The plan is a sprocket swap to bring down highway rpm. And vibration. And weekend highway trips out of town to see more of the country with friends. Thought about adding the 2nd seat back along with sissy bar for bug out bag lol
I had an 18 tooth front sprocket on my CM400C with stock rear and stock chain length, it took a little more finesse to get rolling, and it slipped a little in 5th, but everywhere in between it was so much nicer than stock on back roads.
Not that hardtails can't be ridden... But for the kind of riding you describe I'd recommend rear shocks, even short ones. As long as the shocks bottom out before the tire hits the frame.
It does look a bit large for the bike, but paired with the proper seat it might help it blend in... but I agree on at least a pair of shorter shocks - I did that with my 450 and between that and raising the tubes in the clamps an equal amount, lowered the overall stance of the bike 1.5" while still having suspension
This is MY opinion. Yours may vary. Since I do not have to look at it or ride it, by all means do what turns YOU on!
I sure have to second the suggestion regarding hardtailing a bike intended for "longer" rides in the "country" though.
I LIVE in the country. I've bottomed generously spring bikes on potholes, RR tracks and probably a few other obstacles over the years, and that says absolutely nothing about the normal bumps, holes, drop offs, etc. that are encountered on EVERY ride. Take my word for it, it might look cool in all the youtubes, but more than an hour on regular "country roads" on a hardtail (even with a well sprung seat) will have you calling your chiropractor.
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