Lowering links (a little info) - Kawasaki Forums


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Old 12-15-2009, 12:54 PM
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Default Lowering links (a little info)

I did this work for my KDX, and posted it on the KDX forum, but the general info can be used for the KLX as well. Thought some of you might find it helpful. Check out the Kouba site for a description of the different links for KDX/KLX

I'm only 5'7"/155lbs.
The rear suspension, aside from the bike being too tall, is also too stiff for my liking.
I knew nothing about lowering links, so I read up on the Koubalink site, thought it looked like the ideal solution to my problem, and bought a set of the KDX 1 links. I really wanted the KDX 2's, but the guy I bought them from convinced me that the 1 would be better.
After installation, the rear dropped about an inch, and without making any adjustments, felt plusher, and more comfortable right away. I haven't done any high speed riding yet, but on my property, I can definitely feel the difference. This got me thinking. If the 1's were good, the 2's must be better :razz:
I'm too cheap to spend the money, so I took a few measurements, and made up a few sets to experiment with. They aren't fancy, but when I settle on one, I'll radius the ends, drill some lightening holes, and fancy them up a bit.
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The stock link has a center to center distance of 112.5 mm. You can see this conveniently stamped on the side. The KdX 1 link has a cd of 118 mm. I contacted a guy on Thumpertalk who has a set of KDX 3 links, and he measured a cd of 124 mm. As you increase the center to center distance of the link, the leverage (moment) changes, and a few things happen. The wheel rate lessens (softer rear suspension), the bike is lowered, and the travel increases. For me, it's exactly what I want.
I made up a few sets to experiment with, and when i get a chance to try them, I'll post the results.
Here are the numbers.

Stock 112.5
KDX 1 118
KDX 2 ??
KDX 3 124
KLX 4 130 (2" drop)
Stock KLX250 117
My home made links 120, 124

Notice that the stock KLX 250 link is 117 (I looked at mine, it's stamped on the side as well), so if you could get a set of these on the KDX, you'd see about a 1" drop without any adjustment, and a little softer suspension. Note that you can also adjust the drop (sag) out, and just use it to soften up the rear a bit. It could be a budget tuning solution for your rear suspension.

I mistakenly thought the KDX 1 was 116 (bad memory), and knew the KDX 3 was 124, so I made the assumption that the KDX 2 was 120. Looking at the number, it;s probably 121 (but I can't be be sure of this), so the 120 may turn out to be perfect, or totally not perfect. We'll see.

If you want to make your own set, you will need 2 pcs. of 1/4 x 1 1/4" (or 1 1/2") flat bar, and a 15 mm drill bit. Mine are 1 1/2" milled down to 1.3", but 1 1/4" would work fine. The stock links are 6 mm thickness, so the 1/4" is only .010" thicker, and will work just fine.

Edit: When I installed the links on the KLX, I found out that they're 8 mm thick, and not 6 like the KDX. You could use 5/16" flat bar, or 1/4" and a waher like I did.

Last edited by zomby woof; 05-29-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:11 PM
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Good post there Mr Woof. Good to see the doityerself stuff, and good to share the "how to do it" too.
Dan
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:39 PM
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Thanks.
I'm all about the DIY, and sharing the info!
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:19 PM
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Funny I see all these people trying to lower their bikes. I wish mine was 2" taller!!
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:11 PM
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I wish I was 2" taller
Get a set of stock links from a KDX200/220.
It'll raise your bike about 1.5"
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zomby woof View Post
I wish I was 2" taller
Just 2" You are a giant my firiend.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:26 AM
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Careful you don't bottom out into the fender.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:10 PM
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Did you ever test the lowered bike on the highway?

BTW, Was jammin to Frank last night.....
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarchi View Post

BTW, Was jammin to Frank last night.....

Good for you.
So was I

I never actually lowered the KLX, just the KDX. Once I'm done fiddling with the KDX, I'll get around to it.
I would imagine it would feel a little more stable, though.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:39 AM
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I'm lookin into lowering the KLX250sf that I just got for the GF I have decided to lower it with the springs first then go for a lowering link if needed. I am looking for 3" min 4" preferred. The suspension could be softened since she is around 100# but I want to be able to get on it also.
Cheers Jim
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