Kawasaki Motorcycle test
• Red Loc-Tite
• Lint-free rag
• Torque wrench
• Waterproof grease
• Appropriate open-ended wrenches
TIME TO COMPLETE: 15-20 minutes
We’ve said it time and again; it’s best to work on a clean bike. This is especially important when installing a new link arm, as bearings and spacers could become contaminated. Also, it’s much easier to replace a link arm with the help of a friend. As with any installation procedure, work slowly and don’t skip steps.
With the bike on a stand, locate the rear-facing link arm bolt (the link bolt closest to the rear tire). Make sure that the nut and bolt faces are free of dirt and debris. Using the appropriate open-ended wrench (in most cases it will be a 17mm), carefully loosen the nut. Once the nut begins to loosen, place the appropriate open-ended wrench around the bolt. Continue loosening the nut from the bolt. Remove the nut and set it on a lint-free rag. Keep the bolt in the link arm hole.
Locate the forward-facing link arm bolt. Using the same technique as with the rear link arm bolt, carefully loosen the nut. Completely remove the nut and place it on a lint-free rag. Keep the bolt in the link arm hole.
With your hand (or foot), lift the rear wheel up to relieve stress on the bolt. Grab the rear link arm bolt and carefully remove it from its housing. Slowly move the rear wheel up and down to provide relief on the bolt for easy removal. Once the rear link arm bolt has been extracted, set it on a lint-free rag. Remove the forward link arm bolt using the same procedure.
Inspect the bearings, sleeve and spacers located in the forward-positioned link arm hole. The needle bearings should be intact, and the sleeve and spacers shouldn’t show any major signs of wear. Apply a generous amount of waterproof grease to the needle bearings. Insert the sleeve from the stock link arm into the new link arm. Place the bearings and sleeve into the forward link arm hole in the new link arm, followed by the capped spacers.
Carefully position the new link arm, making sure that the spacers stay in place. Grease the forward-positioned link arm bolt and slide it through the hole until the bolt bottoms out. The rear wheel will need to be lifted several inches off the ground in order for the rear holes to line up. Once the front link arm bolt is in place, follow the same procedure for installing the rear link arm bolt.
Apply red Loc-Tite to the threads of both link arm bolts and finger-tighten each nut. Using a torque wrench on the nut and an open-ended wrench on the bolt, tighten the forward link arm nut to the recommended setting found in your owner’s manual. Follow the same procedure for the rear link arm nut and bolt. At this point, the process is complete. Be sure to check the torque setting of both link arm nuts after the first ride, and periodically from that point onward.