Progressive monotubes - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Progressive monotubes

I mentioned having the monotubes installed in my bike recently in a thread I started last year when I was getting rear shocks.
I thought I'd start a new one specifically about these. I've been riding with them a bit now and I have to say I'm not 100% happy with them. They are a bit stiff for my liking and don't seem to absorb much. The bike likely handles better and takes the hits better but you pretty much notice every bump and imperfection in the road. The old system, even as dry as one was felt more comfortable. In hindsight I think I would've preferred to just have the seals replaced and fluid changed. The upside though is I don't have to do anything again with these, hoping though they'll break in a little.
Anyone with similar experiences or contrary opinions?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnphotog View Post
I mentioned having the monotubes installed in my bike recently in a thread I started last year when I was getting rear shocks.
I thought I'd start a new one specifically about these. I've been riding with them a bit now and I have to say I'm not 100% happy with them. They are a bit stiff for my liking and don't seem to absorb much. The bike likely handles better and takes the hits better but you pretty much notice every bump and imperfection in the road. The old system, even as dry as one was felt more comfortable. In hindsight I think I would've preferred to just have the seals replaced and fluid changed. The upside though is I don't have to do anything again with these, hoping though they'll break in a little.
Anyone with similar experiences or contrary opinions?
I put (actually it was my indie who did it) them on my '13 RGC couple of years ago, also the HD adj. rear shocks and I set the rears for (approximately) the weight of me solo with gear packed on even though it is usually just me and no gear. The first thing I noticed after getting the monotubes was the front end dive when you applied front brake just about disappeared altogether. And the next thing I noticed was with the monotubes and the HD adj. rear shocks was how much better the bike tracked through the twisties. I didn't notice the ride being too stiff at all. But...., that may be just personal preference as I have always favored heavier shocks on all my cages.

And my indie, who is HD certified and has been building/repairing/servicing/riding/etc. Harleys for many, many years keeps telling me my bike handles beautifully and better than just about any bike he has ever ridden.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:26 AM
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I have to agree with joe I have them and jri rears on my 05 s/g with a 23 inch front no nose diving and handles like it's on rails in the Colorado mountains
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnphotog View Post
I mentioned having the monotubes installed in my bike recently in a thread I started last year when I was getting rear shocks.
I thought I'd start a new one specifically about these. I've been riding with them a bit now and I have to say I'm not 100% happy with them. They are a bit stiff for my liking and don't seem to absorb much. The bike likely handles better and takes the hits better but you pretty much notice every bump and imperfection in the road. The old system, even as dry as one was felt more comfortable. In hindsight I think I would've preferred to just have the seals replaced and fluid changed. The upside though is I don't have to do anything again with these, hoping though they'll break in a little.
Anyone with similar experiences or contrary opinions?
I've had complaints from customers similar to yours after installing the Progressives ! Stiff ride especially if the rear shocks are installed too. I had one guy sell his bike rather than pay to have everything switched back to stock ! Best thing is to not install the shims, that's the softest setting on the front.
That is a performance suspension upgrade ! Key word "performance", something is always sacrificed for more performance.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Right, they feel like they definitely perform better and on the twisty roads that's great. I notice the discomfort more though going straight and on the highway. Feels a tad jumpy. I do have progressives in the rear, got sold on them after they were installed which is why I went with Progressive in the front.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:47 AM
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I lowered my front end by ~4" and was always bottoming out before, even when gently leaving a driveway.

Not so now with the Monotubes.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:00 AM
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I still think the Touring models with the front and rear air ride rode the best all around. You could adjust for soft or stiff depending on how you wanted it. Those models only needed the suspension stabilyzer that connects the trans to the frame so the bike isn't squirrely cornering. Rubber engine mounts cause the squirrely feeling !

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:02 AM
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I have a 2013 Roadglide and put in monotubes and progressive 944's in the back. I am very satisfied with the ride, I've ridden 20,000 miles since the upgrade.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:03 AM
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I'm looking to do something different on the front , after researching a bit this guy seems to know his stuff. He's an Ohlin repair / dealer shop. Says he can build me cartriges from Ohlin components with custom valveing that perform better than Online off the shelf . He was reasonable too.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnphotog View Post
I mentioned having the monotubes installed in my bike recently in a thread I started last year when I was getting rear shocks.
I thought I'd start a new one specifically about these. I've been riding with them a bit now and I have to say I'm not 100% happy with them. They are a bit stiff for my liking and don't seem to absorb much. The bike likely handles better and takes the hits better but you pretty much notice every bump and imperfection in the road. The old system, even as dry as one was felt more comfortable. In hindsight I think I would've preferred to just have the seals replaced and fluid changed. The upside though is I don't have to do anything again with these, hoping though they'll break in a little.
Anyone with similar experiences or contrary opinions?
Thanks for posting this. I am very satisfied with my Progressive 444 shocks but I refrain from the monotubes. As one of their merits is to reduce front end dive, I have been presuming that they would induce a firmer ride because I am at a loss to understand how front end dive can be reduced without slowing down the vertical movement of the wheel at a bump (a.k.a. stiffening the front end); unless another front-end geometry (an anti-dive system like, say, the BMW Telelever) is used. Your findings seem to substantiate my concern about the monotubes. IMHO, the stock front setup seems to be a good compromise between comfort and front-end dive.
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