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Lowering Link (rear shock). What are the real world benefits?

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I see this mod in the magazines a lot, but only on certain bikes in certain situations.  It seems to lower the rear end of the bike, which supposedly improves handling and traction.

 

I don't quite understand the concept.  Again some bikes have it some do not...why?  Why and when would someone want this mod?  Why wouldn't the OEM's create links that are less than optimal or bikes that sit too high?  Is this just another money spending gimmick?  Or something for shorter riders? 

 

I am confused, hoping someone can clarify.

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This is mainly used for us vertically challenged people.

Bikes too tall use a lowering link. Drops 1" or 2" depending on which one you get.

End result, lower seat height.

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This is mainly used for us vertically challenged people.

Bikes too tall use a lowering link. Drops 1" or 2" depending on which one you get.

End result, lower seat height.

Ah, I thought so, but the mags seem to present it as some kind of performance enhancement.  I am not vertically challenged and can touch the ground fine

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Ah, I thought so, but the mags seem to present it as some kind of performance enhancement. I am not vertically challenged and can touch the ground fine

Well for some it is a performance enhancement.

Lol

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I'm 6'2" and run a lowering link.

It increases the damping in the initial stages of use(stiffening the rear)

I get less wallowing and you can steer with the throttle as opposed to the supercross feel without it.

I like it.

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MXA recommends lowering links for lots of bikes, so I bought one for my son's KXF250.  It was a practical move, since the lower seat hight helps him anyway, but from a performance standard the bike does feel more planted.  If the back end squats and wallows under acceleration, I guess the lowering link helps.  We had a pro ride it recently and he said it made the suspension feel stiff, and that it made it more difficult to keep the back wheel on the ground.  He did not know about the link before he gave his analysis.  It is a lot of money to "experiment" with.  As for why they don't come that way OEM, it is probably because the seat heights and rear-wheel travel are important constants.  Or, maybe it is just marketing?  I kind of doubt that.  MXA recently responded to a similar question saying, basically, a link is a link.  Doesn't matter who the manufacture is.  In their case, they just like the effect.  

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a lot of though goes into the geometry of the linkage to create the rising rate relation in the rear suspension. I don't know the specifics of how a lowering link might affect your suspension geometry, but the potential is there for it to jack up the force vs rear wheel displacement curve.

 

In the right circumstance (experienced race team doing custom one off set ups for top pro riders where everything else suspension wise is being adjusted as well) modifying the suspension linkage may lead to positive results. But for the average person putting on a lowering link isn't doing you any favors other then lowering seat height.

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a lot of though goes into the geometry of the linkage to create the rising rate relation in the rear suspension. I don't know the specifics of how a lowering link might affect your suspension geometry, but the potential is there for it to jack up the force vs rear wheel displacement curve.

In the right circumstance (experienced race team doing custom one off set ups for top pro riders where everything else suspension wise is being adjusted as well) modifying the suspension linkage may lead to positive results. But for the average person putting on a lowering link isn't doing you any favors other then lowering seat height.

I did get the link when I had pro circuit revalve my suspension so it probably is a combined improvement engineered to work well.

Edited by D9ZZ
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I'm short...with short legs. Helps my short ass toss around my 450. Yes and lower your forks as well.

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I put a Yamalink on my bike as I could not touch the ground without sliding off the seat.

 

Was told it puts the rear wheel farther into its normal path of travel and changes "I forget what it was" but it required a stiffer rear spring.

 

I hated it.  Best way to describe it was my bike went from driving a Masarati to driving a fully loaded ocean tanker.  Tried all manner of front and rear shock adjustments.

 

I took it off and had my susp lowered (along with revalve, respring, re-fluid, etc).  IIRC he lowered it 8mm or so.  It gave me just enough to get both big toes on the ground at the same time...which is about perfect.

Still gotta watch it though.  :lol:

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I'm short...with short legs. Helps my short ass toss around my 450. Yes and lower your forks as well.

I let my brother in law ride my cr250 i had to help him on and then push him off like a lil' kids first bicycle ride , he's about 5' 5" after he gets going he's fine it was a gopro moment for sure. 

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I let my brother in law ride my cr250 i had to help him on and then push him off like a lil' kids first bicycle ride , he's about 5' 5" after he gets going he's fine it was a gopro moment for sure. 

I know and understand his pain. Tossed my leg over a stock 500 EXC the other day and thought..."holy shit is this thing tall"

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I know and understand his pain. Tossed my leg over a stock 500 EXC the other day and thought..."holy shit is this thing tall"

Push it over to a tree stump to climb on it  :lol:

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I just love stopping and not being able to touch the ground, until Im laying down!

Mine is linkless and need internal lowering.

I will have this done soon.

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...that's not funny... :lol:

But true.

 

There were some places we stopped to regroup before hill climbs, and I had strategically places cut logs to use to get a foot down on.

 

Other times I'd look for a tree - matter of fact I'm finding this a tough habit to break.  :lol:

 

I took the link off and was just dealing with it for a few months, and had an almost serious fall where I ended up down the hill a bit with the bike above me and upside down.  Trees kept me from falling a good distance.

 

Called the susp guy in the next few days.

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  Again some bikes have it some do not...why?  Why and when would someone want this mod?.

I have one on my bike because I am 5'7". I also raised the forks in the clamps and I can at least tippy-toe now. I couldn't tell all that much difference in the ride but if you don't raise the forks when you have one of these it won't turn as good.

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I have one on my CRF250R, excellent mod ,lowers the height and softens the suspension too , better for trail riding .

The newer bikes are designed for long legged youths , even the kickstart is way too high to use easily !

Edited by bob-c

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