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Discussion Starter #1
I need more ground cornering clearance on my 08 Wee. I'd prefer not to raise the pegs, as an illness makes leg room a necessity. Obviously a set of raising links is the cheaper option, but has anyone done this and what was the effect on the linkage ratio and rear wheel movement?

Is it a smarter option to rebuild or replace the shock with a longer one such as a Vee shock or an Ohlins? (I have a friend who builds Ohlins, so can get one at a reasonable price and have it custom valved and sprung) But, would prefer to spend as little as possible, so if raising links work ok, that would be the preferred option. I'm OK with the head angle coming in a little, as I don't do a lot of dirt.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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It sounds like you want more peg clearance rather than ground clearance. Leaning your body toward the inside of the turn so you are looking over the inside mirror will do that. Actually moving your butt to the inside will do it even more but that's a tactic more suited to race conditions where the surface is clean and pothole free rather than the street where blue haired old ladies are backing SUVs out of driveways. If you get surprised there is no way left to tighten the turn. Keeping your body upright while turning will lower the inside peg.

As far as raising the bike is concerned, changing it is best done by changing the shock but changing the links is very nearly as good and a lot less expensive. Lowering the angle of attack through the air on Wees and Vees is a good thing too as the fairings cause aerodynamic front end lift. Contrary to the usual thought of changing geometry, lowering the front or raising the rear of a Vee or Wee will actually increase stability because of its aerodynamics.
 

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Changing one end without the the other may change the way it steers. I have my fork tubes raised in the clamps 10 mm. I tried them all the way down to get some ground clearance but didn't like the way it handled. The 10 mm is enough to get it to steer the way I want. Having them even with the top clamp slows the steering too much, & like gw said, they go through the air better with the front down a little.
Before you make changes, take front & rear measurements of the ride height. For this purpose it won't matter if you're on the bike or not. We're only interested in finding out if it's been changed. If it doesn't steer the same after the change, you'll know why by comparing before & after measurements, & what to change to get it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks GW & Solo. I perhaps should have done an intro with my past riding experience, to give you guys na understanding of where i'm at skill wise. I'm an Ex motorcycle Road Racer, so I kinda get what hanging off a bike will do :) and have ridden with a road riding club littered with ex racers both road and dirt. I'm also a motorcycle sports writer and do the odd road test review for manufacturers. But I can no longer hang off a bike due to some physical limitations caused by Illness. I can still use my upper body weight to some degree, but all jokes aside, the Wee lacks ground clearance..........as in it's dragging it's ass on the ground. I had the pegs down on the 5th corner on my first ride on it, not knowing the bike or tyres. Hence the need to raise the ride height to bring the whole bike up. I've got plenty of leg length, so stopping at traffic lights or on an angled roadside is not going to be a problem.

My question was more to do with the linkage ratio being changed to the detriment if raising links are used, as shock linkages are made to rise at certain rates and are matched to the damping rates of the shock. I've measured the chassis, head angle, swingarm pivot point, swingarm length etc and I'm not concerned about the increased steering head angle. It could come in two degrees without making it want to run wide at full lean and as an added bonus, it will change direction easier. Your comments on the aero of the front were interesting and new knowledge to me though, so that will be an unexpected bonus thank you.

My last road bike was a ZRX1200S. I had the eccentrics flipped and longer rear shocks fitted to bring the steering head angle into 24 degrees, which turned it into a sportsbike eater and not once did it touch a peg down. I'm hoping to achieve similar with the strom.


Pics below: Racebike is my 1995 Supersport bike. Raced by Troy Bayliss in 1995, I raced it to nowhere in 1996/7. @nd pic is my old 2005 ZX6R before illness stopped my ability to hang off a bike. (Yes..the knee is smoking....I'm old skool and use leather knee pucks.) 3rd is WSBK support race 1996 and final is my old 2000 model ZX9R at a Broadford trackday in 2007.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Knowing your experience helps. Lowering links make the stock shock effectively a little softer while raising links make it a little stiffer because of leverage changes. For most riders over 150lbs, a little stiffer is better. Changing the shock can provide a better shock though as suspension is not a strong point on the Wee. It's not a sport bike and has a narrow 19" front wheel so don't get too excited out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Knowing your experience helps. Lowering links make the stock shock effectively a little softer while raising links make it a little stiffer because of leverage changes. For most riders over 150lbs, a little stiffer is better. Changing the shock can provide a better shock though and suspension as not a strong point on the Wee. It's not a sport bike and has a narrow 19" front wheel so don't get too excited out there.
Thanks GW, that's what I was after. I think I will go a lengthened shock valved and sprung accordingly then. I kinda want to keep the magic carpet ride of the stock squidgy suspension to some degree, so if raising links stiffen the linkage, I think I'll go the other, although more expensive route. As for the 19" front tyre......they hang on fine. :) I've also ridden the XT with the 21" front and knobby style tyres. You can have the thing sliding across the tarmac without it falling over. They are pretty good in front end feel and modern road tyres are waaaaay better than the tyres I raced on in the mid 90's :)
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I've just come across diesel oil on the road too many times to feel secure at more than 0.8 of what the bike is capable of. Of course I'm a definite scaredy cat as I gave up riding last August at the age of 70 but I chose not to ride at more than 0.8 for years before.
 

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If you weigh more than the anorexic ballerinas Suzuki employs as test riders, you're likely getting way too much sag in the back and at the very least need a stronger spring.

Check static sag -- the Wee has about six inches of travel compared to the usual streetbike four inches, but overall you want to be at about 1.75 to two inches sag.

5/8" raising links are worth a try -- they add very little harshness, but they do bring the arse end up a bit and help with cornering clearance. You can always sell them if you don't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to add, I did some further investigations and measurements of the bike. The front has been lowered by 15mm and the rear dog bones are not standard. They measure 148mm eye centre to eye centre. So before I go looking for a new shock, I'm going to shorten the dog bones. I drew up a diagram and I think I can get away with using the current dog bones by shortening and drilling a new set of eyelets on one end. I haven't removed them to do a perfect measurement, but I think I could get away with there still being enough meat at the end to shorten them to 130mm. I know 140mm is stock and I know a 131mm link will lift it 1 1/8", so I think 130mm shouldn't be too much of a lift or cause too much stiffness in the spring action. I estimate about an inch and a half lift with 130mm. I was even thinking maybe 128mm to give closer to a 2" lift. My question is are there any others who have used shortened shock links on a K8 650 and what length did they settle on? Of course, I am also going to raise the front a little at the same time. Not too much though, as I still want it to turn a little better than stock geometry dictates.

For whoever commented about a 19" front wheel........After owning a Tengai with a 21" front wheel, I have no issue with the 19" wheel and it's grip level. I've owned a few bikes with front wheel sizes 16", 17", 18", 19" and 21" with no issues on the road. It's not going to be punted into a turn at racetrack speeds at the end of the day.
 

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I recently installed the enduro guardian 1" lift links, really stiffened up the rear shock. Handles great and would give you more ground clearance. I've noticed the the most difference climbing in rough terrain and when cornering on the street (front wheel feels more planted). I think it's definitely worth it
 

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Lifting links

130mm should raise the rear 1&1/8inches according to Adventuretech website. I don't think you should go higher than that.
 

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A very good mod to the to the wee is replace the rear shock with one from a 1st gen V.
This will not only improve the ride due to a stiffer spring, but it is also a better shock and will raise the rear of the bike about 3/4" giving the effect you are looking for.
Just my .02
 
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