Which is the best lowering link for XR650L?

My son and I both bought used XR650L bikes for a mountain trip. The stock seat height on a Honda XR650L is 37 in (940 mm) and at 5′ 10″ I’m more comfortable with a 35″ height on rocky single tracks with luggage. I compared several lowering links and then tested the two highest rated lowering links, the KoubaLink and Soupy’s Performance Lowering Link for the XR650L.

Both XR650L bikes needed suspension adjustments

In the end I chose Soupy’s Performance Lowering Link because it is adjustable and capable of lowering the bike lower than all the others.

Soupy’s Lowering Link

I do like the build quality of the KuobaLink and the grease zerk fittings, but it only lowered the bike just under an inch at the seat. Soupy’s Lowering Link took the XR650L down a full two inches. But there is another factor. After adding 40 pounds of gear into the bags, spare fuel and water, the XR650L sinks too low and the ability to adjust it back to my desired riding height is possible with Soupy’s but not with any other link.

Installation is easy for both, taking about 40 minutes start to finish. Faster once your done it (taking out the KoubaLink). I opened the chain master link to make it easy to pull the front bolt out. Also, I used a cut-off aluminum crutch to prop the bike up to take all weight off the rear tire.

Soupy’s extends to a full four inches whereas the others are set at about 3 3/4″ (Stock link is 3 1/4″). I moved my forks up about an inch in the triple clamps since I dropped the seat about 1 3/4 inches. Travel remains the same, and preload and damping needed no adjustment. Obviously ground clearance changes, but I’m not worried that two inches will stop me from clearing a log or rock on the trail.

Tried the KoubaLink first. It is only slightly different than stock.
Soupy’s Performance Link Installed on the XR650L

If you are going to lower your XR650L more than one inch, I recommend getting an adjustable kickstand as well. In fact, it’s a must since the bike will not stand with the stock kickstand.

Final seat height at 35 inches without gear.

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