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Looking to improve your KX450’s cornering character as well as get some added rear wheel traction? Ride Engineering’s full linkage system for the 2023 KX450 (and SR) will help with just this. I usually put a different pull rods on my older green test bikes back in the day, which was a couple generations of KX models ago and always saw a big improvement with the ride attitude of the machine. With the stock link I found a decent spot for sag and balance, which was around 105-106. With the Ride Engineering linkage system (pull rods/knuckle) I tried the same sag numbers but realized the balance of the bike was off and too low in the back, so I bumped it up to 103mm to get the bike more balanced for what I prefer (as I am a front end steering rider). Once the balance felt right, I noticed how well the bike drove through square edge bumps under acceleration, had an increase in rear wheel traction and helped keep the rear wheel planted to the ground. Not only did I feel an improvement in rear wheel traction it helped the front end track better in area 2 of corners and that is where this bike needed it most. This Ride Engineering linkage system helped with certain characteristics of the KX450 that I didn’t expect to be that much of a change, which doesn’t usually happen that much in the world of testing linkages. Sometimes I can go through five to six different linkage systems in production testing and not get the same result that this certain linkage system gives the KX450. The KX450SR is one of the best 450s being sold today and this just helps the comfort/cornering even more.
You will need to change shock springs for this linkage system however. I went up two spring rates to accommodate the rate of this linkage system. You DO NOT need to valve your shock for this mod, but do need to make sure you go up at least two spring rates (5.7kg to 6.0kg) or else your rear end will feel mushy/empty as the ratio softens the feel of the rear end. What is the down side? Well, get ready to spend $475.00 for the linkage system and that doesn’t include the shock spring. I will say at least everyone that does get this system will feel a difference immediately. Use the code KT20 to save 20% to help lessen the sting (that puts you around $380.00) if you are looking to purchase one. Go to ride-engineering.com to get yours with the code to save.