Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kouba Link Project for "Lucy"

We decided that Heidi's BMW F650ST needed to be lowered.  I was hesitant at first because it was just right for me, and in fact I could scrape the pegs while cornering sometimes when I rode it.  But, Hey!  It's not my bike and no matter how good Heidi got at her low speed maneuvering skills she could still drop it in the garage just backing it out into the driveway.

BEFORE

As you can see, tiptoes is not a good position to be in.  It is not a problem most of the time for a regular rider, but definitely not good for a new rider.

After using the great wealth of www.F650.com we decided to get the 1 inch lowering links from www.koubalink.com for $150.00.  We looked at the BMW factory kit which includes the lowering links also known as tension struts, lowered center stand and lowered side stand.  We even found one cheap on the F650.com forum, but the factory kit is more than an inch drop.  From the information on Koubalink.com anything more than 1 inch would be too much.  I wouldn't be able to ride the bike at all due to cornering clearance, and two up would be impossible from the suspension bottoming out and the rear tire hitting the rear fender.  

I had a couple minor questions, but Norm Kouba cleared those up quickly with an email.  I ordered them and got them two business days later via priority mail.


1" Kouba Link for non-injected BMW F650's

Installation was pretty easy, and the instructions were spot on.  The biggest problem I had was that my grease gun was "Kaput."  All I need was one squirt each in of the links before installation!  Luckily, my father in law had a grease gun he wasn't using anymore, but the grease in it was so old it wouldn't pump out.  So a trip to Walmart for a cartridge of grease, and time spent cleaning out the old and reloading the new grease actually took longer than the installation.  Isn't that always the case?!  So rear suspension lowered 1 inch. 

Kouba Links installed

Now to lower the front forks 1 inch to keep the geometry of the bike the same.  Loosen six bolts on the triple trees, move up the forks one inch, tighten, measure again to be sure, and torque 'em down.
 Forks moved up 1 inch

So now I throw a leg over and take "Lucy" off the center stand.  What have I done?  It feels like I'm on a Harley.  It feels way too low.  OK, dummy, you have a 36 inch inseam, and this isn't your bike.  "Heidi, get on your jeans and riding boots again.  I'm done."
AFTER

Notice the difference?  Heidi, is ecstatic!  "It's perfect!"  She says, "Did you hear that?  Lucy says she misses me!"  Darn snow, it's April now, time for riding not for shoveling.  But now one problem has arisen, but I figured it would've been from the start.  The side stand is too long, and the bike almost sits perpendicular to the ground with it on it.  But I got friends, who are good with metal work, so I don't think, and pray that it will be a somewhat easy fix.  With this stupid snow, I got time to get it done, and hopefully Heidi can report back on how the lowering worked for her.  Then we'll be cooking with peanut oil.


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