General Installation of Suspension Links
NOTE: NOT FOR USE WITH STRUT, AIR RIDE OR SWINGARMS LONGER THAN 8" OVER STOCK LENGTH! The reason for the disclaimer is that when the bike has a strut there is no suspension and the lowering links take a tremendous beating, same with the air ride if the bike is ever ridden without air in the system. When bikes are extended over 8” they either have the OEM shock very tight/rigid, have one of the previous options or have a heavy duty rear spring also causing much more of a beating on the lowering links.
Before starting, be sure you are confident that you can get the job done yourself. Otherwise, we strongly recommend to take it to a dealer or licensed professional. Raise the motorcycle with a bike stand, jack, etc., so the rear wheel is just off the ground. A rear swing arm stand will NOT work as you will need to remove weight from the rear wheel and swing arm. If installing raising links, be sure you raise the rear wheel more than 1 inch off the ground. Remove the two nuts holding the links in place. Remove the bolts and suspension links. You will have to raise the swing arm slightly to take weight off the links and allow the first bolt to slide out easily.
**Note: On many applications, the bolt runs through a sleeve which can be pushed out opposite the bolt head in order to allow you to move the bolt around tight areas. Pay mind to the seals if they push out and keep all parts clean. Also note location of all components to replace correctly. Rod end bearings are lubricated for life, but require inspection every 500 miles for smooth operation. Use Red Loctite on all threads.
**Note: For Fully Adjustable Lowering Links, you may have to loosen the top and/or bottom shock bolts (without removing) to realign with link during link installation. There is wiggle room in shock bolts if shock is touching the link. However, when adjusting the bike extremely low, some bikes may need a slight amount of material removed from the bottom of the shock mount for clearance .
After removing the stock links, it is suggested to be sure bolts are clean and the bearings inside the cushion lever and swing arm are clean and have plenty of grease. Then you should be ready to install the new links. On many applications, the bolts can be installed from either side. Install from the easiest direction, one link first and push the bolt through. Then install the second bolt. Again, you will need to raise the swing arm to align the holes so you can insert the second bolt. Install the second link and the 2 nuts and torque to factory specs (or simply good and tight). Always look over everything when finished to be sure things are installed properly and all fasteners are tight.
Lowering the front
Lowering links are made to lower a bike the given amount at the rear axle. To get the full lowered amount, also measurable at the seat, you would need to lower the front also. This will also help retain some original handling. It is fairly simple. Just be sure to stabilize the bike while doing by using a stand, jack, strap, etc.
If you look at the triple clamp, notice the lower and upper clamps. Also look over the fork tubes. Some models have tapered fork tubes. It may be considered okay to let the taper go slightly into the clamp, but never more than halfway into it. Also look over other components to be sure there will not be interference when lowered. Measure how much the fork tube is sticking out the top.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO ONE SIDE AT A TIME
Start from the top. Loosen the bolts clamping the tube in the top clamp on ONE SIDE ONLY. If there are 2 bolts in the top clamp, loosen them alternately until both are loose. There are likely 2 bolts in the bottom. Carefully, loosen them alternately, just a little at a time, until you can twist the fork tube by hand, which it will also begin to slide up in the clamp. Take care not to let it slide too fast. Measure out the difference of how much you can or want to go from where it was before. On models with tapered fork tubes, you must stay on the clamp surface, do not let the tapered portion go more than half way into the clamp. Once in position, tighten the bolts on the bottom clamp first. Tighten the bolts alternately, until very good and tight. Then tighten the top clamp.
Repeat on the other side. The important thing is to do ONLY ONE SIDE AT A TIME. This will keep the forks straight. Also, it is important to be sure the tubes are slid up the same amount. Once done, go back over all fasteners to be sure everything is tight. Look closely over everything while turning the handlebars from lock to lock and make very good and sure that there is not interference.
When lowering your bike a considerable amount, it may be found that the bike does not lean much on the kickstand. You may need to cut down the stand. If you or someone you know can get the job done, it is recommended to only cut and re-weld at the foot. Cutting out the average of the front and rear drop amount is usually a good place to start. Otherwise, adjustable stands are available for many models.