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...continued from
http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=96604

Exhibit A, stock cushion rods, or "dogbones" or "lowering links" as they're are popularly called.



Lowering link I purchased from JDAcustom.com. Relatively inexpensive and made of 7075 aluminum alloy; on paper, the better of the aluminum alloys on the market.

I was concerned about aluminum not being strong enough and being able to do the job of steel, but apparently the 7075 has yield strength of at least 63,000 - 69,000 psi (stress before the metal deforms), so I figured it should be ok. Watch out for dogbones made out of the cheaper, 6061 alloys - they are considerably weaker; I wouldn't want it to snap at my most excellent moment.

6061-O has a yield strength no more than 8,000 psi
6061-T4 has a yield strength of at least 16,000 psi
6061-T6 has a yield strength of 35,000 psi

For comparison, a high strength alloy steel ASTM A514 has yield strength of 100,000 psi. Stainless steel is about 75,000 psi.

source: wikipedia




Since I was going to use the hydraulic jack to compress the rear shock absorber, I decided to try and secure the bike to the rear stand as best I could. I feared that the bike might dislodge itself from the stand and come crashing down - making for a very bad day. I was having none of it.



I secured it with some nylon string, and rope. Taking care to keep it tight and prevent any unnecessary movement once the bike is on the jack.



Kind of half-assed, last-minute - but definitely did the trick. I figured half-assery x10 should be strong enough.




Prior to jacking it up, I was able to take the nuts off. It took quite some effort - the nuts were caked on there something awful.



Very carefully position the jack under the rear cushion lever and play around with the jackin' height.

You're compressing the shock absorber such that the pressure is taken off the bolts, making them slide out through the other side with minimal effort.

Make sure the bike is not too high, such as to lift the front wheel off the ground, and having the beast balanced on just the rear stand and the small point of contact that is the jack. Failure to secure the rear stands to the spools, might result in the bike landing on you.





On the other side, the bolt with the spacer sliding out. Leave the spacer in the hole and don't touch it with your grimey hands...you'll introduce grit and grime to it, and that will mess up the bearings with which it makes contact.





I neglected my own advice and touched it. I had to clean it off and put some fresh grease on it.




The links holes were a bit snug (to say the least) so I had to slightly re-drill them. Enough to make them manageable.






Installation is reverse of removal. Link installed with the middle lowering hole in use. Tighten up the bolts using 56.5 ft/lb torque, per user manual.





Great Success indeed!



Relatively simple on paper; more complicated if you've never held a wrench before.
 

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Cool write up! Nice detail and good explanations.
The new dogbones sorta add a little bling to things :)
Ride safe!!
 

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Good write up, good pictures. It's also possible to do the replacement by suspending the rear end of the bike to get the weight off the shock and linkage completely. There are issues doing it that way (availability of an overhead beam, how do you strap and not damage plastics, etc.).


Wise move strapping to the stands. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Okay...I see which lowering link you purchased...so my question is, overall, how much did it lower the bike?

Did you raise the forks as well to keep the geometry equal?

My bike was lowered when I originally purchased it because I couldn't reach the ground with comfort. We only went one hole in on the dogbones and adjusted the forks accordingly. The bike overal dropped 2.25" which was way to much.
Once I started leaning hard, the ex raised my bike again:( So, I'm back to not reaching the ground.

I'd love to find a set that would only move about .25" on the dogbone, in the hopes of lowering her only ~1".
 

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Okay...I see which lowering link you purchased...so my question is, overall, how much did it lower the bike?

Did you raise the forks as well to keep the geometry equal?

My bike was lowered when I originally purchased it because I couldn't reach the ground with comfort. We only went one hole in on the dogbones and adjusted the forks accordingly. The bike overal dropped 2.25" which was way to much.
Once I started leaning hard, the ex raised my bike again:( So, I'm back to not reaching the ground.

I'd love to find a set that would only move about .25" on the dogbone, in the hopes of lowering her only ~1".
wut are you going to do with your links after you change them?? I NEED TO TO LOWER MINE ABOUT 2.25"
 

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i had some adjustable lowering links that were on the bike when i bought it. at the closest to stock setting they were about 1/4" longer than stock. have no idea what brand they were, they did have SRAD engraved on them. sold them to another member awhile back.
 

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I'm already short as it is, but when I upgraded my rear shock to an Elka double clicker, I found that the Elka raised my rear just a tad more than stock, making stop and go traffic problematic when I get tired.

I bought a set of the SRAD T7075 aluminum links from a fellow member here, who had it on their bike when they bought it, but decided they outgrew them. The supposed stock hole was like 1/4" longer (like 507phantom describes). That lowered the bike like 3/4". The second hole lowered the bike way too much.

I wanted it just a little lower than stock, so I got a set of the eBay 1" lowering links:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_Mot...les_Parts_Accessories?_trksid=p4506.m20.l1116

These gives me just a slightly lower than stock height (maybe 1/4" - 1/2" shorter than stock), and that's what I'll use for now. I figured I could have easily gotten 1/4" extra sag when I was 30 lbs heavier than I am now.

tk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
overall, how much did it lower the bike?

Did you raise the forks as well to keep the geometry equal?

My bike was lowered when I originally purchased it because I couldn't reach the ground with comfort. We only went one hole in on the dogbones and adjusted the forks accordingly. The bike overal dropped 2.25" which was way to much.
Once I started leaning hard, the ex raised my bike again:( So, I'm back to not reaching the ground.
First off, I did not do anything to the front. I was going to, but I felt no difference in handling, so I refrained from doing so.

Can't answer your first question directly, but I will give you an idea of how much it was lowered.

My inseam is about 29.5", with stock I was on the balls of my feet on both sides (read: stepping in a small pothole during stop = doom). My current setup effectively lowered the bike where I have about 15-20 degrees from the horizontal. That is, the heel is in the air oh so slightly on both sides. So, not completely flat-footed.


Kouba links will get your lowered only 3/4 of an inch. . . and they look kewl !

Kinda pricey though.
I'd love to find out what material that is. Function over form.
 

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Great write up. So great that I thought to myself, "Hey self, that short girl that sold you the bike was kind enough to have kept the stock dog bones and give them to you. This guide is exactly what I need to get this done myself."

So I tie it down real good to the stand, get the jack under. All it's doing is jacking up the bike, no compression. Well, maybe if I sit my girlfriend up there. Jacking up bike and girlfriend. #unamused

Am I missing some key element here?
 

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I started replacing my lowering links today and it turned out that the right link would not come off of the bottom bolt. It's almost as if it somehow got threaded onto the bolt because it wiggles around and spins but would not come off. Felt like it was stuck on the threads even though there shouldn't be threads inside the dogbone bolt holes. The metal the current aftermarket links are made of feels kinda "soft" so I wouldn't be surprised if vibration dug the bolt threads into the metal just enough so they would be stuck on there. I tried hitting the stuck link off with a hammer but that sucker wouldn't budge. It came off the top bolt without issues. I ended up bolting everything back up and will be taking the bike to the dealer tomorrow to have them do it.

Mission failed. :(
 

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I really shouldnt say anything, cause I get the fact some folks dont feel safe without their feet on the ground. That being said, Im 57 and 5-6. Ive owned many bikes in my years. Most of them were tall, ie.. Kx250 I raced. Get used to it. Your bike will handle much better if you dont lower it. To the one that cant get the bolt out of the link, take the weight off the rear of the bike. You are under a load with the bike on the ground. I replaced my shock with a unit from an 06 zx10. Easy mod and way cheaper than an Ohlins or Penske.
 

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I really shouldnt say anything, cause I get the fact some folks dont feel safe without their feet on the ground. That being said, Im 57 and 5-6. Ive owned many bikes in my years. Most of them were tall, ie.. Kx250 I raced. Get used to it. Your bike will handle much better if you dont lower it. To the one that cant get the bolt out of the link, take the weight off the rear of the bike. You are under a load with the bike on the ground. I replaced my shock with a unit from an 06 zx10. Easy mod and way cheaper than an Ohlins or Penske.
I feel just fine on bikes I can't flatfoot. It's just a convenience thing. Backing up out of my driveway or any parking spot is quite a hassle for me when I have to get off the bike and push it around. Pushing a bike around may be no big deal for some folks, but when your not a very big guy like me it's not the easiest thing in the world especially if it's on a hill. I also like being able to at least get more than just my tip toes on the ground in case I come to a stop on an uneven surface or gravel. To me, it's like driving a car with the seat adjusted incorrectly, sure I can do it, but I'd rather adjust it to fit me.

As far as worsening handling goes, my bike is now lowered 1" in the back and .75" in the front so the geometry should be about the same. I think the bike can lean at a pretty high angle without anything hitting the ground too. Somebody posted pics of their SV's potential lean angles after lowering it and I can guaranty I will never need to attain those kind of angles on the street.

I ended up not taking it to the dealer because they wanted $120 to install them. The bolt was not under load, the suspension was unloaded with a jack. The person who installed my old lowering links overtightened them and the metal they were made off felt pretty weak. Ended up having to beat the bolt out of the old lowering link with a hammer. Sure enough, there were grooves in the bolt holes where the threads got stuck due to improper torque spec. Everything is installed now with proper torque specs and links made out of a good quality material so I'm happy.
 
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