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-   -   How to Lower a CRF250L for Free! (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=819032)

ggamster 08-20-2012 05:52 AM

How to Lower a CRF250L for Free!
 
OK. Over the weekend I decided to attempt lowering of the new 2013 CRF250L. This is my wife's new bike and with an inseam of 27" her feet were about 2" off the ground. I had to do something or she wasn't going to ride it. The stock seat height is 34.75". so I lowered the forks all the way and rechecked finding 34.5" was the new seat height. This wasn't going to cut it so I looked for another way to do it. Then I saw this
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-10-23_568.jpg

As you can see. This is the bottom of the shock and there is ruffly 2.25" between the bottom of the shock and the mounting bolt. This is a greater distance than any other bike I have seen.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-36-25_255.jpg
All we have to do is move the bolt hole up and you lower the bike. However with that said there is a magic number for this movement. I wanted to maintain the ability to return the bike to stock height therefore I would have to keep the stock mounting location. I also wanted to maintain the same distance from my new bolt hole to the edge of the next hole. so there was enough "meat" left on the shock so there wasn't a bending or tearing issue. That magic number was determined after some careful measuring and will be reviled latter.:ear

Lets start the breakdown.
First put the bike up on a stand so the rear wheel is off of the ground.
Next put a strap on the rear wheel over the fender so that the strap is snug enough to hold the weight of the rear assembly.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-42-00_201.jpg

Next remove the seat. Do this by removing the two long allen bolts on the back of the seat.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-46-06_764.jpg
Now remove the side panels. There is one allen per side. This will give you access to the rear shock upper mount bolt. To access it you will have to take the rear brake fluid reservoir. Don't turn it over just take it loose and push it lower under the mount.

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-49-49_273.jpg
In this picture you see the reservoir and the upper shock mount.
Next disconnect the lower wish bone linkage.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-45-05_543.jpg
Now disconnect the lower shock mount seen in this picture.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-10-23_568.jpg
Now using the strap over the rear fender and connected to the rear wheel raise the rear wheel about five inches. Next remove this upper rear shock mount bolt.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-57-31_925.jpg
When you take this loose you will have to have an open ended box wrench on the nut. Put some grease on the surface of the wrench. This will capture the lock nut and washer. Do this for install as well.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-42-11_494.jpgWhen this bolt is removed the rear shock can be dropped out the bottom.
Now for the easy part. The Magic Number :ear 1-7/16" You need to center your hole on this measurement taken from the bottom of the shock.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-16-45_872.jpgNow drill this hole to match the existing hole size. Be sure you file off all burrs.
When done you should have this.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-30-34_701.jpgNow you you can reassemble in reverse order. Be sure you use blue Locktight where used from the factory. Which are the side panel bolts.
The result of your labor will be the following
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-55-45_709.jpgYou get the tire raised three inches and still maintains 8.25" tire to fender clearance so you will not bottom the tire out on the fender at full compression.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-45-46_405.jpg
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-46-10_823.jpgWhit this mod along with lowering the forks the static seat height is now 32.75" This is still a bit much for my wife with the 27" inseam. She can kind of get the balls of her feet on the ground. But it will have to work. I will be switching out the springs for lighter ones once they are available.
Next you will have to lower your kickstand. I took 1.5" off of mine. I would recommend 1.75" however. It just don't the the BMW lean I have become accustom to. This is also a good time to enlarge the foot as well.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-26-04_554.jpgNow just give it some paint.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-45-04_696.jpgThe finished product of your labors.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-35-55_764.jpg

gvthnks 08-20-2012 06:01 AM

Nice. And way to lean into cutting up a brand new bike.:D I like it.

howardbell 08-20-2012 07:04 AM

very nice write up, thanks for taking the time to put this together.

however, my question to you is about the converse to this issue... if I wanted to raise up the bike an inch or so, would it be as simple as having my welder fab me up a new u-shape bracket that was an inch longer? Haven't pulled the trigger yet on the CRFL, but I'm close -

thanks

ggamster 08-20-2012 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howardbell (Post 19400988)
very nice write up, thanks for taking the time to put this together.

however, my question to you is about the converse to this issue... if I wanted to raise up the bike an inch or so, would it be as simple as having my welder fab me up a new u-shape bracket that was an inch longer? Haven't pulled the trigger yet on the CRFL, but I'm close -

thanks

yes, but...but... You would need to raise the front end as well and you can't well, not without some extensive machining. Also your angle on the drive train would be extreme. I would never do that. It would be a very bad idea. I could be done but the hurtles to over come would be extensive. Might I suggest getting the WR. It has a seat height fo about 37" actual. There is also the KLX If you want something at about 35.5" actual. I have both the WR and the CRF. If you are tall the CRF just feels way too cramped. IMHO. I can't ride it far until I'm wanting off.

One more thing...If you were to add an inch at the shock you would have close to a four inch raise of the rear tire. For example, my bolt hole was moved up the bracket by say...3/4" which moved the rear wheel closer to the rear fender 3.15" so keep that in mind.

Navin 08-20-2012 08:20 AM

So what was your after race sag #? IIRC it was only 1" before?

howardbell 08-20-2012 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ggamster (Post 19401346)
yes, but...but... You would need to raise the front end as well and you can't well, not without some extensive machining. Also your angle on the drive train would be extreme. I would never do that. It would be a very bad idea. I could be done but the hurtles to over come would be extensive. Might I suggest getting the WR. It has a seat height fo about 37" actual. There is also the KLX If you want something at about 35.5" actual. I have both the WR and the CRF. If you are tall the CRF just feels way too cramped. IMHO. I can't ride it far until I'm wanting off.

One more thing...If you were to add an inch at the shock you would have close to a four inch raise of the rear tire. For example, my bolt hole was moved up the bracket by say...3/4" which moved the rear wheel closer to the rear fender 3.15" so keep that in mind.


Thanks for the thoughtful response -

At 5'10" and a 32" inseam, I feel I am right in between the 2 bikes, with the WRR being a little too tall and the CRF being just little short... and if I had to be totally honest, I'd have to admit that the only real reason for wanting to raise up the CRFL a little is purely superfluous -- just to get a little more aggressive looking woods bike -- the older I get, the slower i go, in other words, "more show, less go"

thanks again

ggamster 08-20-2012 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howardbell (Post 19401505)
Thanks for the thoughtful response -

At 5'10" and a 32" inseam, I feel I am right in between the 2 bikes, with the WRR being a little too tall and the CRF being just little short... and if I had to be totally honest, I'd have to admit that the only real reason for wanting to raise up the CRFL a little is purely superfluous -- just to get a little more aggressive looking woods bike -- the older I get, the slower i go, in other words, "more show, less go"

thanks again

The WR has some adjustment in the rear shock. You should be able to ride it stock with the suspension in it's lowest point. I would do that and ride it.

Navin 08-20-2012 12:03 PM

This bike has a threaded preload collar set up, right??? :ear

ggamster 08-20-2012 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Navin (Post 19402996)
This bike has a threaded preload collar set up, right??? :ear

Yes it does. However it is all the way backed off from the factory. No reducing the preload. Only increasing. I don't know what weight they want the bike to be set up for but with 190lbs on it I only get about 10% sag and none in the front.

Navin 08-20-2012 12:41 PM

I thought (feared!) it might have one of those old 5 step ramp adjusters or nothing at all. Maybe oversprung to carry 2 up? Weird but who knows?

ggamster 08-20-2012 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Navin (Post 19403284)
I thought (feared!) it might have one of those old 5 step ramp adjusters or nothing at all. Maybe oversprung to carry 2 up? Weird but who knows?

I did something fun/dumb this weekend. I did a single track ride with my 8 year old two up on this bike. It was scary as it could be. I don't think we got out of second. Which is about 40mph....Not as bad as I thought. I wouldn't recommend this however. With the back end that low the steering was all over the place. :up

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-07-42_912.jpg
You can see. This is how it come but look. There is very little adjustment that can be made in ether direction.
http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/...-07-34_945.jpg

Navin 08-20-2012 01:05 PM

So you'd need a spring compressor or the old hose clamp trick to even get the spring off I guess? Non rebuildable too from what I see?

ggamster 08-20-2012 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Navin (Post 19403451)
So you'd need a spring compressor or the old hose clamp trick to even get the spring off I guess? Non rebuildable too from what I see?

Correct with that little adjustment I would suspect you would need to compress the spring for removal but it can be removed. On the other hand. I can't see how to take the shock apart for a rebuild.

gregitt 08-21-2012 05:30 AM

how to lower....question
 
How to Lower a CRF250L for Free!

Great post...hope I am replying in the correct mode.

If you are riding the lowered bike solo, how do you feel it affects the overall handling????

thanks much

ggamster 08-21-2012 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregitt (Post 19408435)
How to Lower a CRF250L for Free!

Great post...hope I am replying in the correct mode.

If you are riding the lowered bike solo, how do you feel it affects the overall handling????

thanks much

There are no noticable negative effects. It feels just the same. If I were real picky I think the suspension may work a bit better on the small coppy stuff lowered due to the angle of the rear swing arm. It rides great.


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