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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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  #31  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
ChrisOfTheOT ChrisOfTheOT is offline
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: South-West Great Britain
Posts: 19
Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
Don't do yourself down. Just explain what you need to Dave and I am sure he could tune your shocks so that you are happy.
Probably save yourself a load of cash into the bargain. Hope it goes well.
Thanks Four Speed. I have spoken to the legend that is 'Dave-at-Hagon'. He suggested increasing the pre-load to mid-position, which I've done and will test tomorrow. (Damping is also mid-position, 5 of 10, but I'll fiddle with that too.)

He also took some time to offer this in an email:
On [injected] Sportsters there are two issues which are the Achilles' heel…:

1. If you were to remove the rear shocks and lift the rear wheel and swing arm upwards, there is contact when the shock eye's get to 244mm apart… and if you take the belt guard off the tyre hits the rear fender [he means 'mudguard'...] just slightly after.

Consequently the standard shock bottoms out at 250mm to avoid this issue, therefore a model with shocks 300mm long will only have 50mm of travel, of which 10-12mm... is bump stop rubber.

A typical twin shock would have 80mm of stroke or travel, so if you take that 250mm compressed length and add the typical 80mm travel you have an overall length of 330mm or 13". And more importantly another 30mm of travel!

If 330mm is too much for you to be happy with the bike cosmetically, every additional 10mm step in length increased from the original 300mm shock will be an additional 10mm of travel which is of course ride quality.

2. Harley tend to use quite a soft spring with a large amount of preload. This normally makes a harsher ride for very light riders and a shock which will easily bottom out for anyone 12st plus and, of course, any one riding two up is riding on the bump stop.

Also, since Shanneba's thread is about the SE fork upgrage(!), I have long wanted to get better fork springs. Dave has written elsewhere that Harely forks are 'under sprung and over dampened'. This, coupled with the low ride height, means the SE fork spring kit is a fab option... when I can pay for it. I always balked 'cos I've never read a real review from a real rider. Now, Shanneba has convinced me. (Thanks again mate!)

Cheers,

Chris

Last edited by ChrisOfTheOT; 3 Weeks Ago at 17:50.. Reason: Grammar, innit...
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  #32  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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ChrisOfTheOT, you normally set up suspension so that it cycles somewhere mid-stroke and uses the full travel occasionally on hard bumps.
That is normal. You just don't want the shocks bottoming out routinely with little progression so they jolt your spine. Here, shanneba
is setting up his shocks to sag a bit more by reducing the preload, while increasing the compression damping slightly. That should give slightly
more movement per bump with a bit more progressive damping on compression. Sag affects and rebound damping will affect how
fast the shocks return which affects compliance and comfort.

I am glad Dave offered that useful advice. Dave is right about the spring HD rates and adjusting the damping. Preload and damping
could make a lot of difference. So in your case you are blowing through the travel so you need more preload and compression damping.
When you are happy that is better, then play with the rebound damping until you get a smooth rebound without bucking.

We didn't really discuss the effects that balancing the font suspension has on the rear. In general you want the fork responding in a
similar way to the rear shocks, albeit with more movement. A real limitation with HD forks is the damper rod which is a very basic damper.
It does not respond well to square edged bumps or hard braking. A modern shim stack damping system is a better way to go. You get better
mid-stroke compliance as well as better drive control even with a standard spring. You can simply add damper inserts like Gold valves or Ricor
Intimidators that offer remarkable improvements in ride quality for about a quarter/third of the cost of shannebas SE conversion. I hate to think
what the SE kit would cost in Europe! But shanneba allows us to enjoy them vicariously.
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