WHAT IS IT? Ride Engineering’s longer shock linkage
arm is designed to improve the handling characteristics of
the Yamaha YZ250.
WHAT’S IT COST? $209.95.
CONTACT? www.ride-engineering.com or (800) 805-1516.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Ride Engineering lowering link for the
(1) Length. The Ride Engineering YZ250 shock link is
1.5mm longer than the stock YZ250 linkage arm. It might
be difficult to understand how such a small increase in
length could make a drastic difference, but for every
millimeter increase in the link-arm length, the rear of the
bike drops 6 millimeters. That makes the YZ250’s seat
height drop a whopping 9mm with the Ride Engineering
link. Determining the actual length of a linkage arm
requires a micrometer and basic math skills. It is
measured from center to center of each link-arm bolt
hole. The Ride Engineering YZ250 lowering link is
( 2) Installation. The easiest way to replace the linkage arm is with the help of a friend. With pressure on the
lower link bolt, carefully remove the lower link nut. Do
the same with the upper link bolt and nut. Line up the
Ride Engineering lowering link and slide in the upper
and lower link bolts. It is best to raise and lower the
rear of the bike to prevent the bolts from binding while
tightening. Torque each nut to 58 foot-pounds (80Nm).
Finally, check rider sag.
( 3) Sag. You have to reset your YZ250’s race sag
because it will change with the longer link. Ride
Engineering’s link arm brought the rear seat height down
9mm. With the drastic change, we kept on raising the sag
until we had adverse effects in handling. We had the best
luck between 100mm and 103mm of sag.
( 4) Performance. The MXA wrecking crew didn’t
just test a 1.5mm-longer link arm; we tested a variety
of lengths before coming to the conclusion that the
1.5mm-longer arm was the best setup. The rear end
tracked much better when there was a load on it,
especially on square-edge bumps. The rear shock
travel was also more consistent through the stoke,
making for a predictable ride. It should be noted that
when you lengthen the shock linkage arm, you do not
change the rising rate curve, but you do change where
the shock starts on the curve. You might find that you
need to take a couple clicks of compression out of
( 5) Forks. Since the geometry of the rear end has
changed with the longer link, that means the front has
also—and not for the better. The Ride link made the
rear work better, but by lowering the rear of the YZ250,
it kicked the head angle out. The result was that the
YZ250 didn’t turn as well and the forks felt harsher.
The solution is to slide the fork legs up into the clamps
about 5mm to put more weight on the front end,
steepening the head angle back to stock. We also went
a little softer on the compression damping to improve
the front/rear balance.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have seen many riders
install a longer shock linkage on their bikes and then go
ride without adjusting the shock’s compression damping
or the fork ride height. This is a no-no. The link works
best when the chassis and suspension are adjusted,
along with the seat height.
The Ride Engineering shock link is an added
benefit to any YZ250 two-stroke.
RIDE ENGINEERING YZ250 SHOCK LINKAGE
MXA TEAM TESTED