So am am short legged. Even with my boots on and the seat in the lower position I wasn't quite flat footed. SO I ordered the factory lowering links. I've lowered every bike I've owned since 2001. This was a PITA! (Pain in the ass!) . Sorry but no pictures. So the instructions say to remove the rear wheel and remove the mounting bolts for the exhaust and lower the exhaust, presumably to give you more room to work. Ah, no I decided to not do this. How hard could it be to pull two bolts and replace to dog bones.......
1) Bike on the center stand. 14mm wrenches, ratchet, sockets , extensions, drift and bottle jack to raise the swing arm. I removed the nuts on the rightsize from the bolts. They are tight, very tight from the factory. The lower one has an access hole through the swingers, the top required a 3/8" drive universal. You could do it with a wrench, but the nut is very tight and I could not get enough purchase on the wrench in the confined space. Loosened the nuts, cool!
2) Raised the swing arm with the bottle jack to relieve the pressure off the bottom bolt. Removed the nut, lost the nut, found the nut. Drove the bolt out with the drift. The bearing spacer also falls out. DAMN IT!
3) Removed the top bolt with greater care and the space remains in place (Thank God!)
4) Spend the next half hour trying to get the bottom spacer into the link without f-ing up the needle bearings! (Arggghhhh!) Used a combination of a magnetic wand and a pair of long nosed needle nose pliers. Yes your hand is somewhat too large if you are over the age of 5 to get into the space between the inside of the swingers and the link.
5) Yes the spacer is back in! Bearing needles are safe! I am happy!
6) Place the left side dog bone and top bolt in place. Slip the left side dog bone over the bolt. Move the bolt out to the left and repeat, and repeat. Break out the blue painters tape to temporarily hold the bolt in place. Place the nut on and thread it to hold. Good!
7) Make several attempts to get the lower bolt in place. Work the bottle jack under the swing arm up to the right position, (finally) and get the bolt started. Drive the spacer out enough to scare me again! STOP!!! break out the blue tape, again. BTW I was doing this alone (note to all, this would be easier to have a little help at these critical moments) or a roll fo blue painters tape! HA! Get the bolt through and line up the left side dog bone just enough to catch the lip of the bolt. Tape the sucker in place and drive the bolt through just enough to get the nut threaded, no NO!!! I drop the bottom nut. It disappears again and this time I cannot find it!
8) Search the entire ground area. Can't find it. Break out the trouble light and magnet. Can't find it. Thinking it may have fallen in-between the tail pipe shroud I remove the shroud, Three allen bolts off the shroud later I see the dog bone nut on the other side of the center stand where I looked five times before (I swear!) Gently thread the nut onto the lower bolt and then Tighten everything up!
9) Re-install the shroud and wash hands. Swearing less now!
10) Test sit and I can now sit flat footed on the bike. Center stand is a little harder to bring up and the side stand angle isn't as much, but tolerable. Ride is about the same. I test ride up the local roads to Hwy 36 then through triangle lake, down to Mapleton and back home to the big city going through Noti, Crow, Vaughn, Lorraine and finally home. (You can look up the names, they are real)
Epilogue: I don't know if taking the wheel off and lowering the exhaust would have been easier, and I'll never again have to worry about it!. The links only lower the bike a meager 14mm (9/16") for us "muricans". However this was enough for me and the side stand/Centerstand do not require any adaptations and additional costs. My riding, while aggressive for some, is mild enough that I shouldn't have any group clearance issues, but time will tell.
Again sorry for not taking an pictures, but I hope my description paints a good enough mental picture........
Wow, sounds like that was a real PITA. I had been kind of / sort of / maybe thinking about this, but the height isn't too much of a problem for me. (Feet touch, just not flat) After your experience, I think I'll leave this one alone.
FWIW, it is much easier to work on the linkage with the swing arm removed. (Extremely easy on this bike, just takes a few minutes). I wish I knew that when I was replacing the shock, I was cursing just like you, had I removed the swing arm the shock remove and replacement would have been a breeze.
Post by justplainbill on May 17, 2018 16:31:43 GMT -7
Thanks for the post 2linby. I have a couple of questions: do you recall the part number of the factory lowering links? The OEM links are 1RC-2217M-00-00 - I've searched accessories and haven't found any other links, so would appreciate having the new number.
Second, you mention the bike was lowered 9/16". You didn't mention whether you measured the seat height before & after, or depended on comparing new and old links for that conclusion. Since there is a lot of monkey motion going on with suspension, I'd like to be sure of the actual amount of seat height drop.
Post by Panther6834 on May 17, 2018 17:52:49 GMT -7
Since picking up my FJ a little less than 2 months ago, I've also considered tying lowering links. However, to save money, & to create a more comfortable ride, I decided to first upgrade the seat. When I say "save money", this is because I'm not very mechanically-inclined (although I am very technically-inclined, as in computers), and I expected to have to pay for the lowering link installation.
Anyway, getting back to the seat, I was initially going to get Yamaha's Comfort Seat...and, for the great majority of people, this WILL be a perfect solution - the seat is lowered 3x as much as what the lowering links offer, plus you get a softer, more comfortable saddle. But then, I came up with a "better", more personalized solution...even though I knew it would cost somewhat more. I happen to live in San Jose, California, less than an hour from Hollister. For those not familiar, Corbin Saddles is located in Hollister.
There are three ways to get a Corbin saddle: 1) Order from an online retailer, for which you'll get a stock seat in all black. 2) Order from Corbin Saddle's own website, for which you'll get the same stock seat, but in your choice of materials & colors. 3) Finally, if you live close enough to Hollister, or are willing to ride (or trailer) your bike whatever distance it takes to get to Hollister (when I was there, one couple had ridden their BMW from Washington, and another guy had ridden his Indian from Idaho), you not only get your choice of materials & colors, but they also custom shape the seat, to your exact specifications xxx including lowered seat height.
I chose option 3. Not only is my seat covered in my choice of materials & colors, but the seat is also MUCH more comfortable than the stock seat, as well as the Comfort Seat...oh, yea, and it's also even lower than the Comfort Seat.
The point is, if you're considering the lowering links, on all honesty, FORGET THEM. Do yourself (and your bottom end) a HUGE, and get the Comfort Seat...or, better yet, a custom seat from Corbin Saddles. With that last option, I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed.