Air Shocks.. What are they?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by israguard, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. israguard

    israguard Active Member

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    Good morning,
    My 2010 FLHX like many others came with air shocks which I pumped up a bit yday in preparation for some upcoming added weight into cases.

    What are air shocks ?. I know with "standard" shocks that use oil.. Its oil which is compressed and is forced througha very small opening on the inside, thus creating a slow expansion/compression of the shock.

    How does it work with air ?. When I pump/increase pressure in shock.. what happens ?

    Appreciate any insight you may have.

    Rgds, Shawn
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Air shocks are basically an air bladder over the oil that is used to dampen the road regularities. It's purpose is to enable the rider to carry a bit more weight without bottoming out the suspension. Always use a quality hand air pump like the one from HD to add air to the shocks, a gas station pump or compressor will damage the shocks.
     
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    1st off are you using a approved no loss air pump? Touring Suspension Air Pump | Genuine Motor Accessories | Harley-Davidson USA

    Like blowing up a balloon, the air expands the inners of the shock to support more weight. The reason for the approved gauge is how much is a little? If using a unapproved method to air shocks they are very easy to blow out. Even with using the approved gauge you might pump half dozen pump to set proper pressure.
     
  4. israguard

    israguard Active Member

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    Thanks guys... now I get it.

    Yes, I ONLY use HD Pump which just got @ dealer. Wouldnt dare use anything else.

    Much obliged for quick response
     
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    Your owners manual will give specific pressure for added weight.
    Have a great trip.....:)
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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  7. wv2wheel

    wv2wheel Active Member

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    think of the air part as "spring"....the air bladder and hence pressure adjustment is like turning the spring collar on regular shocks...air isnt about damping but spring/support for load....

    Phil
     
  8. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

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    israguard; another great source of information on your bike is a touring service manual. I'd say it's something to definitely put on top of your Father's Day gift list - $60 ad your local HD shop.
     
  9. wv2wheel

    wv2wheel Active Member

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    Not 100% sure but I think Nitrogen is used in some shocks as it better takes the heat buildup and doesnt "bubble" the oil (non technical term :)) when heavily used...a little different than the air bladder in the ultra shock which really is there to supplement/replace any spring otherwise used for load carrying. In Nitrogen charged shocks I am fairly sure the Nitrogen is in the same chamber with the oil...not in a bladder...just fyi.

    ===============================================

    hey found this link explaining some shock types including a cutaway of a harley shock (supposedly) Shocks Explanation

    Phil
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2011
  10. wv2wheel

    wv2wheel Active Member

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    Really? odd since mixing it with the oil would mean it would not be in the right place to help load...I will have to take your word for that for now as I am not going to cut mine open. The other thing is that if that were true and someone put an air hose at the local filling station on thier shock, not only would it not hold air but they would have oil all over hte place also....again, not going to test on my shocks but I hadnt heard folks say that was the end result...