Harley Davidson Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
2015 Heritage
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anybody know what the preload shock setting is from the factory.
I have a 2014 FatBoy.
When the wife rides with me, it handles like a trying to drive a watermelon.
If it set to "0" the weight limit in the manual says 165 lbs rider weight. I weigh about 175. Added accessories increase that.
Should it bet set to "1" or even "2".
"1" is 165 to 220
"2" is 220 to 275
 

·
Wayward Son
Joined
·
23,313 Posts
There is not a definitive answer.
Not asking what your wife weighs. But you need to take it into consideration too.
What works for 2 up will be stiff feeling for just a solo rider.

It has to be your call through trial and error.
Doubt you want to adjust them every time you go from one to two and then back.
There are options to the OEM.
Example> http://www.progressivesuspension.com/product/1416/422-series-shocks-wrap
I have no personal experience with these shocks. But like the ease with which they can be adjusted.
 

·
2015 Heritage
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I was hoping to find out where I am starting as to the factory setting. I can find out by backing it up to "0".
You are right, I don't want to have to change it every time my wife rides with me.
My wife weighs about 140, and that would require a change in the shocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,340 Posts
. . . I don't want to have to change it every time my wife rides with me. . .
There's not a shock in the world that is going to feel the same when you nearly double the load on it. You're either going to have to run it still when you are solo or allow it to be sloppy when you're 2-up.

Or you hit the middle.

You don't need a setting, you just set the preload correctly.

Jack the bike up until the rear tire is off the ground and measure the total length of the shock from the two points at which they attach.

With the bike on the ground and you sitting on it, have someone measure it again. It should be as close as possible to 1/3 less in length.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,973 Posts
im still balling this stupid shock B/S. i bought some after market springs an there too stiff .
thinking about cutting them (the bottoms off ) an shoving those pieces in there to get mor preload an see if that helps. but our combined wieght is 560 or so not counting gear. so my scoot is over loaded. but ill make it work if its the last thing i do on this earth.
sometimes i hate motor cycle designers they design chit for skinny ass people that weigh in at 125lbs . well what about us fat butts out here. betards anyway.
most MEN weigh in at 250 or better (i said most )
 

·
EVO RULER
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
There's not a shock in the world that is going to feel the same when you nearly double the load on it. You're either going to have to run it still when you are solo or allow it to be sloppy when you're 2-up.

Or you hit the middle.

You don't need a setting, you just set the preload correctly.

Jack the bike up until the rear tire is off the ground and measure the total length of the shock from the two points at which they attach.

With the bike on the ground and you sitting on it, have someone measure it again. It should be as close as possible to 1/3 less in length.
Softail shocks work backwards Chas, because of the mounting. They are longer when loaded. I set mine for half the travel with me on it seems to work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,959 Posts
Have 09 FXSTC have never touched the shocks. Rides a little stiff solo. With 2 up it feels just right. I only change the air pressure in rear tire to 42 psig. for 2 up riding per the owners manual. Forgot one time to adjust tire pressure for 2 up, handled sloppy. Might check out your tire inflation for a 2014 with 2 up. :popcorn
 

·
Wayward Son
Joined
·
23,313 Posts
Softail shocks work backwards Chas, because of the mounting. They are longer when loaded. I set mine for half the travel with me on it seems to work well.
^This^
My bad. Should have realized that myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
On my Slim I set the shocks at the firmest setting, only way not to have to adjust 2 up. If $$ don't matter or comfort is worth it, look up Shotgun shocks. Makes it very easy to have the adjustment you need.
 

·
TGPNW
Joined
·
640 Posts
These are not my words but is the most complete Softail shock adjustment I have read.

Softails's come from the factory with the lightest setting for the rear shocks (for <180lbs solo rider). However, they can handle well over 400lbs with no problems with a simple preload adjustment.

The service manual is a bit vague on how to set the preload. The procedure I use is fairly simple. Its based on the procedure from fatbillscustoms.com, but their website is gone now. It was fairly detained. I've made some tweaks to it for simplicity... Enjoy...

1) Jack the bike up so the rear tire is off the ground. The more clearance you have the easier it is. Don't forget to strap the bike down. You don't want it falling on you while your wrenching underneath it.
2) Loosen the jam nut all the way out. Its a 1-11/16" nut. If it doesn't want to loosen easily (which is often the case), soak it in some penetrating lube.
3) With a spanner wrench (HD p/n 94448-82B) turn the adjuster plate counter-clockwise (so the shock housing moves towards the front of the bike) until its up against the jam nut.
4) Then take a light colored paint pen, or a piece of duck tape, and mark the 6 o'clock position on the adjuster plate to use as a reference point when doing your adjustment. Don't worry if they're not in exactly the same position on both shocks. Thats normal.

Now your ready to adjust the shocks to your weight/load.

5) With the spanner wrench, turn the adjuster plate clockwise no more then 4 complete turns by counting how many times the mark from step 4 crosses the 6 o'clock position. 0 turns is the stiffest setting, and 4 turns is the softest setting.
6) While holding the adjuster plate in place with the spanner wrench, tighten the jam nut up against the adjuster plate by turning the nut clockwise.
6) Now repeat the exact same process on the other shock. The key is to adjust both shocks equally.

The general rule of thumb I use is:
4 turns for load <= 180 lbs
3 turns for 180lbs < load <= 235lbs
2 turns for 235lbs < load <= 300lbs
1 turn for 300lbs < load <= 375lbs
0 turns for 375 < load

Examples:
235lbs solo rider: 3 full turns
235lbs solo rider + 32lbs pack: 2.5 turns
235lbs rider + 150lbs passenger + 32lbs pack: 0.5 turns

I like a slightly stiffer ride when running solo (3 turns for my 235lbs fat booty), but run a softer ride when my girlies on the back (1 turn). Adjust your shock to taste by 1/4 turn increments till you get it dialed in for you and your riding style.

Note: you may be tempted to skip step 1 and not jack the bike up. Resist the urge. A stock ride height with the bike on its kick-stand, you may be able to use a crowsfoot or similar to get the jam nut loose, but you will have little to no room to use the spanner wrench. So take the time to do it right and jack the bike up. It only takes a minute (including strapping the bike down).
 

·
2015 Heritage
Joined
·
474 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Really good stuff. Thanks.
"Softail's come from the factory with the lightest setting for the rear shocks (for <180lbs solo rider)."
This makes sense of all the rest of the process.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top