650L lowering link

Is the L one of the bikes that seem to 'suffer' with a lowering link? Seem varying degrees of happiness to unhappiness due to changing the suspension geometry on various bikes.

Bike IS a (street only) motard, so if it's hardcore offroading that some complain about with lowering links, then I won't care too much.

I just put on XR400 forks that I had tuned for street riding and my weight. And I have a Performance Works rear shock with 3 different springs for the rear.

I'd like it shorter but don't want lose the 'niceness' of the new rear setup.


A lowering link will change the leverage ratio of the rear linkage which will allow the bike to blow through the shock travel much easier. I liked my link when I was riding on the street, but it was almost dangerous if pushed off-road. I could not go through anything rough at more than a mild trot without bottoming the rear end.

I eBayed mine...

I've had a Kouba lowering link on my bike for the past three years. For the first two years my bike was ridden 99% on the street and it performed flawlessly. For the past season I changed back to the OEM rims with aggressive knobbies and have ridden everything from washboard dirt roads to sand and mud and haven't had a problem. I weigh in at around 210lbs+/- and I haven't had it bottom out or be too harsh. It may have something to do with having the sag set properly ... or having a fork brace (and fork tubes raised 1/2 inch) and damper on the front end, but I've had absolutely no adverse handling issues with my lowering link. :thumbsup:

You will likely want to use the stiffest spring you have. The ProLink is is almost straight rate with the lowering link installed. They greatly reduce the spring rate due to the geometry change. My bike turned very slowly even with the forks at the lowered setting and the spring cranked up. Felt more like a desert bike than woods. It rode low in the travel and would hit the fender/tire occasionally. Don't know if the shock was actually bottoming or not. If I rode street with it I might of liked it. When I changed back to a stock link it initially seemed to stiff without turning the spring down but I have adjusted to it.

For street riding you'd want to match the change in height at the rear, with a corresponding change in height at the front (the idea is to keep the overall geometry the same), set your sag correctly and everything else should be gravy.

I installed on of those for my ex-gf years ago. When she lost interest in riding, I never bothered to remove it, and my bike works great on the street and actually pretty good on the trails too. :thumbsup:

I like my link but I need to let the sag down a bit, I cranked the spring up and now it sits higher than with the oem link.:thumbsup:

I like my link but I need to let the sag down a bit, I cranked the spring up and now it sits higher than with the oem link.:thumbsup:

I had a similar problem with my link. I had to crank the spring preload up to a point where it had nearly no sag and it would still blow through the travel in the dirt. Having to plow through a section of whoops at near walking speed to keep the rear tire off the fender is NOT desirable. I would have had to buy a considerably stiffer spring to try to make the darned thing work and I have doubts that it still would have given proper results. In the end, the linkage is engineered for everything to work together, when you lengthen the link, it is going to throw off the ratios and lead to unwanted results. The brand of link doesn't matter either as they all do the exact same thing. Supermotos and commuters... a lowering link is a good deal. Dirt bike... Not so much.

As has been pointed out previously, the only way to lower the bike without having unwanted effects from the linkage is to decrease the travel of the shock itself. I am thinking seriously about trying this out as I know my rear shock is due for an oil change and is starting to seep oil past the shaft seal.

Well sheet on a stick. I greatly appreciate this info, just wish I had checked BEFORE i bought a link AND ordered new bearings for it (Fri) for my XR400 that IS my dirt bike...........


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