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Discussion Starter #1
2012 Nighster 1200. It has 12" Progressive 440 shocks on it.
I'd like to cut these shocks down and I recall there are some companies that do this professionally, anyone know who that is?
was thinking about going down to 10.5", any options on that?
Also thinking about lowering the front but that looks a lot harder to do, thoughts guys?
4HD.jpg
4HD.jpg
 

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You can get a lowering kit for the front, and it will probably be just as cheap to buy 10.5" shocks for the back as it would be to modify stock shocks.
 

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Nice lookin Sporty! Welcome to the forum.

My wife is 5'7" she's new to riding street bikes (she has a long history of riding motocross and desert).(We both are too old to get beat up by the mountain on weekends now) She can flat foot her stock height 1200 Custom. She complained that it hit bumps and dips harsh. I reset the rear shocks to what the owners manual recommended for her weight. (That was still too harsh) so, i reduced it another 2 dots and she is happy with it now. Lowering the suspension on a bike makes it ride much rougher and reduces lean angle (before metal parts hit pavement). My wife would kill me if i lowered her bike! She has already found out how fast and easily a curve can grab her heal and yank her foot off of the forward controls.

Dial in the suspension to fit her, then go put some miles on it before making drastic changes to the suspension and ride. Take some time and tweak it to her liking.. This will save you much time, money and frustration... Take it from an old guy!

I have never understood why people go to all the trouble and expense of modifying suspension on bikes and cars, that the factories had spent a ton of $$ on to refine. Just so we can make it worse... I get the idea of changing spring rates and such. Not everyone fits in that perfect window of size and weight. While some like a cushion ride, some want a sportier feel to it.. I get that! I really enjoy taking her sporty out for a run.. It feels like a mini bike on steroids, compared to my Ultra. I can't believe how easy it is to run out of lean angle on her bike...Those little spike things stickin out from the bottom of the foot pegs really get ur attention when they find pavement... nothing like the feel of a scraping floor board! The floor board just tells ya' the foot peg wacks ya! :D Fallowed by a skip in the heart beat! Just my 2 cents. Your $, your wife and her bike!
 

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That's a great looking bike! You would think that the factory shocks and their adjustability would be perfect for your average size rider. I'm above average at 280 lbs. Factory shocks bottom out with me. I'd check the Progressive shocks part # to see if they are standard or heavy duty, I'm thinking if they are heavy duty you may not be able to tame it down enough for her to comfortably ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks guys for all the comments and nice words.
When my wife saw this bike online for sale she had to have it she loved its look. The guy who sold it to us was meticulous about detail and was an engineer and did a beautiful job upgrading it.
These are very expensive shocks and I would leave them alone exactly as is if it were not for the fact that she can't put her feet down and is holding the bike standing on her toes which is not comfortable for any of us.
She is only about 5' 4 so I need to get this bike lowered somehow. With the current shocks at 12" I was wondering how low I can go without creating a Problem.
She will not be doing any aggressive riding and weighs about 130 pounds but would kill me if she knew I said that. I was wondering about going down to 10 1/2 inches? Also the front of this motorcycle has been customized as well with different Springs but I don't now if the ride height was changed by those Springs or not and wondered if I should be thinking about lowering the front as well from a geometry point of view.
If we do change the rear shocks, I'm not sure if they should be sent out to a company to modify the length or simply buy new shocks and resell these Progressive 440's since they are pretty expensive and pretty new
 

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Thanks guys for all the comments and nice words.
When my wife saw this bike online for sale she had to have it she loved its look. The guy who sold it to us was meticulous about detail and was an engineer and did a beautiful job upgrading it.
These are very expensive shocks and I would leave them alone exactly as is if it were not for the fact that she can't put her feet down and is holding the bike standing on her toes which is not comfortable for any of us.
She is only about 5' 4 so I need to get this bike lowered somehow. With the current shocks at 12" I was wondering how low I can go without creating a Problem.
She will not be doing any aggressive riding and weighs about 130 pounds but would kill me if she knew I said that. I was wondering about going down to 10 1/2 inches? Also the front of this motorcycle has been customized as well with different Springs but I don't now if the ride height was changed by those Springs or not and wondered if I should be thinking about lowering the front as well from a geometry point of view.
If we do change the rear shocks, I'm not sure if they should be sent out to a company to modify the length or simply buy new shocks and resell these Progressive 440's since they are pretty expensive and pretty new
I would re-think lowering the bike. If you lower it so she can flat foot it, it will ride like a pig, Sportsers are a little high, but if you lower it much at all it does not have enough suspension travel, bottoms out easy. A lower seat might be of help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am told that a deviation of 1" from factory stock length of rear shock either longer or shorter will be ok and tolerable but no more. Problem is I cant find any specs on what the stock length is for a 2012 Nightster 1200
 

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I am told that a deviation of 1" from factory stock length of rear shock either longer or shorter will be ok and tolerable but no more. Problem is I cant find any specs on what the stock length is for a 2012 Nightster 1200
I can't help with the exact info you're looking for. But here's what the Owners manual states for 2017 Sportsters:
Seat height: XL 1200C = 26.6", XL1200CB= 26.6", XL1200CX=29.5", XL1200T=26.1". XL1200X=26.2" (all with the little stars ** indicating): "With a 180 lb rider on the seat".
Yep, foggy info at best. But it just may give you a comparison anyway.
 

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I just measured my wife's '17 1200C with me sitting on it: It's very near 25" to the lowest part of the seat. I weigh 195 #, At this setting, I feel comfortable riding it, and it took the wacks out of the bumps for her.. We have had friends ride it anywhere from 170 lb to 290 lb. All i hear is "It rides sweet"... fwiw!
 

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A better option first is to see if maybe a seat with a lower saddle height might help. That is way better than altering suspension. If you're not lowering the suspension too much, you're going 1-2" lower doing that, but you can get 1-2" lower on the saddle height depending on what seat is on it and what seat you get to replace it.

So, getting 1-2" lower by altering suspension or by changing seats/saddle height? No brainer, go with the seat change if possible.

Of course, a seat change might only yield 1/2" lower saddle height difference too.

And if she has mid controls, a lower seat height also helps in bringing her legs closer to the controls and at a better angle, if she's got a short inseam. Lowering shocks won't do that.
 
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