Best way to lower an 09 Ultra?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Merlynn, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Merlynn

    Merlynn Active Member

    240
    28
    1
    There's a short story and a long story. Today you get the long story. Just finished the Leesburg bike festival with a terrific ride back home to south florida with my sweetheart, but it didn't begin that way.

    Off in early morning with my honey on the back, pulled into the West Palm Beach service plaza in the dark, mistook the FHP entry road for the service center road. Barb says "Hey just use the grass" so I did. Left the road onto the grass strip between the patrol station and the service plaza, suddenly realized that the other side wasn't a smooth transition as before but a 7 inch drop off cement curb at an angle. No way I could make that so I braked to a stop with a little side motion and at a dead stop couldn't hold it and we both spilled right onto the grass. Pretty ridiculous but she's a good sport, no damage to us or the bike so up we go and soon we're off again to Leesburg.

    Left the turnpike at Yeehaw Junction on Highway 60 to pickup Highway 27 into Leesburg. Car ahead suddenly locks up his brakes. I react albeit slowly at first and brake hard. ABS does it's thing for real, first time since I bought the bike in November. I'm coming up fast on his rear fender but don't see a way around him as the road is filled ahead of the car with Sand hill cranes, large birds about 3 feet tall. Came to a stop on his left side about an inch from his bumper and a couple of feet from these stupid birds who haven't left the road and good grief with almost no forward movement but a little sideward I can't hold the bike and again we spill onto the pavement.

    This time She and I are banged up a bit on the right side and the bike fender has a scratch so overall we are pretty lucky. She is not happy however and neither am I. The problem is at a normal stop I slide forward a bit and put my feet out and stop the bike. Both times this day I had to stop while still sitting back in the seat and by the time my foot touched the ground the bike had to much lean, had reached the tipping point and I couldn't hold it. The problem was exacerbated because riding two up with the tour pak loaded (within limits) the center of gravity was higher and the lateral limit before I couldn't hold up the bike was smaller.

    I only dropped my Sportster once and that was because my left arm had become intimate with the passenger door of a toyota corolla during a misunderstanding over right of way at an intersection. I never dropped my Road King. I'm not tall, 5'6" and with a mustang seat the RK fit me just fine. So what's the best way to lower this bike for me. Should I try another mustang seat? What about progressive shocks, have heard good things about them although I like my air shocks. If I change the rear shocks do I need to lower the front end? If so, how?

    Love the bike and as far as I'm concerned ABS kept me out of the hospital this weekend, I won't listen to anything negative about ABS after this. But dropping the bike and my fiancee twice in one day is not the key to a successful, long lasting relationship with either.

    Your thoughts are most welcome!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  2. zyepod

    zyepod Active Member

    104
    26
    0
    What a bummer... You did good just picking that baby up huh... I tried a Rear Suspension Lowering Kit that extends the length of your rear shocks on my 2008 EG. Lowered it right at an inch which was great but the bike would bottom out especially with a rider. So I took them off. Right now I'm making due with a set of boots with a nice heal and a narrow seat. I'm thinking of getting a set of Profile Low Touring Shocks from Harley. Your number is (54635-09). Says it will lower your ride 3/4" without compromising the ride.
     
  3. Merlynn

    Merlynn Active Member

    240
    28
    1
    Had the presence of mind to turn of the ignition (bike had already shut down), lower the jiffy stand, and pick it up using the technique I was taught in training. It really works! Just came to me that the bike CG was higher with the tour pak loaded. I'll look at those shocks. Do you plan to lower your front end also?
     
  4. Mainah

    Mainah Junior Member

    471
    28
    2
    I have an 06 Road Glide and a 29" inseam. I left the suspension alone and installed the "Reach" seat from the dealer. Put me 1.5" lower and 1.5" forward. Fits just right.
     
  5. USMCCWO5

    USMCCWO5 Junior Member

    419
    26
    0
    I lowered my 2009 FLHX Streetglide by installing factory HD lowered springs in front and a set of Progressive Shocks for the rear. I also installed a HD Reach seat (which is quite a bit thicker in the rear also). Additionally, I cut some of the foam from the sides of the seat and re-stapled it. I did this for my wife, who is now very comfortable with the ride height. She wouldn't ride it to work because she was afraid to back it up. Now she rides every day that she doesn't have to carpool the kids to school. I tested it on the lowest rear-shock setting to see if it would bottom out over speed bumps and dips. No problems.
     
  6. zoood

    zoood Junior Member Product Contributor

    663
    28
    5
    The very first thing to do is to lower your seat. You can modify the stock one you have or get another else wheres. We all know that HD wont admit to a heat problem. But that didn't stop them from making a few changes. The heat management for one. Their heat deflectors. (midframe air deflectors) and last,... they widened the seat where your inner thighs are.
    Thus making your stance wider than what you have been use to on your earlier rides. If you do decide to shave off some of the foam from your seat. making it narrower. Make sure to use an electric carving knife. The cut will be consistant and not looking like there was a texas chain saw massecre done to the foam rubber.

    RJ


     
  7. zyepod

    zyepod Active Member

    104
    26
    0

    Had the presence of mind to turn of the ignition (bike had already shut down), lower the jiffy stand, and pick it up using the technique I was taught in training. It really works! Just came to me that the bike CG was higher with the tour pak loaded. I'll look at those shocks. Do you plan to lower your front end also?

    No... Not unless I have problems like Hobbit quoted...
     
  8. Merlynn

    Merlynn Active Member

    240
    28
    1
    Good advice all around, thanks, question - Is the reach seat comfortable? I bought this bike to go touring and logging a lot of saddle time. Are there any seats beside the reach that will do the same thing and are comfortable?
     
  9. Merlynn

    Merlynn Active Member

    240
    28
    1
    Update: I ordered the parts today from my local HD dealer today. Going to lower both the front and rear end. Also getting pullback bars similar to the ones I had on my RK and a back rest. Holding off on a reach seat. Going to try boots with a thicker sole and if that is not sufficient got the number for a guy who does upholstery work who will cut down my stock seat. Last but not least got a great deal on a new replacement front fender. Biker will be better than before we kissed the pavement. Can't wait!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  10. zyepod

    zyepod Active Member

    104
    26
    0
    Sounds like you’re doing all the right things... I tried the Reach Seat myself and didn't like it. It was a hard and I didn't like sitting that close. It is narrower so my feet touched better but you can have your stock seat cut down at a local upholster. I'm getting ready to do the Bars and rear shocks. From what I understand you will need a clutch cable and some extension wires for your throttle... I think those pullback bars will come back about two inches... I am very interested in how they turn out...