Raise rear suspension - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-11-2012, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Wjh
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Raise rear suspension

Would like to know......
When I load a pillion it seems that the rear suspension is not man enough for the load. Is it possible to raise the rear suspension or even stiffen it? I do not want to alter the handling of the bike as I am happy as it handles the gravel roads (even with a pillion) very well.

Hope to receive any input.


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post #2 of 12 Old 10-11-2012, 04:18 PM
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Wjh -

Two possibilities.

The first is to use raising links in the suspension. They can be had for ~$20-~$80, though for the life of me I can't see the advantage of anything more than $20. These are the 'dog-bone' shaped pieces that you will see on the suspension linkage down by the bottom of the shock.

The second alternative is to call Rick at Cogent Dynamics and describe to him what you want to do. He'll ask all the right questions and build you a really nice shock. Expect to part with a few benjies - ~$480-$600 if I recall correctly. You can check out his website.

Of course, there are other shocks out there that are off-the shelf and a bit less expensive.

In either case, you'll need to add some pre-load when carrying a load and remove it when riding solo.

OK, three possibilities - don't mean to be Captain Obvious but... The stock KLR shock is adjustable - 5 different clicks of pre-load. Have you tried that? The adjustment is up near the top of the shock. It is designed to be rotated in a clockwise direction only. You don't mention what year your KLR is. Some of the early 2008 bikes had a shock where the adjustment was prone to breakage the first time you used it. Kawi fixed that pretty early on.

Here's a comparison of the stock shock and the Cogent. On the stock shock you can see the adjustment bolt for pre-load up near the top, and the lines that are exposed showing you what pre-load setting you are on. The one in the picture is set on "5".


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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 10-11-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-11-2012, 09:52 PM
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try "topgun"

Wjh. I'm in the same boat but it is just me on the bike. Im 220 lbs, and I switch from no luggage to the packrat rack and 1520 pelicans for panniers. I dont carry much weight all that often> hell the pelicans are empty with the exception of lunch and maybe a change of clothes (warm stuff) when im just riding. I hate the way my front dives on braking, and the way the ass end squats when I sit on it. I am a true do it yourselfer so for the front Im gonna cut some coils off the front fork springs and make them stiffer and then play around with the spacers to adjust preload till I like it. The next thing is getting the 7.4 kg rear shock spring from "Topgun". the spring will be just over 100 bucks. just have to install and enjoy. they have three springs for the KLR. a 6.6kg 7.4kg and an 8.0kg if my memory serves me correct. The moab shock is nice but just too damn expensive. This KLR is akin to jeep owners. Just throw money at it. I love the bike. I love the fact that I can ride 80 miles per hour on the slab if needed. spirited 70 mph on back roads and sweepers and then spend all day in the woods. Ive done some pretty knarly stuff on this bike and then I just leave the woods and ride back the way i got there. No trailers and logistical stuff. Just needs beefier suspension.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-16-2012, 07:59 PM
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im 200 lbs with spring turned far up to 5 it will go and its way to soft before i even load the bags for any dirt duty .. front is beyond weak almost dangerous hard braking with the nose dive ..

one of the best 90 bucks spent is on progressive front springs !

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-18-2012, 03:24 AM
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Springs carry the weight, so a new spring is the only way to do it properly. Stock springs are way to light for the average KLR rider.

I have raising links, and while they help by changing the geometry of the rear suspension a bit, they don't actually cure the problem.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-18-2012, 07:36 AM
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I have a heavier spring on my semi stock shock. Yes the shock itself has been reworked by the Suzuki factory race team's suspension specialist but the main body is still the stock shock. It was a freebie for me from a buddy. All this aside.....if you buy a stiffer spring to carry the weight you want to carry, then the shock itself isn't trying to hold up the weight too which imho is one of the reasons they fail so soon on some bikes. I have the TogGun 7.4kg spring and I'm a 205lb rider soaking wet, then add my gear and a full camping for a month worth of crap onto that and it handles it with ease. These springs are worth every penny imho IF you aren't using your bike a heavy motorcrosser or a serious trail bike and require the shock to constantly control the full travel of the shock. Something when riding down the road it doesn't need to do.imho. So for under $100 you have solved your weak spring that was designed to carry a thin 165lb rider and a 30lb load. If I get on my bike naked I would overload the spring already! Many of use would too from what you see as the average weight of KLR riders.

Hope this helps.....

Willys
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-18-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammca View Post
The next thing is getting the 7.4 kg rear shock spring from "Topgun". the spring will be just over 100 bucks. just have to install and enjoy. they have three springs for the KLR. a 6.6kg 7.4kg and an 8.0kg if my memory serves me correct. The moab shock is nice but just too damn expensive.




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post #8 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks every one for your advice, I will really look in to it when I get back home in about 4 weeks.
I really like my KLR and I will be kitting it out as time goes on, I will be doing (at some Time at own cost) a trip around South africa. (like on the boarders)


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post #9 of 12 Old 02-20-2013, 12:07 PM
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raising links

I know this is an older post but I just installed 1 inch raising links from Burkhart cycle. Mom and pop shop. They were 28 bucks shipped to my door. Been bitchin about the rear sag for so long i went ahead and did it. They are fantastic. For the price it makes a world of difference. I off road all the time. The ass end sits right, no kickstand mod needed, and it feels great. So for all the naysayers out there about geometry and not fixing the problem, I say use these first. Wait till your shock eventually fails or blows out and then get a new shock. Most people i have seen, maybe not on this forum talk down the raising links and get all technical are usually the ones that have never tried them to begin with. I have no idea if eagle mikes links are any different but the burkhart cycle ones are great. No probs. And the linkage bolts are 22mm. This is the best cheap way to cure the rear end. I may be different than everyone else but I beat the crap outa my bike and it keeps on taking it. Such a fun machine.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-20-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammca View Post
I know this is an older post but I just installed 1 inch raising links from Burkhart cycle. Mom and pop shop. They were 28 bucks shipped to my door. Been bitchin about the rear sag for so long i went ahead and did it. They are fantastic. For the price it makes a world of difference. I off road all the time. The ass end sits right, no kickstand mod needed, and it feels great. So for all the naysayers out there about geometry and not fixing the problem, I say use these first. Wait till your shock eventually fails or blows out and then get a new shock. Most people i have seen, maybe not on this forum talk down the raising links and get all technical are usually the ones that have never tried them to begin with. I have no idea if eagle mikes links are any different but the burkhart cycle ones are great. No probs. And the linkage bolts are 22mm. This is the best cheap way to cure the rear end. I may be different than everyone else but I beat the crap outa my bike and it keeps on taking it. Such a fun machine.
I am a proponent of raising links and use them. I don't know if they'll prolong the life of the stock shock or not, but they do keep the ass end up a little higher in the air and I like that. It might just be my imagination, but I also like the impact the change has on the front of the bike. Great that they also solve the kickstand/lean problem on the Gen2 KLR's.

I've noticed there are people who tend to dismiss or ridicule them, but I don't see why. I think maybe for carrying more weight in rough terrain a high-end aftermarket shock might be a better option in the long run.

I consider them the lowest rung on the rear shock ladder, the next up being a spring replacement for the stock shock and the topmost being a good aftermarket shock. Lowest rung does the trick for me.

I was actually all set to send my shock off to Top Gun this Winter for a spring replacement: even had the shock all the way off but wound up needing the money to get a new pair of glasses so put the spring replacement on the back burner and am still considering doing it in the future. No regrets: found the way-more-expensive progressive eyeglass lenses I spent my "shock money" on are far superior to lined bifocals.......




Last edited by planalp; 02-20-2013 at 01:06 PM.
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