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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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  #11  
Old 29th March 2008
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XLXR, I was at the dealership checking out an 883R and it has close to or more than 2" of rider sag on the front, hard to tell about the rear. Did your R have that much sag when you bought it? One other thing, I have a bunch of free sag, only the weight of the bike, in fact most of my rider sag (front) is made up of free sag. What is your take on this?
CB
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  #12  
Old 29th March 2008
chrisg chrisg is offline
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looks good, just needs an 18" on the back now.
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  #13  
Old 29th March 2008
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I haven't dealt with Aftershocks, but every suspension company I have dealt with has told me exactly the same thing. They know the perfect set up. It usually takes me about 25 miles with their parts to realize they were lying. So my question would be how many times will they fix it for free if you don't like it? Will they pay for shipping? I probably have spent $300 on shipping alone returning suspension parts. If you pay to have the forks fixed, you will never learn much about suspension tuning. If you figure this out for yourself, the lessons learned will serve you well for the rest of your motorcycling life.

The main purpose of rider sag is allowing the fork enough travel to rebound without topping out at full extension because the fork will move above and below the point it rests at rider sag. Rider sag is changed by changing the length of the preload spacer. The longer the preload spacer, the stiffer the spring feels, especially in the first part of travel. In general, they say you want 1/3 to 1/4 of total travel for rider sag. However, as in all suspension adjustments, it needs to be set were it works best with the total suspenion package.

It is entirely possible you have too much preload, whiich makes the fork springs feel too stiff for your weight. Instead of allowing the front wheel to move and follow the bumps in the road, the spring ends up so stiff the tire is in the air most of the time. Reducing the length of the preload spacer by about 1/2" may be a good thing to try.

The strange thing about Sportsters is the rider's weight is so far back, sitting on the bike may not make the forks compress at all. My forks compress when I move the bike off the kickstand to vertical, but when I sit on it carefully, the forks don't move, but the back end goes down, and the result is the headlight actually goes up.

Keep in mind, there are plenty of 180 lb riders with Roadster forks and Progressive shocks that are not having the problems you are. That's why I say something is not what you think it is.
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  #14  
Old 30th March 2008
rodhotter rodhotter is offline
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i had a hyperpro spring kit installed in my 03 sportster sport forks, EXCELLENT, used the 2.5 wt oil in kit filled as specified, fully progressive spring soft for 2 inches then stiffens up, my buddy a former ducati dealer says they have great stuff
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  #15  
Old 30th March 2008
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Nice looking scoot. I'm using the 13½" Progressive 412 shocks and love them.

Quote:
I need a friggin' kick stand
The 1200R jiffy stand is chrome and the 883R is black.
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  #16  
Old 30th March 2008
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Hello XLXR and anyone else who would like to chime in,
I pulled the fork tubes out drained the HD fluid only got 10.2 oz out of each fork, not sure if the fork is retaining some fluid. I also took the bleed screws out and pumped them quite a bit to get as much fluid out as possible, should have got close to 11.5 oz out? Measured the preload spacer and it is 2.75", added 12oz of 5wt Bel Ray fluid. Thought I would add .5oz due to the lower wt fluid. However, if I put 12oz in the fork I only get approximately 4.25" from the top of the fork down to the fluid and the book says 5.75" ? I pumped the forks good to get the air out, so I don't think that is the problem (wet fork retained some fluid?). Put it back together with the 12oz and the rider sag is approximately 1.125". Took it for a rip down a very bumpy road with tie strap on fork tube. I am getting 2.875" of travel over that road. In my hurry to get it together, I forgot to measure the damn travel of the forks fully compressed with out the spring, etc. I gather from other posts with the same fork that the fully compressed travel is 3.75"? What did you get on your forks for full compressed travel? With just the fluid change the action of the fork seems a lot better, illusion, I don't know? I do believe the ride is much better, I think I will take 1oz out as I feel I am not using enough travel of the forks and take it for another rip. Although the 412s improved the ride in the rear I think I need to invest in an adjustable shock. Ohlins were recommended, $$$. I am going to heck them out as well as others.
I am starting to think that we just have some really BAD roads and I am expecting too much from this or any bike!

CB
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  #17  
Old 31st March 2008
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You can never get all the oil out. Pumping them until the oil quits squirting out should be good enough.

The spec for oil level measured from the top of the fork tube as stated in the service manual applies only with the forks off the bike, held vertically, springs out, forks fully compressed. Is that how you measured it?

After you add the oil, then you must pump the forks up and down a few times to fill the damper rod and bleed out air. If you measured the oil level without pumping the forks enough, you will get a high oil level. Measure the oil level since your test ride, see if it went down from the first measurement. Maybe you didn't get all the air out. Once you have started with an oil level with the forks on the bike, use that as your base. Measure it the same way from now on, say at the back of the fork tubes, and you can use that measurement for future comparisons.

Excessive oil and / or excessive preload, will limit fork travel. If you take out 1 oz of oil from each fork, and you get more total travel, that was the problem. If it bottoms too much, then add only 1/2 oz back in. If it doesn't bottom out after you add the 1/2 oz, then take 1/2" off the preload to soften the initial fork travel. If it sags too much or starts to bottom again, add 1/4" preload. This is how you fine tune and save yourself $300. Or make yourself crazy.

1/2 oz fluid or 1/4" of preload are about the smallest adjustments you can make and be able to feel the difference. Going from 20 wgt to 5 wgt is a huge change and you should be able to feel the difference while riding. Going from 10 to 5 wgt might take some rough roads or hard riding to be able to tell the difference.

The plastic tie on my forks is 4 1/2" up from full extension. But I don't bottom out the forks, so there might even be more travel.

Ohlins are the only shock I have not read any complaints about, but I have not tried them. Whittlebeast's hybrid shocks are the best bang for the buck, but you will need some tools and work to make them.

What tire pressured do you run? Have you tried different air pressures in the tires? Lower the rear tire pressure by about 3 lbs at a time to see what effect it has on the shocks. It is a great debate as to the lowest minimum tire pressure. I tried 34 psi in the rear, with Whittlebeast's hybrid shocks, and I am leaving it there.

You can't change the roads, but you can tune the suspension to run as good as possible on the worst of roads.
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  #18  
Old 31st March 2008
Takingabreak Takingabreak is offline
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I have said it before, and I will say it again, these thread is worthless without pictures.



Nice job, looks better then stock for sure.

You might try this place for a standard jiffy stand.

www.elvisplace.com.
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  #19  
Old 31st March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffytune View Post
I have said it before, and I will say it again, these thread is worthless without pictures.



Nice job, looks better then stock for sure.

You might try this place for a standard jiffy stand.

www.elvisplace.com.
I did have a picture. I deleted several pics last night, shrunk them down, re-uploaded them and I could not edit them back in my posts. I don't remember only having 24hrs to edit a post? (Bert now says you have 4 days)(personally I think you should always be able to edit at any time) () I also lost pics on several other posts and shoving them in at the end of a thread is too little too late, kind of sucks. At least I now can edit my photos prior to posting.

CB

Thanks for publishing a pic. I have some different ones I am going to upload but it says I am over my limit for one day, I guess it must be 24hrs.
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  #20  
Old 31st March 2008
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cbnightster cbnightster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
You can never get all the oil out. Pumping them until the oil quits squirting out should be good enough.
This what I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
The spec for oil level measured from the top of the fork tube as stated in the service manual applies only with the forks off the bike, held vertically, springs out, forks fully compressed. Is that how you measured it?
Yes, I take the forks out and measure the fluid height compressed, spring out, etc. I can pull the tire, fender, caliper and tubes out in less than 1/2 hr. Much easier for me to work on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
After you add the oil, then you must pump the forks up and down a few times to fill the damper rod and bleed out air. If you measured the oil level without pumping the forks enough, you will get a high oil level. Measure the oil level since your test ride, see if it went down from the first measurement. Maybe you didn't get all the air out. Once you have started with an oil level with the forks on the bike, use that as your base. Measure it the same way from now on, say at the back of the fork tubes, and you can use that measurement for future comparisons.
Yes, I pumped the crap out of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
Excessive oil and / or excessive preload, will limit fork travel. If you take out 1 oz of oil from each fork, and you get more total travel, that was the problem. If it bottoms too much, then add only 1/2 oz back in. If it doesn't bottom out after you add the 1/2 oz, then take 1/2" off the preload to soften the initial fork travel. If it sags too much or starts to bottom again, add 1/4" preload. This is how you fine tune and save yourself $300. Or make yourself crazy.
I took out 1/2oz and travel increased by 3/8". Do you suggest you set the level to where you are just close to bottoming out? The fluid level should not affect the sag, right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
1/2 oz fluid or 1/4" of preload are about the smallest adjustments you can make and be able to feel the difference. Going from 20 wgt to 5 wgt is a huge change and you should be able to feel the difference while riding. Going from 10 to 5 wgt might take some rough roads or hard riding to be able to tell the difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
The plastic tie on my forks is 4 1/2" up from full extension. But I don't bottom out the forks, so there might even be more travel.
I assume you're getting 4 1/2" of travel then, I am only at 3 3/8" with the same style fork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
Ohlins are the only shock I have not read any complaints about, but I have not tried them. Whittlebeast's hybrid shocks are the best bang for the buck, but you will need some tools and work to make them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
What tire pressured do you run? Have you tried different air pressures in the tires? Lower the rear tire pressure by about 3 lbs at a time to see what effect it has on the shocks. It is a great debate as to the lowest minimum tire pressure. I tried 34 psi in the rear, with Whittlebeast's hybrid shocks, and I am leaving it there.
F= 30psi R= 36psi. I believe this the rec. in the manual. I will try lowering the rear 3psi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
You can't change the roads, but you can tune the suspension to run as good as possible on the worst of roads.
Have you made a post with your explanation of spring rates, etc. What is a good read for better understanding. I am somewhat confused about the crossover points and such. The preload and fluid level is not going to get me exactly where I want. I am playing with this first to get a better understanding and feel when I make changes to the fluid level.

As far as the After Shocks company, this guy is a long time tuner not a manufacturer of off the shelf parts. I know there is no one blanket tune for a fork or shock. How ever this guy and any other tuner has set ups to bring you in very close to what you need and can fine tune from there. The only reason I feel like using a tuner is that I would rather ride my bike on the weekend than screw with the suspension every weekend. I do find it interesting playing with it though.
Thanks for your input.

CB
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