Rear Shock - Harder or Softer With Speed?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Sharky1948, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    I'm trying to "analytically" determine whether I should set the rear shock harder or softer when going from predominately local riding to predominately highway riding. One the one hand, it seems that a firmer ride would add stability (assuming it wasn't so firm as to cause the rear tire to bounce on bumps.) On the other hand, softer would cause the bike to remain in a more centered, neutral position.

    I know I can just go out and ride and test. I'm just puzzling the theory in my aging mind.
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Old age setting in? :D

    I usually found a comfortable position for both and left it there, usually a firmer ride.
  3. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    There's a couple of different schools of thought...

    Find what's comfortable for the load conditions of the bike.

    Or find the optimal settings for hard riding. For hard riding I mean performance riding.

    I have a couple of different bikes so I know what settings work well for each style. I pump up the air suspension on my FLHR to about max pressure to increase the stiffness. This makes the bike handle better when I'm hustling it thru the corners. Anything that has a rubber mounted swing arm tends to "flex" when pushed hard.

    My FXD is slammed low. So it scraps hard parts fairly quick when press in the corners. But I dial up the shock pre-load for better feel.

    Conversely, I dial the settings down for cruising around town or on the highway. It's more comfortable...

    I'm an old sport bike guy that has moved over to Harleys. But I still have a track day Ducati 996sps in the garage. It's harder to do an endo with a Harley. But the Harleys keep the hooligan temptations in check....
  4. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    That...and the fact that I'm trying to personally make a dent in Million Mile Monday on my Sporty. (Any excuse for a day off work!):bigsmiley11: