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[Riding Jezebel] Deciding to Lower Your Bike

Why Lower a Motorcycle?

There are many reasons to lower a motorcycle; ranging from looks to comfort. One of the most common reasons to lower the bike is to allow shorter riders to get more of their foot on the ground, improving stability and confidence, especially at slow speeds and stopping. It can be difficult, if not  impossible to duck walk or even park your bike when your toes barely graze the ground, and slow speed turns can be intimidating. If you are not  able to find a pair of high-heeled riding boots that offer both style and safety, lowering your bike is a sure fire way to get you from tippy toes to firmly planted on the ground.

Lowering Options

There are many options out there to lower your motorcycle, most popular being:
  • Shortening your existing suspension
  • Specialized shocks
  • Installation of lowering links
After a fair bit of research into cost and safety considerations, we decided to install aftermarket lowering links. Changing the suspension is definitely an excellent option, but it is typically expensive. Another option is to replace the springs on the front and back suspension for progressive, shortened springs. These springs are designed to get stiffer as they are compressed. Although this option appears to be more cost effective at first glance, it is more labour intensive to change springs if you do it yourself, and a shop will often charge $100.00 or more per hour to change them for you. Lowering links provided us with a cost effective method to lower the bike and it was simple enough that we were able to complete the modifications in a morning with some basic tools.

Types of Lowering Links

The three main types of lowering links for a Kawasaki Ninja 250r are fixed, quick adjust, and selective. The fixed length lowering links are great options if you know exactly how low you want your bike to be, and they look like shorter versions of the stock links on a Ninja 250r. These are often referred to "dog bones" due to their dog-bone-like shape. The next option we looked at was the adjustable lowering links. These are great if you want to quickly and easily change the height of the rear of your bike. They are effectively a link with an embedded bolt that allows you to  move the bike up or down by simply turning the body or a bolt on the lowering link. Since we are not planning on changing the height of the bike often, we opted for links that had several options from raising the bike by one, or lowering it by up to four inches. The "Roaring Toyz" lowering links for the Ninja 250r were our choice for Jezebel. They gave us the freedom to try different heights, while keeping costs in check (under $100 for both the lowering links and the handle bar raisers).

Bolt-Select Lowering Links by Roaring Toyz

Fixed length Lowering Links by Lust Racing

Adjustable Lowering Link by PSR



Aluminum is one of the most common materials used to manufacture lowering links. You will want to make sure that you get T6 aluminum. This is a tempered aluminum that is used in everything from aircraft parts to scuba tanks. There are also 2 main methods of making links from aluminum: machining from an aluminum billet, or forming it in a cast. Links created from billet aluminum are machined, or cut  out of a solid block of aluminum using specialized equipment. These are often slightly more expensive than cast links as there is more waste produced in the manufacturing process. Cast lowering links are created by pouring molten aluminum into a cast, or form, to create the link. More often than not, this will create a perfectly strong lowering link, but there is a risk of imperfections that may occur during the pouring and cooling process. Billet aluminum is more likely to create a link that will be consistent throughout the entire link. I am not going to say that billet is always better, but based on one process likely producing more consistent structural integrity; I am going to go with billet.

Handle Bar Risers

If you are going to lower the rear suspension, it’s a good idea to lower the front of your bike as well. This will help keep the geometry of your bike as close to stock as possible. On the Ninja 250R, the handlebars bolt directly above the suspension. In order to lower the front end, handle bar risers are needed to add an additional inch of space to allow the forks of the front suspension to be moved slightly higher, lowering the front end of your bike. Although you will not be able to lower front end more than an inch due to the limitations of this design, it will help.


One component of lowering a bike that is often overlooked is the kickstand. The stock kickstand is designed for a bike that is stock height. As you lower your bike it will be more and more upright when on the kickstand. If you lower your Ninja up to about two inches, you are likely going to be fine with the stock stand. Once you get into the three or more inch range, you will need to look into getting a shorter kickstand or get the stock stand cut and welded. Aftermarket kickstands can be expensive, coming in well over $100.00, so for many people taking their stand to a local metal working shop is a much more cost effective method of getting the stand at a length that suits your lowered motorcycle.


The price and availability of lowering links can vary from retailer to retailer so I suggest you shop around online for the best deal in your area. We purchased the hardware on eBay and found it was slightly cheaper than the MSRP when buying direct from the manufacturer ($89 total for the links and the raisers).

Manufacturer Product MSRP Website
Roaring Toyz Lowering Links - Bolt Select $39.99
Handle Bar Risers $59.99
Kick Stand $109.99
Three Piece Package $189.99
Soupy's Perfomance Lowering Links - Adjustable $102.00
Handle Bar Risers $74.00
Kick Stand $139.00
Links and Risers Package $170.00

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