Lowering '08 KLR - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-14-2008, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Lowering '08 KLR

In case anyone is contemplating lowering their KLR: I recently lowered mine and am very happy with the results. I am fairly handy with a wrench, but I am not a mechanic. My ten year old son helped and the entire project took less than 1/2 hour. You'll need a 22mm socket, a 12mm socket and torque wrench. You will also need the lowering links and shorter kickstand. You can expect to pay around $80 for the links. I found some cheaper, but they appeared to be cheaper. You can expect to spend about $50 for the stand. I lifted my bike and my son slid a milk crate under the frame. It was almost perfect for height. I cleaned the bike underneath to avoid getting any grit on the threads. I loosened the 22mm nuts holding the stock links and pushed the bolts out. I did have to raise the bike a bit, just to take the pressure off as I slid the bolts out. I wiped the bolts clean and slid them through the new links on both sides. I had to push down on the rear of the bike slightly to permit the links to line up. I put a drop of loctite on on the nut's threads and tightened them to 72 ftlbs as per the instructions. Now to keep the bike's correct geometry, you should lower the front too. This does not require any additional parts. First remove your front fender (12mm socket). Then loosen your fork boot clamp (phillips screwdriver). Then loosen the 8 bolts/nuts (12mm) Two on the top, two on the bottom of the tripletree for each fork. Now the forks will slide fairly easily within the tripltree clamps. I slid a piece of wood under the front tire and moved it in order to get the forks where I wanted them. Most people say to lower the front anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 inch. I lowered mine 7/8 inch because it worked out that way. Then tigthen the nuts and bolts to 15 to 17 ftlbs. (I've gotten both specs recommended so I split the difference) Then slide the fork boots up against the bottom of the tree and tigthen. Replace the front fender. That's it. I'm 5'8". I could barely touch the ground before. Now I get most of both feet on the ground when stopped. It feels more secure. The bike also feels "tighter" and seems to handle better. I am extremely happy with the quality of the links, but I don't want to reccomend one brand on this forum. A small amount of research will pay and if you want to know what I used, contact me individually. That's it. I hope this helps someone. P.S. Replacing the kickstand is very simple and self explanatory.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-14-2008, 12:15 PM
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Even tho this is for an 08, I think we can leave the post here for others to see with pre 08 bikes because the setup is pretty much identical for both styles of bikes.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-16-2008, 08:43 PM
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A questions if I may, is there a rule of thumb as to how much to lower front end? If you were to use a 2" lowering links would you lower front end 2" also? I am thinking of lowering my bike to allow my son to get some time riding this summer. As is, he has a tough time when stopped. Thanks, Bill
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-23-2008, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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OffBeat. I don't know about the 2" links. it seems to stand to reason that would be the case as you want to keep the geometry the same. I would try lowering the front 1" and seeing how it handles.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-26-2008, 10:48 PM
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where did you get your links? Were they supposed to lower it three inches? I want to make some---can you tell me the distance between the centers of the bolt holes?
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-26-2008, 10:54 PM
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Well, the links I got were second hand/used. They are 1" longer than what was on the bike/stock. I installed them and I would guess they lowered the bike maybe 1". Guessing this from the way the bike feels and the side kick stand still works well.

I copied text from an ebay seller about installing his lowering links. Giving credit (his email address is at the end) to him here are his instructions...

Link Installation
General installation of suspension links
Before starting, look things over to be sure you have all the tools necessary to get the job done. Also, be sure you are confident that you can get the job done yourself. Otherwise, it is strongly recommended to take it to a dealer or someone who can do it for you. Raise the motorcycle with a bike stand, jack, etc., so the rear wheel is just off the ground. A rear swingarm stand will NOT work as you will need to remove weight from the rear wheel and swingarm. If installing raising links, be sure you raise the rear wheel more than 1 inch off the ground. Remove the two nuts holding the links in place. Remove the bolts and suspension links. You will have to raise the swingarm slightly to take weight off the links and allow the first bolt to slide out easily.
**Note: On many applications, the bolt runs through a sleeve which can be pushed out opposite the bolt head in order to allow you to move the bolt around tight areas. Pay mind to the seals if they push out and keep all parts clean. Also note location of all components to replace correctly.
After removing the stock links, it is suggested to be sure bolts are clean and the bearings inside the lever and swingarm are clean and have plenty of grease. Then you should be ready to install the new links. On many applications, the bolts can be installed from either side. Install from the easiest direction, one link first and push the bolt through. Then install the second bolt. Again, you will need to raise the swingarm to align the holes so you can insert the second bolt. Install the second link and the 2 nuts and torque to factory specs (or simply good and tight). Always look over everything when finished to be sure things are installed properly and all fasteners are tight.
Lowering the front
Lowering links are made to lower a bike the given amount at the rear axle. To get the full lowered amount, also measurable at the seat, you would need to lower the front also. This will also help retain some original handling. It is fairly simple. Just be sure to stabilize the bike while doing by using a stand, jack, strap, etc.
If you look at the triple clamp, notice the lower and upper clamps. Also look over the fork tubes. Some models have tapered fork tubes. It may be considered okay to let the taper go slightly into the clamp, but never more than halfway into it. Also look over other components to be sure there will not be interference when lowered. Measure how much the fork tube is sticking out the top.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO ONE SIDE AT A TIME
Start from the top. Loosen the bolts clamping the tube in the top clamp on ONE SIDE ONLY. If there are 2 bolts in the top clamp, loosen them alternately until both are loose. There are likely 2 bolts in the bottom. Carefully, loosen them alternately, just a little at a time, until you can twist the fork tube by hand, which it will also begin to slide up in the clamp. Take care not to let it slide too fast. Measure out the difference of how much you can or want to go from where it was before. On models with tapered fork tubes, you must stay on the clamp surface, do not let the tapered portion go more than half way into the clamp. Once in position, tighten the bolts on the bottom clamp first. Tighten the bolts alternately, until very good and tight. Then tighten the top clamp.
Repeat on the other side. The important thing is to do ONLY ONE SIDE AT A TIME. This will keep the forks straight. Also, it is important to be sure the tubes are slid up the same amount. Once done, go back over all fasteners to be sure everything is tight. Look closely over everything while turning the handlebars from lock to lock and make very good and sure that there is not interference.
The kickstand
When lowering your bike a considerable amount, it may be found that the bike does not lean much on the kickstand. You may need to cut down the stand. If you or someone you know can get the job done, it is recommended to only cut and re-weld at the foot. Cutting out the average of the front and rear drop amount is usually a good place to start. Otherwise, we have adjustable stands available for some models. Feel free to contact us at [email protected]
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-26-2008, 11:00 PM
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I decided to not lower front end any. I gave the bike a pretty good test both on and off road and I am very happy with the way the bike still handles. I have no complaints and I have over 40 years of riding in, so take it for what it is. With that in mind I just left it alone. As they say, your millage may very...

The best part of lowering just a bit is when coming to a stop and starting. I feel much more in control/safer in both. The other part of lowering I like is that it took all of 15 minutes to do it. I figure if I don't like it, back to stock it will go. After the riding I have done, that won't be likely. I'm very happy with that one little inch of being closer to the ground.
Regards, Bill
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 09:10 PM
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Bookmarked, and thanks!
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