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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I recently purchased a 2014 Sportster Custom 1200 and it's absolutely amazing solo I just love riding my Harley. However with a passenger the rear suspension is not the best just seems a bit hard on the bumps. Adjusting the pre load doesn't seem to do much so I guess there is much more to setting up suspension than this. I know you can get aftermarket shocks but will that fix my issue. I have adjusted the shocks from the softest to hardest and to be honest can't really tell the difference but then again I'm new to Harleys from 4 cylinder Jap bikes which are smooth in comparison so it could be normal. Any suggestions for a better rear suspension. I am 75 kilos and my partner about 65 kilos so we are not that heavy. I bought the bike second hand only 2 months old and the suspension was set on the hardest setting. I now have set in the middle. Any suggestions most welcome.

Cheers

Scouser :):):):)
 

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First off, I'm really surprised you can't tell much difference between settings. But, so be it. Sportster shocks are not the best, at least by some standards.

Progressive Suspension, among others has several options check out their web site.
 

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Dirty Member
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First off, I'm really surprised you can't tell much difference between settings. But, so be it. Sportster shocks are not the best, at least by some standards.

Progressive Suspension, among others has several options check out their web site.
Progressive will work as stated. Also look into Ohlins from Motorcycle Metal. They will custom set them up to your specs for weight, riding style etc. There is some set up time involved in the fine tuning when you get them, but they are adjustable for preload, dampening and rebound.
When finished, you will have a set up custom made for you.
Only down side is that they are more expensive than progressive, but they are the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the really great info. I can tell when shocks on softest they bottom out but from middle to hardest not much difference. I will look into the progressive and ohlins. Sounds like great options.

Cheers


Scouser. :):):):)
 

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I've heard the Ohlins are the best but I have fully adjustable damping Showa shocks and forks and they work great. I have a chart that shows optimum setting for riding weight and just back everything off and then dial in the number of turns called for in the chart. Preload, compression and rebound. Rides and handles much better than the Harley shocks.
 

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Wandering Evangelist
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Doesn't matter what you do with the suspension if you are riding the stock seat the slightest bumps seem like bottoming out.

What seat is on that thing. If it is new you should be able to adjust the stock shock for an acceptable ride. I would bet dollars to donuts it is your seat that is the problem, but just MHO.
 

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Air shocks are only a convenient way to adjust preload. I don't believe they change the shock valving. For that, you need shocks with adjustable dampening. I'm told you can add progressive rate springs and a little chingus called an intiminator that sits on top of the stock fork pistons and, for a few bucks, makes them act like adjustable dampening shocks. They're supposed to work pretty well but I've not had personal experience with them.
 

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I v had the stock shocks, FLHT shocks and by far this is the best ride by far. (IMO)
I was just going to recommend those.
 

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04 FXDLI
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Air shocks are only a convenient way to adjust preload. I don't believe they change the shock valving. For that, you need shocks with adjustable dampening. I'm told you can add progressive rate springs and a little chingus called an intiminator that sits on top of the stock fork pistons and, for a few bucks, makes them act like adjustable dampening shocks. They're supposed to work pretty well but I've not had personal experience with them.
Would be helpful to have a link to the above.. TKS
 

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If you want to improve ride quality you need to start at the ground then work the way up. Like someone else said its hard to tell a difference between the settings, with the stock tires. The OEM tires have the worst ride quality. Get good tires first then consider different suspension. After I rode a few miles on stock tires they were put on the curb with a free sign. The ride is so much better and changes in preload can be felt. If that is not good enough then go for suspension, but most people are happy with real tires. Then suspension then seat. New suspension will never fix chitty tires.
 
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