How to Extend a Swingarm

Updated February 21, 2017

Extended swingarms are useful for motorcycle owners who wish to remove some of the torque from their acceleration and turn it into forward motion. Many powerful bikes will jump and pop up the front wheel when under full acceleration, but an extended swingarm will lengthen the wheel base and help make the bike go forward instead of up.

Purchase the proper arm for your motorcycle. Extended swingarms are available in ultralight, standard and racing forms. There are also companies that will add on to your existing stock swingarm, and others who sell mechanical swingarm extensions. Make sure the one you pick is compatible with the specific year, make and model of motorcycle.

Place a motorcycle stand beneath the rear end of your motorcycle, or use your centre stand if you have one. Make sure the swingarm is hanging free. Remove the rear brakes by loosening the bolts on the caliper and sliding them off. Remove the rear wheel of your motorcycle by loosening the axle bolt and any holder bolts that may exist.

Check for a chain tensioner along the side of the swingarm. If it exists on your bike, you will have to loosen it to move the wheel forward. Once that's done, the wheel should move fairly freely within the swingarm. Remove the chain from the sprocket and slide the wheel out of the rear of the swingarm. The motorcycle stand should take the weight of the bike and hold it in place.

Remove the rear shock and spring from your old swingarm. Remove the locking bolts at the bottom end of your rear suspension, where it attaches to the swingarm. The arm should fall free from the shock and spring assembly, and the assembly should hang in place.

Unbolt the old swingarm from the frame of the bike. There should be bolts on both sides of the swingarm, which must be removed. The swingarm is now loose from the bike and can be removed. Hold the new swingarm in place and attach it to the frame with the same bolts. Install your new brake lines and chain. Re-attach all additional components.

Use the chain tensioner bolts to apply the proper amount of tension to the chain. Have a licensed motorcycle mechanic perform a wheel alignment and balance for all speeds before riding.


Lay out all the parts you remove on a clean towel in the order and place they were removed. This will make replacement simpler later on.


To ensure safe and proper installation, you should always have all work done by a licensed professional. This article should only be used a general reference, not an instruction manual. Any loose bolts or missing parts can prove fatal.

Things You'll Need

  • Extended swingarm
  • Ratchet set
  • Auto jack
  • Wrenches
  • New chain
  • New brake line
  • Allen Keys
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About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.