Anyone run the progressive suspension fork springs?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by BrettG, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    23
    0
    0
    I am getting very tired of the forks (and shocks) bottoming out badly over even little bumps.
    I don't know how they can sell a bike like this.

    I am 200 pounds, and the forks crash so hard I think something would break over time.

    Anyone run the full length progressive suspension fork springs?
    Not the lowering kit ones.
    Do they ever bottom out?

    I might try thicker oil also....

    If none of that works, I may have to look into different forks that actually work.

    Brett
     
  2. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    8,176
    98
    16
    Brett, did you contact a CSR at Progressive...they are very helpful regarding selecting the right spring(s), spacer and oil viscosity. If you ride two up, also tell them this...you will get the right suspension setup to do the deed without drama. I did both, lowered the bike and stiffened the fork action by changing spring, spacer and flork oil weight to 7.5Wt Bel Ray (10W I felt was too much, and 5W is stock).
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  3. 2000classic

    2000classic Active Member

    301
    28
    1
    You should seldom, if ever be bottoming out your forks. Might want to check and see if fork oil was ever installed. Just a thought.:)
     
  4. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    23
    0
    0
    Stock bike, the forks sag to about half travel, so I removed a top cap thinking of adding a spacer, but the springs are under a lot of force, so getting the cap back on was a bear, even without any spacers added.
    (bike off the ground)

    There was oil inside.

    I am a sporty guy, and may add 10 weight in place of the 5 weight oil, along with the progressive springs...

    Really poor suspension on a stock 2009 1200L!
    Even a 140 pound rider would be smashing the forks on moderate bumps.

    I ordered the progressive springs, the standard springs, not the lowering ones, and will see how it goes....

    I just don't understand how they could sell the bikes this way, makes you wonder if anyone at the factory ever test rode the bikes on a normal road.


    Brett
     
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    4,641
    83
    122
    Brett; This is almost "ancient" history, but I put Progressive (brand), progressive (wound) springs in my Dyna way back in the mid '90's. They improved my front dramatically, and still work fine. I also used HD brand heavy oil in the forks.
     
  6. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    23
    0
    0
    While waiting for the springs to arrive, I drained the fork oil and put 15 weight bel ray fork oil in. 325 cc's came out, so I put 325 cc's back in.

    My progressive 412 heavy duty shocks showed up so I also installed them.
    My stock shocks measured 11.6 inches center to center, I ordered 12 inch progressives to get some more ground clearance on my xl1200L.

    Now thats more like it! What a nice ride, much more plush, and no bottoming out.
    Plus, I can go around corners without grinding the exhaust (so far).
    I likely should have got 12.5 inch shocks.
    The progressives are much beefier, and look good on the bike as well.

    I set the shocks on position 3 (middle) on the first ride, then did a longer one on position 2 (2nd softest) and it was nicer with no bottoming out.
    Position 1 (softest) might be nice also.

    I am really impressed with the ride!
    Now if my seat would only get here...

    Brett
     
  7. hjacobson1

    hjacobson1 Active Member

    107
    26
    0
    Brett

    You have just experienced the good life. Why HD cannot seem to spend more than ten cents on suspension components I'll never know.

    I have the progressive fork springs in my Nightster (07) coupled with 7.5 weight fork oil. I'm a bit heaver than you and I NEVER bottom the forks any more.

    I too put progressive on the rear, and now have a bike than can handle like it should have from the factory.

    Ride safe.

    Jake
     
  8. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    8,176
    98
    16
    While Brett & HJ are in a rough way correct...HD DID do all the things necessary to push the right buttons and "make" the bike you "just had to have". The reality is the parts they used are very expensive and thought out R&D and bean counter wise, as most riders will change and modify their rides to suit. If I remember correctly they do not design it for with a 150 lb rider but then full sized Americans were not 200 lbs either in the early 1900's, prosperity does that to a people.
     
  9. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    23
    0
    0
    Well, I got to say, as it came from the factory, the suspension would rate below poor for even a 100 pound rider.
    The back shocks might be ok, but the forks were just (EDIT) .

    Any stock 1200 cc bike should be able to carry a normal weight range rider (say 150 to 200 pounds) on normal roads without the shocks bottoming out on little bumps, and should also be able to carry a passenger.

    In my book, there is no excuse, they would not have to spend a dime more to get a better ride, thicker oil in the forks, different springs, different rear springs and damping rates.

    I just dont understand how the bikes leave the factory this way, with the forks slamming metal on metal badly over even little bumps.

    No adult could have test rode the bikes and been happy with it.

    Please read this...
    [note]
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community
    [/note]


    Brett
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2010
  10. hjacobson1

    hjacobson1 Active Member

    107
    26
    0
    Brett I have to agree with you.

    Too bad it now gets even worse. HD has a clown from JCI running the ship and it's taking on water. Seems to me that the rank and file has adopted the MBA way of doing business which translates to "cut all the numbers and we'll be profitable." This has NEVER in history been the solution to increased revenues. HD needs to SELL things (read Motorcycles, T-shirts, belt buckles etc) to raise revenues. Additionally, HD needs to look at where the next generation of customers will come from. Mr. JCI genius cut this too. (No more Buell), so the true question has now become, "can they survive at all"? This economic mess that we are in, regardless of the cause, calls for creativity within the manufacturing sector that I am just not seeing from the leadership at HD.

    Here in Milwaukee, the push seems to be to pressure the union. Another great idea, get rid of the union, and you will again reduce the number of people that can afford to buy their products.

    That said, with the changes you have made, you will find that you really don't have your father's Sportster. Your machine will now handle, corner and run extremely smooth at highway speeds. I only have about 8,000 mi on my Nightster, but I can tell you that once broken in, it just seems to get smoother and smoother.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Ride safe.

    Jake