Raising the KLE 500

Posted: 16/11/2011 in Modifications archives
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hello!

As we all know KLE has quite a low ground clearance, so i started searching around for info on how to get it a bit higher. After checking some forums I found out that the best way to raise KLE it to swap the dog-bone(two arms that link rear swing arm and shock together) for shorter than original. So i went on ebay and simmilar sites to find a set for my KLE. After some research I found out that thease things are quite expensive, 70+€ per pair. I didnt want to spend that much money for two smal metal parts, so I went to the garage with a caliper. I took the measurements of the original arms and started drawing a new set of arms on the computer. The original arms have holes 136mm(5.35 inch) apart, so I decided to cut them 10mm(0.39inch) shorter, making them 126(4.96 inch)mm. I draw them in CAD and than contacted a company that has a laser cutter and asked if they would be so kind and cut a pair for me. I have sent them the CAD file and they cut the arms for me out of 5mm thich stainless steel for just 20€ with shipping back to me. That is more than 3 times cheaper than any shop on inthernet.
Here are the pictures of the ones I draw and the original ones:

If you look good at both of them I made a design error. Compare both bolt holes, on the original one has more material going from bolt hole to the center of the bar, as in my design it goes from bolt hole to bar width a lot faster. I will keep an eye on this and if it starts to show signs of beeing too week I will draw up a new set.
Here you can see what i mean:

Green=original, red=my design. P.S.: Make a hole 15,5 or 16mm wide, i had to grind some of the material away

How to change the arms:
Well if you look at the assembly below the swing arm you will see two bolts holding the arms in place. Remove the bolts, swap the arms and bolt back on. But take care of bushings and barings inside. It’s also good to have someone with you to hold the wheel and swing arm up when you reassembeling it.
Here is a picture of description in workshop manual:

So what do you gain with doing this?
Well first of all you get aditional 5cm on ground clerance and seat height. The rear end gets high and gives you the feeling of leaning forward a bit, but not much. I saw some one to drop the forks down 1cm in the trees but I did not do that becouse I think that is not good for the forks.

Secondly the bike became more agile and responsive to handelbars and foot pegs input, and it also has a shorter turning circle. Off-road it floats over big bumps much smoother and I haven’t got the bash plat to knock on the top of ruts where I normaly would have. Although I will have to do some more testing in the spring as it is to cold to ride here at the moment.

Here is also the picture of the new arms mounted:

Overall this litle change of parts made a big differance on how the bike handels and feels on all surfaces. So far I am happy with this set up. In the next week I will try to put a side picture of the bike before and after the raising.

See ya!
———————————————————————–
Update 18.11.2011

So i found out that with the change in overall ride height, I will have to make the side stand at least 4cm(1.57 inch) higher so that the bike will stand more stable.

And here is also the picture to compare the hight before and after the raising:

Quite a differance 😀

See ya!

—————————————–
Update 18.4.2012

Ok, after around 1500km here is what I have noticed when riding a higher bike.

1. You have to set the focus of the lights for night riding a bit higher (a screw on the light mounting bracket, can be turned with hands), because of the higher rear end of the bike
2. When riding in a strong cross wind the bike is affected by it a bit more than before but nothing dramatical
3. Bike turning radius is a lot smaler and it is more agile in dens trafic in town center or when navigating tight stuff
4. Leaning in turns has not changed, you can still lean down to the foot pegs if necessary, but over all there is less lean required for normal riding
5. With higher ground clerance and properly set up rear suspension the rough stuff is no problem. It floads over roots and rocks, ledge climbing is also a lot easier as you wont hit them with the bash plate
6. There is no wobboling at high speeds, tedted it to 140km/h on a normal open road
7. I have a updated arms in .dwg or .dxf format if anyone needs them.

Hope this helps anyone that is in doubt.

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Comments
  1. andrew says:

    did you ever update the cad drawing to be correct? I would love a copy of it so that I can have the same part made for my bike!

  2. whydelta says:

    Hi there Sir,
    You have done a great job by raising your KLE500 the way you did. Congratulations.
    Would it be possible to get that .dwg or .dxf file so that your fellow KLE500 friends/riders could do the same adjustment if interested in it?
    If you could please send it to this email I’d be very thankful: whydelta at g mail dot com
    Thanks a lot. Regards, Whydelta

  3. Gilberto Martínez says:

    Hi there !

    Grest job ! Very well done. I know it’s been a long time since you post here, but I really, and I mean really, appreciate if you still have the drawing for the arms ?, and obviously, it would be possible you send it to me ? I’m preparing my KLE for a long trip to Africa and need to raise the bike a little bit.

    Many thanks,

    Gilberto

    • Ghosty_SLO says:

      Hi!

      I might have not posted in a while due to work, studying and getting a degree, but I still manage it and keep track of what is happening on here 🙂 Good luck in Africa and check your e-mail 😉

  4. Ghosty_SLO great job man!!! Would you be kind enough to send the file to my email address please? Thank you very much man! metall1(at)windowslive(dot)com

  5. Bruno says:

    Hello,

    can you please send me the file or tell me the corrected diameter of the holes ? I can draw the part but need to know holes dimensions. Thank you very much
    brunohands (at) gmail .com

  6. Ellert says:

    Love what you have done for your KLE, around 95% more ambitious then me 🙂 I would love to get my hands on those files for the links!

    ellertjuliusson(@)gmail(dot)com

    Much appreciated

  7. Marco says:

    Hello,

    Very helpful blog! Could you send me the file too please? Me and my two mates with the same bikes would be very grateful :-)!

    Thanks!

  8. cock_e says:

    HI.
    Since this require kickstand adjustment, could you please post some info on DIY fixing it.

    ThnX!

  9. Paul Spoor says:

    Hi there,

    I red your article and I’ve looking around for a pair of arms. Your idea of having them cut is a lot better than spending too much on commercially made ones. If you still have the drawings I’m very interested in having a copy. A local metalwork company could cut them for me. I’m quite tall, so a few extra cm’s would be great!

    Greatings from the Netherlands!

    Paul

  10. Miks says:

    Hi!
    Looking for an adventure next month and would appreciate the .cad for dog bones, to correct my Kle’s ride hight with passenger and luggage!
    Please send it to my email icikinsh[at]Gmail[dot]com!

    Thx

  11. Lawrence says:

    Hi. I’ve just bought a KLE500 2005 inspired by your blog. I’d be really appreciative if you could send me the drawings for the lift kit (dog bones) you drew up. I’ve also got a KTM front end to go on WP48 forks. Hoping to use the KTM front wheel as well. I also have a KTM swing arm and shock. Hoping to swap this oer as well. Any information you can provide would be greatly received. Hopefully hear from you soon.

    Lawrence

    Cambridgeshire England

    • mark page says:

      Lawrence, did you get your dog bones sorted, I have spare sets @ 126mm ctrs OR 131mm ctrs..£15 per set posted. 126 gives extra 50mm ground clearance, 131 gives extra 25mm ground clearance as suggested above.

  12. mark page says:

    Just modifying my KLE with Suzuki RMZ forks/ wheel / brake caliper. made new steerer spindle, all looking good so far. Should have done this before I rode around morocco on her 3 years ago. Any one in the UK interested in a pair of dog bones contact me and i’ll make you some (for a small fee of coarse). I can also make steerer tubes to suit your new triple clamp set up.
    markpage at btinternet dot com

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