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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering upgrading my stock air-shocks. At the moment, this is not a decision but a consideration. I made A LOT of reading, mostly on these forums. I get it that my motivation is a bit different than most other fellow riders who upgraded their air-shocks. For me, the stock setup does not suck. When the air pressure is on the sweet spot, my shocks do not bottom and I have no complaints about ride quality.

The problem is, retaining the sweet spot of 25 to 30 psi in the MoCo shocks started to be too much of a hassle for me. They do not leak but they call for too much of my attention. They are too sensitive to something that I cannot figure out what. Temp changes would not make the pressure vary that much (and always to lower readings!). Not only that I have to pump more often than I would have liked to, but also, I have to check them for leaks too often. Somehow, they pass my bubble tests, even submersion tests. No leaks but the freaking things deflate! Fishing for leaks, with no avail, started to resemble my suspension tuning exercises of decades ago.

I do not want to get involved in the scientific art of suspension tuning once again. I had done so decades ago. I recall what it means trying to fine tune a sophisticated Marzocchi or Öhlins shock for compression and rebound damping, along with air-assisted Showa forks that were responsive to 0.1 psi changes, in conjunction with fork oil level changes of only a few millimeters (which accounted for a few milliliters), even if oil weight changes are not taken into consideration. Not anymore. Not with my Harley. The exercise was eventually rewarding but my Harley is actually giving me other rewards than my Kawasaki and BMW were giving decades ago. In short, I am older now. :wink

After another afternoon spent for unfortunately verifying that my stock shocks do not leak, I am finally considering upgrading to something less demanding. My new shocks, if any, should not lower the ride height. I narrowed it down to 3 alternatives that I would appreciate your comments on:

1. H-D Premium Ride Hand-Adjustable Touring Shocks, Standard-Height
2. Progressive 444, 13.5”, Standard Springs
3. JRI Single Adjustable Shocks, 13”, Medium Duty Springs

I weigh 110 Kg (242 pounds) and I carry about 10 Kg (22 pounds) of stuff at all times in my saddlebags. 95+% of my riding is solo. I am neither a street racer nor a canyon craver. Most of the time, I cruise sedately at about 110 km/h (70 mph). If I could keep my shocks inflated at 25 to 30psi when solo and at 50 psi when two-up, I would not consider upgrading. If I upgrade, my aim would be to initially find the sweet spots for solo and two-up riding and then, adjusting only the pre-load, only when alternating between solo and two-up riding, with the possibility of a third pre-load setting for solo with load, if necessary. The shocks that would yield the plushest ride without bottoming, waving and wallowing would be my choice, regardless of their sports performance. I mean, my motivation is not for handling under spirited riding conditions.

Technically, the MoCo’s are a question mark for me. Besides, another question mark about them is that if this is the way to go, why I don’t have them already installed at the factory? My inner voice says that the Progressives would do the job; JRI’s being somewhat overkill for what I am after, maybe even at the expense of a harsher ride as well.

What would you like to say? Thank you all.
 

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I had the air shocks on my '12 RK and really liked them. I kinda figured I was one of the freaks cause mine never leaked down. Like you I set mine for about 25 psi for solo and about 40 to 45 for two up.

I just changed my shocks on my '15 Street Glide from the stock single shock with dialed up preload and small dampener shock on right side. To Progressive 944's. If gotta say the 944's are awesome. They give me a very floaty comfortable ride. Which is perfect for my kind of riding. I am not Ricky racer or a canyon carver either. I make a small adjustment when my wife rides with me. And that's it.

I know you asked about the 444's, sorry I have no first hand experience with them. Just thought I would offer some experience with Progressives. Good luck.


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I had the air shocks on my '12 RK and really liked them. I kinda figured I was one of the freaks cause mine never leaked down. Like you I set mine for about 25 psi for solo and about 40 to 45 for two up.

I just changed my shocks on my '15 Street Glide from the stock single shock with dialed up preload and small dampener shock on right side. To Progressive 944's. If gotta say the 944's are awesome. They give me a very floaty comfortable ride. Which is perfect for my kind of riding. I am not Ricky racer or a canyon carver either. I make a small adjustment when my wife rides with me. And that's it.

I know you asked about the 444's, sorry I have no first hand experience with them. Just thought I would offer some experience with Progressives. Good luck.


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I replaced my air (Street Glide ) to 944's & hated them. Very rough ride. Just couldn't get them dialed in. Put a used set of 13" air off an Ultra Classic. Ride is a lot better with the extra inch of travel. Run mine solo @ 18LB. No leak down.
 

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I replaced my air (Street Glide ) to 944's & hated them. Very rough ride. Just couldn't get them dialed in. Put a used set of 13" air off an Ultra Classic. Ride is a lot better with the extra inch of travel. Run mine solo @ 18LB. No leak down.

I have had some folks tell me they weren't crazy about either Pogressives or the 944's in particular.
Yeah I had/liked the 13" air on my RK. I guess the key is no leaking. The single shock with small dampener the MOCO installs stock on the CVO Street Glides......absolutely suck IMHO.


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I was satisfied with the stock air shocks on my '13 RG for about a year--maybe a little more than a year. Then a very slow leak, somewhere, and then it got a little worse. So forth and so on. Replaced them with the HD adjustables. Tried to set them to accommodate just myself and some luggage even though most of the time I ride solo with no luggage. Seemed to work. Even with luggage or the occasional time my wife might ride with me I have not made any setting adjustments and everything seems fine. And the ride is definitely better--should have switched out the air shocks much sooner.
 

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I have had some folks tell me they weren't crazy about either Pogressives or the 944's in particular.
Yeah I had/liked the 13" air on my RK. I guess the key is no leaking. The single shock with small dampener the MOCO installs stock on the CVO Street Glides......absolutely suck IMHO.


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interesting that you feel that way. I have had them on two bikes so far and loved them. Thinking of putting them on my road king. you don't have a sucky pair for sale do you???
 

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interesting that you feel that way. I have had them on two bikes so far and loved them. Thinking of putting them on my road king. you don't have a sucky pair for sale do you???

No, not selling. I try and keep the stock parts for when I sell/trade the bike. I know some folks just insist on having the stock parts when they buy, and others don't give a rats ass.

That's funny about shocks. I guess they are just likes seats, every seat appeals to people differently. I gave the stock set up (one big shock with dial and smaller dampener spring) about 8 thousands miles before I said I gotta make a change.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your inputs guys. I decided to modify my shocks, first. I will get rid of the air tubes and of the pneumatic fittings. I will get custom made air inlets for each shock. They will bolt on directly to the shock bodies. I will make sure that these inlets do not leak. Pumping up the shocks individually to the same pressure is no big deal, as long as I don't have to repeat this every so often.

I will not pull the trigger for new shocks before seeing what happens after my mod. I will keep you posted.
 

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Take a look at Pro-Action Suspension | Motocross Suspension | Harley Shocks
I just installed a set on my 2013 Road king, before those i have HD Premium in 12". They are way too stiff at the lowest setting for my 200 pounds...also i try a set of Progressive suspension 440 in 13" from a previous FLH, nenever satisfied with those, never find the sweet spot....
My Pro-Action are AWESOME it's like riding on a cloud
 

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Thank you for your inputs guys. I decided to modify my shocks, first. I will get rid of the air tubes and of the pneumatic fittings. I will get custom made air inlets for each shock. They will bolt on directly to the shock bodies. I will make sure that these inlets do not leak. Pumping up the shocks individually to the same pressure is no big deal, as long as I don't have to repeat this every so often.

I will not pull the trigger for new shocks before seeing what happens after my mod. I will keep you posted.
As a side effect of doing that, your shocks won't cross inflate in the corners . Both sides will stay up . :thumb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do they really cross inflate? How can they, if the swing arm is rigid enough? Unless the swing arm flexes, both shocks will have the same length, no?
 

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Do they really cross inflate? How can they, if the swing arm is rigid enough? Unless the swing arm flexes, both shocks will have the same length, no?
You can prove it to yourself quite easy. Jack up the rear and remove one shock, then slowly let the weight down, the bike will lean towards the side you removed the shock from .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
You can prove it to yourself quite easy. Jack up the rear and remove one shock, then slowly let the weight down, the bike will lean towards the side you removed the shock from .
I believe you without even trying. :thumb

This means, the swing arm will flex. I get it that its torsional rigidity is less than I was imagining. On the other hand, how this system works, then?

Premium Ride Hand-Adjustable Touring Shocks - Standard-Height | Suspension Kits & Shocks | Official Harley-Davidson Online Store

Having the pre-load adjustment on only one shock would still make the swing arm flex... I was presuming that the Premium Ride Hand Adjustable Touring Shocks were based on the torsional rigidity of the swing arm. Please don't get me wrong. I am not arguing for something. I am just trying to figure out what the MoCo envisaged for the rear end stability of my bike.
 

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I believe you without even trying. :thumb

This means, the swing arm will flex. I get it that its torsional rigidity is less than I was imagining. On the other hand, how this system works, then?

Premium Ride Hand-Adjustable Touring Shocks - Standard-Height | Suspension Kits & Shocks | Official Harley-Davidson Online Store

Having the pre-load adjustment on only one shock would still make the swing arm flex... I was presuming that the Premium Ride Hand Adjustable Touring Shocks were based on the torsional rigidity of the swing arm. Please don't get me wrong. I am not arguing for something. I am just trying to figure out what the MoCo envisaged for the rear end stability of my bike.
You can sell anything....don't make it so tho . :wink

Swingarm will flex a little , not much , but enough that it does make a difference . The swingarm pivot is on the transmission case, that is not solid mounted either . Add it all up and it makes a difference .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can sell anything....don't make it so tho . :wink

Swingarm will flex a little , not much , but enough that it does make a difference . The swingarm pivot is on the transmission case, that is not solid mounted either . Add it all up and it makes a difference .
I was not aware that the swingarm pivot was not solid mounted. :eek-surprise

Nevertheless, I have no complaint at all regarding stability and handling. To the opposite, I am always curious as to how the King manages to almost deny the half a ton weight (bike + me). If I go back to the beginning, yes, then: avoiding cross inflation will help. :grin

I did not yet start the project, though. The damn thing does not leak in the slightest degree, nowadays! However, I check so often due to lack of confidence that I have to do something for my peace of mind.
 

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I was not aware that the swingarm pivot was not solid mounted. :eek-surprise

Nevertheless, I have no complaint at all regarding stability and handling. To the opposite, I am always curious as to how the King manages to almost deny the half a ton weight (bike + me). If I go back to the beginning, yes, then: avoiding cross inflation will help. :grin

I did not yet start the project, though. The damn thing does not leak in the slightest degree, nowadays! However, I check so often due to lack of confidence that I have to do something for my peace of mind.
The pivot bolt mounts in rubber bushings ( on the ends ) in the frame .

If it ain't broke....don't fix it . :thumb


Dad getting better I hope. :smile
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The swingarm ain't broke but the pneumatic circuit of the shocks is. I hope what leaks occasionally are not the shocks themselves. In this case I will go the Progressive 444 route. My mod will show if the shocks leak or not.

My dad is actually receiving a haematologic treatment in hospital. We will return home tomorrow. His hearth is semi fine. Life is life, though. Thanks for your concern.
 

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As a side effect of doing that, your shocks won't cross inflate in the corners . Both sides will stay up . :thumb
Because the shocks are connected together, and air is a "fluid" medium, the air pressure will always be the same in both shocks.

There is no cross inflation.
 

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Because the shocks are connected together, and air is a "fluid" medium, the air pressure will always be the same in both shocks.

There is no cross inflation.
Cross inflation is the movement of air from one side to the other, in order to remain at the same pressure level .
 

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