Instal Kouba Links on a 97 DR350SE

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by I.Will.Ride.On.Mars, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    Hello Hello. I'm pretty new here, but I really like what you've done with the place!

    I just bought a 97 DR350SE, but am a little too short at 5' 6" with a 30" inseam, to sit on it with both feet touching the ground so I've gotten the Kouba Links that lower the bike 2". I need to instal them, but as it is my first motorcycle my knowledge is nil. I do have tools, but just no knowledge. :muutt

    So can anyone either provide, or direct me to some relatively detailed instructions?

    Much appreciated!

    Also, I understand the Corbin seat can lower the bike by another 1.25". Is that true?
    #1
  2. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    Kouba has a step by step on their web site for some of the link install. Not a big job . Support the bike on a stand, support the rear wheel to take pressure off the links , unbolt the stock links, check everything for play and grease, bolt it back together.
    I had Seat Concepts make me a lowered seat for my 1998 sew . Only thing I don't like about it is I had them step it , should have had it cut flat. Great seat , I can ride till I have to stop for fuel. :deal
    #2
  3. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    Thanks!

    Do you know off hand if Seat Concepts makes a lowered version of the DR350 seat? I saw they have lowered version of some of the other seats.
    #3
  4. CurbTiger

    CurbTiger Adventurer

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    AFAIK they offer a cut down foam version. I'm considering it for myself and my less than average height.
    Mind you, the links change the spring rate, meaning the rear end will feel softer. I guess you have to crank up the pre-load ring on the rear shock or get a new, stiffer spring.

    NE
    #4
  5. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    They don't show a lowered dr350 seat on the webpage but call or e mail & they will fix you up. Great people to deal with and fast turnaround. I am 5' 5'' .
    I have the stock spring on mine but shock was redone by thumper racing. I have the heavy spring sitting on the shelf .
    #5
  6. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    I called SeatConcepts today and they said they can make a lowered seat for a DR350, but that it'd probably cost ~$250 because a new seat cover might need to be made. That's a littler pricier than I'm interested at spending at this point.

    Not too long ago, I saw a used DR350 Corbin seat online for $100, but it has since sold. Gotta keep my eyes open!

    I got the Kouba Links today, but didn't have a chance to install them. Hope to get them on soon. I read the instructions and it seems pretty straight forward. How do I measure the amount of torque (60-87 ft lb.) when putting the mounting bolt nuts back on?
    #6
  7. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    There is a tool called a torque wrench. You can buy one at Sears.
    - Skowinski's wife
    #7
  8. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    We (wife and I) have a 99 DR350 with a 441 big bore kit, pumper carb, internally lowered front forks and link lowered rear suspension (all sprung for 180lbs)

    I hate the suspension. We both have about a 29" inseam. There is no longer enough travel, and what is there is stiff. The rear bump stop (on the shock) is completely destroyed. When sitting and cornering with my leg out, I feel all cramped up and my foot hits stuff I don't normally hit on a taller bike. By way of comparison, the factory lowered suspension (internally on both ends) on the TE250 (Low) she recently bought is the same travel as a stock DR, and feels great (I still feel a bit cramped when cornering with a leg out).

    Be sure to raise your forks in the triple clamps the same amount that you lower the rear.

    Getting both feet down on a dirt bike is overrated...stand up, on the pegs, and go. Put one foot down when stopped.
    #8
  9. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    When going to a Koubalink or any other kind you need to remember to also reduce the fork height as well. Your leverage ratio is also now screwed up on the rear shock. You likely will need a much stronger rear spring to compensate for the change in leverage ratio. Those suspension engineers at the factory actually know what they are doing with those dogbones! If you are destroying your bump stop you are also destroying your shock shaft and internals. That is not a cheap proposition. A rear spring is about $110 and then you need to install it. Might as well have them inspect it for a bent shaft then too, change oil and nitrogen recharge. You likely need about a 5.7 rear spring for most applications.
    #9
  10. Suzuki Phil

    Suzuki Phil Been here awhile

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    I have a Corbin seat for a DR350 for sale cheap, PM me. I now have a Seat Concepts seat on my DR350 and I'm very happy with it.

    SP
    #10
  11. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    Today I was able to get the links on. There is a dramatic difference. I can get my feet on the ground now. It feels fantastic. In the process I broke my ratchet extension. It literally twisted apart. I bought some proper Craftsman tools today (new extension, torque wrench, metric ratchets) and the job became much easier. :clap


    I think I might be bottoming out the rear suspension, but I can't tell 100%. I understand the need for a stiffer spring. Hopefully I can add that soon.

    I need to figure out how to adjust the forks to lower the front end. Any instructions on how to do it?


    PM sent.


    Thanks everyone for your help! What a great community!
    #11
  12. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Understood, but spring rate only makes what you have work as efficiently as possible...it doesn't make up for the fact(s) that now the bump stop is basically operating outside the suspension design parameters (when/where/how it gets used), and you have 8" of travel now vs. 10"...suspension travel equals trail speed.

    Bottom line is that shortening the suspension (for an adult rider) makes the bike less trail worthy, but more "confidence inspiring" for the new rider...but I feel it just encourages the "paddle" technique too much.
    #12
  13. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    Yea but you got to stop some time and put a foot down. :lol3 I have a heavy spring for the DR if you are interested . Shoot me a PM. You have to remove the shock to change it out. I have found the easiest way for me it to take it out the top.
    #13
  14. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Putting foot down...I get it.

    29" inseam and a 38.6" seat height, and I'm fat and old. It's a dirt bike...lean a cheek off and one-toe it, and if it's going down on you in the woods either throttle out of your mistake or go ahead and drop it and point/laugh at yourself :deal
    #14
  15. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    I must say that at this point it is very unlikely that I'll be doing serious off-roading. The more I think about it, gravel roads (maybe some nastier ones than average) will probably be the most off-road I'll be getting.

    I do have another issue though. My battery is pretty dead and will only hold a charge for one start and then it needs another four hour charge if the engine goes off with no riding. Not very conducive to learning to ride when you always stall. So, it seems like there are two options for batteries:

    1. Buy another lead-acid replacement. $42. Same as current battery and will work.

    2. Buy a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery . Three times as expensive at $148, but is supposed to last forever, weighs 1/5 as much as the lead-acid one and has about 2-2.5x the power (if I understand correctly. 6 amp-hour -> 14 amp hour and 90 CCA -> 210 CCA.)

    Since I want to use this bike on long distance rides, perhaps buying the better quality, more durable battery now will be best in the long term. I want to charge/power various devious (DSLR batteries, cell phone, laptop, GPS unit, heated gear, etc) as needed and also change all lights to bright and long-lasting LEDs (which I understand use less energy).

    So is it better to buy the $148, Lithium Iron Phosphate battery?
    #15
  16. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    Hell I do that in my office chair anymore :lol3reach for the coffee crash .
    #16
  17. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    First check the charging system before dropping the bucks. I have a stock replacement runs Gps & heated jacket liner no problem.
    #17
  18. bobnoxious67

    bobnoxious67 Baby steps...

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    Video of you "throttling out of your mistake" reaching for your coffee...
    #18
  19. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    In regards to battery..... Option 3. Go to a WestCo AGM battery if it is your battery. They work for years and have no liquid in them which is good for OR work. Better check that stator output before you decide it is your battery though. If battery is more than 5 yrs old it probably should go anyway. Stator connections are a known problem on these bikes and that leads to failure. If you have not done the "Free Power Mod" from Thumper Talk FAQ.....DO IT NOW FIRST!
    Since the thread is about lowering links though I will just re-iterate that they will shorten your shock life as all the shaft loads are all wrong in all directions. A better option is to back off your spring and cut down your seat..
    #19
  20. I.Will.Ride.On.Mars

    I.Will.Ride.On.Mars Adventurer

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    I've purchased a battery from Advanced Auto Parts for $33. It has the same specs as the battery that was in there. Will charge it this afternoon and hopefully that'll solve the starting issues.

    I don't know the age of the old battery but it might be the stock one. The guy I bought the bike from bought it from an older gentleman who rode it for about 2500 miles in a few years and then had it in his garage for 10 years and never rode it, then sold it to the guy I bought it from and he added another 2000 miles. So I guess it might be possible it's stock. But either way, I have a new one. I'll report back on the progress.

    I'm getting a Corbin seat soon so that should help more too.

    I have not done the Free Power Mod" from Thumper Talk FAQ. I googled it and only found info for the 2000-2011 DRZ400. I have a 97 DR350SE. Is this applicable to my bike and what you're referring to? Also, forgive my ignorance, but what does this do?

    In regards to the shock, I think my bump stop is deteriorating. Should I replace it now? And probably have the shock rebuilt with a stiffer spring just to take care of it? How many miles (estimate) will a newly rebuilt shock go for? See photos of shock here: http://imgur.com/a/Hdvc8
    #20