I lowered using ebay links - 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 9 Old 03-11-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I lowered using ebay links

I bought some ebay lowering links that are about an inch longer. I LOVE the ride. It is so much easier havin the seat about an inch lower. My only question is, is there anything else that needs to be done? I rode to work at about 80mph with no issues. I did stiffin the stock shock a turn or two. I had already cut and welded the kickstand an inch shorter so that isn't an issue.

Just checking.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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Your bike, your way I recon.

Many people would slide the fork tubes up thru the triple clamps an equal amount that the tip of the rear fender lowered to maintain steering geometry / handling manners.

On many bikes, the tail low or 'racked out' angle of the forks would generally tend to be more stable at higher speeds but less nimble around the parking lot. But with a KLR which is already a little 'light' on its front tire with a rider on board the front wheel can act like a shopping cart caster in various cases.

Mushy tire pressures & squared off / well worn rear tires can exaggerate the higher speed wiggles / wobbles / head shaking. Be careful.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-12-2019, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Your bike, your way I recon.

Many people would slide the fork tubes up thru the triple clamps an equal amount that the tip of the rear fender lowered to maintain steering geometry / handling manners.

On many bikes, the tail low or 'racked out' angle of the forks would generally tend to be more stable at higher speeds but less nimble around the parking lot. But with a KLR which is already a little 'light' on its front tire with a rider on board the front wheel can act like a shopping cart caster in various cases.

Mushy tire pressures & squared off / well worn rear tires can exaggerate the higher speed wiggles / wobbles / head shaking. Be careful.
Good to know! i was doin about 80 yesterday and it may have been smidge more squirrel than usual.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-12-2019, 11:25 AM
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From what I understand , a KLR shouldn’t be lowered with links more than 1-1/2”. The leverage/ geometry can change too much and what may happen, I don’t know-but I’ve read that many times. I plan on doing the same once I get mine. Probably get a cut down seat too.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-13-2019, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodent64 View Post
From what I understand , a KLR shouldn’t be lowered with links more than 1-1/2”. The leverage/ geometry can change too much and what may happen, I don’t know-but I’ve read that many times. I plan on doing the same once I get mine. Probably get a cut down seat too.
Start with the seat. That will have zero effect on the bikes handling. That may be all you need to do.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-14-2019, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodent64 View Post
From what I understand , a KLR shouldn’t be lowered with links more than 1-1/2”. The leverage/ geometry can change too much and what may happen, I don’t know-but I’ve read that many times. I plan on doing the same once I get mine. Probably get a cut down seat too.
Lowering links change two things;

1) the longer lowering links increase leverage on the shock, effectively decreasing effective springrate and damping - which is bad for most KLR owners.

2) Lowering the rear (without lowering the forks) changes the geometry by increasing rake and rear weight bias. Increasing rake increases high speed stability at the expense of turning quickness but the weight bias can easily decrease stability, particularly if you run two up or heavily loaded.

I don't like lowering links and I think too many people install them when they don't need to......it's really just about practice and experience (getting used to it). My ex-wife rode a stock height Gen1 KLR and she is 5'4".....but she was also the PNWMA Women's offroad champion for four years in a row.

If I felt the need, I'd start by shaving the seat and getting taller boots. If I had to lower, I'd get a custom shock from Cogent instead of the lowering links.....alternatively they will build a stock length MOAB shock that is set up for use with the lowering links - that way you can always do a simple link swap to restore geometry in the future. In any case, I'd never consider anything beyond a 1" drop (3/8" longer links) as the leverage change is exponential; I've even heard of 3" lowering links but I'd suspect they'd cause a stock Gen1 KLR shock to bottom on crosswalk lines....


2 cents,
Dave
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Last edited by DPelletier; 03-14-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-14-2019, 09:53 AM
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this chart shows the difference in length vs. the height change for Gen1's and Gen2's;

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-14-2019, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroy75 View Post
I bought some ebay lowering links that are about an inch longer. I LOVE the ride. It is so much easier havin the seat about an inch lower.
As you can see from the chart I posted, 1" drop links are 3/8" longer than stock; 1" longer links would give you a 3" drop which would be extreme to say the least. I expect you have the 3/8" longer - 1" drop links.


Dave
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-14-2019, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier
...I don't like lowering links and I think too many people install them when they don't need to...
I think they also don’t understand how they work.

Without your explanation they think that the links simply lower the bike.
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