When someone is “in-seem challenged” like I am it is hard to feel fully confident on a tall bike like the Husqvarna 701. There are few options for lowering but mainly:
- Suspension change
- Linkage change
This is being consider the “proper” method. I asked for a quote from a local shop that has an amazing reputation – it came back at almost $900 ($350 for for revalve and lowering 1.25″, $145 for new spring, $70 for heavy duty fork oil, new shock valve with lowering for $300, labor etc.). So I was thinking I will try the linkage method first and if needed I would come back to this if it did not work…
This is the cheaper and more simple method. You simply replace the link on your swing arm (usually making a longer) and drop the triple clamps in order to keep the existing bike geometry. There are few vendors available, but the most common one is Koubalink. After talking to few people I decided to order the Koubalink KTM8-1 which lowers the bike 1.25″ – anything more and you are going to have a serious issues with the rear wheel hitting the tank all the time. There are few more options available but they either require some serious modifications to the rocker arm or were in general not recommended.
The install was relatively straight forward – removing the linkage bolt (have to remove the pegs holders first), replacing the link, greasing it and putting the peg holders back together. (all this with the bike on a stand to remove pressure/weight from the rear wheel. The manual that comes with the Koubalink is detailed for anyone to do this
However!!! Pay close attention when removing the swing arm bolt. Mine came out with the outside covers, which result all the needle bearing on the garage floor. Placing them back, I felt like a neurosurgeon! Multiple tries and fails as the only thing holding the needles in the housing is the grease… At the end I had to grind the swing arm bolt, which was pushing them out – seems like it had a lip from the manufacturing at its end (wishing for better quality parts from Husqvarna).
Adjustments and setup
This is where I needed help. I invited few friends over, got some beer and we got going – first we marked the existing location of the triple clamps with a blue masking tape – both for upper and lower triples.
Next we loosen all the screws and moved to the measured location – we could not go all the way to the desired space as the lower clamp would be sitting directly on the fork adjusters for rebound and preload. So we left a bit of space. (After riding over 5000 miles I have not noticed any changes in handling/geometry).
Next we had to adjust the read sag – this is probably the most difficult part of the whole install. The koubalink manual tells you exactly what to measure and how, but you need one person holding the bike, you as a ride on the bike and the 3rd person doing the measurements.
Not only that, but there is currently no tool that can be used on the plastic nut without removing the tank, so most of us, including myself use a square tap and GENTLY tap the nut so it turns. Another option (per the service manual) is to dis-assemble the bike to get to at from the top. Some people replace it with the much easier to use but very expensive XTRIG.
So you go on the bike, measure, get down make few turns, go up, measure, down adjust – rinse and repeat.
But the result is worth it – much better confidence in gnarly terrain, no issues or embarrassing moments in the parking lot – you all know what I mean.
You need more info on how to adjust your sag, here is an excellent video