Part Two: Installation of the Link and Lowering the Rear:
First go ahead and loosen the shock bolt. You’ll need an 8mm Allen key for the outside of the bolt:
And a 19mm straight wrench for the nut on the inside:
Turn the outer Allen key counter-clockwise, but DON’T REMOVE YET! At this point, the wrench will lock against the rear tire, so you don’t need a spare hand for this.
The next step, I’m sure can be done several ways. You might be able to just get a strong friend to support the rear end of your bike. This is just the way I chose. We have a couple of hooks sunk into a stud in the ceiling of our garage. These are sunk well in and very secure. You must find a sturdy stud to sink these into!
We positioned the rear of the bike directly under these hooks and removed the seat. I thought about just using the grab rails/ rear rack, but decided I needed something more secure. So under the seat, there’s this handy frame cross bar. We ran a couple of ratchet straps under this and threaded them back through the eyelets of their hooks. Like this:
We then ran them up through the ratchet end hooked to the ceiling hooks. Just run them through like you normally would any ratchet strap.
With one person helping to support the bike, slowly tighten the straps and ratchet up the rear of the bike. Do a couple or ratchets on each strap, first one, then the other, keeping the bike even as it’s raised. Once it’s suspended, the front end will be stable without any further support. We actually raised the rear of the bike approx. 1” off the floor to take the weight off the shock and make it easier to maneuver.
Once the bike is securely suspended, you can finish removing the shock bolt. Make sure you catch the nut and washer as they come free from the back side. Continue turning the Allen wrench counter-clockwise until it no longer appears to be backing out.
Now, it’s time to get old- school. Grab your trusty XL screw driver and hammer and move around to the other side of the bike. Insert the screwdriver against the back of the bolt and gently tap with a hammer until the bolt falls out on the other side. Note: it’s a good idea to have a friend supporting the tire here as it will drop once the bolt is removed and effectively trap your screwdriver in the hole.
This is what you’ll be left with, stock bolt with nut and washer:
I also took a picture of the stock bolt next to the new one supplied by Soupy. The widths are the same, but note the different length of the new one.
And the position of your rear shock once the bolt has been removed and the rear tire dropped.
Now go ahead and place the inner lowering link plate. This is the plate with the more rounded bottom. Also make sure the indented side is facing you.
The plate is placed on the outside of your shock support mount NOT to the inside and the indentation on the plate will rest directly over the shock mount.
Next place the outer Link plate. This one has a more 90 degree angle with a flat bottom and back. This time the indented side will be facing away from you and you should be looking at the flat side. Like this:
Once again it fits outside and over the shock mount, not to the inside:
Both plates in place:
Then we’ll place the spacer. As you can see it appears quite solidly made of a thicker round aluminum.
Just lift up your shock and insert it between the shock mounts. It’s a tight fit, so make sure it’s not angled or it won’t slide in.
Inserting the new lower bolt first with the Allen hole facing out, just like the stock one. Being sure to run it through the spacer and inner plate.
Place the retaining nut on the opposite side to secure it. Soupy didn’t provide any washers with this kit and I’m a big advocate of using them, so I dug around the garage until I found one that would work here. I’ll use the stock washer on the upper bolt. Note: Only finger tighten this nut at this point, do not tighten it all the way down as it’ll have to still be slightly mobile to line up the upper holes with your shock.
Now onto the new upper bolt. For this you’ll have to raise the rear tire in order to get the upper link plate holes to line up with the holes in the shock. I used the rolling the rear tire onto my boot method, but if your friend isn’t supporting the rear of your bike, they can raise the tire for you. This’ll also give you your fist glimpse of how much lower your bike is going to be.
Place the new upper bolt just barely in the hole so you can ram it through once everything is lined up. Once again, the Allen hole should be facing you. Then raise your shock with one hand while shifting the link plates forward and back with your other hand until everything lines up and the bolt slides all the way through. Once through, place your stock washer and new nut on the other side to secure everything in place.
Grab your 8mm Allen wrench and 19mm straight wrench and tighten everything down. Finger tighten the nuts on the back then, hold the nuts steady with the wrench. Use the open end this time or the wrench will get locked into the lower nut as it’s tightened. Turn the Allen side clockwise till both are good and tight.
With your friend steadying the bike, slowly, once again one at a time, loosen the ratchet straps and gently lower your bike to the ground. Trying to keep it as even as possible. At this point you’ll notice how straight up and down it sits while on its side-stand. If this is going to be a long term mod, I recommend either chopping your side stand or buying a shortened one. If not, you will have to use caution from this point forward and pay special attention to the surfaces where you park. If cambered too uphill on the left side, your bike may be taking a dirt nap by the time you return to it.
Almost done with the rear. Your last step will be to stiffen the rear shock all the way. Why? Because it WILL rub against the frame when hitting big bumps.
Rubs Frame here:
This won’t completely solve this problem, but will lessen it somewhat. Kawasaki made adjusting our shocks quite easy and very nearly idiot proof. The wider the space between the shock adjuster and the spring, the stiffer the suspension. I.E. the tighter your spring, the stiffer your suspension.
So find your spanner wrench in you stock tool kit.
And place it under your shock adjusts, hooking the tip into the slots provided.
And pull upwards.
Each adjustment will click into place one at a time. Keep going until you’re all the way at the top.
Now you’re done lowering the rear. But not so fast, speedy! You bought a sport bike, not a cruiser. And if you want it to continue handling like one, you’ve got to get that suspension level again. And that means lowering the front.