AltRider ADV Moto Products :: Field Tested

AltRider produces a wide range of rugged adventure bike accessories. Reviewed below are three of their products that I’ve tested on my Yamaha Ténéré 700. I chose them because they solve real-world problems for adventure enthusiasts, and are available for several other motorcycles. My T7 also wears AltRider’s crash bars, which Heather Lea highlighted in an earlier post.

AltRider Lowering Links

Modern adventure bikes are built tall to maximize ground clearance for off-pavement travel. Sadly, not all riders—me included—are built to fit such a machine. With a 31-inch inseam, I can touch my toes when atop my Yamaha’s 34.6-inch high seat. That’s acceptable on tarmac, not so much in the rocks. One bad foot plant and it’s over we go, which could mean an embarrassing photo or a broken leg. Reducing a bike’s height with lowering links is a popular way to improve stability.

Choose Your Height

Most links are available in set lengths to achieve a given height reduction. AltRider’s are unique in providing two lowering positions, plus one that raises the bike. Options are 18 and 30 millimeters lower or 12 millimeters higher. AltRider laser-cuts these from 6-millimeter thick stainless steel, and etches each hole in a link with its suspension change value. Installation is simple with the motorcycle on a lift—remove the stock links and bolt up the AltRiders. Following the installation video, I had no problem dropping my T7’s ride height by 18 millimeters.

Don’t Forget the Forks

The front end will also requiring lowering. Leaving it stock extends the bike’s rake, slowing the steering. AltRider recommends raising the fork tubes to half the distance the rear was lowered. That means exposing 15-16 millimeters of fork tube at the top (stock setting is seven millimeters).

So far, I haven’t missed the 18 millimeters of lost clearance, and have enjoyed every moment of getting a better grip on the ground.

AltRider Adjustable Side Stand

Lowering my T7 gave me more confidence stopping in rough terrain and on the street. However, it created two problems. First, the stock stand now keeps the bike nearly vertical, making it difficult to mount and easier to tip over. Second, it’s now much harder to heft the bike onto the center stand.

To the Rescue

AltRider’s adjustable aluminum side stand provides seven height settings half an inch apart. The stand goes from 1 inch higher than stock to 2 inches lower. The collar with the spring hook covers the two screws that secure the upper and lower sections. A more difficult task is attaching the stand to its bracket on the bike. The installation video was helpful for this but did not address the complexities of having a center stand on the bike.

Included are a heavier spring to better hold the stand in the retracted position and a spring puller that makes it simple to attach it. The stand also features a large convex foot to ensure safe parking on softer surfaces. AltRider claims the convex design assists the foot in grabbing whatever surface it’s placed on. Testing on various surfaces confirms this, I never felt the stand was going to slip off or dig in. They are now offering an aluminum center stand that may be the solution to my second problem.

AltRider Adjustable Clutch Arm

AltRider designed their adjustable clutch arm to reduce forearm pump by making the clutch easier to pull. Anyone who’s experienced forearm pain after hours of shifting gears while riding dirt roads should appreciate the help. The solution is a longer clutch arm that provides more leverage at the actuator end of the cable.

Two Choices

My Ténéré has AltRider’s original adjustable clutch arm, which has three clutch cable positions. The outer position eases effort by a claimed percent, the middle one matches the stock lever pull and the inner one increases it. This version will not fit with the Yamaha crash bars. AltRider’s newer design has two cable positions, stock and 33 percent reduction, and plays nice with the OEM bars.

Both versions are CNC machined from 6061 T6 aluminum and anodized black. My installation was straightforward but required removing and replacing a snap ring and re-adjusting the clutch cable. The system works as promised—with the cable in the outermost position, the clutch can be disengaged with one or two fingers.

Check ’em Out

AltRider makes all of their products in the USA. Adventure riders looking to lower their motorcycle, enjoy a side stand that adjusts to a lowered bike, or reduce their clutch pull effort should consider these top quality accessories.

$80 | Lowering Links

$197 | Adjustable Side Stand

$65/$90 | Adjustable Clutch Arm

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Arden’s first motorcycle was a Yamaha Enduro, obtained while in high school. It set the stage for decades of off-pavement exploration on dual-sports and adventure bikes. Camping in the middle of nowhere became his favorite pursuit. As a former whitewater river guide and National Park Service seasonal employee, Arden believes in wilderness, wildlife, and being kind to the earth. A self-taught writer who barely passed English classes, he has contributed adventure stories and tested motorcycles and accessories for Rider Magazine and other outlets for nearly 30 years. In that time, he’s worn out two KLR 650s and is currently following the road to the middle of nowhere on his Ténéré 700 and an aging but reliable DR-Z 400S.