Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I should lower my bike to better fit my 5'7" self. Particularly since I'm just learning to ride, and my off roading will be pretty tame to start.

The owner included a set of multi-position lowering links for the rear, so this won't even cost money.

That brings me to my first question - the prior owner said he set the suspension "to the softest setting", which made it easier to reach the ground. I looked, the stock shock doesn't look adjustable, at least in height. Is the bolt on the side to adjust compression on the shock? I have an adjustable suspension in a car I autocross, I'm guessing this is similar? Does anyone adjust this, if it is adjustable?

Second question:
Since I can at least reach the ground, I was thinking of just 1" front, 1" rear. Or, for on-road riding, should I stiffen the shock (if adjustable) and maybe set the back link to the 2" setting? There's also a 3" setting on here, believe it or not.

Third question:
To lower the front, I understand I can move the fork up in the triple tree. It looks like I've got at least an inch clearance above it, it's flush to the tree right now.
Is there a guide on here on doing that? Seems simple conceptually, but I'd rather read up first.

I'll search on that part when I can get to something other than my phone - I did browse some guides Tom put up, and I was blown away at the knowledge in there. Amazing work. :cool:

Anyone here done this? Thanks in advance!



Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
The factory adjuster is the bolt on the side of the rear shock and has 5 positions. Turn the bolt clockwise to increase the preload/ride height. Continue to turn past the #5 setting there will be a bang(normal) and you will be back at the #1 setting. You can raise the ride height more than an inch by going from #1 to the #5 setting. It is easier to adjust with the rear wheel off the ground but is dooable when on the ground. On the bottom of the shock there is a slotted screw. This is the rebound dampening adjustment. Turn the screw in fully then out one turn. This is the starting setting. In for more rebound dampening, out for less. A little trial and error is in order to see what does what and how you like it.
Regrds....justjeff
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,491 Posts
geolemon -

The lowering links change the geometry of the rear suspension, effectively making it softer as they do the lowering.

What you want is to have the sag at about 1/3 of the suspension travel, or 3" on the KLR. To do that you adjust that nut on the top of the shock, which changes the pre-load. It drives an eccentric with five steps to increase the pre-load.

What you need to do, then, is set the height first with the lowering links and then set the pre-load for the correct sag.

That shock also has a rebound adjustment down on the lower clevis on the right hand side.

Front end height should be reduced commensurate with the rear by sliding the tubes up in the triple tree. Pre-load on the front is set using spacers. If you need to make an adjustment you can build new spacers out of heavy wall PVC pipe.

Most people find that if they can touch the ball of one foot to the ground they become quite comfortable with the height of the KLR. Your links are very good in that regard, as you can lower the bike as much as you need, then raise it back up as you become comfortable on the bike.

Newer riders often feel that they should be able to flat-foot the bike, which is not true at all. You merely need to be able to control the thing at low or no speed.

T

edit - what Jeff said. He types faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
BTW "sag" is measurement of the difference of the unweighted suspension vs. fully loaded.

The bike needs to be on a stand with the suspension full relaxed. To find the rear sag measure from a point towards the end of swingarm/wheel axle and a spot on the frame/fender above as vertically as practical. Record that measurement. Now with the bike sitting on the ground sit on the bike with all your normal gear/load. The bike needs to be as unsupported as possible with all the weight over the wheels. Re-measure using your first locations. Subtract the 2 measurements, the difference = sag.
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
I've never seen links like that before, when you said adjustable I was thinking of the ones with a threaded rod that you can adjust.

You will find though (I'm guessing anyway), that once you get used to the bike you will jack it back up. Like Tom says, as long as you can get the ball of one foot on the ground at lights or when stopping, that's all you really need. The only time I have difficulties is when I'm trying to back it up on loose gravel, then things can get interesting! The fellow I bought it from was only around 5'5" and he had the 1.5 inch lowering links and a Corbin dual platform seat. He could still barely touch the ground... That's why he ended up selling the bike, he said he was terrified of stopping on gravel and dropping it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I actually do have a Sargent seat on the bike, maybe that helps. I bet it's the pre-load that the former owner was referencing- I can touch the ground with both feet on either side.
So I'm thinking maybe I'll try them with the 1" setting, and lower the front forks 1" - that's doesn't seem too extreme. And thanks Tom and Spec - I'll check and set sag both before and after lowering it - it might make an impact on which setting I do end up using!

Yep, I've seen the ones with that look like turnbuckles. I think these ones actually look more solid, in comparison. Less risk of having them maladjusted asymmetrically at any rate.

One thing I do need - a lowered kickstand!
I'd like to avoid cutting/welding this one (I do own a MIG welder), because as you say - I might put it back to stock someday.
Where can I get one that's 1.5" or 2" lower (and preferably with a big foot - I have one I could unscrew that's on my kickstand now, worst case)?

I missed one that seemed perfect on Ebay - a 1.5" lowered kickstand.
The seller's account was messed up, so I couldn't "buy now", but I wanted it so I alerted him to it, he looked into it, I tried again, told him it was still messed up, he apologized, actually fixed it - told me to try again - then sold it to another person who snuck in. :21: Bastard. That's probably legitimately worthy of negative feedback but not worth my time. :10:
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
I'm sure you already said, but I have a horrible memory, your bike is a Gen 2 right? If it is, it probably stands up way to straight anyway (Gen 2's are prone to falling over very easily on the sidestand). You can safely cut an inch or so off the stand and it will be fine in the lowered, or stock height position. Actually if you raise it back up it will have a nice lean to it and it wont be so prone to falling to the right on the stand. I cut an inch off of mine and rewelded the foot and it's perfect for when I'm at stock height, a nice lean to it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes, an '09 - and that's what I thought too!

It's pretty upright, and [granted, it sounds like the pre-load right now is probably at the lowest level, but] when I sit on the seat, I can't take my feet off the ground because the kickstand makes it tip over to the other side. :(

I'd like to find a 1.5" or 2" lowered kickstand, for lowering the bike 1".

Anyone know of any? I saw a cool machined adjustable one somewhere, but I'm not paying $150 + a foot for a kickstand...
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
Personally I'd just chop the one you got, probably be a lot quicker and easier than finding one already chopped.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,491 Posts
I don't remember where I saw it, but someone cut their kickstand and took out an inch or so, inserted a bit of pipe and welded it to the upper half, then drilled a cross hole in the pipe and two cross holes in the bottom half of the stand and bolted it back together. They could have the shortened stand, yet return it to normal length.

I can't remember if they found a standard tube that would fit inside or if they had to turn it down to fit.

T
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
I don't remember where I saw it, but someone cut their kickstand and took out an inch or so, inserted a bit of pipe and welded it to the upper half, then drilled a cross hole in the pipe and two cross holes in the bottom half of the stand and bolted it back together. They could have the shortened stand, yet return it to normal length.

I can't remember if they found a standard tube that would fit inside or if they had to turn it down to fit.

T
I think that was a thread on here. I remember seeing it as well.

Darn, just looked for it and couldn't find it... I thought it was on this site.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Interesting idea... I wonder where the pipe came from? Or what type of pipe?
I like the adjustable idea, I could fabricate that... That's the missing link.
I'll measure the diameter, but my gut tells me black plumbing pipe ain't the ticket... :confused:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Alrightythen... lol. Clearly I was thinking of a bicycle kickstand apparently.
This kickstand is a pretty burly 1" diameter by the calipers. Definitely a size that black pipe comes in.

But...

Each straight section is only 3" long to begin with. I'll have to think about it, but that intuitively seems to me that I wouldn't even be able to get an inch of adjustment from it... the tube itself has to be welded to the kickstand at the top but at least should have 1/4" of kickstand inserted into the pipe I'm thinking...
And to adjust it, I need to split the difference in the room that's left into half-pipe, half-kickstand - plus the overlap that's at least needed for the most-extended position.

That thread didn't happen to be for the 1st gen KLR, did it? Those had nice convenient straight kickstands, I'm noticing... anyone want to swap me their 1st gen KLR kickstand? :D I wish that were an option lol
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,491 Posts
It might have been a Gen 1.

I'm old. Can't remember shit.

T
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I wonder if it was like this:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=638653

That's not a bad idea, in general. I may be somewhat thwarted by the bends in the gen 2 kickstand, but I have an idea for something similar...
Doesn't necessarily need to thread into the upper shaft, if you just make a few different length feet for different levels of adjustment, right? ;)

Anyone have a stock kickstand lying around their garage that they want to sell? :pot:
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
I wonder if it was like this:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=638653

That's not a bad idea, in general. I may be somewhat thwarted by the bends in the gen 2 kickstand, but I have an idea for something similar...
Doesn't necessarily need to thread into the upper shaft, if you just make a few different length feet for different levels of adjustment, right? ;)

Anyone have a stock kickstand lying around their garage that they want to sell? :pot:
That was the thread I was thinking of! I thought it was on this site but I was mistaken. And yeah, I see what you mean about the bends on a Gen 2 probably not working with this mod.

Mine was easy to shorten, just cut the foot off and then remove the amount you want and reweld the foot on. Helps to scribe or mark it before you cut the foot off as well so you get proper alignment when you weld it back up.

Tom is parting out an 08, maybe he can sell you his stock stand if he still has it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
I wonder if it was like this:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=638653

That's not a bad idea, in general. I may be somewhat thwarted by the bends in the gen 2 kickstand, but I have an idea for something similar...
Doesn't necessarily need to thread into the upper shaft, if you just make a few different length feet for different levels of adjustment, right? ;)

Anyone have a stock kickstand lying around their garage that they want to sell? :pot:
I have been thinking of doing this same mod for a bit. I don't think the gen1 pivot matches the gen2. I will check. Why not cut the bent tube off the gen2 and put a straight tube on? Then there would be all the room in the world for an adjustable extension slipping inside.
On my gen2 I shortened the stand 1" which worked great when loaded with the factory shock. I found the shock too soft even when set on 5 so I built and installed a 5/8'' long spring spacer. Now the stand is too short !! That's why I'm thinking adjustable too.
Regards....justjeff
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
...Why not cut the bent tube off the gen2 and put a straight tube on? Then there would be all the room in the world for an adjustable extension slipping inside.
That expensive machined one is a straight bar. I'm not sure why the stock one has bends though, they may be there for a reason, I'll have to look closer at it when it's up and not down.

I'm just picturing something simple:
Simply cutting it off at about 3" up (just before the bend), welding on the largest diameter nut that I can find, to correspond to a large diameter grade-8 bolt, which I can then make two or three feet of different lengths-
Maybe one 2" long bolt/foot to lower it 1"
Maybe one 1" long bolt/foot to lower it 2"
Maybe one 3" long bolt/foot to allow for stock height again. Why not?

There might even be enough room inside the kickstand to allow for a little fine adjustment, provided the bolt is narrow enough to thread inside it. I'd feel better if it wasn't, I think, even though those are pretty short lengths.

I'm wondering what would make a good foot... I am thinking that a big fat washer will probably not be strong enough to really work well.
...But then again, that guy used basically a picture frame bracket of the same crappy metal that washers are made out of. I'd like something that has a good surface area.
:think1:
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top