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Lowering links.

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
I’ve been searching and reading on this.  Is there general advice?  I know lowering links will affect side stand  and center stand. Any advice on brand etc?  I know you can get an adjustable side stand, but what are the center stand options?  Thanks for your help!  I am looking for advice on the lowering links, the good, the bad, the ugly.
 

Just Cliff

Member
Member
I can't help with your answer as I've never used lowering links, lucky to have long legs. Hit Ted (connierider) up though, pretty sure he's tried several different ones & I think even made some.
 

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
Just Cliff said:
I can't help with your answer as I've never used lowering links, lucky to have long legs. Hit Ted (connierider) up though, pretty sure he's tried several different ones & I think even made some.

Thank you!
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
I originally had the Muzzy Lowering Links.
Actual drop {measured axle to frame} was about 1 1/2"-1 3/4" 1 1/4".
Was too much drop for me.
After I tried them, I opted to buy some ZX-14 links and modify them to the drop I wanted.
  I now have 3/4" drop and happy with that.
  NOTE: I don't recommends the build your own as it was not EZ to get right.
1 Company makes Lowering Links that drop similar to the Muzzy's.
Probably your best option. if 1 1/2-1 3/4 1 1/4" will work for you.
T-Rex Racing:
https://www.t-rex-racing.com/Lowering-Links-Concours-14-s/710.htm
I suspect there are other Companies that make Links the same way, but don't know the names..

Some companies sell Links with multiple amount of drop. {have several holes}
Don't like them as they start at about 2" drop and go lower.
We've had multiple reports on the Soupy adjustable.
  Some say they work with the center stand, some say no.
    I think they will work ok.
  Do a search on this Forum to find out more.

On the side stand, no need to buy shorter.
  Just heat the lower section red hot and bend it outwards slightly.
    1 EZ method is to heat and lean the bike and allow it to bend. Just be careful and don't over bend.
        If you go too far, re heat and bend it back.
On the center stand, almost impossible to get a 14 on the CS without shortening it.
  I can send you photo's of where and how much to cut/reweld.

Ride safe, Ted
 

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
connie_rider said:
I originally had the Muzzy Lowering Links.
Actual drop {measured axle to frame} was about 1 1/2"-1 3/4".
Was too much drop for me.
After I tried them, I opted to buy some ZX-14 links and modify them to the drop I wanted.
  I now have 3/4" drop and happy with that.
  NOTE: I don't recommends the build your own as it was not EZ to get right.
1 Company makes Lowering Links that drop similar to the Muzzy's.
Probably your best option. if 1 1/2-1 3/4 will work for you.
T-Rex Racing:
https://www.t-rex-racing.com/Lowering-Links-Concours-14-s/710.htm

Some companies sell Links with multiple amount of drop. {have several holes}
Don't like them as they start at about 2" drop and go lower.
We've had multiple reports on the Soupy adjustable.
  Some say they work with the center stand, some say no.
    I think they will work ok.
  Do a search on this Forum to find out more.

On the side stand, no need to buy shorter.
  Just heat the lower section red hot and bend it outwards slightly.
    1 EZ method is to heat and lean the bike and allow it to bend. Just be careful and don't over bend.
        If you go too far, re heat and bend it back.
On the center stand, almost impossible to get a 14 on the CS without shortening it.
  I can send you photo's of where and how much to cut/reweld.

Ride safe, Ted

Thanks! I would appreciate photos.  mattgarr57@gmail.com
 

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
connie_rider said:
I originally had the Muzzy Lowering Links.
Actual drop {measured axle to frame} was about 1 1/2"-1 3/4".
Was too much drop for me.
After I tried them, I opted to buy some ZX-14 links and modify them to the drop I wanted.
  I now have 3/4" drop and happy with that.
  NOTE: I don't recommends the build your own as it was not EZ to get right.
1 Company makes Lowering Links that drop similar to the Muzzy's.
Probably your best option. if 1 1/2-1 3/4 will work for you.
T-Rex Racing:
https://www.t-rex-racing.com/Lowering-Links-Concours-14-s/710.htm

Some companies sell Links with multiple amount of drop. {have several holes}
Don't like them as they start at about 2" drop and go lower.
We've had multiple reports on the Soupy adjustable.
  Some say they work with the center stand, some say no.
    I think they will work ok.
  Do a search on this Forum to find out more.

On the side stand, no need to buy shorter.
  Just heat the lower section red hot and bend it outwards slightly.
    1 EZ method is to heat and lean the bike and allow it to bend. Just be careful and don't over bend.
        If you go too far, re heat and bend it back.
On the center stand, almost impossible to get a 14 on the CS without shortening it.
  I can send you photo's of where and how much to cut/reweld.

Ride safe, Ted

Also, do you lower the front the same amount as the rear?
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
On mine, I lowered and set the sag 3/4" on both ends.

If you lower more at the rear, there is not clearance {fork tubes to hitting the bars} to lower the front an equal amount.

I made an error in my first note.
I think the Muzzy's lowered the bike 1 1/4".

For accuracy; That 1 1/4" is measured {before and after the Lowering Links are installed} from the axle to the bike frame
                        with the bike on the center stand.
                    The difference in the 2 measurement's tells you how much you actually changed the drop.
                        Due to sag, a ground to seat measurement will not be the same.

Ride safe, Ted
 

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
connie_rider said:
On mine, I lowered and set the sag 3/4" on both ends.

If you lower more at the rear, there is not clearance {fork tubes to hitting the bars} to lower the front an equal amount.

I made an error in my first note.
I think the Muzzy's lowered the bike 1 1/4".

For accuracy; That 1 1/4" is measured {before and after the Lowering Links are installed} from the axle to the bike frame
                        with the bike on the center stand.
                    The difference in the 2 measurement's tells you how much you actually changed the drop.
                        Due to sag, a ground to seat measurement will not be the same.

Ride safe, Ted

Thanks Ted!  At 3/4” drop, did you have any issues dragging the nose of the lower plastics when going over bumps, etc?
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Even with the Muzzy's I've never had a clearance problem.
But, with the Muzzy's I did drag foot pegs and the center stand *push down/perch at a Track Day.

** Not sure what the correct name is?

I installed shorter pegs, decreased my amount of lowering {with my home made Link}, and raised the Center stand slightly,,,,  and all was better.  :great:

NOTE: When the side stand push down/perch drags at 100++ in a sweeper, it scares the s___ out of me!
                                            Immediate  :c002:      and then,,  :86:  8)

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Just saw this on the other Forum..
http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=24617.0;topicseen
 

mattgarr57

Bicycle
Industry Vendor
connie_rider said:
Even with the Muzzy's I've never had a clearance problem.
But, with the Muzzy's I did drag foot pegs and the center stand *push down/perch at a Track Day.

** Not sure what the correct name is?

I installed shorter pegs, decreased my amount of lowering {with my home made Link}, and raised the Center stand slightly,,,,  and all was better.  :great:

NOTE: When the side stand push down/perch drags at 100++ in a sweeper, it scares the s___ out of me!
                                            Immediate  :c002:      and then,,  :86:  8)

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Just saw this on the other Forum..
http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=24617.0;topicseen

Thanks Ted!
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
I know this is an old tread, but I recently found what I think is a alternative/very inexpensive {about $20) set of Lowering links for a C-14.
I bought some, but have not installed them on my bike. {as I already have a custom set that I made}

NOTE: I did measurements' and feel they will work perfectly.
Their appear to be a direct bolt on and should lower the bike the same amount as a set of Muzzy's or T-Rex Links.
approx 1 1/4"..

I have them if anyone is interested in my test.. {??}
If it works out, I'll show others how to get more of them.

Ride safe, Ted
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Is anyone going to lower their bike over the winter?
I bought a set of Links (from a ZX-600/$20) that I thought would lower the bike approx. the same amount as Muzzy or T-Rex Links.
(I spent the $$ so I could compare the dimensions to my Links)
I'm convinced; that these will work. (but I already have Links on my bike and haven't done a fit test)
............................: The 600 Links should be a direct bolt on....

Anyway; (if anyone is interested) I just received an offer to buy the another set of the Links for $12 from Ebay.
Sharing that offer with others in case someone wants to give it a try...

1995-1997 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6E ZX-6E rear shock links linkage Oem | eBay

Ride safe, Ted
 
Last edited:

Tboner

Guest
Guest
thanks for the tip on the inexpensive rear lowering links alternative I ordered the set and will give them a try sometime during the "off" season
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
If anyone wants to lower their C-14, try this.
Install ZX-600E OEM Links.
NOTE: Some have tried a ZX-1400 Link. They will lower the bike far more. (approx. 2 1/2")

I have tried the ZX-600 Links on mine, as mine is already lowered.
I bought a set and checked the dimension's/offsets.

Everything looks perfect. "Definitely strong enough".
The difference in length {from a stock ZG-1400 Link} should lower a C-14 approx. 1 1/2"..
Cost; $10.00

Just need someone to give it a try and let us know.


Ride safe, Ted
 
Last edited:

Pete_COG_TN

Member
Member
Ted, I'll throw a little cold water on this. Thanks for trying to look for creative ways in sourcing alternative links at a good price to lower the C14 and sharing it with all of us. I tried the muzzy's just for curiosity even though I don't have trouble reaching the ground. Eventually sold them here on the forum. Anyway, I am questioning if the zx600 links are strong enough. I don't know at all, but it's an assumption to believe they are.

I make a living doing structural analysis on complex machine parts and facilities for a defense contractor. I wish I could just look at stuff and say they'll 'strong enough' , LOL, I wouldn't have to work that hard. But different bike weights, suspension geometry, and materials would all affect the life of these links. This stuff is made with factor's of safety, so there's a good chance it would work fine, although it's fatigue life might be shorter and short enough to not last long enough to consider it to have infinite life compared to the service life of the rest of the bike. When co-workers tell me something won't fail, I tell them, yeah not the first time or the 10th time. But maybe the 100th, or 1000th time. Just a word of caution from someone who does structures work all day long and has for many years.

Thanks again for looking for creative ways to source stuff like this
 

Tboner

Guest
Guest
Ted, I did buy the ZX 600 "Ninja" rear links off Ebay and install six months ago I sent you a message with the measured drop about 1 inch install easy with bottle jack lowered the front 3/4 inch and happy with the outcome $15 modification workking well for me the confidence this 30 inch inseam rider has now manuvering the bike is a great inprovement
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Ted, I did buy the ZX 600 "Ninja" rear links off Ebay and install six months ago I sent you a message with the measured drop about 1 inch install easy with bottle jack lowered the front 3/4 inch and happy with the outcome $15 modification workking well for me the confidence this 30 inch inseam rider has now manuvering the bike is a great inprovement

OOPs.. I guess that I've slept since then?
Just looked at your old note and the 600 Links dropped the bike 1 1/4".

Ride safe, Ted
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Ted, I'll throw a little cold water on this. Thanks for trying to look for creative ways in sourcing alternative links at a good price to lower the C14 and sharing it with all of us. I tried the muzzy's just for curiosity even though I don't have trouble reaching the ground. Eventually sold them here on the forum. Anyway, I am questioning if the zx600 links are strong enough. I don't know at all, but it's an assumption to believe they are.

I make a living doing structural analysis on complex machine parts and facilities for a defense contractor. I wish I could just look at stuff and say they'll 'strong enough' , LOL, I wouldn't have to work that hard. But different bike weights, suspension geometry, and materials would all affect the life of these links. This stuff is made with factor's of safety, so there's a good chance it would work fine, although it's fatigue life might be shorter and short enough to not last long enough to consider it to have infinite life compared to the service life of the rest of the bike. When co-workers tell me something won't fail, I tell them, yeah not the first time or the 10th time. But maybe the 100th, or 1000th time. Just a word of caution from someone who does structures work all day long and has for many years.

Thanks again for looking for creative ways to source stuff like this
Thanx Pete. Would love to talk to you about structural analysis.
We'll be in Clinton Arkansas for a ride at the end of the Moth.
Any chance you'll be there with us?

I understand your concerns, but I'm not very concerned about the 600 Links.
Same material/same thicknesses, etc as the ZG- Links. Just a bit longer (approx. 1/2").
(That extra length is what lowers the bike 1 1/4")
Aftermarket Links are built from Aluminum, are longer and lower the bike more.
So, I feel these are safe...
These appear to be forged steel. Unsure of that, but they are a very tough material.
I used an end mill to cut/modify (and then weld) a set of ZX-14 Links for my bike.
{Same design as the ZG/and ZX-600 Links, but a lot longer}
Destroyed multiple end mills cutting them. These are tough!

NOTE: I am concerned about my modified links,. (I built these as I wanted only 3/4" drop)
I think I'm ok as they were jigged, welded, and normalized by a certified welder.
Since installation, I've taken them off the bike twice for inspection. {Like I sed, would love to talk with you}.

Ride safe, Ted
 

Pete_COG_TN

Member
Member
Hi Ted, I won't be able to make the ride in Arkansas. Having a son late in life has cramped any long trip riding. Maybe as he gets older and I can cut back to part time. If your ever riding a little closer to middle TN I'd enjoy meeting up with you. I've got to find a seat that works for more than a couple hours too. Still on the stocker.

Anyway, I feel better about them being steel. I didn't remember if the stock links were steel or aluminum. If stresses are below 45-50% of the ultimate tensile strength (UTS - stress when it breaks in a test machine), steel is considered to have an infinite life of load cycles. And if they were designed by Kaw with a factor of safety of at least 2 (which is very likely) for fatigue life so that the stress is <25% of the UTS on the ZX600, chances are it's easily under 50% on the C14. Like I said suspension geometry, shock, and weight could alter the load on them. Aluminum is never considered to have infinite life but they can be designed such that it will take 500,000 miles of riding to approach their fatigue life. Hopefully that's what Muzzy did. I remember that was aluminum and thicker.

Welding will alter the strength too. The question is did the process the welder used get the same strength back as OEM. There are so many different steels that could be used too with a wide range of strengths. Lot's of variables, LOL. Chances are they are a very similar material on all these bikes and a factor of safety was used on any original design. So they are probably OK. Just lots of unknowns. Probably a good tough ductile steel also that would take lots of cycles for a crack to propagate to critical. There are some aerospace stainless steels that have very high strength and quite ductile too. I started to wonder if the links are stainless since they don't seem to rust, but I haven't taken a good look at mine lately. Like I said lots of variables.

I'd take a good look at them every 10k to 20k miles.

Pete
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Thanx Pete.
I built my own Links {from ZX-1400 Links} because I didn't like the amount of drop that I got from aftermarket Links.
I built them with a target of only 3/4" drop.
Worked out fine, but a lot of work.
I'll check the welds periodically.

I think we now agree on strength. The ZX-600 Links should be fine for others.
They should give a 1 1/2" - 2" drop. {approx. same as aftermarket}

Ride safe, Ted
 
Last edited:

wnix614736

Member
Member
Ted, thank you much for this information. I installed the ZX600 links on my 2010 C14. With 30” inseans I can just flat-foot. This is a great improvement for me. I took her out on twisty Ark highway 7 and the handling seems great. I am proceeding with caution.

Many thanks,
Wayne
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Great news. I'm glad that it helped someone out.
For $10 -$15, it's a heck of a deal.
{Did you measure the actual drop?}
Please keep us posted.

Ride safe, Ted
 

wnix614736

Member
Member
Great news. I'm glad that it helped someone out.
For $10 -$15, it's a heck of a deal.
{Did you measure the actual drop?}
Please keep us posted.

Ride safe, Ted
Ted,
It is an odd way to measure but the top of the rear reflector was 21” and dropped to 19.5” off the shop floor. I expect at least 1 1/4” at the seat. So far I love the change in every way. I have not dropped the front and I know I am giving up a little steering quickness but the seat feels better to me at this angle. The Connie still feels very agile to me. Time will tell if I want to lower the front.

Thanks,

Wayne
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
I lowered my front, because lowering the front will help keep the suspension geometry closer to what it was originally.

You measured the same way that most do. You measured (what I call) the "resultant" drop.
ie; By measuring seat to floor you included changes in geometry. (Geometry has changed/spring sag has changed)

Actual drop; (done with bike on center stand/rear wheel off the ground)
Measure from axle to a point on the frame (directly above the axle) "before" installing new link.
Measure from axle to (same) point on the frame (directly above the axle) "after" installing new link.
The difference in the 2 measurement's is the "actual" drop.

There is nothing wrong with the method you used. It just isn't as comparable bike to bike.

Ride safe, Ted
 
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