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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so from my understanding (have not measured them) the stock shocks on my '04 Sporty 1200C are 11 3/4" (could be wrong but thought this is what I read). If I put 13.5" Progressive 412s on will I have to do anything to the front end? Only asking cause a buddy of mine gave me a brand new set of 412s but they are 13.5" and not the same size as the stock shocks.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice or comments.
 

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Pitch of the bike will be off, but some say not enough to bother them. It will make steering much faster. You may need to re-set tension on drive belt. Many that lift the rear end put Ricor intiminator valves in front forks. The jiffy stand may make the bike lean more than you are comfortable with.

I have 13 inch shocks and intiminators in forks. I didn't need to change anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pitch of the bike will be off, but some say not enough to bother them. It will make steering much faster. You may need to re-set tension on drive belt. Many that lift the rear end put Ricor intiminator valves in front forks. The jiffy stand may make the bike lean more than you are comfortable with.

I have 13 inch shocks and intiminators in forks. I didn't need to change anything else.
You talking about these? 39 MM INTIMINATORs

Sorry but new to all of this since I just got my first Harley in January.
 

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You talking about these? 39 MM INTIMINATORs

Sorry but new to all of this since I just got my first Harley in January.
That'd what you would want...

Here is the deal.

By adding taller rear shocks you are both raising the rear end, and putting more weight on the front end, effectively lowering it. What you need to do, is set up both the front and rear ends of the bike so that your "static rider sag" (that's the weight of you and the bike straight up on a flat surface with your feet on the pegs) consumes 1/4 to 1/3 of the suspensions total travel.
On the rear, this is as simple as adjusting the preload adjuster until it is correct. Then, on the front (in your case do the rear first and keep it around 1/4 of travel) you need to measure your total travel. Do this by first taking all of the weight off of the front tire and measuring the distance from the lower tree to the lower fork tube. Then, compress the front end fully (2 people, ratchet straps whatever you want to use) and measure what's left (there is a 1inch wish gap between the tree and the lower fork tube fully compressed). Now, subtracting that figure out you have your total travel. Then, you simply experiment with spacers in the forks that will make the rider sag 1/4 to 1/3. Here is the deal though....

For your situation, because the shocks are way longer than stock, I would shoot for 1/3 sag on the rear and 1/4 sag on the front. This will make up for as much of the difference as possible and still be within the acceptable range. If you are 170-220lbs or so I would start with a 1in spacer and go from there. There is a thread on how to do it, and how to make the spacers. (Its real easy)

In the end, if the frame is not level or slanted backward, the rest shocks are just too long. Period. End of story. Is it safe if the frame is pitched slightly forward....not really. Can you get away with it? Probably. Your life your decision...

If you do it how I said you should be able to make it ride well and make it nice and safe.

What you should do before going through all of this effort is get the front suspension extended completely and measure the front of the frame to the ground. Then, get the ear end extended completely and measure to the ground. If the frame is tilted back over an inch you should be pretty good. If it is very flat or tilted back only a little, raising the rear over an inch will probably put you in the red. So to speak. Good luck!

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the info. I might just sell these and just buy 12" or 12.5 so I don't have to mess with the front end.
 

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Friend of mine used 13.5" shocks on his Nightster, and used 1" lowering block. It works well and it was cheap.
 

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Very simple fix. Call Progressive and ask what repl. spring kit you need. Check Dennis Kirk, order spring kit. Maybe $60-$80 later & you have a quick spring change out to do and bingo, it's all correct. That will be the best fix. Many use the lowering blocks and many recommend not going that route as it changes the angle of the dangle!!!

I've changed mine out when I went to a lighter spring on my Sporty & my RKC. You can build a quick spring compressor with two pieces of 4x4x1/2" blocks of plywood & two cheap 24" threaded rods w/ nuts & washers. Do a Youtube search on swapping springs. Took me about 5 mins to do both shocks with springs after I threw together the compressor rig. If you're going to do that I can find my rig & shoot a photo & post for you.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well this is getting interesting...I talked to the tech at my local dealer and after he looked at my bike he says "If you put the 13.5 shocks on your bike it will bring it back to the original height, as yours seems to be sitting low in the rear". I bought the bike used so have no idea if it was lowered or not but everything I read on the internet (and we all know the internet does not lie) says that the stock shocks for my '04 1200 Custom is 11 3/4" so not sure how putting 13.5" shocks is going to "bring it back to stock height".
 

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Put them on and see how you like it. I don't think going 1.75" longer on the rear will upset the geometry enough to cause problems. It may make the front end feel mushy, though. A little extra preload or some better springs are cheap fixes for that.

I think the dealer meant that the Sportster chassis is designed for 13.5" shocks, and the Customs are "factory lowered" with 11.75" shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think the dealer meant that the Sportster chassis is designed for 13.5" shocks, and the Customs are "factory lowered" with 11.75" shocks.
Thanks for that bit of info, I did not know this. Today is going to be a great day since I have already learned something today.
 

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Well, I'm 235-240 lbs and just chopped the fender and moved the stop light (Sparta) to the top of the fender. I was running SD Progressive 12" 412's on the #5 position. I also had a 1" lower kit in the rear.The fender and tire were making contact and rubbing the wires under the fender.
I ordered HD 444's and went with their recommendations of 11 1/2".
I get them Monday and can't wait. I'm tired of taking weight off the seat by applying pressure on the pegs every time I see a dip or bump on the freeway. I will get back with results.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I had the 13.5 412's put on and it sure did raise the rear end. But to be honest all it seemed to do was level it out instead of the lowered rear feel. The bike still seems to be lower in the rear but for me (210 pounds and 6'2") it feels better. After I had these put on I looked under the fender and I noticed there was rubbing on the fender and wiring but now I don't have those issues either.
 

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I have 2 1/8" from tire to conduit under fender with the 1" lower kit. The 412's I had had 2 5/8" travel and the 444's will have 2 1/64" travel. So, I am going to try the kit w/ new shocks. Does this add up?
 
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