View Full Version : What's the difference between link and no link?

04-17-2003, 02:19 PM
What is the difference between link and no link setups? What are the advantages? More travel? Easier to adjust? Cheaper? What are the disadvantages?

How do you convert? Is it as simple as just taking the linkage out, or is it a complete setup that requires a whole new swingarm?

I want to upgrade my suspension all around, and I see many people talking about no-link setups, and I was wondering if this is an avenue I want to pursue, but I don't know anything about it.

04-17-2003, 02:56 PM
i have a lonestar no link r.i sold my other lonestar link bike last year. the no link bike seems to stay hooked up more but my link bike would let the tires spin more and it would slide easer. roll makes a no link conversion its a swing arm and a new shock.but rite now im rideing my 400 it seems easer on me.:huh

Tommy 17
04-17-2003, 03:52 PM
john what do u think about the cr500 link on a 250r???

when u watch walsh, gibson, laegers etc with 500 links its seems like they soak up everything 100 times better then a std link or no link bike... when they case a jump a lil bit or go though whoops it looks like they have a huge advantage over the other bikes....

j.w why don't u offer it on ur 250rs... ur one of few that dont...

i'd really like to know more about 500 links bc i want to build one in the near future if i can...


04-17-2003, 04:08 PM
Hello guys:

If you own a 400EX, you've got a linkage system that is VERY similar to the CR 500.

I never did it on the 250R for a couple reasons.

I wanted the 250R frame, (and the new EX & CRF frame) to be at a reasonable price. The CR500 linkage is a couple hundred bucks on it's own, and then you need a very expensive shock to go with it. To me it defeated the purpose of a cost effective frame project. You will also need a special swingarm to make it work, and that also adds cost to the project.

As for the ride, I have tried them, but to tell you the truth, I'm not a good enough rider to push it like it needs to be. On top of that, most of the guys that own one have a very good ride also because they own the best shocks available.

04-17-2003, 04:14 PM
On the Roll LOBO II set up, the shock doesnt sit at a funny angle..it looks like it does when there is a linkage on it and you dont need to have a relocated mout on the frame. What do you think of this set up as compared to other no links, like LSR and some of the others...?

04-17-2003, 04:17 PM
So what your saying is this, basically is that the linkage allows you to have more travel with less hassle? Well, how about the rear setup on the Cannondale's? What do you think about that? I just want to hear your honest opinion. I've heard that with Position sensitive shocks that it doesnt really matter, is this true?


Tommy 17
04-17-2003, 04:23 PM
i dunno if this is true... but i heard a c-dale uses a copy of the rear end off the KTM mx bike rear end... i dunno how true that is though..

04-17-2003, 05:01 PM
I dunno, but it does seem very similar now that I think about it.

d-14 rider 27
04-17-2003, 06:08 PM
i think one of the main reasons manufacturers go with no-link on their frames is because they can put the shock mount higher to make room for intakes on all these bike motors, ive heard they improve traction, but kinda finnicky with valving, and often springy

04-17-2003, 06:27 PM
Hello Guys:

I haven't really paid much attention to many no link systems lately. There aren't that many around to check out, and it didn't really matter to me anyway, since I probably wasn't going to build one. I like Doug Rolls stuff, but you hardly ever see any of his parts at the local races, so I'm not sure how his setup works. It certainly takes a specialized swingarm however, and an equally specialized shock. Together they probably cost half as much as the rest of your quad.

As for the Cannondale, that suspension was designed from the factory as a no-link system, so that puts it in an entirely different category as trying to retrofit something else. I can also tell you this about the Cannondale no-link system: Look at the casting... It's the same casting as they run on their motorcycle. Here's how that happened.... They had the casting already done for the motorcycle, and they didn't want another casting made for the ATV, so with a little machining work they made it work for both the ATV lineup and the motorcycles. To make that casting tool cost over 30K if I remember correctly. That's nothing however. There was a new swingarm designed that was supposed to be completely cast, and that tool cost over 70 thousand. It never made it into production however. If you really want pricey, the engine cases castings were about 250K, and the plastic injection mold cost them a half million.

04-18-2003, 04:29 AM
No wonder they went bankrupt.

But, is it a good no-link system or is it flawed in someway?

04-18-2003, 04:45 AM
Hello Guys:

I actually liked the Cannondale No-Link system, but that one worked quite well because it was designed that way from the factory, not rebuilt and retrofit onto an existing quad. That makes all the difference in the world.

As for the tooling price, it was a big part in helping them go bankrupt. There were many millions spent getting parts into production, and some tools werer never even used. There was a new set of plastic that never made it into production either. Unfortuntaley, they had to spend so much money on tooling that when it came time to start making parts off the new tools they didn't have anything left to work with. They found themselves in the spot of having all the tooling to make a profitable quad, but they had no money to actually start making the parts to build them. Too bad for everyone in the industry (especially the vendors) I guess.

04-19-2003, 09:56 AM
So, the long and short of it is, unless I plan on racing flattrack, I probably don't want a no-link setup...

04-19-2003, 04:29 PM
Well I raced today. (my first race on my new R). And I'll tell ya what...that rear end saved my arse more than time...kickers, casing, and brake bumps, and other spots where I KNOW my stock link would have threw me over the bars, this baby saved me, and it is definitely a lot better than a stock link!! (by the way I ran an Arens swingarm, and Elka rear shock on my stock link). I am not gonna lie though, that stock link set up was DEFINITELY and improvement over stock swingarm and shock..Just a little feedback for everyone who's been asking about these linkages.