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Lowering your dirt bike suspension is one of the most important things you want to pay attention to. Having your bike sprung properly will ensure the geometry, or attitude of the bike front and rear, has the proper pressure applied to both wheels.
This affects acceleration, braking, handling, cornering, and overall stability of your bike.
So what we have here is a completely stock 2017 KTM 250 EXC-F dirt bike.
What we’ve done is make a couple quick changes to illustrate some points of the don’ts of lowering:
Not only in the name of safety, but performance as well. Some of the more dangerous things we see is where the forks are raised far up into the triple clamps. The reason why this is not a good idea to do is it completely changes the geometry of the front end.
The trail is greatly affected, not a good thing.
In some extreme cases we’ve seem bar risers installed and the forks raised up so high that they’re completely out of the intended clamping area.
Another question in which we frequently get asked is: Why can’t I just unwind the tension on the rear spring of my dirt bike?
Good question! I think you’ll be surprised to see just why that is NOT a good idea. What happens is the tension is backed off the spring so much so that there is nothing that is holding the spring into place. When the suspension becomes unloaded due to a bump, jump, root, or stump the spring will float freely inside and dislodge, causing potential major damage.
Secondly, what this also affects is especially on a KTM with a PDS shock (Progressive Damping System) in where the shock is mounted directly to the swing arm, it will prematurely engage the secondary piston, due to sitting extremely low, causing very undesirable suspension characteristics.
If you have a Husqvarna with a linkage suspension system, yes using a lowering link will lower the bike. But, this does nothing to limit the overall travel of the suspension. In some extreme cases we’ve seen the wheel bottom out through the rear fender and air box! Another negative is when you change the suspension geometry by installing a lowering link (longer length), this makes the initial part of the shocks stroke very stiff. Why would you come this far only to diminish your ride quality to save a few dollars?
Another angle that will really affect suspension performance and geometry is by changing the suspension mounting points. By offsetting the mounting points to “lower” the suspension you are not only compromising the geometry, ride quality, and feel, you are in some cases having to physically grind material off of the parts!
What you CAN do is give us a call for recommendations, send your forks and shock in via a double gun case for modifications. If you have a trusted local professional who has the special tooling and regularly rebuilds suspension, we would be more than happy to sell you the lowering components.
By using the Moto Lab Lowering Kits, you are able to maintain all factory mounting points, geometry, and suspension performance.
Also by sending your suspension in to us, we are able to use all the information you provide about yourself, and specifically tune your suspension to match your exact needs! Whereas, your local install may fall short on this by simply installing springs and the Moto Lab Lowering Kit.
We often get asked: How much lowering is right for me? Another great question. That will depend on your inseam and your comfort level in relation to your feet and the ground. If you’re within the weight range of the stock springs, you can use several blocks of wood to find your comfort zone, then measure. If you are out of the weight range (over 187lbs with gear) then simply call us with your specific information and we can help you decide.
Our job here is to help inform you to make your best informed decision. If you have questions about lowering your dirt bike, please contact us. We are open M-F, 10-5pm EST. If you’re ready to get started, or would like a pricing estimate, please complete our Rider Information Form Here: https://www.motolabdirtbikes.com/request-form/