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Old 08-26-2011, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rider sag

On my 05 1200 Roadster I heard about adding spacers to the front forks to increase the sag height. So I tried to add 1 1/4 spacers but I couldn't get them in and screw the cap back on no matter how hard I tried. So I was able to shove 3/4 in spacers in and It didn't help much at all. My question is, is other then getting a really strong ass person or a machine to shove em in, what can I do to make the ride sag better. Im 220 but even when my 150lb brother rides it it still sags like crazy. Could cutting the springs 2in and adding a 2 3/4 in spacer help. What I also don't get is that the stock Sportster springs are progressive so If I bought Progressive springs I can't see how that would help. Also how does fork oil affect ride sag or doesn't it. (I didn't think it did.)

Last edited by XL1200R; 08-29-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You may have tired springs,,how many miles ya got ?
Don't feel like a wimp, Im 200 lbs and all I could press in was 3/4" of preload.
I figger thats about where the stock spring rate starts to ramp up

I used a really big socket for a hand hold, had to really work at keeping things
straight to catch the threads safely...
One hand wrapped round the parts, the other pressing down.
I'm tall, able to get alot of body weight above the thing.
Got something solid to stand on ??

Last Pic Is how far out the springs stick when I start,,front end hangin free.
Running Ricor Intimidators and 1/4" preload now,,adds up to 3/4
11.6 oz Is service book fill
this can be adjusted,, up to about 12 oz to Increase ride hieght a little.
Better be damn shure ya git the rest out, a 12oz fill stiffens em up.
Ifin it was me,,I'd try 11.8 oz,,a small diff here gives big results.

I'm running 11.3 oz's due to the Intimidators volume,,a bit too much
I need to reduce to 11.1 oz
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had another person help me by pressing down on the socket top with a wooden dowel rod while I guided the threads into the fork tube and twisted the socket by hand. He could get a two hand hold on the dowel rod and apply all the force necessary. Once I had a turn or two on the threads, it was easy from there.

I added only 5/8" spacers to the 39mm forks on my FXR. I started with 1-1/4", but it was too much - the forks topped out against the rebound springs and I didn't like that. I also found that by fine tuning the amount and weight of oil the in the tubes, I could stiffen up the front end to my liking. Some sag is a necessary and good thing.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikedelic View Post
Some sag is a necessary and good thing.
Absolutly !
Sag Is critical for safety and a good ride.
Must be between 1/4 and 1/3 total travel,
With rider In gear on the bike.
Front and rear.

Too much sag you bottom out hard,

Too Little and you can loose the tire contact patch.
Most often you will feel a wiggle or a wander for a sec
when In a corner.
And at big speeds ya got a twitchy bike.
The Littlest bumps make the bike feel disconnected to the road.

Too Little Is down right dangerous.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm 5'5". I Stood on top of a block of wood and pressed down standing behind the front wheel not in front of the bike. Standing behind gave me the leveredge I needed at the proper angle.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's some great info thanks alot. And thanks alot for the consolation I did feel like a wimp. Also the springs got 9k on em so I was wondering if they could be a lil tired or not. As it is right now with the 3/4in spacer it helped the ride sag about 1/2 in witch makes sense, but I want the front end where it needs to be. And as for the rear I'm on stock shocks but the ride sag is right where it needs to be so I'm gonna leave it alone for a wile.
It ticks me off mostly with going fast into turns, it doesn't feel that great so I need it right.
I like the dowel idea too.

Thanks for the pics too thats basically what I did but I'm going to enlist the help of someone so I can push down while they turn. And I found a good strategy to get the threads to start so hopefully take 2 will be better.

For what its worth my springs stuck out about that much too.

What kind of oil should I use for the best results too???

I guess my next question is what spacer and oil combo do I need to do in order to achieve the ride sag I need. As it sits there is only 3 1/2" of fork tube showing when I'm on. Or may I need new springs too???

On a side note after the 3/4" spacer the ride sag still blows but I feel it did help somewhat in the turns. It felt more stable and when I hit mid turn bumps it didn't affect the turning as much.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok XL
Use a few zip ties, both tubes, make em tight.
Now get on the bike and have a freind help compress the front down to bottom out.
Go slow so not to push the zip ties beyond the real bottom out line..

Now jack the bike up n let the forks hang, measure to the Zip tie, thats total travel
write it down...
Now let It down and sit the bike feet on the pegs, buddy holds er level by straddling
the front tire.
Measure from there to that zip tie thats at the full compression line.
Thats yer sag, get the calculator out, do the math.
1/4 to 1/3 of total travel.

Now for fork fluid,,,this is tricky, HD fork Oil weights:
E is 5 wt
B is 10 wt
SE is 15 wt
SE heavy (racing) is 20 wt

Stock Is 5 and most dealers will tel you not to use anything else/thicker.

I started with 20wt, very big Improvement BUT a Big BUT here...
I knew I was gonna be setting It up for corner carving In KNOWN corners.
You go hard Into a corner and hit a small bump with 20wt you better know how to
deal with a airborne front tire.......

Only way I know Is to not chit yerself and make no bar Input at all.
All I do Is lean a little forward and keep holding maintenance throttle.
Let the tire find traction, It will.

20 wt slows compression damping alot,,with much less fork dive on braking.
to a point.
20 wt worked well for me down here In Hot sticky Florida but come winter
It was way too stiff.
backed down to 10 wt,,much better, much better front end feedback.
I would not go for max lean angle onna Roadster with 20 wt oil..
ride this fluid at 80% max, no more/

Now Im back to 5 wt because of the Intimidator valves.

Remember a quarter oz over fill will also reduce dive just like a thicker oil will.
over 12oz's onna roadster,,you could blow a seal.
You could mix a 10 anna 15 wt for 12.5 wt.....

3/4" preload got me right In there,,,
you weigh a bit more and may need a tad more but IMO an Inch would be too much.

I have no Idea how long the springs last.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osco View Post
Ok XL
Use a few zip ties, both tubes, make em tight.
Now get on the bike and have a freind help compress the front down to bottom out.
Go slow so not to push the zip ties beyond the real bottom out line..

Now jack the bike up n let the forks hang, measure to the Zip tie, thats total travel
write it down...
Now let It down and sit the bike feet on the pegs, buddy holds er level by straddling
the front tire.
Measure from there to that zip tie thats at the full compression line.
Thats yer sag, get the calculator out, do the math.
1/4 to 1/3 of total travel.

Now for fork fluid,,,this is tricky, HD fork Oil weights:
E is 5 wt
B is 10 wt
SE is 15 wt
SE heavy (racing) is 20 wt

Stock Is 5 and most dealers will tel you not to use anything else/thicker.

I started with 20wt, very big Improvement BUT a Big BUT here...
I knew I was gonna be setting It up for corner carving In KNOWN corners.
You go hard Into a corner and hit a small bump with 20wt you better know how to
deal with a airborne front tire.......

Only way I know Is to not chit yerself and make no bar Input at all.
All I do Is lean a little forward and keep holding maintenance throttle.
Let the tire find traction, It will.

20 wt slows compression damping alot,,with much less fork dive on braking.
to a point.
20 wt worked well for me down here In Hot sticky Florida but come winter
It was way too stiff.
backed down to 10 wt,,much better, much better front end feedback.
I would not go for max lean angle onna Roadster with 20 wt oil..
ride this fluid at 80% max, no more/

Now Im back to 5 wt because of the Intimidator valves.

Remember a quarter oz over fill will also reduce dive just like a thicker oil will.
over 12oz's onna roadster,,you could blow a seal.
You could mix a 10 anna 15 wt for 12.5 wt.....

3/4" preload got me right In there,,,
you weigh a bit more and may need a tad more but IMO an Inch would be too much.

I have no Idea how long the springs last.
Ok. I think I've got enough to go off of. I did find out what the exact travel and sag was but I forget so Ill definitely do It again. And here in NY I think 10 is a better way to go like you said. This info helps alot and I'm gonna see if I should get new springs before I start. I hate to get all done and still have it messed up just because the springs are old. Research time!!!!

Maybe I'm crazy but I saw some brand new Sportsters and even there sag heights weren't even close with a light person on it. It's troubling that harley doesn't make the sag height so that if a light person buys the bike it's about 1/4 and if a fat person (me) buys one it falls somewhere around 1/3. It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult and it would suit the majority of people that way. O well. Some adjust-ability would be nice too... anyway now I'm just complaining...

Ill measure tomorrow and share my results.

Now that I've measured...

Ok so I am actually around 1/3rd sag, but the lack of stiffness is what I've been noticing, so I'm going to add a little more to the spacer and put in some 10 weight oil with a little overfill and see what happens.

Last edited by XL1200R; 08-28-2011 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Alright, Months later I have done this my fair share of times.

First thing, I use an oil changing ramp and push the bike on it, then i take a 4x4 and 2x4 on top of the other and get them under the frame.
NOTE: NOT the kickstand, and NOT on the crossover tube for the exhaust.

On Dynas their is also another spot that you have to be careful of too I believe

This creates a surprisingly sturdy base from which i Worked.
I crammed in a 2in spacer on my bike, 2 people, it wasn't too hard to do.
Now, rode like a pogo stick and had 1/8 sag so I shortened it, but I wanted to see what would happen if I did that

Only way to know is to test.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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you may find simply changing to a heavier weight fork oil will cure your problem, i had a clunk in my wide glide and im hoping i got rid of it by switching to SE for oil

from what i have found you can get rid of the clunk that some bikes carry simply by adding 1 extra oz of fluid per fork

so once i get my mufflers n can test ride i will see what happens and if its cured
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