Will This Mess Up My Handling?

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by threesteps, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

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    I could use some advice on how shorter than stock shocks effect the handling of a bike. I can get a great deal on some 11 inch Progressive 430 shocks but they are one inch shorter than the stock 12 inch HDs on my bike now. I don’t want to mess up the handling or the geometry on the bike so I’m a little hesitant to put the 11 inchers on the bike. What do you think?
     
  2. 00BUCKSHOT

    00BUCKSHOT Junior Member

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    threesteps i've wondered the same thing/i'd like to put a sett on my 03 wideglide also
     
  3. DocMike

    DocMike Member

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    I've got a set of Harley's lowered shocks on my '96 FXD. They do change you rake and trail a little so the handeling does change a little but, IMHO not enough to "mess up" the handling. It does respond a little slower than with the stock shocks. If there is anything I would complain about is that the ride quality suffers some. With a shorter shock you will not have as much suspension travel so it pretty much has to be stiffer. With a good set of aftermarket shocks it might not be quite as stiff as Harley's shock but, I've never tried any aftermarket shocks so I really can't comment on the ride quality of them.

    Doc
     
  4. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

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    Hey guys, good information. Sounds like the shorter shock it isn't a real problem.

    Hobbit,

    I'm a bit slower in my riding style than you.:D

    I usually take a couple of trips each year where I can "cut loose" on some good mountains or hills. Would bet my "fast" pace is too slow for you.:57:
     
  5. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Get the shocks, you should be very happy with them. If you do exhibit a slight wobble at high speed (unlikely, but possible), you may want to change front shock fluid to 7.5Wt (stock is 5Wt fork oil), lower front tubes in the triple tree by 1/8" to 1/4", adjust fluid level slightly lower by an oz or two to level geometry and retest every time (one thing at a time of course) and you will be fine.
     
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    What ever you choose to do, do the same amount front AND back.

    TQ
     
  7. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

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    TQ, This may sound pretty stupid but are you saying lower the front tubes by the same amount that the shocks lower the back or the the amount the shocks are shorter than the standard shock or what? As you can see, this is all new to me.
     
  8. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes. You should be able to get the front end lowering kit (mostly just the springs) to lower your forks that same amount as your rear shocks. This will maintain the geometry as much as possible and should give you the same sort of riding characteristics you have now (although with the shorter stiffer suspension, the ride will feel stiffer!)

    Since you are going with the Progressives on the rear, you may want to go with a Progressive kit on the fork. See here:

    http://www.progressivesuspension.com/pdfs/updates/3055-110HarleyForkLowerKit.pdf

    If you want to go with HD front fork lowering kit, find something like this but for your bike model and year (try Zanotti's):

    Profile® Low Front Suspension, 54621-05, Designed by Harley-Davidson to lower the fro

    TQ
     
  9. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

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    Thanks a lot for the explanation and info.
     
  10. sgtcowboyusmc

    sgtcowboyusmc Banned

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    Hobbit I could be wrong but doesn't lowering the bike change how much you can corner. I guess what I am saying is doesn't the lean angle change and scraping happen sooner when lowered?

    Cowboy