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Synergy Seals X Bushing

April 30, 2013

Lower Your KTM Quickly, Cheaply

MSRP: $99

By Kelly Hassman

The Synergy Seals X Bushing and Z bolt kit are designed to lower the rear of a KTM dirtbike from one-quarter inch to seven-eighth inch. The kit fits most off-road models with the PDS rear shock and also provides a grease fitting for ease of maintenance. I installed and tested the system on a 2012 KTM 200 XCW that I use for enduros and hare scrambles.

After putting the bike on a stand and removing the rear wheel, mud guard and shock assembly, I was able to easily remove the OEM lower shock pivot bearing so I could install the new bushing. This also allowed access to the top of the swingarm, which needs to be modified to provide clearance so the lower shock yoke can pivot freely.

The bushing itself is easy to fit to the swingarm, but does require drilling and tapping a threaded hole for the supplied set screw. I used a #25 drill bit and a 10-24NC tap. These tools are not included with the kit, so be sure to have them on hand prior to starting this job. I also used a carbide cutter bit in an air grinder to machine the top of the swingarm to allow the shock to move freely. A file would have done the job, but I needed to remove approximately 1.5mm of aluminum, so the air tool was fastest.

I test fit the shock a few times, checking for space with the aid of a small flashlight on the back side to verify sufficient clearance before final assembly. A KTM swingarm is not an inexpensive item, so I took a small amount off for each trial fit. After a few test fits, I re-installed the shock and put the bike back together with a shot of grease to the new zerk fitting. Then I raised the front forks 7mm in the triple clamps to keep the suspension even per the manufacturer's recommendation.

It’s not a hard job, but if you aren’t used to modifying the chassis of your motorcycle, it can seem a little intimidating. Don’t worry, though. The instructions are clear (if printed a little small) and the modifications are minor. The whole job took under an hour, but if you're not comfortable drilling and threading aluminum, it could be accomplished at most competent bike shops.

The payoff, though, is that the product works. I have used the bushing kit for several races so far, including an AMA National Enduro in a Louisiana forest. It really helps the bike turn better in the tight woods, and it feels more stable.

Taller riders may not benefit as much, but you don’t have to be terribly short to realize the benefits, which have more to do with performance than seat height. I am 5-foot, 10-inches tall, and I recommend the X Bushing. It offers noticeable improvement in handling and in ease of maintenance for about 100 bucks.

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