Airbox removal

I bought my XR650L about a month ago and I'm starting to get it set up for next years adventures. I just got Dunlop 606's & heavy duty tubes ( which I'm going to try to put on today ) some Moose handguards and a Dual sport fender pack. Next purchases will be a rear rack, bash guard, big tank, aluminum bars and grip heaters, new chain and sprockets and who knows what else.

So anyways, the guy I got the bike from was a shorter guy and he lowered the front end in the triple clamps and he loosened the rear shock up quite a bit so it would sag enough for him to touch.

Well, I fixed the front end but the rear is being a beotch. I need to get the airbox out to adjust the shock. I removed every bolt and fastener but there is a buch or wires attached to the top of the airbox and fastened down good.

Should I cut the ties holding the wires down to get the airbox out?

You can adjust the preload on the spring without removing the airbox. Just use a long drift or screwdriver and a hammer and knock it around. I found it helps to spray the threads with some WD40 before starting. It also helps to lift the rear of the bike by the frame so the weight is off the shock spring.

I was thinking about trying that actually. I'm almost sure that the guy before me did that because there are some marks on the nuts. I tried it a bit before but I didn't have the rear end unweighted. I think that the top nut is all the way to the top of the threads so i'm not sure if I'll be able to loosen it anymore. I'll give it a shot though.

Looks like the tires might have to wait till tomorrow. I got the bike in my Moms garage but I'm trying to figure out how to get the front end up to take the wheel off. I don't have a bike jack so I got to be creative. No jacks out in the mountains either so I'll have to improvise.

I put hooks into the ceiling studs of the garage, then used tie-downs to hold my bike up. Until I get the stand I want, it works.


I used to use a cinder block and a few peices of thick wood to get the wheels of my bike off the ground before I got one of those stands. It worked well but it took 2 people to do it :cry:

To add pre load to your rear spring tighten the nuts, not loosen

To add pre load to your rear spring tighten the nuts, not loosen

But you have to loosen the top nut to be able to move the lower one right? Maybe that doesn't apply when your tightening the shock.

I got the front tire off today and I'll have to agree with everyone that its a pain to get those tires off the rims. It actually wasn't too bad once I got it all figured out. My Dad changed tires for a living on everything from bicycles to giant tractors and I realized how tough that guy really was. He was still doing that stuff when he was dieing from cancer until he finally got too week to keep doing it, but damn, One motorcycle tire did me in pretty good. I wish I would have gotten a few lessons from him on the finer techniques of tire changing. Luckily he left a large assortment of tire irons for me to use.

Well, tomorrow I'll hopefully have both the new tires on and the shock taken care of. b.t.w, Whats the deal with the play in the rear shock mounts? Mine turns back and forth a bit and that scared me a bit until I looked at a new bike and it did the same thing..seemed kinda wierd.

I used to use a cinder block and a few peices of thick wood to get the wheels of my bike off the ground before I got one of those stands. It worked well but it took 2 people to do it :cry:

Thats exactly what I ended up doing. I did it alone though with the use of the jack out of my truck. Seemed like it could have been a good way to tip over the bike though. At times it sure would be nice to have a center stand.

I dont know if you have a KRAGEN Autoparts store in your area, but I bought my bike jack for only $50 there ... exact same one everybody else was selling for $80-$125 ... they musta got a trainload of them to offer at that price ...

I have one of those jacks too, and it works great for all the maintenance I do on the bike. Mine is the Sears version, but they're all the same made in China jack. It's heavy as hell to move it around though.

But you have to loosen the top nut to be able to move the lower one right?

Yes, as long as they are locked together they're going to be tough to move. Are you saying the upper lock nut is all the way up and jammed against the top? You are going to have to do something to separate them a tad.

If the top one can't be moved, then move (tighten) the lower one a little, just enough to break it loose from the jamming effect of the top lock nut.

Then keep turning (tightening) the lower one until you get the preload you want (I like mine to have about 90-100mm of sag with my fat ass on the seat, with about 25-30mm of sag with the bike's weight alone). I have the heaviest available Eibach springs front and rear on mine in supermoto trim.

When you get the preload set, you should be able to convince the top one to move on down to lock against the lower one.

BTW, you don't *have* to take the weight off the rear end to do it. I have done it both ways, it's just easier to do with it unloaded.

Man, getting the airbox moved enough to get a preload wrench on the shock rings is no big deal. The wire ties on my L model were "disconnectable" and so just clipped back on.

All you need to do is remove the three screws, disconnect the mud guard in the rear, disconnect any vapor lines still attached to the box on the left front (x2), and turn the whole box about 10-15 degrees clockwise so the carb tube moves out and down a bit. This is the normal way to get it out of the frame, but you don't need to remove it entirely to change the preload.

Ideally I would have two preload wrenches, but one for the ring I was turning, and channel locks for the one I just held, worked fine without damaging the rings.

By the way, I am 190-200 fully suited up, and 19mm of preload gives me 98 mm of weighted sag...i.e. perfect :cry: .

I ended up buying an adjustable spanner wrench and took the airbox all the way out. Having the airbox all the way out really helped but it was a pain. My airbox must fit tighter than yours because I can't just turn mine a bit to get to the shock. Well at least I got the shock set now with about 95-100 mm of sag.

I still can't believe how much of a battle it was to get the nuts to move though.

I hear you..I didn't say it was easy :cry: , but it certainly is the best way to do it. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

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