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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 November 2020
felis's Avatar
felis felis is offline
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Hi guys - remember me?

I still have the Roadster.
I wound the rear shock adjusters all the way up till they stopped - no dots showing (minimum preload) and rode it that way for the last several years.
Didn't make any further changes to the forks.

Besides being pretty light, I'm also pretty short. I got tired of tip-toeing the bike around and just put a set of 12" Progressive 412's on it (you can laugh now XLXR).
Only put on a few miles to make sure there were no clearance issues and to see how they felt.
Can't give a real impression of the ride yet as I just left them on the lowest preload as they came from Progressive.

One thing I did notice greatly was how light the front end felt, how little effort was needed to do a little lane swerving, and how immediate the bikes response was to my input.
All due to the change in geometry/rake and so on.
Before this, the bike was always firmly planted, but it responded more like riding my lawn tractor - much more effort on my part to get it to respond to trajectory changes.

Part of this is no doubt just due to familiarity. My last Sportster was slammed in the back (10" shocks if I recall) and while the forks weren't extended, I had them set real firm and used a brace on them, and I rode it that way for more than 20 years..

Biggest motivation, and relief, is being able to flat foot it again, like I was used to. Trying to back up, angle park, between a long row of bikes was a nightmare, and a bit embarrassing.
All is good now, except today's temperature probably made it the last riding day for about four months. Snow will be part of the picture for a while.

Haven't posted much, and probably might not again too much for a while, but I'm still kickin' and riding.
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  #22  
Old 22nd November 2020
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Good to hear from you. My “Midwest” ride tomorrow will be cool and wet as the forecast calls for snow and rain. A side note: some of my “vertically challenged “ have added an extra sole and taller heel to their favorite riding boots, just saying.
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  #23  
Old 22nd November 2020
exexpat93 exexpat93 is offline
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My front forks soak up the bumps however the kick in the kidneys is always the rear shocks. I put on a high exhaust and had to get a shock relocation mount at the bottom; 1 1/2 inch back. Only took it for a test ride at the dealer before storage so I do not know if the geometry will help or hurt. I need to try adjustments to the preload as well. Rode mine all summer without adjustment.
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  #24  
Old 23rd November 2020
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felis felis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
Guy must be pretty unfamiliar with the general motorcycle market to be surprised.

The vast majority of street bikes don't have those adjustments on the forks. It's mostly sportbikes/Sport Tourers and Motocross/Enduro that do.
3 year old thread, so you might not see this. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in another thread that I bought the 2016 Roadster used in 2017 with a little over 8 hundred miles on it from a place that sells all kinds of used bikes.

The thought did cross my mind that it may have been dumped or damaged.
So I lifted up the front end, loosened every nut/bolt, shimmied everything around to make sure it moved freely, and then torqued everything back up to specs according to the manual.

sportsterpaul - I always wear boots with a fair amount of sole height, but like I said, I'm pretty short, so tip toeing it around was always a chore and made me a bit nervous. While riding, the problem completely disappeared of course.
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  #25  
Old 23rd November 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
3 year old thread, so you might not see this. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in another thread that I bought the 2016 Roadster used in 2017 with a little over 8 hundred miles on it from a place that sells all kinds of used bikes.



The thought did cross my mind that it may have been dumped or damaged.

So I lifted up the front end, loosened every nut/bolt, shimmied everything around to make sure it moved freely, and then torqued everything back up to specs according to the manual.



sportsterpaul - I always wear boots with a fair amount of sole height, but like I said, I'm pretty short, so tip toeing it around was always a chore and made me a bit nervous. While riding, the problem completely disappeared of course.
Glad you're figuring it out.

That sales guy still sounded like a newb though or perhaps a skewed perspective thanks to what he normally deals in. Who knows, not important.

I did think the rears would have an effect. I'm far from a suspension expert but the balance between the two ends changes a lot of things.

Hang in there and ride safe!
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  #26  
Old 26th November 2020
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felis felis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
Glad you're figuring it out.

That sales guy still sounded like a new though or perhaps a skewed perspective thanks to what he normally deals in. Who knows, not important.

I did think the rears would have an effect. I'm far from a suspension expert but the balance between the two ends changes a lot of things.

Hang in there and ride safe!

No the sales guy wasn't new, or young. He actually used to drag race Harleys for a dealership.
The place where I got it from usually has anywhere between 300 and 800 used bikes. They also sell snowmobiles, ATV's, jet skis and other stuff.
Lots to keep track of and you can't be up on everything.

I've got another thread in the electrical/lighting area about the speedo back light. I thought I might have it figured out, but the service bulletin I linked to must be for another speedo, because I threw the battery back in the bike today and couldn't follow the procedure.
They must have some code built in that unlocks certain functions.
Anyways - not being able to read the speedo in certain light conditions is still bugging me.
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  #27  
Old 1 Week Ago
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felis felis is offline
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Final suspension update: I put the rear shocks up one notch from the fully expanded 12" length,
raised the fork tubes as high as they could go in the tree (not much - about 1/2") to level it out a bit,
and have been riding it that way for the last few days.

Took it out over some of the roughest areas I usually ride on,
and it feels like it's actually soaking up bumps and holes,
instead of reacting like they're motocross jumps or hitting curbs.
It didn't throw me up off the seat once.

I'm happy with it - good for another 20 years.
It rides now like I thought it was going to when I got it (from the good reviews it got).

Couple minor bugs left, but they're for the electrical section.
Haven't figured out the speedo backlight yet,
and I think I'm getting a little excess battery drain when it sits.
But I'll get it figured out.
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