How to Lower a Dirt Bike? – 6 Simple Ways

Written by

James Stevens

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Robert A. Verdin

how to lower a dirt bike

Most dirt bikes in the market these days are really tall. It’s for this reason that some bike owners would prefer a lowered dirt bike since it’s much safer and more comfortable.

There are plenty of ways how to lower a dirt bike, and you don’t even need extensive tools to do so.

Some of the most well-known methods include lowering its seat height, adjusting its suspension, adding a lowering link, and more.

Let’s have a look at all of these different methods and more in this guide.

6 Ways to Lower a Dirt Bike

As mentioned, there are several methods for lowering a dirt bike. One of the most widely used methods is to lower the dirt bike seats for short riders.

That said, each method will focus on lowering one component of your bike. Let’s go over all of them.

1. Lowering the Seat Height


The most common method is to lower a bike seat, allowing shorter riders to ride safely and more comfortably.

However, this doesn’t just apply to short riders, it’s also applicable to most riders who struggle to maintain proper balance when riding a dirt bike.

By lowering motorcycle seats, riders will be able to lower their bike’s center of gravity, which, in return, allows them to maintain proper balance at all times.

Here are two ways to do it:

  • One is to shave the motorcycle seat foam up to an inch thick. This will help you get the right seat height that you need. The caveat is that it will make the seat less comfortable after shaving.
  • The other is to lower a dirt bike subframe by cutting and welding it. It’s easier and cheaper compared to the previous method, though you’ll need the help of a skilled mechanic to pull it off.

It’s worth noting that trying to lower a dirt bike seat height isn’t as easy as it seems.

Also, you can only lower the seat by up to a half inch at most, which might not be noticeable if you’re a tall rider in the first place.

2. Fitting a Lowering Link


Another way to lower a dirt bike without seat adjustments is to fit a lowering link. It’s a bolt-on mod that you fit into your bike to lower its overall height without compromising your safety.

Despite that, a dirt bike lowering link won’t affect your bike’s handling while driving at low speeds.

With a lowering link attached, you’ll notice a half-inch adjustment on your dirt bike.

That said, adding a lowering link is a bit more expensive compared to lowering your bike’s seat height. After all, you’ll need to buy a dirt bike lowering kit just for this.

However, it’s still a better alternative than the rear sag/shock preload method which we’ll cover next.

3. Adjusting the Rear Shock/Sag


This method allows you to lower the dirt bike shock by up to 2 inches. The caveat is that it can impact the overall handling and suspension of your bike.

However, if you want to go this route, you’ll have to set the sag height first. You should adjust it to roughly 4 inches to get the lowest seat height possible.

Overall, this method for lowering your dirt bike can be useful in a lot of situations.

However, if you intend to participate in a race, then I highly recommend not using this method as it will soften your bike’s suspension.

4. Adjusting the Suspension


Another method you can use is to lower a dirt bike suspension. You can achieve this by adjusting the preload of the shock or shortening the spring.

Regardless of which option you choose, adjusting the suspension of your dirt bike allows you to lower its height by around an inch, sometimes even a bit more.

However, just like adjusting your bike’s rear sag, adjusting its suspension will also greatly impact its handling, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing.

To achieve the best results, I highly recommend that you leave this task to a trained suspension specialist.

They have all the skills and knowledge necessary to lower the front end of a motorcycle via its suspension without any major repercussions.

Aside from that, they also know how to minimize any negative outcome that the process can have on your dirt bike’s handling.

Of course, this also means you’ll have to pay a little bit extra.

5. Lowering the Front Forks


You can also lower the front forks of your bike to lower its overall height. Unlike some of the other methods, this one is actually quite easy, as you just have to push the bottom of the forks and then pull the top.

Keep on repeating the process until you achieve your desired adjustment. Once you’re done, tighten the fork tubes back to their original settings.

Outside of lowering your dirt bike’s height, adjusting the forks can also impact your bike’s overall performance.

For example, if you raise them slightly, it will improve the overall steering of your bike.

6. Using Smaller Tires


The last method that you can use for a dirt bike height adjustment is to simply swap its current tires with smaller ones.

In general, the standard size of a dirt bike’s tires is around 19 inches for the rear and 21 inches for the front.

You can find tires measuring 18 inches or even smaller on the market, and they serve as an excellent replacement should you decide to lower your bike even just a bit.

Aside from a smaller diameter, you can even choose how much rubber your preferred tires should have.

By swapping your dirt bike’s current tires with smaller ones, you’ll be able to lower its rear end by up to an inch.

Pair this with other bike lowering methods, and you should be able to lower your bike to your preferred height.



Should I lower a dirt bike?

That actually depends on your weight, height, and riding abilities. However, you have to keep in mind that lowering your bike can impact its overall performance, including its handling and ground clearance.

If you decide to lower your bike, make sure to leave it to a professional to avoid potential damages that can lead to costly repairs.

Why do most dirt bikes have high seats?

That’s because it gives them the ground clearance that they need when riding on rough terrain.

It also allows the bike to clear any obstacles along the way, especially since dirt bikes are normally subjected to very harsh conditions.

How much can you lower a bike?

Riders who plan to lower their bikes tend to ask this question. Long story short, how many inches can you lower a dirt bike depends on the bike itself.

Generally, you can lower a bike by up to two inches. However, some bikes also come with a seat foam that you can shave to lower it even further by up to an inch.

Does lowering suspension improve speed?

Not necessarily. It does improve your bike’s turning speed, though it can affect its overall stability when driving at high speeds.

How much does it cost to lower a dirt bike?

That depends on the model and brand of your dirt bike, as well as which part you want to adjust in order to lower it.

For example, if you choose to lower a KTM dirt bike’s suspension, you can spend around $200 to $300 for the entire process.

Some parts will be much cheaper such as the lowering link while others will be more expensive such as the seats themselves.


While lowering your dirt bike has its advantages, it also comes with its downsides as well. As much as possible, keep the adjustments to a minimum so they won’t impact the overall functionality and performance of your bike.

This wraps up the various methods of how to lower a dirt bike.

Depending on how low you want your bike to be, you can choose to use just one of these methods or mix a few of them.

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.