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2009 Kawasaki KLX 250s, 2001 BMW F650gs
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have a new to me 2011 KLX250s. The previous owner said he'd lowered it an inch. I'm trying to determine if my rear suspension "dogbone" link is stock, or if it is a shorter one. Can someone tell me the stock length of that part (from centre to centre of the bolts if possible)?

Thanks in advance.
Warren
 

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By the looks its a stock part. Check the upper spring perch adjusters. He may have had them turned up. Mine is currently in the middle so i have an 1" on either side to move the spring up or down. Let me know...

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Discussion Starter #4
Kevichar,

Yes, I figured that out this morning. I found a photo of it in my service manual, which had the same "119.5" marking on it. Plus, it didn't look aftermarket. And, he had the spring backed-off all the way. I cranked her down to the factory spec, and gained over an inch of clearance.

Thanks
Warren
 

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Let me know how it rides. I am almost flat foot as it sits right now but was thinking of raising 1/2" more. Did you use the tool or hammer and chisel to undo it?

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Discussion Starter #6
Kev,
It rides pretty good, though I just got this bike, so I don't have a lot of experience with it. It is much better raised than it was when I got it. It is tall. I have a 30" inseam, and I'm on my tippy toes when standing. But the bike is light enough, that I don't find it a problem, even though it's my first time on a dirt bike. (My other bike is a 2001 BMW F650gs, which I can easily flat foot.)

I used the tools. I had a couple lying around. It wouldn't be hard with a chisel. You can almost do it by hand. I set it at 4.25" from the centre of the top bolt to the top of the spring. which is about stock (the manual says 4.22".) You have to take the shock out. It's a bit tricky the first time you do it. You need a way to raise and lower the back of the bike to get the tension off the various bolts. (When you get the shock unbolted, lower the back end as far as you can, right on to the tire, then you can slide the shock down, then out the left-top side.)

Here's how it rode in the mud today after the change:

Cheers
Warren
 

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Thanks. Yeah i was hoping i didnt have to take it out to do that. Is that because theres no room to turn it with the tool? Also did you make sure to add preload on to the spring. I know on my cars coilovers its 10mm. Not sure spec on these. Im 30 inseam as well and 186lbs. Im fine with the spring rate and i just joy ride. Have you stiffened up the front compression clickers. Made big difference once stiffened up

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Discussion Starter #8
I just cranked it down to compress the spring. I'm not sure what else I would do to pre-load it. The bike sags about 1.5" when I sit on it. I'm about 175 pounds. And, yes, it was too tight to get the tool in there. You might be able to do it in place with a small cold chisel. They are not that hard to turn.

I haven't checked the front yet (that's tomorrows job -- good thing I'm laid-off). But it rides pretty stiff right now.
 

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Preload is when the spring is at zero load and the lower top collar is touching the spring. Then tighten that first collar in against the spring.5-10mm. Im not sure the spec. Then lock in the 2nd collar against it.

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, threading the collars up or down sets the preload. A by-product is that it will raise or lower the bike somewhat due to changing the spring tension. If you back the collars off all the way, there is still a bit of tension on the spring. The stock setting is 4.232" from the centre of the top bolt to the top of the spring (bottom of the bottom collar). The acceptable range is 3.98" to 4.84". Somewhere in the shop manual, it says that their default settings are based on a 150 pound rider.
 

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Ya i checked mine its about 4.2. So its stock. Im 3rd owner. I dont have an issue with the spring rate which is 5.8kg per mm. I checked racetech and punched in my figures and they suggested a 6.8kg per mm spring but there max for this model is 6.4 I will just turn up the compression a bit if i need to for now


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Discussion Starter #12
Kev,
Yes, that would be stock, or pretty close. If you want to check the damping, the stock figures from the shop manual are:
Rear spring
Rebound damping (screw at bottom of shock): 12 clicks out
Compression damping (screw at top of shock): 16 clicks out

Front fork damping: 12 clicks out, both legs
Screw is at bottom of the fork.

In all cases, fewer clicks will give you a softer ride. The screws should be very easy to turn; if they aren't you are doing something wrong.

Warren
 

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Hey yeah the manual is good at showing the how to. I turned clockwise the fronts 5 turns and now its great. No Nose dive braking. As for the rear the rebound comes back up same tempo as the front which i like.

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Hows the ride? I had my rear shock out 12 clicks. Now made it stiffer to 8 clicks out from fully seated to see how it handles off road. Rebound is 10 out pretty slow for now which seems to match the front.

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Discussion Starter #15
So far, pretty good with the stock settings, but it's early days. I haven't ridden on anything gnarly yet, as all our trails are still covered in snow. We've been riding on the frozen lakes this week, but that doesn't really push the shock to its limits. I'm going to ziptie the shock and a fork so I can keep an eye on how much of the travel its using.

As an aside, if you want a good off-road tire, the Pirelli MT21s are awesome. They'll even find traction in a foot of slush.

Here's our frozen lakes escapades.
 

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Thats a great video with the mapped out routes. Im going to share with my bro in law as hes my riding buddy who got a crf250 ralley this year. Its been high of 10°C here we got out only 3 times so far. Turns out i did order a MT21 set and looks like Sunday they are going on at my buds shop and a JT 13t.

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Thats a great video with the mapped out routes. Im going to share with my bro in law as hes my riding buddy who got a crf250 ralley this year. Its been high of 10°C here we got out only 3 times so far. Turns out i did order a MT21 set and looks like Sunday they are going on at my buds shop and a JT 13t.

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Discussion Starter #18
Kev,
That's a great picture of the bikes. You'll love the MT21s. I'm really impressed with the mud that they will plough through. Here's the latest video. It's a rough cut, but it shows that our rides don't always go as planned. (BTW, all four of us are fire fighters with ice water rescue training.)

 
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