Lowered KLR melts rear tire - literally - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Lowered KLR melts rear tire - literally

Very interesting thing happened to me on the way to the bar... (and that's actually not the setup to a joke)

I own a set of 3 position end links, lower the bike 1", 2", or 3" in the back.
Being my first bike, and me only being 5'8", I initially installed the end link in the 2" lowered position, and moved my forks up the tree to lower the front roughly 1"... maybe 1.25" at most. I noticed that even with my shock set to the stiffest preload setting, it felt like having the shock on the 1 or 2 soft positions for preload with the bike at the stock height.

Being new, I haven't ever ridden with a passenger on the bike, but my girlfriend finally felt confident enough in me to jump on the back, and we rode to a local bar just a few miles away for a huge bike night that they do. I thought I felt a little extra vibration that made me slightly concerned but it seemed to smooth out while moving and didn't feel anything while stopped.

A couple days later, I look at my rear tire, and see that the side-most row of knobbies on my rear tire (it's a knobby rear tire) looks like the surface has been melted, with a little ribbon of rubber particles trailing each knob on the tire.

I presume that with the bike in the 2" lowered position, with the weight of both of us on it, it sank the rear enough that the FMF pipe was touching the tire! Neither of us is heavy - I'm 175, she's probably 110 - but collectively with the lowering, that was enough. It must have been JUST touching, because it was barely noticeable.

I could care less about the tire damage...
a) it's just the surface of the knobs on the knobby, tire is technically still fine
b) I bought a set of replacement tires a while back because I don't need/like knobbies and just hadn't gotten around to installing them yet
...but thought this might be worth mentioning if someone was considering lowering their bike.

Since I feel more confident on the bike (and was planning on it anyway), I've since raised the link to the 1" lowered position to match my front lowering, and also notice the shock adjustment is more usable now... and my headlight isn't blinding everyone anymore. I don't think it'll rub in this position, but can't imagine how anyone could even use the 3" lowering position!

Has anyone else experienced this with lowering links?
Is it that my FMF pipe is that much wider than the stock muffler? I have the stock muffler, but bought the bike with the FMF already installed.

Last edited by geolemon; 08-19-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 12:56 PM
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Photos?

You know what they say....



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post #3 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Haha, I know, I should take one. I've been riding around a few days since, I'm thinking I may have ridden off at least some of the evidence.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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It actually did melt/rub away more than I thought - big pile of melted rubber on the swingarm up there too!

1376952836874.jpg

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 07:02 PM
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That's about the only way you'll burn rubber on a KLR.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 07:46 PM
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Raise it back up. I got mine lowered when I bought it and after a year I put it to stock, still on tip toes but I love it. Set the shock according to the manual for the weight and you will be happy.


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post #7 of 7 Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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It feels pretty good with the front and back both set to 1" lowered (as opposed to the 2" in the rear it was when this happened), and with the shock set to 4, I can almost get both heels down on the ground, easy when I put one foot down, and with the girlfriend on back, no rubbing at all.

Really noticeable how much stiffer the suspension feels compared to when it was just 1" lower.
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