Lowering the KDX 220 - specs

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#1
I made the decision to go with 02 KDX 220 . I plan on putting in my order this week. Do to my height, or lack of, I will be lowering the seat. First thing I plan on doing is sliding the forks up through the triple clamp. I then plan on having longer dog bones made and will take things from there. I am hoping someone who has done this before can help me.

First, does anyone have measurements of their new, longer, dog bones, I plan on getting them made at a local machine shop, they don't seem too complex. Also, is there a company that pre-manufactures them for mail order?

Second, did this change the handling in any serious way? Since you are shortening the wheel base does that not make it handle quicker? Did you do anything to fix this?

Hopefully that's enough to start. I will do these things first, then proceed to shave the seat foam if necessary. Thanks for the help, unfortunately I'm old for my height making bike shopping a difficult task.

I'm an experienced rider and am going to a full size bike to race enduros. The wr is too expensive and tall, the KTM is too expensive and parts are hard to come by in this neck of the woods.
Sorry about the length, thanks in advance, Mike
 

Michelle

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#2
Mike, I'm old for my height too. (you don't say what your height is).
The dogbones I got are 5mm longer than stock (add in the 5mm to the
centre bit where the dog would bite the bone, not the nuckle). I've
not adjusted the forks, they're flush with the triple clamp.
I think your best bet is to try the bike stock, then decide. At
5'3", not very confident/competent, I find the bike fine for the most
part (with the longer dogbones), and when I'm likely to have trouble
it's just a case of unless I was 7' tall, it wouldn't help.
As for mail order, do a search on the forum, I've got a feeling Devol
was mentioned, but could be way wrong.
Hope this helps some, feel free to email if I can help any further :)
Michelle
 

Michelle

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#4
Mike, one other thing you will want/need to do - soften the
suspension. I weigh 120-130, and have softened up the rear to a 4.4kg
spring. Stock fork springs were okay for me. Definitely check with a
suspension person what you should have in there - this will be
dependent on terrain, type of riding, experience etc.

I would think with the 5mm longer dogbones you'd be okay, but then
again, I've heard of people taller than me lowering the bike (I guess
it's dependent on leg length too).

Oh, the reason for not adjusting the forks is there wasn't room due
to the barkbusters, and my husband decided to leave them alone so as
not to sharpen the steering.
 
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#5
Lowering KDX

My wife is just about ready to chuck her new XR200 for a KDX200.Time and again she has dumped for lack of power and suspension. A mechanic(5-4" 140 lbs) at our dealer has had success with the after marker 4 kilogram(?) spring. In addtion to that he replaced the the front fork springs and lowerer the tubes in the triple tree clamp. Are the dog bones where the rear shock mounts to?
thanks.
Buddy
 

Michelle

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#6
The dogbones are the tie rods - you can see them by looking by the
brake pedal, about a five minute job to change them over. (the shape
of them is how the got the nickname). I'm running a 4.4kg shock
spring, with stock fork springs and am happy with the result.
Racetech recommended a 3.8kg spring, but I went with Jer Wilkey's
recommendation - after informing him of the type of riding, terrain & my spodeliness (he also supplied it). I'm 5'3" & 110-120lbs? (rough guestimate, I'll weigh myself again one day).
Buddy, I know how your wife feels about the XR - I've only ridden my
friend's and I was not impressed with the handling. She too prefers
my KDX, but we're waiting for her husband to say she can upgrade ;)
Michelle
 

Canadian Dave

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#7
Welcome to DRN Mike,

Mike the KDX's suspension is out of balance from the factory. The fork springs are good for those in the 130lb range and the shock spring is good for those in the 170 plus range. This causes poor handling that is normally rectified by installing heavier fork springs to bring the suspension back in to balance front to rear. You'll be in the same boat as Michelle was/is and in your case will want to go in the reverse direction of most people and install a lighter rate shock spring. Given Michelle based her spring selection on professional advice and weighs about the same as you I wouldn't hesitate to duplicate her set up. That said suspension set up is very rider dependent and professional advice is only a phone call away.

I'd avoid raising the fork in the triple clamps more than a few mm if you can as it alters chassis geometry and makes for a fast turning/twitchy bike that isn't as stable at speed. Installing appropriate rate fork springs and if need be longer dog bones will likely be enough. If not you can always take a little off the seat foam as you mentioned.

When/if you have the funds the suspension can be lowered internally then resprung and revalved with better results.

David
 
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#8
And just to add my usual piece to these discussions -get taller! Take your boots to a decent boot/shoe repairer & they can add another sole or fit a packer which can gain you a good half inch with no change to the bike.
 
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#9
KDX suspension

Michelle
Can you tell me your seat hight after your suspension modes with and with out rider? Appreciate the info. Also could use a phone #'s on the people you spoke to on redoing your front springs.
And if any one else would like to jump in on contact info?????
See you in the dirt!!!!
Thanks,
buddy:) :) :) :)
 

Michelle

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#10
Measured at the point the white plastic meets the green plastic (not
sure what that bit is called, but by the rear fender in any case).
Me sitting on bike: 800
Bike standing alone: 830
Bike lifted up: 850
Buddy, as I mentioned to you in an email, the static sag is not
right due to the aftermarket spring being longer than the stock one.
Sincere apologies for the delay in responding, things have been
hectic here, and moving all the bikes out (mine's usually in first)
has sort of been the last thing we've wanted to do.
 
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#12
Pull rods/ dog bones

I sped red this post...didn't see anything but a question about Devol..so hopefully this isn't old news.

Yes, Devol does make a set of pull rods for the KDX. They are adjustable..you can put them in either of three positions by using a hex-shaped insert that has an offcenter hole.

It's been awhile since I measured mine, but I believe the adjustment range is +/- 3mm. The stock length is (again, relying on a one brain cell memory) 112.5mm. In the 'middle' position, the Devol rods are close to this length.

Installing them in the 'long' position (that would be 114mm), my bike seat lowered 5/16 inch (8mm or so).

TAKE NOTE!!! If you use the Devol rods (mine were about $95US) you MUST also use KX bolts. You don't have to use the washers, but I'd advise those, too. The KX bolts ran about $13 each!!

I gave Devol an earful about selling a part for a bike with NO mention of 'Won't fit unless you buy more stuff..which we won't mention and you'll have to figure out'. The nice lady on the phone said there was current discussion toward including the required bolts with the rods. Doubt that, though.

If I could get a response from 'devolracing', I'd check to see if they've changed their ads. Make sure that's a known issue if you order a set from Devol.

Michelle is right. Do try the bike stock. If you're new to the dirt, give yourself some time to get used to it. I'm short of 5'7" (sounds better'n 'just over 5'6") and have short 'lil laigs. At first, I thought, 'I can hardly get the thing kicked over..how am I gonna RIDE it??' Now, same as michelle said..I don't have a problem UNTIL I have a problem that only being REAL tall would help. A few mm here and there wouldn't matter.

Enjoy your bike. The KDX is a blast!