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Home arrow How-to's arrow TLR to TLS swingarm

TLR to TLS swingarm Print

This is a write up on fitting a braced TLR swingarm to a TLS.

I've not personally done this mod, so I can't answer any questions about it.

All the information is provided by Kev, a TLZone member. He has given me permission to reproduce the pages here as he was running out of webspace and needed to reclaim some of it.

Some of the images are "clickable" for a larger clearer view.

Disclaimer: This following is for informational purposes only. I am not responsible for what you do to your motorcycle or the results thereof. This is not intended to be a step-by-step walkthrough. Always use the service manual for procedures and torque specifications. The following modification is not a "bolt-on" procedure and requires modification of OEM components.

Now that we got that crap out of the way...1st question...WHY Well the TLS, although it does share a lot of features with the TLR, did not inherit the stiffness of the TLR frame and swingarm. The TLS has a habit of "wallowing" in the corners when applying the throttle at apex due to the torque the TL1000 motor puts out. The TLR swingarm, with all of it's glorious bracing, will help by keeping the swingarm from twisting.

(Kev's bike.)

Since the swingarm pivot at the rear of the frame is the same between the 2 bikes, this swap is relatively easy, although it is not a "bolt on" type of modification. I tried to take plenty of pictures throughout the swap. Hopefully this will help anyone else considering this mod.

You will reuse most of the stock TLS parts. The only TLR parts needed are the swingarm (with bearings), brake arm, and the chain buffer. I was lucky enough to find a TLR swingarm in mint condition from another member of TLZ.


The swingarm had been painted black with POR 15, so out came the Aircraft Remover (can be found at automotive paint shops), which will remove any paint I have found so far. I considered leaving the swingarm black, but with the welding that needed to be done, the whole swingarm would've needed repainting anyway. The POR came right off and underneath I found the anodizing was in perfect condition. Notice the 3 tabs on top of the TLR swingarm. These tabs will be relocated to match the suspension linkage for the TLS, which needs 4 tabs.


swingarm swingarm

The 1st step was to remove the 3 tabs from the TLR swingarm. Keep the cuts as clean as possible so you can reuse the tabs and so there is less grinding to do. The next picture shows the swingarm after I used an angle grinder with a Vortec sanding disc on the area.

swingarm swingarm

I also prepared 2 of the tabs by grinding the bottoms flat and making sure they were the same height by lining up the holes. These will be used on the shock side for the TLS. The tabs for the rotary damper side must be fabricated. I made mine out of 3/8 in. thick aluminum plate (most metal shop will have scrap pieces laying around), using the other tabs as a template and drilling the right size hole (the damper linkage bolt is SMALLER than the shock side, so the TLR tabs cannot be reused for the damper side). Make your tabs a little bit longer on the bottom, they can be shortened if needed


Next I prepared my TLS by removing the rear wheel and complete exhaust. With no weight on the swingarm (support the frame with jack stands) and before disconnecting the linkage, measure the distance between the swingarm (choose a spot that is the same on both swingarms - the rear weld works well) and the subframe.I came up with 15" Mark the subframe where you measure, this is the ride height you want to replicate.The picture was taken as I put the TLR swingarm on, but the TLS swingarm should be measured the same way, prior to removal (you will not need the strap since the shock linkage will hold the swingarm in place).

Notice the angle of the TLS rotary damper linkage, it doesn't mount straight up and down.

Continue by removing the TLS swingarm. You will need to remove the brake line, and disassemble the swingarm pivot. The chain will need to be removed anyway, so now is a good time to remove it as well.

After you have taken the TLS swingarm off, cut the left exhaust mount off of the frame. With the exhaust mount in place, you will have no swingarm travel, since the braced center section of the TLR swingarm will come into contact with it. My full Yoshimura system wasn't using this mount anyway, so removing it was of little consequence. Below are pictures before and after it was removed with an angle grinder and a cut-off wheel

swingarm swingarm

Next I mounted the TLR swingarm. You will need to place one of the oil seals from the TLS swingarm pivot onto the left side of the TLR swingarm pivot (the smaller side) over the bearings this ensures the TLR swingarm pivot is the right width. Once the swingarm pivot bolt is installed, use a strap to set the ride height to the 15 in. previously measured. Next mount the tabs to the TLS linkage using the stock bolts.

swingarm swingarm

Once the bottoms of the tabs were flush against the swingarm, I numbered the tabs 1-4 to ensure the order would remain the same and outlined where the tabs needed to be welded to the swingarm. If the tabs you fabricated for the rotary damper side are too long (tall), the damper linkage will not be at the same angle, and the tabs will need to be shaved down. If they are too short, the damper linkage will be more straight up and down, and the tabs will need to be remade.

Once everything is marked, remove the swingarm and the tabs from the stock linkage.

Once you take the swingarm off, you should have something similar to this.


Notice where the tabs are to be located isn't necessarily a flat surface. The welder will be able to fill in this are as he welds the tabs on. I also had my welder shape the bottom of the tabs in a "V" and the surface of the swingarm was also shaped in a corresponding "V". This creates more surface area for the weld, thus creating a stronger weld.

I suggest having the tabs tacked into place at first, so you can mount the swingarm and ensure everything lines up. If anything needs to be moved, a tack weld can be removed much easier that if it was completely welded. It is an extra step, but could save time in the end.

Here is my swingarm once the welding was complete.Notice the welds in between the stabs for the shock linkage.The height of the weld caused some interference with the shock linkage (it couldn't move freely), so I had to file the welds down a small amount. This could've been avoided if the tabs were taller.

swingarm swingarm

Once you are sure that everything lines up and the welding is complete, assemble the chain adjusters and chain buffer onto the swingarm. Mount the swingarm (don't forget the oil seal on the left side of the swingarm pivot) to include the damper and shock linkage and torque everything to spec.

Now you can assemble the rear brake line. I had to make 2 retainers for the rear brake hose out of thin aluminum, but the mounting holes were already there. Next mount the exhaust, leaving the cans (mufflers) off for the time being.

swingarm swingarm

As you can see in the first picture, the lower swingarm bracing was very close to the small crossover pipe for my exhaust. At full droop (no weight on the swingarm) it would actually contact the exhaust. To remedy this, I dropped the exhaust approximately 1/4 to 1/2 in. down the rear header. This gave me plenty of room and the exhaust still lined up correctly.

Now you can mount up the rear wheel, brake arm, chain and chain guard. Since the swingarms are the same length, the chain length should stay the same (I replaced my chain, but it wasn't necessary). Don't forget to bleed the rear brake since you disassembled it.

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