Lower links & Rear Suspension - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Lower links & Rear Suspension

I bought a 2007 KLR several months ago and it came with an extra set of rear suspension tie rods that are 6 inches long, end to end. The ones currently on the bike are 7 inches long end to end. I don't recall what the previous owner told me about the lower links on or the stock links. Since the ones on the bike are longer I assumed they were the stock links and not the lowering links. But, the bike seems to sit very low and it bottoms out very easily on ruff terrain. Do the 6" links or the 7" links make the bike sit lower? Also, the front fork tubes are sitting level with the triple tree clamps so I also assumed that if the lowering link kit was installed that the tubes would have been raised up in the tree clamps also. If I have any load on the bike I have to lean it to the right in order to put the side stand down. Maybe I need a better rear suspension too since I've heard the stock set up is not worth much. Anybody have suggestions on a better rear suspension set up?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 07:29 PM
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measure center of hole to center of hole, but longer links lower and shorter raise.


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2013 KLR650
1994 YZ250
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 07:50 AM
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The longer the link the lower the bike. I think the stock ones are 12.5 cm center to center.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Great! That's what I suspected. I'm going to install the shorter, stock links today. Will that help alleviate the bottoming out? I think I want to upgrade the rear suspension any way. What suggestions do any of you experts have for a better rear suspension?
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 01:41 PM
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Did you check the preload on the suspension? The rear shock has a bolt that turns, it clicks from softest to firmest, and every fifth click it'll go "bonggggg" and will be reset to the softest setting.

Note also that as you lower the bike, the geometry (leverage) acts on the shock in such a way that the lower it goes, the softer it gets. I have my bike lowered currently about 2", and note also that I have the suspension set to the firmest preload, and it feels about as soft as it did when the bike was at the stock height and the shock was set to the softest preload setting.

The two go hand in hand, so if you are raising the bike to stock height again, that will also act to stiffen it - if it's still not firm enough for you set the preload - if it's still not firm enough for you, then you'd need to buy an aftermarket shock/spring designed to be stiffer...
...or - raising links, if the bike isn't too tall for you at that point. That'll also increase your ground clearance, so a 2-for-1 for cheap, rather than 'just stiffer' for expensive. Tweak before you buy, IMO.

Last edited by geolemon; 08-13-2013 at 01:44 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, IMO. Very good info. I've got the preload set to the #5 position already. I didn't get time to put the stock links back in yet. once I do that I'll evaluate from there as to what else I might want to do. Can you buy links longer than stock to make the bike sit even higher and the shock stiffer than the stock links do?
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry - last post I meant to say "Can you buy links shorter than stock to make the bike sit even higher and the shock stiffer than the stock links do?"
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-13-2013, 09:07 PM
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Soupys sells adjustable links. I have these on my KLR and can get it higher than stock.

http://www.soupysperformance.com/cat...00/6932922.htm
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-14-2013, 09:16 AM
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yes - search for raising links rather than lowering links.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-14-2013, 09:51 AM
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I installed a set of raising links 4 years ago not only to adapt the bike to my height but also as a stop-gap measure to at least slightly improve the rear suspension until I could determine what route to take with a rear shock or spring. The stock rear shock/spring and the raising links are still on there.

Raising links will also increase the lean angle of the bike while on the stand and make it quite a bit more stable on the stand. That was a really nice bonus. Mine hasn't fallen over with me not on it since I installed the raising links.

I don't think my riding styles call for a premium aftermarket shock, but one of these days I'm going to get one of the Top Gun springs and put it on my stock shock.

Good luck with your quest for an improved rear suspension. There are a few options and a lot of opinions/reviews of said options.



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