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Chinese Lowering Link Dogbone

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  • Chinese Lowering Link Dogbone

    Are the Chinese sent threaded hex adj lowering links safe???
    I recently put an 04-06 R1 shock and adaptor in my 06 FZ1 and on centre stand rear tyre was touching ground and it is turning in way too easily for my liking, so I installed the adj lowering link and set it to 224mm from stock 216mm. This is the maximum allowable to avoid bottom of shock hitting the link. This has lowered the rear considerably so I raised the forks 5mm. Not test ridden yet as poor weather but I’m optimistic about a good riding result.
    So, are these adj links safe? Has anyone had or heard of any failing?
    Any advice very welcome!!

  • #2
    Generally, whenever i wonder if something is safe....i improve it. Then again im a machinist (and i despise anything made in communist china).
    05 fz1, 91 rgv250, 86 gszr750 custom, 86 gsxr1100 survivor. Cause bucket list.


    • #3
      I prefer using an '04-'06 R1 Lowering Dogbone (S-1500) with an eye-to-eye length of 224mm. Note the shape of the dogbone which allows extended clearance for the lower shock eye when the suspension is fully extended. I would take care and measure the clearance between the dogbone and shock eye when your rear wheel is off the ground i.e.: on the centerstand. If the clearance is less than 3mm you are risking contact during flyover.

      Lowering Link-l500.jpg

      As far as the overall lowering process goes, I have found the GEN II to handle somewhat better as the lower center-of-gravity reduces the amount of force needed to change the lean angle while turning. Also, for us riders with minimal inseems, it is nice to have a more planted feeling when stopped.

      As far as the adjustable dogbone being safe, it is a threaded device which requires jam nuts. The nuts tighten to 1.) prevent rotation of the adjusting section and 2.) limit the threaded rod moving during compression and pull cycles. Even though there is minimal tolerance in the threads between the mating surfaces, there is still the chance of movement which fatigues the threads if the nut becomes comes loose. Stripped threads are the result.

      Also, the design of the Heim joints place the push-pull stress on a smaller metal cross section than the needle bearings or bronze bushings of the normal dogbone. If there is much angular difference in the swivel plane of the joints and/or the pins not being perpendicular to the vertical plane of the joint, the off-center stress can ultimately enlarge the joint at the swivel surface. If there is play at that surface, failure is only a matter of time.

      I agree with Bunk that Chinese manufacturing 'sometimes' overstates the quality of metal used in their products. However, considering the typical size of the fasteners, there should not be a problem with cycling a few thousand pounds of dampened pressure from the shock. Just remember, if road grit gets into the joint swivel, wear will be abnormally accelerated. That is why there are seals on the OEM dogbones. I have not put enough miles on the R1 lowering dogbone to asses what amount of wear the bronze bushings can withstand.
      The Devil is in the details ...
      Man was created to seek the Truth, Satan makes the search interesting.


      • #4
        Great comments/advice lads!

        I’ve adjusted dogbone to allow about 2mm clearance to shock and standing back looks more like orig height, whatever that was. No notes were taken…
        With forks tubes raised 6mm hopefully I’m on the right track. Over the weekend I’ll know.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bunk View Post
          Generally, whenever i wonder if something is safe....i improve it. Then again im a machinist (and i despise anything made in communist china).
          Yep. I make mine myself. It's easy and I'm definitely not a machinist.
          2001 Yamaha FZ1
          1998 Honda VTR1000 Superhawk


          • #6
            I must be honest and regret doing the R1 shock and adaptor install on my 06 Gen 2:
            1. Rear raised to the point rear tyre is touching ground when on centre stand. Cannot spin tyre.
            2. Turn in is too easy for my liking.
            3. To counter act easy turn in I could lower fork tubes below std but cannot because r tyre is touching so its not practical.
            4. When bike is leaning on side stand it’s keeled over a fair bit more. Not good when using free shared bike parking so means it must go up on centre stand only.
            5. I’m 6ft so the extra height is manageable but cog is raised.
            6. According to a business here in Sydney (Shock Treatment) using a longer or adjustable dogbone is the wrong way to bring the rear down for geometry reasons. They recommend shortening the shock which is costly.
            In conclusion, if I had my time again, I would user the later (2015 I think) R1 shock which has some length adjustment built in and requires some mods which I am capable of doing judging by some diy’s I’ve read, or just replace the original spring to something more suitable for my 180lbs.
            Some things just don’t work out for any given individual, however, experience can be gained so not all’s lost!