Lowering Link Installation
When you go to put your foot down and there’s nothing there, the weight of the bike, coupled with excess angle will have you belly up in no time. Adventure riders like to plant their feet squarely on the ground. The weight of a fully laden bike only has to get a few degrees off vertical to get past the point of no return. Then picking up the bike can be almost impossible. In the case of our recent Husqvarna TE610 the bike was simply too tall with its enduro stance and would not suffer losing some ground clearance. No matter what bike you ride there's usually a lowering link available and here is a simple step by step guide to fitting a Kouba lowering link.
Most links come with instructions. Before you do anything READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Raise the bike on it’s centre stand or a quick lift stand making sure the bike is stable. If using a work lift use tie downs on the handlebars. Make sure that all obstacles are out of the way for removal of the linkage bolts like kick stands, chain rollers and brake systems.
Use a block of wood or similar to support the rear wheel without putting pressure on the suspension.
Remove both link bolts (the front bolt first) and the link will simply drop out.
Rear suspension linkage systems are naturally compacted into a small area, so look for notches on different parts to allow easy disassemble/assemble like shown on the Husqvarna TE610 .
This is the Kouba Link next to the standard link. Note the longer length of the new link above.
Most links will use some of the OEM bushes. Take this opportunity to clean them and give them a fresh coat of grease before installing them into the new link.
Before installing the Kouba Link make sure that all of the linkage bearings are adequately greased including the new Kouba Link.
This is where the fun starts. You can see how much the link is off-set from standard.
You'll also find that when attempting to line up the link that the shock will hit against the swingarm. In some cases it may be necessary to remove material from the swingarm with a grinder.
You'll need to raise the rear wheel to line up the link bolt holes depending which bolt you've inserted first. We found that it was easier to install the rear bolt, then lever the link back from the frame with a heavy screw driver (below). At this stage it remains a one man job.
Make sure you fill the linkage full of high grade grease once you've installed and tightened both bolts. Keep pumping in grease until it oozes out both sides all the way around the bolts.
Clean off the excess grease and there it is but it's not over yet.
Turn your attention to the bike's front suspension. To level the bike out drop the forks down to maintain the bike's rake to as close to standard as possible. Do not exceed the manufacturers recommendations. Lines on the forks will act as a guide, so don't drop it down past the last notch. Don't forget to do both forks equally.
Manuel from R&D Husqvarna did an awesome job! Fitting a lowering link is pretty straight forward but if you lack the tools get somebody like Manuel to fit it for you. Even if you don't have a Husky give Stefan Appelgren a call on 02 4735 4410. Stefan can supply a range of lowering links for various bikes and Manuel will fit them pronto!
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