Koubalink lowered Husqvarna 701 experience

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You might be aware that I have lowered my Husqvarna 701 Enduro using the Koubalink method. It worked really well for Adventure riding and it is definitely one of the most recommended modifications for riders with short inseem.

Even with a fully loaded bike, including camping gear and food and water for multiple days I have not experienced any issues. I rode the WABDR and even some easier singletracks and was very happy.

However in April 2018 there is the famous Desert 100 event, where I wanted to race. (If you never been, look at the videos and definetely come join the biggest event in Pacific NorthWest

We left Seattle on early Friday morning and stopped in Matawa, WA for some practice. And this was where the issue first surfaced:

The bike started to bottom out when riding whoops at high(er) speed as one would in a race. The rear wheel was hitting the tank cover, which was not good.

koubalink lowered Husqvarna 701
koubalink lowered Husqvarna 701 rear wheel hitting tank

We tried multiple adjustment of the shock preload to no change – hitting at higher speed, going through the never ending whoops. The last solution we could come up with was to buy a new, longer chain and move the wheel as much towards the rear as the blocks would allow. While it did not eliminate the issue completely, it did help a bit. I entered the race but unfortunately got a flat and DNF.

Upon my return I have contacted few shops specializing in suspension to get some ideas how to fix it. As discussed previously a full suspension job might be in order. However one of the options presented was to replace just the spring with a stiffer one – at cost of about $170. After some calculations based on my weight and some of the luggage I carry we came to the conclusion that the best option is 8.0kg/mm spring. (I am 85 kg / 187 pounds).

Some people were of the opinion I should not lowered the bike but for me the comfort level it brings is worth it.

This way I can keep the Koubalink lowered Husqvarna 701 and hopefully still ride aggressively as I would in a race. Next step is to find a practice area close by with some whoops where I can put on some speed as the bottoming does not show till about 35 miles per hour. Not only it will allow me to test but practice and became better at handling the terrain at higher speed.

Big thanks to both Moto-Pro Suspension and Konflict for their advises.

 

6 Responses

  1. Charles Penner

    May 27, 2019 5:30 pm

    Enjoying your blog, ordered my k-Link 1.25, as I am 5’10 and only adv ride fire roads and light double track.
    Cheers

    Reply
  2. Sean

    June 15, 2019 6:01 am

    This is a pretty extreme scenario. Had you ever bottomed out the bike before? I’m in the market for some lowering and I’m considering all sorts of options.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. sean Simmons

    June 15, 2019 6:02 am

    This is a pretty extreme scenario. Had you ever bottomed out the bike before? I’m in the market for some lowering and I’m considering all sorts of options.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • husky

      August 9, 2019 8:04 pm

      I have not bottomed the bike when it was stock. Only after the lowering. I have played with the high speed rebound settings and got the bike not to bottom out, even when “racing” (more like practicing for a race).

      So I am happy with the solution – it just took some time to figure out all of the fine tuning after the stiffer spring was installed.

      Reply
  4. Ken Gray

    July 7, 2019 9:20 pm

    I assume you raised the fork legs in the clamps an equal amount, if so did you need bar risers?

    Reply
    • husky

      August 9, 2019 8:05 pm

      No, I did not need bar raisers. After moving the fork legs exactly the same amount as lowering, there was just enough space under the bars to adjust the front fork rebound – all good

      Reply

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