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My vertically challenged girlfriend just bought her first bike, a 1982 Nighthawk 450. We have already removed most of the seat foam in order to get her feet closer to the ground, but it would be ideal to somehow get another .5" or 1". Does anybody have experience with modifying the suspension to do this? I was thinking I could cut the rear springs and lower the forks a bit but I want to get opinions before doing this.
 

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Lowering links or "dogbones" should be able to be added to the rear and the forks should be able to be lowered in the fork tree in front a matching amount.
 

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Getting low.

The front forks may be able to slide up in the triple trees.
The rear shocks can be replaced with shorter units.
The seat could have an inch of padding shaved off.
You might be able to use lower profile tyres.

You could put your GF on the rack.
Sorry, I have duck's disease too. That is how I know all the tricks.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Depending on how your front shocks are built you can also usually add an extra top-out spring, or some people will cut down the main spring and add a longer pre-load spacer.
 

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If you are only looking for a .5" Just loosen the triple trees and drop the forks that little bit. Its easy, but you may want to test ride it for her to make sure the steering didn't get choppy on you. If it does well listen to someone else then.
 
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