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Anyone know of a good step by step Lowering Guide

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I need to lower the 93 XR650L but it is cost prohibitive for me at this time. I have installed the XR's only Lowering Link and lowered the front forks, still it is a bit too high for me. I am good with a wrench and have a shop that can remove the spring from the shock for me. But Forks leave me baffled and what to do to the rear shock also leaves me guessing. I am looking into revalving and spacer information to go in to the shocks themselves to do it right. I have rebuilt forks before to a certain extent and have been wrenching from about eight years old. I just need specific measurements of spacers a what to buy list and a picture guide (like my post on making a carbon fiber case guard for the xr650) or something like that. I pretty sure with that information I can rebuild my forks and shock to make them lower. I am also aware I may be over my head in this and the dangers involved with the rear shock spring (spring will be compressed and removed at my neighborhood machine shop) that I have done already but the spring I replaced it is still stock height. The pros at the shop want 800 bucks and while I am sure that it is worth the money and they have earned it over the years it makes the whole idea of lowering it well cost prohibitive for me. Thank you all for so much help I am truly grateful.

Edited by searth
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How far are you trying to go, and for what purpose?

Of course it would probably be better to limit the travel of the suspension, but here is the instructions for the Kouba lowering link for the 650L Rear http://www.koubalink.com/XR650L.html and you can slide the forks up in the triples a bit to lower the front.

There is also a used Devol lowering link on ebay, item #140387873832

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Hi. Can't recall if anyone mentioned it in your previous post(s) re lowering your XRL, I'm sure someone did but just in case you can start by just adjusting the rear shock damping using the dirs in the owners manual. If you don't have the owner's manual for your XRL you can DL a scanned one in PDF format for the 2006 model year from this site (It's an AU site but the manual is universal btw):

http://www.hondampe.com.au/docs/owning_a_honda/owners_manuals/motorcycles/XR650L-2006.pdf

I found it awhile ago when looking for a PDF version for my 2006 which came w/o one when I bought it. Starting on page 111 of the above ref'd manual you can adjust the rebound damping and the compression damping too. I'd play around w/those settings but do keep in mind not to go too soft or you may bottom out on a good bump. I am about 5'9" on a good day and also thought of installing a lowering link and even bought an XRs Only model when I got the bike but the thought of messing w/the bike's geometry by installing the link and raising the forks made me want to try adjusting the rear shock first. I did and can touch the balls of both feet or can shift a little to the left or right and get that whole foot down and toes of the other. Try the above and just practice mounts and dismounts and just sitting on your pig, it'll take a little bit but you might just get used to it and be fine. The only problem is when you stop on an uneven surface, you just have to be careful which foot to put down or you and your pig will both go down if you lose your balance, trust me, I know from experience :ride: If you get some good boots with thick enough soles that will help you out that much more. Give it a try and let us know whatcha stink eh. If you still don't like it try a lowering link then, plenty of riders here have and it is not that difficult to do, you can search more here and find details on how to install the lowering link (depending on which one you get you will most likely have to get new bearings/bushings if your existing ones are too old and also make certain to get one w/a zerk fitting so you can lube it, the XRs Only link is one that does but some don't include the fitting). As far as the forks go you loosen the forks in the triple bar and such and raise them up a little bit at a time, not very hard at all, do some more searching in this subforum and you'll find better tips on how to and how much to raise them and how much at a time. It's late for me right now and I'm too lazy to go dig up and reference any other posts but you can find them easily by just searching some. The link should also come with an instruction set too.

Btw, the manual linked above should be fine for your year XRL as not much is different. I can't attach it here and don't have a place to host it right now but the link works fine, I just grabbed another copy to have on this laptop.

Best of luck man and let us know what you end up doing! :thumbsup:

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I have the same problem. I lost my footing, dropped the bike and punctured the left side crank case. I was looking at getting a lowering link too. Does the XR's only kit lower the front?

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I have the same problem. I lost my footing, dropped the bike and punctured the left side crank case. I was looking at getting a lowering link too. Does the XR's only kit lower the front?

You push the fork tubes up through the triple clamps to lower the front end. Be aware though that your tires are going to bottom in your fenders if you lower things too much.

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Thanks for the tip. I'll try that. Should I do that in conjunction with lowering the rear? Or can I do that and not lower the rear?

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A lowering link should be less $$$ than having the shock travel shortened. Try backing off the rear spring preload first before you do any changes to the shock itself. Shortened shock will give shortened travel as well. For the forks you can lower them in the clamps about an inch. If you need more I would shorten the preload spacer to get the rest. There's nothing wrong with adjusting the forks this way and it will be far cheaper than shortening their travel. You don't need a spring compressor at all to remove the shck spring if you do go that route. It has a threaded adjuster that simply unscrews until there is no pressure left.

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Thanks for the tip. I'll try that. Should I do that in conjunction with lowering the rear? Or can I do that and not lower the rear?

Whenever you lower one end more or less than the other, you will affect the front end geometry of the bike which will in turn affect how the bike turns. As you lower the front end, you steepen the rake angle of the forks which will make the bike "twitchy". It's always best to lower BOTH and then fine tune how the bike handles with small adjustments to the front/rear.

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I have investigated lowering links and was impressed by a link made by Performance Designs. I liked the Kouba link but the effort that went into the PD was impressive. The swap takes a max of 20 minutes. Shaving the seat is an idea that I implemented by buying a seat from eBay and using IT and saving the new seat carefully wrapping it up. I took the majority off the edges of the seat with careful shaving of the mid-section. This is very important. The width of the seat makes a BIG difference. I then used a very heavy type of outdoor upholstery that was very scrap resistant. In all, I believe I made a much better seat, which provided a degree of lowing in addition to protection from scrapes.The whole deal cost less that $70. Links are not all the same: I would put some time into understaning how they are made and what design elements are altered. PD links have both better bearings and a lube tap.

This brought the bike down 2.5" at standing rest; seated it brought it down considerably. As time wore on the seat compressed and I believe the bike was even lower.

NOTE: I did not alter the rear spring tension, etc. I did lower the forks VERY carefully. Lowing them too much will give a poor feel. Just enough gives a rather nimble feel to a pig where it did not have that before. The wheel base is long so shortening the forks 2cm appears just right.

Depending upon what may turn into a motard, the idea of lowing becomes superficial. I tried a motard-type 650L and it was substantially low. The use of a smaller wheels and street tires will most certainly get you about 5" with other alterations. If this is not practical, there are other dual sport tires such as Mefo99's (German company) which are made to fit factory rims but have a lower sidewall; gaining you perhaps 1.5cm lower. Mefo's are a great tire but are not as aggressive as the factory Bridgestones. However they are very well designed for non-technical trail and street riding and are uniquely smooth.

A good shop with a really qualified guy can adjust the front and rear sag just enough so that you won't loose that much (you won't bottom out from the overwhelming majority of bumps at speed) but will also get you more boot on the ground.

(only an opinion) But a guy with a 31" inseam is about the smallest that feels comfortable on a pig, principally due to weight. If that same person is 120lbs they are not going to feel as comfortable as a 200lb guy. However many pros are really short; so the concept is really individualistic. Many people who lower bikes eventually go BACK to a higher seat level after a lengthy riding period & adjustment to center of gravity.

I once had a very clean track bike (BSA Rocket-A10 650 twin; 1955) that was really tall. It was certainly 33" at the seat but the seat was WIDE, making the bike even more ungainly. After about six months of riding it seemed fine. But many other folks who tried it said it was way too tall. There IS a real adjustment period.

IMO the issue with the pig is that it's tall and heavy. If it was as light as an "R", it would feel a bit better. There are SO many variables in this subject that the only real way to get a handle on it is to get as much input as possible.

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How about just cutting down the seat and lacing up a 17" rear wheel? You get to keep the suspension functioning fully and gear the bike a little lower while using stock size sprockets.

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How about just cutting down the seat and lacing up a 17" rear wheel? You get to keep the suspension functioning fully and gear the bike a little lower while using stock size sprockets.

Certainly, this is an excellent suggestion. What needs to be weighed is the cost of the wheel & tire vs a link. A GOOD link will retain the suspension & it's designer should be able to show formula as to how it does this. That was one of the major reasons I went with the PD link.

Getting a 17" will lower depending upon the tire utilized. This is an important consideration. The forks will need to come down of course and a good certified guy will show you the formula for determining how far you can go without making the bike too squirrelly.

Actually the lowest 650L I had ever seen was a motard with 17/20 wheels and very low sidewalls on street rubber.

Depending upon what you want to spend; you can go very low.

However when shaving the seat, you get much more comfort and actual foot-on-the-ground lowering IF you start with shaving the SIDE of the seat! This is important because the closer your legs are, the more foot can make contact! {Aside from the comfort issue of sitting on steel.}:)

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Putting a 17" rear with a 21" front...wouldn't that "throw" things off a bit?.

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There's no question that you'd have to change the front also and pay pretty strict attention to what tires you're putting on once you made that decision (tire wall height, design & brand).

I recently looked into the basic 'tard lowing idea; & to do it well you're talking about spending in the neighborhood of $650 (starting - tires & rims).

So.....it is NOT cheap but you could get pretty low if we're just talking theoretically "how to get the thing down there".

but you could really maintain the same geometry if you took some time when you picked the link. And shaving the seat & installing a link will certainly get you 3"; possibly more.

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I ended up just using the xr only link then lowering the forks in the triple clamp and slightly cutting the seat. All set.

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