Lowering the bike – Monia can finally reach the ground

Sometimes what seems to be a very good solution for one person turns out to be a punishment for the other. That’s what happened in the case of the height of the motorcycle seat, which fits my needs. Unfortunately, Monika did not fully share my optimistic opinion. With her 171 cm height and seating point at 935 mm, the situation was a little complicated. In fact, she barely reached the ground with the tips of her boots, while I was more confident in putting my foot on the tarmac. This caused several bike drops when riding in the terrain, as she could not reach the ground. Wham! Every now and again KTM landed on its side. Fortunately, Monika usually avoided being crushed by a motorcycle, by jumping off to the side.

After a few such situations, Monika finally decided to lower the suspension. She tried to avoid it for a long time, not wanting to lose valuable centimetres of ground clearance, but safety became a priority for her.

In the first place, it was necessary to purchase a longer link that connects the lower part of a  frame with a cantilever. Thanks to this, the rear suspension will be lowered at the sacrifice of the reduced ground clearance, but we took this into account when making the decision. I already knew the most recommended company specializing in the production of such elements – Kouba Link from the USA. The right model for our motorcycle was KTM8-2, which has been modified from its predecessor KTM8-1. There were situations when more dynamic and vigorous riders informed of the rear tyre rubbing the bottom of the fuel tank. The so-called “kiss”. ? The newer model should not cause this problem anymore, especially since we do not plan to go crazy. 😉

I began the search from looking through friendly auction websites. I got really lucky to find one auction of a used, though in very good condition link with the minimum price of only £10 plus shipping!! The sale ended on the next day, so after I decided to bid for it, I waited for the last moments of the auction. Few seconds before the end I approved the maximum bidding price and WE HAVE IT! Probably I was the only one interested as I managed to buy it for the minimum price!! It is like for free!!

I started the assembly of Kouba Link, the moment I received it in my hands. Well, I should have said we have started the assembly as Monika wanted to take a part in this modification. 🙂 In the end, it is her motorcycle and comfort of using it we talk about. At first, we have checked bearings. The seller did a good job, as he sent part cleaned and greased. The link replacement was not complicated, although it took us some time because of the problem to take one bolt out. 🙁 Disassembly of the footrest on the right side went without any problem. However, on the left, we were unable to remove the bolt screwed into the rod holding the swing arm with the frame. After many various, but still ineffective attempts, we pulled the left footrest with the shaft out halfway and moved it aside. Thanks to this, we could get to the right bolt holding the link we wanted to replace. It is a shame we did not think of it before. 😉 The next stages went quite quickly. We changed the original part to a longer one from Kouba Link and put everything back together.

Lowering the rear of the motorcycle is only part of the success. It is important to change the position of the forks as well. Otherwise, the geometry of the motorcycle will change and the modification may turn out to be more dangerous than useful… We pulled them out 20 mm above the triple clamp like it is recommended by link manufacturer. Theoretically, we could have pulled some more out, but it can cause more instability.

The next, very important step was to check if the SAG does not go beyond specification. The difference between a motorcycle raised from the ground and placed on two wheels in an upright position was within the expected values. However, when Monika sat on a motorcycle in her motorcycle clothes with a stuffed rucksack imitating the partial weight of luggage, the motorcycle stopped on the edge of an acceptable distance. We have left it without adjusting it. We will return to these settings as soon as we complete the luggage and assemble additional fuel tank.

The effect was visible almost immediately. We measured the distance between the ground and the same bolt – before and after the exchange. The motorcycle has lovered by 30 mm!! We hope to lower it more by modifying the seats. Although we are not sure if there will be enough seat foam which we can remove without losing comfort.

Each modification must be checked. Since I undertake most of the modification works, I also do as a tester. 😉 A quick, dynamic ride, with a few tight corners and long straights, on which the motorcycle could spread wings, did not show in my opinion any changes in running the beast. Personally, I’m happy, but the most important thing is that Monika feels the difference. 🙂 In the end, she can finally reach the ground.

I know that some users lower their KTM 690 Enduro by replacing wheels with smaller sizes. Front from 21 to 19 and rear from 18 to 17 inches. However, this is an expensive exchange (unless the original wheels are sold for a good price) and it can influence off-road riding possibility of a motorcycle. Not without reason, KTM has adapted the size of the wheels to the character of the motorcycle. What’s more familiar with the construction of the suspension can also modify it. People who are more familiar with the construction of the suspension can also modify them by changing some parts in them. Well, I will try to do it next time. 😉

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1 Comment

Eduard · 13 May 2020 at 15:38

Thanks for detailed photos, really helped!

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