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Lee's Cycle BMW S1000RR LCR Shock Linkage

Thursday, January 27, 2011
With the LCR link it is much easier to control the rear tire during power slides off corners.
The  799 Lees Cycle LCR link works the shock in a more linear fashion.
(Above) With the LCR Link it is much easier to control the rear tire during power slides off corners. (Below) The $799 Lees Cycle LCR Link works the shock in a more linear fashion.
Last year BMW shook up the sportbike world with the release of its S1000RR. Germany’s flagship superbike went on to win Motorcycle USA’s prestigious 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Track and 2010 Superbike Smackdown VII Street comparisons. If that wasn’t enough, it was also proclaimed Motorcycle USA’s 2010 Motorcycle of the Year. While we fell in love with its outrageous engine power with it cranking out 20 more rear wheel horsepower than the closest competitor (Kawasaki ZX-10R), after logging a fair number of laps at various Southern California racetracks we’ve noticed a deficiency in terms of the rear suspension performance. So we tried to fix the problem by fitting a LCR Link from San Diego, California-based Lee's Cycle.
 
In stock configuration the BMW offers great handling and suspension performance under the vast majority of riding conditions. However those capable of zooming around the racetrack at professional-grade speeds might notice a quirk. The problem lies in the way the rear shock moves within its stroke. In order to get adequate levels of comfort and road compliance on the street yet firm damping when loaded heavily with the throttle, engineers were forced to design the rear shock linkage with certain compromises.

“I don’t think the stock link has limitations, it is just made to appeal to the masses,” says fast-guy Jeremy Toye, who helped develop the link in races such as the recent Macau GP in which he finished third last season. “It’s made to be really soft initially so it delivers a smooth ride when you’re running to Starbucks. But obviously having a stock bike that puts out 180 horsepower, when you twist the throttle, it generates a lot of energy. So they made the link so it can handle the excess horsepower on the street. But as soon as you get on the track, that initial softness allows too high of a shock velocity initially (top of the stroke). It goes from no resistance to super stiff fast which can make the bike more difficult to control.”
The  799 Lees Cycle LCR link for the BMW S1000RR improves rear end feel and suspenion performance.
The $799 Lees Cycle LCR Link for the BMW S1000RR improves rear end feel and suspenion performance.

The solution is to fit an LCR Link. The part is a direct, bolt-on replacement for the stock linkage. It alters the speed at which the shock absorber moves which makes the rear end of the bike feel more predicable when loaded on the gas.
 
“The LCR link allows the shock to work in a more linear method,” continues Toye. “It’s a flatter rate so it calms down the rear end when the tire starts spinning. It basically slows down the shock velocity. Initially it starts off a little stiff—which is better for the track—and when you crack on the throttle, you have more feel and it plants the chassis a little quicker. And since it keeps a steady rate you have a consistent feel as you continue to open up the throttle.”

The LCR link modifies the ride height of the motorcycle, raising the rear end anywhere from 12-15mm. To compensate we lifted the front end by sliding the fork tubes down from 4.5 lines to 2 lines. We also added compression damping in the fork due to the slightly added load on the front end. The rear shock settings were unchanged. Ideally, it is recommended that you install an aftermarket shock with adjustable ride height to ensure optimum chassis balance.

As soon as we rolled out of the pits and onto the racetrack the difference was night and day. The back end of the bike felt much higher than before but it within a few turns we were comfortable with its altitude. Yank on the twist grip and the rear end squats far more predictably than before. It doesn’t just squat, spin and rebound like it did when it was stock.
The LCR shock linkage allows the back tire to dig into the pavement even harder than stock.
The LCR shock linkage allows the back tire to dig into the pavement even harder than stock.
This allows the rider much greater control when modulating power slides off corners. We also noticed how much better the rear tire “digs in” to the pavement. While we still encountered considerable wheel spin with the stock Metzeler K3 street tire with the fitment of full-on race tires we’d be able to explore the outrageous performance of the S1000RR in a safer and more controlled manner. Despite the more aggressive chassis attitude steering wasn’t overly quick and straight-line stability was unaffected. On the street, ride quality was slightly harsher but it’s something we can live with considering how much more planted the back of the bike feels when loaded aggressively. We also noticed added wheelie propensity which proves that the back tire is indeed connecting to the asphalt more effectively.

If you’re really into track riding on your BMW, then flat-out the $799 LCR link is worth the price. It dramatically increases the rider’s ability to control the rear tire when power sliding around the racetrack and makes the bike safer and more fun to ride. Hat’s off to Toye and his team of engineers for developing a simple, effective and no-nonsense performance mod for the S1000RR.

The Lee's Cycle LCR Link is available at Lee's Cycle. For more BMW S1000RR performance parts check out Motorcycle-Superstore.com
MSRP: $799
Lee's Cycle LCR Linkage Photos
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Comments
miles todd   February 4, 2011 02:02 PM
I've ridden the BMW with and without the LCR link at the track and in the canyons, and I can honestly say it's $800 very well spent. Seriously- it makes the rear suspension work that much better that you'll wonder why it wasn't this way to start with.
Craig -Mist it...er wild pig  February 1, 2011 11:14 AM
This is about 90 percent more bike than you could ever handle ( I am being generous ) accept your fat your fat gut ( and the stuff in the shade ) and enjoy the agricultural equipment you ride.
wildpig -mr wildpig to you  January 28, 2011 04:08 AM
yea but the problem you got is --- it's still a BMW. buy the bike experience a 50% loss at re-sale even when it's in mint condt.. got all the hoss power bells an whisltes and cant finish 1st..... hahaha -- granted they werent workin with blue chip riders.... nother thing--wana talk parts prices on ANY BMW made? i didnt think so........... keep the bmw unless u make 100k a yr cuz i promise you -- you will need it. feel free to quote me.
Topgearamerica -REPLY: Fast Eddie  January 27, 2011 09:03 PM
Ummm... Ducati Performance sells a race link for ducatis too... In fact they sell a whole swing arm. I love the Ducatis but I think until the new superbike comes out you should save the smack talk cause thats when its gonna get real nasty in the superbike arena.
fast eddie -rear linkage?  January 27, 2011 07:55 PM
This is the reason i bought a ducati all u need to do is put gas and kick ass!!No 700 dollar updates needed.
It's Me -Claim Jumper  January 27, 2011 12:20 PM
Neil Vee-Have you ever read a less-than-perfect review—of anything—on MC-USA? No. So go buy this 700 dollar link, because yours sucks and this will make you faster. haha
Topgearamerica -Not an uncommon mod  January 27, 2011 11:27 AM
Links on a 1000 for track use is nothing new. Street riding and track riding are 2 completely different styles and the OEMs usually have to pick one or the other to focus on. BMW tried to provide to both and they brought a good set-up (obviously cause its won almost all of the shootouts) but if you are going racing, or making this a track only bike than replacing the link with a more focused piece will be a benefit. I remember a video where Chris Ulrich of M4 Suzuki was talking about the Yoshimura link on his Gixxer 1000. The stock link was designed for hard riding but it also has to be designed for 2 up riding which is about as far off from racing as you can get. There is no one perfect set up for all conditions and if your looking to focus on the track more the article is simply saying hey we tried this and its a good product, and when it comes to something like a rear shock linkage where quality is extremely important that will be quite useful and I personally would like to see a lot more product reviews when it comes to performance track parts. Good feature AW
adam - motousa -yes i can  January 27, 2011 09:35 AM
we only rode it at one track chuckwalla and on the street. if you like to haul-ass and i mean really haul-ass like a maniac then this link will allow you to do some easier and with more safety margin because the shock isn't always bottomed-out when you're pinned on the throttle. if you're not that fast or just riding around on the street with no planned trackday use we'd stick with stock.
Neil Vee -Can you really make this claim?  January 27, 2011 07:56 AM
Is this not the talk of a snake-oil salesperson? Different tracks require different settings... and this is marketed as a fix-all?

Also, would have a appreciated a graph indicating the difference in rate over stock.
andy -lol  January 27, 2011 07:36 AM
800bucks...hahahaha , very funny!