V-Strom (DL-1000/DL-650) Raising/Lowering Links

Out of Stock

I'm no longer making or selling lowering and raising links. I don't plan to have more available in the future. If you're looking for lowering links, you might want to look at KoubaLink.com. If you're looking for raising links, I'm sorry but I don't know of any options right now.


I used to manufacture and sell raising and lowering links ("dog-bones") for the Suzuki V-Strom.

-8mm linkage set - raises rear of bike by 7/8 inch
Out of Stock!
-6mm linkage set - raises rear of bike by 5/8 inch
Out of Stock!
+8mm linkage set - lowers rear of bike by 7/8 inch
Out of Stock!
Rear shock preload spacer - adds 3 lines of preload
Out of Stock!

It is possible to make links to raise or lower the bike more, but I won't do it.  More than 7/8" of raising/lowering is likely to cause problems with the sidestand and centerstand.  More than 7/8" of lowering may let the tire hit the inside of the fender at extreme suspension travel.  And it is impossible to lower the front end enough to compensate for more than 7/8" of lowering, possibly causing handling problems.

What They Are

The links are CNC-machined from 7075-T6 aluminum (the strongest easily machinable aluminum available), and simply bolt in place of the stock linkages.  Here is a photo with, from left to right, a pair of the stock steel links, a pair of my -8mm raising links, a pair of my -6mm raising links, and a pair of my +8mm lowering links.

Photo of Links Closeup Photo

Below is a picture of the links installed on the bike (note that these are a slightly different shaped set of prototype links).  Also, the preload spacer added to my shock.


I've put a lot of effort into making sure that these links will take all of the abuse that a 'Strom could put out over hundreds of thousands of miles.  They're actually somewhat beefier than the stock linkages, although since they're made of aluminum they're about half the weight.

What They're For

Linkage Installation

Changing the linkages just requires a centerstand, or hanging the rear of the bike from the ceiling (that's what I did).  Once the rear of the bike is supported, it's a 15-minute job requiring only a socket wrench.

  1. Put the bike on the centerstand, or hang it from the ceiling.  Note that sidestand or a track stand won't work, because soon the swingarm will be disconnected from the rear shock.
  2. Remove the rear wheel.  It might be possible to swap the linkages out with the wheel in place, but it would probably be significantly more awkward.
  3. The stock linkages are held in place with bolts with 14mm heads and 17mm nuts.  Use a 14mm wrench and 17mm socket to remove the nuts, and pull the bolts out.  They're the same length, so you don't need to keep track of which is which.
  4. Set the stock linkages aside and install the new linkages with the bolts.
  5. Apply a drop or two of blue (medium-strength) Lock-Tite to the threads of the nuts for good measure, and tighten them down.  The shop manual specifies 56.5 lb-ft (78 N-m) of torque for these nuts.
  6. Reinstall the rear wheel.  You're done!  Enjoy your now taller (or shorter) bike.
If you installed raising links, please note that raising the rear of the bike has a similar affect to lowering the front of the bike.  If you raise the rear of the bike I recommend you leave the fork tubes in their stock location in the triple clamp; otherwise the bike's handling may become unstable.  If you've raised the fork tubes in the triple clamps, now is the time to return them to normal.

If you installed lowering links, it may be useful to lower the front of the bike by raising the fork tubes in the triple clamps.  You can safely lower the front of the bike 15mm this way; if you attempt to lower it more, the forks may hit the bottom triple clamp, causing damage.  See the V-Strom FAQ for details on this modification.

Shock Spacer Installation

Warning: this procedure involves uncommon tools (in particular, a hydraulic press or spring compressor), and involves removing the shock spring, which has a substantial amount of stored energy.  If you mess up, you could easily damage your shock or injure yourself.  If you have doubts about doing this procedure yourself, don't - any suspension shop and most motorcycle shops should be able to do the work for you for a nominal fee.
  1. Follow steps 1-3 of the linkage installation instructions to remove the stock linkages from the bike.
  2. Remove the two bolts holding the preload adjuster knob in place.  The knob is attached to the shock by a rubber hose.  For now just let the knob dangle by the hose.
  3. The shock is held in place by a bolt and nut at the top and a bolt and nut at the bottom.  Remove the top bolt and nut.  They are very awkward to get to - you may need to use several socket extensions to get at them.
  4. Remove the bottom shock nut and bolt.  The pivot thingy they're attached to should swing out of the way.
  5. Pull the shock out the bottom of the bike, carefully threading the hose and preload knob to follow it.  The top end of the shock may be wedged in its mounting point - I had to use a hammer to persuade the shock to leave.
  6. Turn the preload knob as far counter-clockwise as it will go.  There should be no lines of preload showing on the preload piston.  This puts the least possible tension on the spring.
  7. Terminology time: see this picture.  From bottom to top, we have: the spring, the spring cap, my spacer (black), the preload piston (not visible on your shock, because you retracted it in the previous step), the preload cylinder (which the host attaches to), and at the end the mounting point.  And in the center of this is the shock body.  Yes, I'm making all of these terms up.
  8. Look around the edge of the preload cylinder - there is a small hole, which houses a set screw, which keeps the preload cylinder from rotating around the shock body.  Make note of the orientation of the cylinder around the body - you might want to use a magic marker to mark them.  Then use a tiny allen wrench to loosen the set screw.  You don't need to remove it - a few turns will do.
  9. Now you need to find a way to press on the preload cylinder while holding the shock body in place.  I stuck a rod through the mounting point, supported the rod on my hydraulic press, and use the press to press on spacers which pressed on the preload cylinder.  I wish I'd taken pictures.  Anyway, the goal is to press the preload cylinder down about 1/4 inch on the shock body.
  10. Now there should be exposed a snap ring which seats in a groove in the shock body.  Remove the snap ring - I managed to get mine out with a flat-blade screwdriver.
  11. With the snap-ring removed, release the pressure on the preload cylinder.  The shock spring will push it partially off the shock body.
  12. Remove the shock from your press or spring compressor.  Everything should come apart easily now.  Reassemble with my black spacer between the spring cap and the preload piston/cylinder, as shown in the picture.
  13. Use the marks you made earlier to realign the preload cylinder with the shock body.
  14. Use your press or spring compressor to press the preload cylinder back onto the shock body, until the snap-ring groove is exposed.
  15. Reseat the snap-ring in the groove.
  16. Release the pressure on the preload cylinder.  The snap-ring will hold it in place.
  17. Re-tighten the set screw in the preload cylinder to make sure it doesn't rotate.
  18. Feed the shock back into the bike.  Reattach the bolts and nuts to the top and bottom of the shock.  The manual specifies 36.0 lb-ft (50 N-m) of torque.
  19. Bolt the preload knob into place, using a few drops of blue Lock-Tite on the bolts.
  20. Follow steps 4-6 of the linkage installation instructions.