFingers says:

    Robbo bringing the “fook” to BladeRider.

    Great job on the seat, and props for not lowering an almost perfect sport bike

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