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XR100R linkage bushings

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Was doing a little maintenance on my XRs after a day of beating on them at the kart track and noticed a bit of play in the rear linkage when the rear of the bike is suspended in the air (bike is sitting on 5 gallon bucket).  I can move the swingarm maybe 1/2 inch up and down without compressing the shock.  I threw the other bike up on a stand and had around the same amount of play.  I know the linkage bushings can wear out and need to be serviced (they get cleaned and greased annually) but at what point is there too much play (or do I have to pull and measure the clearances)?

 

Are there upgrade options for the linkage/bushings that are affordable and worth the effort?

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If I am not mistaken, aren't the stock linkage and bushings, consisting of a cast triangle linkage piece with bronze bushings and then a steel sleeve?  I would assume the needle bearings would require you to press out the bronze bushings in the linkage triangle correct

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OK was wading through some searches after you mentioned the All Balls kit was needle bearings and could not get a confirmation on that.  Pivot works was mentioned for needle bearings but those were for only the 01 and up linkages.  Does anyone make needle bearings for the 00 and older linkage?  Also, the threads I read said OEM linkage has plastic bushings?  WTH is that true, seems like a terrible choice and bronze bushings would at least hold up and bit better.

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Stock is plastic, it's just a kids bike after all.

All balls lists a kit for the older ones. Just check ebay

 

LOL fair enough, but I definitely do not ride it like a kids bike ........poor thing.  I would much prefer the needle bearing option is someone makes one for the '00 and older bikes.  Like I said earlier I am not sure All Balls is a needle bearing kit (read reports otherwise) but will contact them directly and find out.  Bronze bushings would be better than plastic and I may snag some of those for $20 as a temporary step.

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If you swap to the newer swingarm and linkage- I think you'll raise the rear of the bike almost an inch.

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^^ it is something I want to look into.  I have a 00 and an 02 and I have been curious to see if I can sort out any real difference between them when it comes to rear ride height and linkage action - but I may take a gander at fleabay and see what I can find and just swap the swingarm with a newer one and use the pivot works kit.

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ok so got in my bronze bushing replacement kit for one of the bikes as a test subject and put all of the bronze bushings in (ease enough since there was like literally no plastic left) but am not so sure about the shock bushing sleeve in the linkage.  I have a split steel sleeve but doesn't look like it matches what is there.  I just pushed/pulled out the mutilated plastic but can't really sort out whats what on this one.

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Bumping my own thread with some info, I have the boss bearings bronze upgrade set installed and initial reports are really positive.  Bike feels a lot more solid and responsive from the rear end over worn out stock garbage.  The overall feel is tighter vs relatively new/not worn out stock plastic I have in another XR.  

 

Some notes on the linkage setup for the model change 00 vs 02.  The shock length is the same and the shocks are not really distinguishable from each other.  The forked piece of the linkage, that bolts to the bottom of the frame also appears to be no different.  Looking at the part numbers, they are different but I can't physically see or measure a difference between the parts.  The linkage triangle itself is different in both width and triangle geometry.  The 02 linkage has a wider attachment at the swingarm and the swingarm lower bracket itself is wider.  The 00 linkage unit triangle appears physically larger with more space between the linkage pivots.  You cannot use a 02 link in a 00 swingarm due to the width issue.  Swingarms are able to be swapped and if you used the 02 arm and linkage you could gain the ride height from the newer models.   

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