Bringing down the seat height ( a little ?) - 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 02-13-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Bringing down the seat height ( a little ?)

Looking for info ahead of time- I would like to know how others have lowered their KLRs. I have install shorter Kouba links on a DRZ I had, so I know thatís an option. I hear some have installed a smaller O.D. Rear tire ,maybe cut down the seat ( comfort after ?), lowering the front fork tubes in the clamps. Other mods ? I need the seat height to be 30Ē ( while Iím on it). Thanks for any ( tried and proven) mods.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-13-2019, 04:59 PM
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I will suggest that you will need to perform all 3 of those primary mods to get the seat height down to 30 inches.

The Gen 2 bikes start out lower than Gen 1's. 34" vs 35.5"

Cut the seat Down 1.5 - 2.0 inches and 2/3 to 3/4 the way back, sort of like a Corbin Gunfighter & The Lady seats were/are.
A Gen 2 seat is much firmer foam than Gen 1.

I would not suggest anymore that 1 inch lower links if you weigh near 200 lbs. The leverage change will become 2.5+ with your weight.

Slide the fork tubes 1.5 inches Up the clamps.

pdwestman
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-13-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know about the seat foam density on the Gen 2 bikes. Maybe it would be in my best interest to look at the 2008 and up when I get. Ready to buy in a few months.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-13-2019, 05:21 PM
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Oh, I forgot to say that one will need to shorten the side stand 1.5 - 2.0 inches as well.
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pdwestman
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-14-2019, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Oh, I forgot to say that one will need to shorten the side stand 1.5 - 2.0 inches as well.
Thanks for that. After the other lowering work is done, Iíll cut and weld a foot on, maybe a little larger. Not sure as I donít have the bike yet. All these questions are homework before I buy a used KLR 650. (No sure what yr model yet).
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-14-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your help/posts. I do understand about the lowering links leverage ratio. I had to lower a DRZ I had and was given the same suggestion no more than 1 inch. I couldnít do anything about its seat. I didnít know if the KLR handling on the road would suffer any from the various lowering techniques.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-15-2019, 10:54 AM
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Handling is fine as long as you maintain the fork height equal to the drop in the rear. Suspension will soften (both springrate and damping) with lowering links so you'll need to check your loaded sag to ensure you don't need to upgrade your springs (nothing you can do about the damping without a shock upgrade). If you're looking for a Gen2 and can afford a 2014.5+ bike, the springrate and damping is heavier which will help with the lowering links....as Paul suggested I'd stick with a 1" drop.

Dave
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-29-2019, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Handling is fine as long as you maintain the fork height equal to the drop in the rear. Suspension will soften (both springrate and damping) with lowering links so you'll need to check your loaded sag to ensure you don't need to upgrade your springs (nothing you can do about the damping without a shock upgrade). If you're looking for a Gen2 and can afford a 2014.5+ bike, the springrate and damping is heavier which will help with the lowering links....as Paul suggested I'd stick with a 1" drop.

Dave
Hi Dave, On my Gen 1 KLRs I had only raised my fork tubes half of the amount of the lowering link e.g., 1" lowering link / .5 tube raise. It was a long time ago but I think I got this guidance from Kouba link? I think there was concern about changing the fork rake geometry and that the fork travel would cause the front tire to bottom out with more than a small raise of the fork tubes? Recently I've read many sources recommending raising the tubes an equal amount to the lowering link e.g., 1' for 1".

My question, is this because the Gen2 has a reduced amount of suspension travel from the Gen 1 thus reducing the risk of bottoming? If so how much can the tubes be raised without hitting the front fender mount bolts in a hard jolt taking the full fork travel?

Last fall I bought a 2017 that had 1" lowering links installed and the fork tubes had been raised .5". I'd be glad to take the whole inch if that is the preferred method now and the are no clearance issues? I also have a set of Gen 2 1.75" lowering links in my spare parts box that I'd like to try out sometime if I thought I could drop the front near that amount without bottoming into the front fender bolts?

Thanks
Kev

Last edited by VTWoodchuck; 03-29-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-29-2019, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by VTWoodchuck View Post
Hi Dave, On my Gen 1 KLRs I had only raised my fork tubes half of the amount of the lowering link e.g., 1" lowering link / .5 tube raise. It was a long time ago but I think I got this guidance from Kouba link? I think there was concern about changing the fork rake geometry and that the fork travel would cause the front tire to bottom out with more than a small raise of the fork tubes? Recently I've read many sources recommending raising the tubes an equal amount to the lowering link e.g., 1' for 1".

My question, is this because the Gen2 has a reduced amount of suspension travel from the Gen 1 thus reducing the risk of bottoming? If so how much can the tubes be raised without hitting the front fender mount bolts in a hard jolt taking the full fork travel?

Last fall I bought a 2017 that had 1" lowering links installed and the fork tubes had been raised .5". I'd be glad to take the whole inch if that is the preferred method now and the are no clearance issues? I also have a set of Gen 2 1.75" lowering links in my spare parts box that I'd like to try out sometime if I thought I could drop the front near that amount without bottoming into the front fender bolts?

Thanks
Kev

briefly; I think the recommendation of 1/2 the rear amount is because sag tends to be less upfront (and few set it properly) and because they want to "error on the side of caution" since the common wisdom is that more rake is more stable (on the KLR, too much additional rake can unweight the front end which can induce more instability so it's a balancing act). You can check the clearance to be sure but IIRC, there is around 2" of clearance from fully bottomed, top of the tire to underside of fender so dropping it an inch shouldn't cause a problem in that respect.

Personally I'd avoid lowering the rear any more than absolutely necessary as the longer lowering links increase leverage on the shock, effectively decreasing both springrate and damping......luckily both are stiffer on the 2014.5+ bikes but depending on your weight and load, you'll want to keep this in mind.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-29-2019, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
briefly; I think the recommendation of 1/2 the rear amount is because sag tends to be less upfront (and few set it properly) and because they want to "error on the side of caution" since the common wisdom is that more rake is more stable (on the KLR, too much additional rake can unweight the front end which can induce more instability so it's a balancing act). You can check the clearance to be sure but IIRC, there is around 2" of clearance from fully bottomed, top of the tire to underside of fender so dropping it an inch shouldn't cause a problem in that respect.

Personally I'd avoid lowering the rear any more than absolutely necessary as the longer lowering links increase leverage on the shock, effectively decreasing both springrate and damping......luckily both are stiffer on the 2014.5+ bikes but depending on your weight and load, you'll want to keep this in mind.

Cheers,
Dave
Thanks Dave. I on the husky side so I'll probably leave it at 1". I'm in my 60s now and my single track trail bashing days are behind me, but I live out in the boondocks and most of the roads in my county are dirt including the road I live on. Our local national forest has a lot of great fire roads that lead to some good fishing holes too. I'd describe my usage of the bike a mild so one of these days I might try out the 1.75 links but I'm going to leave it at be for awhile and see how I like the 1" set-up over time.

Kev
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