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87-07 KLR650 Link Install

Installing suspension links for 1987-2007 KLR 650

Before starting, look things over to be sure you have all the tools necessary to get the job done. Also, be sure you are confident that you can get the job done yourself. Otherwise, it is strongly recommended to take it to a dealer or someone who can do it for you. Raise the motorcycle with a bike stand, jack, etc., so the rear wheel is just off the ground. A rear swingarm stand will NOT work as you will need to remove weight from the rear wheel and swingarm. If installing raising links, be sure you raise the rear wheel more than 1 inch off the ground. Make note of how the stock links are mounted. The link on the chain side (left side) has counterbores for the bolt heads. Also note that the bolts are installed from the left side and will need to be reinstalled the same way. Remove the two nuts. Push the bolts out the left side. You will have to raise the swingarm slightly to take weight off the links and allow the first bolt to slide out easily. 

After removing the stock links, it is suggested to be sure bolts are clean and the bearings inside the lever and swingarm are clean and have plenty of grease. Then you should be ready to install the new links.  Hold the left link (the link with counterbores) in place with the counterbores facing outward and insert one bolt from the left side. Again, you will need to raise the swingarm to align the holes so you can insert the second bolt, also from the left side. Install the right link and nuts on the right side 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. 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.


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.

The kickstand

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, we have adjustable stands available for some models. Feel free to contact us at 

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