Tools I used:
- vice grips
- torque wrench
- socket wrench
- 10mm, 12mm, 19mm sockets and extensions
- philips screwdriver
- rubber hammer
- breaker bar
- digital caliper (mm ruler will also work)
- long bar
- scraps of wood
1) Put the bike on a stand, so the rear wheel can be lifted
2) Using the breaker bar and the 19mm socket remove the two nuts on the stock link
3) Slide the rear bolt out the left side of the bike past the chain.
It helps to lift the rear wheel slightly.
The link will drop down like this.
4) Remove the side/kick stand with the 12mm socket by removing the two bolts and two screws.
kick stand removed:
5) Remove the chain roller with the 10mm socket
6) Remove the other bolt connecting the link with the 19mm socket and breaker bar.
7) Pull on the stock link to remove it. I found mine to be quite stuck, so I used a small length of pipe to put some pressure on the link and rocked it back and forth until it was removed.
8) Slide the stock sleeve out of the link
and re-insert into the new Yamalink.
The two links side by side. There isn’t much of a visual difference.
9) Insert the new Yamalink. I used the same small pipe again to have enough leverage to put it back in. Make sure to line up the holes exactly, so the bolt fits correctly. The logo should be on the right side.
10) Re-insert the forward bolt. Now is a good time to adjust the stock ride height if desired.
and then the rear bolt. You can see I lowered the bike as much as possible now.
11) Re-attach the kick stand
12) tighten the two 19mm nuts to 58 ft-lbs. I found it necessary to hold the rear bolt with a vice grips while tightening it.
13) Since we lowered the rear of the bike, we need to lower the front as well. Use the 10mm socket to loosen both the lower and upper fork supports.
14) Raise the fork tubes in the clamps. I found mine to be really hard to move. I found sitting on the bike while holding the front brake and bouncing the suspension slide them up a bit. I then used a rubber mallet and small block of wood to tap them back down until they were both even.
Yamalink recommends starting to lower at 10mm and to not go over 18mm. The forums on the internet recommend going to 18mm. I decided to start with 16.46mm and go from there.
15) Torque the front fork bolts to 17 ft-lbs for the upper and 14 ft-lbs for the lower.
16) Make sure to adjust your chain.
17) Go for a ride and take care as the bike will handle differently.
So far, I am quite happy with this modification. The bike feels much lower, and I can easily put both feet down to the balls of my foot rather than just my big toe on one side like before. I’m also happy I didn’t have to modify the kick stand at all. The suspension also seems to work just as great as it did before on bumps (ie: curbs :) ).
The handling is different. I’m undecided if I like how the steering feels now. I will play with raising and lower the forks to see what works the best.
Overall, I am very happy I purchased the Yamalink. I can’t wait to try it on some tight single track.