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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #21  
Old 21st December 2022
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Never Never Land
Posts: 3,300
Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200C
Sportster/Buell Year: 2017
Other Motorcycle Model: BMW R9T
Other Motorcycle Year: 2015
Reputation: 4173677
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Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
p.s. maybe this explains why you were so disappointed about your forks (wrong quantity of oil) and shocks (a mere 11.5")
The rear shocks were 11 3/4" and literally the first thing I changed. Little travel, way too soft springs with too much preload and lousy damping make for a crap ride. Being in Wisconsin, USA we have a lot of frost heaved back roads that give the suspension a workout.
The forks also have little travel, way soft springs with too much preload and lousy damping. Stiffer springs with less preload and adjusted fork oil levels made a big improvement in ride quality but HDs' cartridge just has lousy damping and a fork oil change won't fix it.
I suspect the real "fix" for the HD cartridge is to put it on a garage shelf.
I'll know more in the spring when it's warm enough again to work in my garage. I'll be trying damper rods giving 5.5" fork travel with RaceTech Gold Valves.
Time will tell.
My R9T has Ohlins forks and shock and steering damper replacing its' originals so I have a reference as to what really good is.

It will be nice to be able to set and/or change fork oil levels without having to use a fork spring compresser.

I think I have right at 10,000 miles on the (Red Line) fork oil in the forks. Should be interesting to see how cruddy it is...

Does your Euro bike also have longer travel forks than the 4" of travel mine have?
__________________
2017 XL1200C in SE Wisconsin, USA

Last edited by Tomcatt; 21st December 2022 at 20:33..
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  #22  
Old 21st December 2022
Nibelungen's Avatar
Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Emilia, Italy
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Sportster/Buell Model: xl883n Iron (2019 engine)
Sportster/Buell Year: 2017
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Originally Posted by Tomcatt View Post

Does your Euro bike also have longer travel forks than the 4" of travel mine have?
No...same slammed fork... with a brace and double h race brake pads...
now a bit more stiff with a bit more type e oil... and a bit more responsive than before in twisties having reinstalled the tubes 3 mm more high out of the tripletree....
consider also i have a bit less grunt on my bike than yours... i am lighter... and even younger... this perhaps changes perspective a little bit


IMHO having a better fork on my quiet bike... brings no appreciable benefit

Your 9T is at a far higher level compared to a Sportster... but Sportster is more "primitive" in sensations gifted to the rider

Last edited by Nibelungen; 21st December 2022 at 20:52..
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  #23  
Old 21st December 2022
Tomcatt Tomcatt is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Never Never Land
Posts: 3,300
Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200C
Sportster/Buell Year: 2017
Other Motorcycle Model: BMW R9T
Other Motorcycle Year: 2015
Reputation: 4173677
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Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
...and even younger... this perhaps changes perspective a little bit
I'm sure it does. I'm 71 and want a bike I can put miles on. Riding out to New Mexico after Labor Day was two 500 mile days and a 400 mile day each way. Better suspension made it MUCH nicer but also made it clear the front end still needed more work... Heavier (and more) fork oil would have improved handling thru the mountain passes' twisties.
Since that trip I've acquired a detachable 13"-16" Memphis Shades Drop Top Windshield. My age showing I guess.

Last edited by Tomcatt; 2nd January 2023 at 23:42..
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