In an attempt to gain some stability in loose gravel, I raised the front end of the Uly. Nothing special really, I just dropped the forks down in the triple clamps, until flush with the top triple, only dropped down about 15mm.
Sure it’s not a big change, but with the front (slightly) higher and the rear end compressed, the rake is increased somwhat… at least a bit.
So did it make a noticeable difference? Yes, I noticed slightly heavier steering and further bar movements when maneuvering out of my tight driveway, with various cars and things to dodge. Not so noticeable standing off the bike, but with weight on the seat I definitely noticed.
As for stability on dirt, I did about ~300km of dirt roads on the way to Condobolin for the Condo750. The surface was mostly dry hard-packed dirt covered with loose rocks. The Uly (with full touring luggage and Scorpion Sync tyres @ ~40psi) was comfortably stable cruising around 100km/hr.
To be honest I couldn’t really tell. The Uly will never be a dirtbike by any stretch of imagination, so you’ll always need to fight the bike (or help it fight the dirt?) at high speed, especially on loose rocks (with such fat, flat tyre). And in that regard it was hard to judge if I was fighting less than usual to stay upright, hahah.
While riding between viewing points and Condo, I had a chance to play on some smooth packed red dirt (no loose rocks to complicate things). So I could lean further in the turns and hanging the rear end out - Then I definitely noticed an improvement. With the bike leaned and the rear sliding out, the effects of the slightly raised front became more noticeable.
Of course more dirt orientated tyres like MT60’s would be even better, but where’s the in that.
Note: The Showa forks have a collar underneath the top triple. This ensures the forks are positioned equally in the clamps, and not too high (you really don’t want to lower the front or raise the rear… Buell geometry is already careful tuned, and plenty-aggressive from the factory!).
It’s ok to drop the forks down (so the collar is visible). Just be careful that each fork positioned exactly the same!!!
But do not raise the forks (I know some not-so-tall people look for ways to lower the Uly’s)! If the collar is pushed right into the top triple clamp (past the lip intended for the collar) you wont be able to torque the clamps correctly, the geometry will be dangerously aggressive, etc, etc.
Anyway, at the end of the day, this is still a pretty boring “mod” hahaha.
If you’ve done this to your Uly, please drop a comment with your experience… maybe I’m just full of rubbish.