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Lone Wolf in Canada
23rd May 2006, 19:41
Hope this helps others who want to install their own shocks. The following is a step by step guide and you'll save yourself a half hour labour at a dealer.
Maybe we should thumb tack it or whatever we do on this site.

I have a 2005 1200 Custom . I installed Progressive 412 11.5" Shocks.
TOOLS NEEDED:
Torx T50 good quality socket.
3/4" combination wrench.
Blue Loc-Tite
Towel to drape over the bike frame and muffler.
A friend to lift rear of frame momentarily at times.

To remove the stock shocks:
1. Drape a thick towel or pad over the area of the swing arm or muffler under the area you are working on so you don't drop a tool and scratch the bike.
2. Just leave the bike on it's kickstand, let's work on the right side first. Always loosen and remove the lower bolt of shocks first, that way when the t bolt comes out it doesn't kick up and scratch the beauty. Have your friend hold the bottom nut at rear of the shock bolt with the 3/4" wrench. This can be difficult, if you have a thin walled wrench you may be able to get the box end around it, mine needed the open end, I used a short 6" wrench to get in under the belt guard if you can't get on it with the wrench from the rear. You just have to hold the nut, don't need to turn it with the wrench. Once they have the wrench on it, you loosen the lower bolt with the T50 socket on your ratchet handle. It will be tight but it isn't a problem once it starts to turn.
3. You can loosen the lower bolt a bit, then loosen the top bolt slightly also with the T50 socket. This allows for a little shock movement when you remove the lower bolt.
4. Remove the lower bolt all the way, once the nut is off keep turning the bolt and it will unscrew itself from the swing arm hole it is through. Near the end have your friend slightly lift up on the two chrome fender struts to help ease weight while you pull the lower bolt completly out.
5. Remove the upper bolt with the T50 socket. The nut is attached to the inside of the chrome strut and will not fall off. Hold the shock as you remove the upper bolt so it doesn't scratch the bike.
Save the hardware from the old shocks because you use them on the new shocks. Note the order how they are on the old shock.
The left shock remaining will hold the weight of the bike no problem.
6. Lay your new Progressive 412 shock on the table. You will notice the bottom eyelet is off centre. It doesn't matter which new shock goes on what side, but that off- set eyelet must be facing on the inside (closest) to the wheel.
Assemble the hardware to your new shock...
Here's the washer / spacer combination I used and my shocks are straight down on each side of the bike...(both shocks)
From the outside of shock going in toward the bike frame ...
Top bolt order...Original bolt then Original washer then original chrome cap then new shock then new black shoulder spacer washer slid into shock eyelet then new zinc washer then new thick black spacer then all into the chrome strut hole in fender.

Lower bolt order....(from outside of shock going toward the frame)
Original bolt then original washer then new black shoulder spacer going through the new shock then new shock (remember the lower eyelet faces in toward bike) then new thick black spacer then through the swing arm frame & belt guard then original nut.
7. Still working on the right side of bike, screw this upper bolt and shock combo into the fender near tight.
8. Get your friend to put down his beer and lift the two chrome struts on fender up slightly while you push the lower bolt and shock combo through the swing arm hole on bike. Screw the lower nut on fairly tight.
Stand back and check shock for straightness. It should be vertical. If not, you still have two zinc washers in your new shock box that you can put on bottom bolt to bring the shock out, but I didn't need it.
9. Remove the lower nut and have your friend slightly lift the struts again then slide the lower bolt out completly. Then remove the upper bolt and remove shock/bolt assembly from bike. Careful you don't scratch the bike.
10. Apply Loc-Tite to the upper bolt threads and re-install the shock / bolt combo in upper fender hole. Have friend again lift struts slightly while you again slide the lower bolt / washer combo through the swing arm hole.
Apply Loc-Tite to the lower bolt threads and tighten the nut on the lower bolt using the T50 socket while your friends holding the nut with the 3/4" wrench. 50 foot/lbs is suggested but I just tighten it solid. Tighten the upper bolt with the T50 socket into the fender strut solid tight.
9. Do the same for the left side shock.

You should have 2 zinc washers remaining along with the 4 black spacers that are for smaller bike supports.

10. Stand back and admire while your friend pours you a Crown Royal over ice.

Folkie
23rd May 2006, 20:18
… tighten the nut on the lower bolt … 50 foot/lbs is suggested but I just tighten it solid. Tighten the upper bolt … into the fender strut solid tight.
I don't recommend this. The ends of the shocks have to swivel. If you tighten the bolts solid tight, that's what your ride will be like: solid.

That was how the dealer installed my first set (!) of Progressive shocks: the ride was bone hard, and before I'd worked out why, the jolting had destroyed one of the shocks.

The solution (with the second set of shocks) was to torque the bolts to the recommended 45-50 ftlb. The ride's much better now; I can actually feel the shocks moving and working. OK, the new ones are 440s, but I don't think that makes much difference with the 11" length I've got.

xena
23rd May 2006, 20:43
Thanks for the details LW. I do have to agree
with Folkie on sticking with the torque specs though.
Also, I picked up a bike jack at Pep Boys that cost
me around 50 dollars I think it was.
It has come in handy several times now, and made
the shock installation a breeze to do by myself.

Lone Wolf in Canada
24th May 2006, 14:09
I didn't tighten them stupid tight like original Harley did, just "solid tight" that they won't work loose, but Thanx I see your point how I worded it.
Glad U mentioned it.

Lone Wolf in Canada
26th May 2006, 15:37
Also, Don't forget to re-align your headlight if you change shock sizes.

I bought a torque wrench and removed and reinstalled the shocks to proper torque. Seems with the long clicker style torque wrench, to bring it to 48 ft/lbs, it tightened MORE then what I originally did with the little 3/8 ratchet. Glad I checked.

Not to get into it, but I spoke with a mechanic about what Folkie said and the mechanic agreed on doing the torqueing, that's why there are specs and I know this, but he also stated the shocks better not move or you'll get uneven compression and poor stability and wear at the contact points. He claims that's why they're so tight when you take them off. The torque is just the tightness of that particular bolt/nut. 50 ft/lbs. He also stated the relatively short travel of the shocks in direct relation to the swing arm to the strut angle should not be that much that it would cause the shock body to be changing direction. He made reference to a car, that the shocks are all tight. He claims if shocks were designed to pivot on a frame then they use a system to allow this movement. (like your shifter rod) Also he stated possibly Folkies shocks were just bad and the dealer was making this reason up. Makes sense? I don't want this thread to get into an arguement. Don't respond.

Folkie
26th May 2006, 21:34
Also he stated possibly Folkies shocks were just bad and the dealer was making this reason up.
While I wouldn't put it past that dealer to make something like this up, that isn't the case here, because this isn't what the dealer said to me, it's what I've worked out for myself.

It is possible that there was always something wrong with my 412s, but I do think that the tightness of the bolts makes a difference. When I fitted new saddlebags I had to take the shocks off. This is when I found out how tight the dealer had tightened them. When I put them back on I torqued then correctly. The ride was better after this, even with one shock badly leaking. Also, it was the right shock that leaked; and I noticed that the left shock (which was OK) wasn't done up as tight.

He also stated the relatively short travel of the shocks in direct relation to the swing arm to the strut angle should not be that much that it would cause the shock body to be changing direction.
Granted, it wouldn't be much. I've just done a bit of calculating. The shock upper stud to swing arm pivot is about 16.5", the lower stud to the pivot is about 17.7", and the shock length, 11". The max shock travel is 1.8". It turns out the angle change of the shock (under max compression) at the upper stud is just under 2 degrees, and at the lower stud it's just over 4 degrees.

Also, some on this forum have found (with 440s) that when the bolts are done up very tight the ride is very hard, but when torqued to spec, the ride is much more comfy.

I think the shocks must swivel a bit (even if only a tiny bit), or else how tight the bolts are wouldn't make the difference it does.

ecworks
19th July 2006, 22:19
Followed your guide to the letter and it worked out perfectly. And I did it without any help:clap

Used (2) car jacks and some wood to raise and support the bike. The tips regarding the sequence of washers/spacers was invaluable.

Shocks perfectly veritical and 45 foot lbs torque.

thanks much

ed_in_az
19th July 2006, 23:34
Considering my stock shock bolts were on horribly tight, yet the shocks were mush, I'm wondering about this need to swivel.

When I installed my 412s I tried to duplicate the horrible tightness. The new shocks are firm, but not what I'd call stiff. Maybe I should leave them alone to avoid them going to mush.

Folkie
19th July 2006, 23:52
Considering my stock shock bolts were on horribly tight, yet the shocks were mush, I'm wondering about this need to swivel.

When I installed my 412s I tried to duplicate the horrible tightness. The new shocks are firm, but not what I'd call stiff. Maybe I should leave them alone to avoid them going to mush.
I wouldn't worry about it; torque 'em to spec and them leave them alone. The shock eye's have rubber bushes in them, through which there's a metal sleeve, through which goes the bolt. This arrangement easily allows the very slight movement that's needed, provided they aren't
over tightened.

The spacers Progressive provide do seem vulnerable to corroding. May be worth spraying them with a shot of ACF-50. I replaced mine with some nice turned stainless steel spacers.

How do you like the 412s?

Sportster Girl
5th August 2006, 18:11
Big, fat kudos to Lone Wolf for taking the time to post these instructions. Along with his and AZ Flying Divers details that I printed out, I had no problem installing my Progressive 412's today. I didn't even need a bike jack, but I was exchanging 11.5's for 11's.

The Progressive 'instructions' were a huge joke.

Thanks guys, you made my job easy. :)

Just another reason the XL Forum rocks, big time! :clap

monkee
27th August 2006, 00:36
Just followed these instructions for the Progressive 440's, worked perfectly...the spacer instructions are right on so I assume the 412's and 440's have the same basic setup. Didn't get a chance to ride too much yet but I can already feel the difference. Thanks Lone Wolf for these instructions, you saved me a TON of time and frustration with these, you da man...

Folkie
27th August 2006, 01:17
the spacer instructions are right on so I assume the 412's and 440's have the same basic setup
The difference between the 412s and the 440s (spacerswise) is that the 412s have the bottom eye offset, while on the 440s the eyes are on the shock centreline. Hope you like your 440s; I think they're much better than the 412s.

Gold951
16th September 2006, 04:00
I installed a set of 412s this afternoon. I've done shocks before (most recently Koni adjustable all the way around on my 951) and one thing I noticed about the 412s is that the metal sleeve bushing appears to be just a tad short.

The reason I say this is that every other shock that I have ever removed or installed had a sleeve that was just a tad longer than the width of the rubber bushing. This is necessary to keep from adding a preload to the rubber bushing.

From reading through this thread it appears that using the proper torque is mandatory.

eastcoastiron
17th September 2006, 20:03
Big, fat kudos to Lone Wolf for taking the time to post these instructions. Along with his and AZ Flying Divers details that I printed out, I had no problem installing my Progressive 412's today. I didn't even need a bike jack, but I was exchanging 11.5's for 11's.

The Progressive 'instructions' were a huge joke.

Thanks guys, you made my job easy. :)

Just another reason the XL Forum rocks, big time! :clap
hows the ride and seight height comparison

Don50
11th October 2006, 19:18
Hey guys, I was a little apprehensive about doing this swap until I read LW's explict instructions....hey LW ever though of going into the manual writing business???? :) You could make a mint....I along with the others that have found your information very valuable thank you !! Cant wait to get started now that you have mapped it out for us...
Peace
Don

Lone Wolf in Canada
12th October 2006, 15:27
My pleasure people. If it helps just one it was worth it. I tried to make it simple-even the obvious, that way there are no questions. I've received lots of great info from this forum as payback. When we teach each other from experience it saves us money and gives us a sense of satisfaction.

Gary7
18th February 2007, 16:01
If the weather cooperates, I'm going to try and put my new Progressives on this afternoon. I'll be going from the stock 13.25" to 12", so will I be able to do it without using a jack as described in this thread?

Gold951
18th February 2007, 16:40
If the weather cooperates, I'm going to try and put my new Progressives on this afternoon. I'll be going from the stock 13.25" to 12", so will I be able to do it without using a jack as described in this thread?

You can do this without using a jack, but you may need a nylon tie down strap.

I had to use a strap when I went from 12" Progressives to 13" Road King Air shocks. I used the strap to compress one of the air shocks so I could get it mounted. The shorter Progressive shock wouldn't let me lift the fender enough to get the RK mounted.

Here is what you need to do:

With the bike on the kick stand, put the strap over the left shock. Snug the strap down, but do not compress the shock. Remove the right shock. Using the upper bolt only (Don't forget the BLUE Loctite!), mount the right shock. Use the strap to compress the left shock until you can install the right lower bolt (again with BLUE Loctite). Torque the bolts to spec. Remove the left shock. Install the left shock. Have a cold one.

johnnybgood
18th February 2007, 16:42
If the weather cooperates, I'm going to try and put my new Progressives on this afternoon. I'll be going from the stock 13.25" to 12", so will I be able to do it without using a jack as described in this thread?

I think you will need a jack. Was able to change mine without a jack, but I was going from 11.75" to 12". Would probably be difficult to do in your situation.

John

Gary7
18th February 2007, 16:48
You can do this without using a jack, but you may need a nylon tie down strap.

I had to use a strap when I went from 12" Progressives to 13" Road King Air shocks. I used the strap to compress one of the air shocks so I could get it mounted. The shorter Progressive shock wouldn't let me lift the fender enough to get the RK mounted.

Here is what you need to do:

With the bike on the kick stand, put the strap over the left shock. Snug the strap down, but do not compress the shock. Remove the right shock. Using the upper bolt only (Don't forget the BLUE Loctite!), mount the right shock. Use the strap to compress the left shock until you can install the right lower bolt (again with BLUE Loctite). Torque the bolts to spec. Remove the left shock. Install the left shock. Have a cold one.

Bingo! I was sitting here trying to think of a way to compress the left shock after I got the right one off, and then you post this! :doh

Sounds like the perfect solution. Thanks. :)

Gold951
18th February 2007, 17:03
Hey, no problem.

I had the same "smack the forehead" moment when I was installing the Road Kings.

I've done suspension work on my Porsche so I have a spring compressor. I knew that I needed to compress the "new" shock, but using the spring compressor was out.

As I was wandering around the garage scratching my head and trying to figure out what to do, I literally tripped over a tie down strap. I had the strap out because initially I was going to put the bike on my lift, but then I realized that I would need some way to lift the rear end to get the new shocks installed. BTDT. Major PITA when you don't have a helper handy.

At that point I figured I could do the swap with the bike on the ground, but I never throught about the difference in shock legnth until I had the right shock off.

Any way, live and learn.

Gary7
18th February 2007, 17:10
I'm actually going to "modify" your method somewhat. I'm going to use tie wraps to compress the spring on the left shock after I get the right one off.

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/xoxide_1933_33215399

Gary7
18th February 2007, 20:02
Okay, Progressive 12" shocks are on and I'm about to take it for a test ride. I did a photo step by step of what I did, which I'll post later.

Ride height seems just about exactly what I was hoping to accomplish. I'm glad I didn't go with the 11" shocks.

Gold951
18th February 2007, 20:08
Check the wires for the turn signals! I had a new tire put on right before I got my air shocks, and within a couple of days I lost the right signals. The new tire grabbed the wires and shorted them out. I was running 12 Progressives at the time.

Like a dumb a$$ I thought the module was bad, so I bought a new one. When that didn't fix the problem I checked the wires and found the damage. Now I have a $237.00 paper weight.

Gary7
18th February 2007, 21:15
Man, I didn't realize just how bad my bike rode with the stock shocks. These 12" Progressives are the HD shocks, and with no preload set they ride like a Cadillac in comparison. To say I'm impressed would be an understatement.

Here's a brief photo essay of my install, which went pretty straight forward. I did have to use a jack to lift the bike a little to get the second (left) shock on. Would have been a whole lot easier to have gotten the original shock off that side if I'd used the jack then too. Live and learn...

Stock shocks were not on "crazy tight," just snug. And that's how I tightened everything back up (with blue Locktite): just good and snug.

First I measured the ride height with the stock shocks:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/001.jpg

Stock shock mounted:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/002.jpg

Next I wrapped everything up with plastic wrap to prevent scratches. It was too windy to use towels; they kept blowing off.

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/003.jpg

Used a tie wrap on the left shock to compress it some to make it easier to get the right shock off:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/004.jpg

Right shock removed:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/005.jpg

12" Progressive shock on right side, FPO:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/006.jpg

Both shocks on, and tightened:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/007.jpg

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/008.jpg

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/009.jpg

Ride height with 12" Progressives:

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Shocks/010.jpg

DutchBoy17
8th March 2007, 01:37
I just used these instructions to put on a pair of 12.5" 412s on my 883C. They were a huge help, as what Progressive provides for instructions isn't much help. Definitely an improvement in the ride.

Gone
30th March 2007, 18:10
Questions, I haven't worked on bikes in years. Mostly cars lately. Recently sold my '81' vette to get another bike (I am in Love). I have a 95 883/1220 conversion, I have stock 13.5" shocks and want to go low with 11"er's. I was looking at my bike last night after reading a lot about the wonderful information on this site concerning tech stuff. Mostly the shock how to. I noticed two things.

1) my rear tire sits more to the right of the bike (looking from the rear), and the bolts holding the fender and stuff look like they will hit the tire on this side. the left side has clearance (more than the right). will this not be the case due to the tire will be further into the fender when I am done? Let air out until I am done then the tire's widest edge will be above the bolt's when reflatted, or is something off on the rear of my bike? the drive belt looks straight in line and the bike rides fine.

2) Black plastic guard near the swing arm and the bottom end of the fender. Will this have to go?

Hope I am making sense and am clear enough for your help.

Any info is good info. And thanks. you folks seem to help each other out quit nicely. Someday I hope to repay the info favor.

ReddTigger
2nd May 2007, 04:33
I recently put on the 13.5 412's and my bike went up !!..

Off the bike, they're almost the same length as the stockers, but on the bike, they're a half inch taller.. Must be because their new ?

I'm a big guy 240 and I have it on the 2nd preload, and I find the ride is somewhat stiff.

I have aircraft nuts on my shocks, as well as grade 8 hex bolts (not allen key style) I haven't a need for loc tite.. :) (they haven't loosened in 7,000 miles) Just a suggestion

bomb xl
12th May 2007, 03:00
Questions, I haven't worked on bikes in years. Mostly cars lately. Recently sold my '81' vette to get another bike (I am in Love). I have a 95 883/1220 conversion, I have stock 13.5" shocks and want to go low with 11"er's. I was looking at my bike last night after reading a lot about the wonderful information on this site concerning tech stuff. Mostly the shock how to. I noticed two things.

1) my rear tire sits more to the right of the bike (looking from the rear), and the bolts holding the fender and stuff look like they will hit the tire on this side. the left side has clearance (more than the right). will this not be the case due to the tire will be further into the fender when I am done? Let air out until I am done then the tire's widest edge will be above the bolt's when reflatted, or is something off on the rear of my bike? the drive belt looks straight in line and the bike rides fine.

2) Black plastic guard near the swing arm and the bottom end of the fender. Will this have to go?

Hope I am making sense and am clear enough for your help.

Any info is good info. And thanks. you folks seem to help each other out quit nicely. Someday I hope to repay the info favor.

HELP!!! I am in the same boat and I don't know what happened! can anybody shed some light on this?

Sporting Lad
28th May 2007, 07:07
[QUOTE=Lone Wolf in Canada;380435]Hope this helps others who want to install their own shocks. The following is a step by step guide and you'll save yourself a half hour labour at a dealer.
Maybe we should thumb tack it or whatever we do on this site.

I have a 2005 1200 Custom . I installed Progressive 412 11.5" Shocks.

Lower bolt order....(from outside of shock going toward the frame)
Original bolt then original washer then new black shoulder spacer going through the new shock then new shock (remember the lower eyelet faces in toward bike) then new thick black spacer then through the swing arm frame & belt guard then original nut. (end quote)

I installed my 412s this afternoon, and I must say, your post is a lot more informative than the ridiculous postit note sized "instructions" that came in the box. This is what they say about mounting:

"91-later 1200/883 Sportsters, all use one #1 sleeve (your "shoulder spacer") and one #4 (thick) spacer for each shock eye placed on the inside to space the shock outward from the rear wheel." (italics mine)

So to me this sounds like they want me to insert the shoulder spacer from the backside, or inside, not loading it in from the front as you suggest. This makes a difference insofar as the angle of the dangle is concerned.
I used the lower bolt order as described in their pathetic leaflet. When viewed from the rear the shocks seem to be a bit farther apart at the bottom than at the top, altho I haven't been able to actually measure it. So I don't know what's right anymore. Suddenly the entire universe is turned all topsy-turvy.
What's what?

fatchuk
28th May 2007, 13:02
Put 11.5 412s on my 06' 1200C yesterday.
Things went fast and shocks look and work perfect (thanks to your post).
Progressive Suspension should send you a check for making installation of their shocks a breeze.
I replaced a set of custom chrome 11" chrome covered that looked awesome but would send your butt between your shoulder blades on big bumps:frownthre .
Don't use the 11" custom chrome shocks unless you dont mind a rigid set up.
Thanks LW

Sporting Lad
28th May 2007, 21:03
:feedback
So, are different year XLs different when it comes to what's vertical and what's not? The "Progressive" instructions would have us think not.
But what most posters seem to be saying is that it's trial and error.
Too bad for me, I followed the mgr's "instructions"--now I have to do it all
over again to make it right. Who knew? Now my bike picker-upper assistant's gonna think I'm an idiot. :doh
Tell me I'm wrong.
Tell me I was right to read and follow mfg's "instructions". :frownthre

Sporting Lad
29th May 2007, 03:46
OK, I re-did the bottom bolt assemblies as per the master post.
Now the shocks are vertical and working well.
It looks to me as if, even though the shocks are made in USA, the writing of
the installation "instructions" included in the kit was outsourced to a team
from China. :laugh Seriously. Didn't any body else notice this aparant
discrepancy? Good product, bad directions. I agree with somebody
who said that the postmaster should be getting paid by Progressive.
They sure as heck need some help with the technical writing.
Here's what they say for set up: (I'm paraphrasing) "Ride. If you start to
bottom out, crank the pre-load up a notch or so until it stops. The end" :doh
Major duh!
ps: I found a nother bike lifter upper who didn't know the first one.

rx3732
15th July 2007, 12:26
Thank you for this write up!! I installed 11.5" standards on my bike yesterday. IT took about 30 minutes from start to finish thanks to this write up....I'm sure it would've taken a LOT longer if it wasnt for your spacer layout instructions. THANK YOU!

Gone
30th July 2007, 00:25
Would the Progressive shocks help the ride on the 883L 07?? Which ones? Thanks, Ledjenn

TNSportster883
21st August 2007, 16:53
Well the title says it all. My problem was not the excellent directions but the over abundance of help. While doing the install on the right side of the bike my neighbor comes over and proceeds to tell me and the wife their whole family problems. Trying to be the good neighbor I listen for a while and then get started again to leave the wife with it.

Now the problem, while starting the install on the left side of the bike and being distracted I did not get the ratchet strap compressing the shock tight enough and the shock let go when I removed the bolt. So needless to say I had a few choice words. Oh, by the way I went from 13” stock to 11 ½” 412’s.

The good thing about the problem is the neighbor did not stay around much longer. The rest of the install went without a hitch and no I did not scratch the chrome either. I do not know how I kept from it but not a scratch.

Thanks and kudos for the excellent post on the install and now my bike rides much better with no bottoming out and it is a pleasure to ride 2 up now. The wife and I both took a test ride after the install.

Thanks again.
Todd

Sporting Lad
22nd August 2007, 05:44
Never satisfied, I just got done installing ELEVEN INCH Progressives!
But this time my helper(s) were not available, so I soloed it.
The right side was a cake walk since, after removing the 13" shock,
the bike settled down at 11", and the new shock practically slid right on.
A ten minute job!
The left side, however, was a somewhat different story. With most of the
weight resting on that existing 13" shock, there was a lot of compression on the spring. :yikes After the backing nut came off, and I continued to turn the lower bolt, I began to worry about what kind of damage a sudden release of compression could cause and donned my safety glasses.
Well, finally I managed to free it with just (?) some damage to the bolt's threads. So on went the new shock, top bolt first... whoa! Look how much lower the bottom hole of the shock is compared to the mounting hole!
Not easily deterred (Hey, I wanted to ride!) I got the jack from The Wife's mini-van and blocked it up under the right backside of the rear fender. I used one of her set of matching bath towels between jack and fender to avoid damaging paint ("Black smudges? I don't think so, Honey. I mean, how could motorcycle crud get into the linen closet?") and began jacking. Before long the two holes were lined up, the bolt slid thru, and the nut...had trouble getting started because of the damage (see above) to the threads.
It's all good! I went for my first ride and cranked the preload up a notch.
The 11" ones are a bit stiffer than the 13s, but they are also so much improved from the OEM shocks. I scraped the stand once turning left from a stop, and touched the frame once on one particularly high speedbump.
I never bottomed out, nor did I scrape going thru my usual set of twisties.
For touring or two up, I'm sure I'll have the preload at full on. I think I'm gonna need that shorter jiffy stand.
I'll post another report in a week or two. Stay tuned! :wonderlan

Folkie
22nd August 2007, 08:06
Would the Progressive shocks help the ride on the 883L 07?? Which ones? Thanks, LedjennYour stock shocks are 11" aren't they? If you like the ride height as it is, go for 11" Progressives. If you could cope with the bike being raised a bit, you'll get a better ride, and more lean angle, by changing to a slightly longer shock: 11½"?, 12"?

Would it help the ride? Couldn't say for sure, because your shocks are only on '07+ 883Ls and Nightsters, and I haven't ridden one, but if they're anything like the longer shocks on other Lows and Customs, yes, it'll help the ride.

Sporting Lad
22nd August 2007, 19:25
The progressive spring rates help a lot, but I think it's the improved damping that makes the biggest difference. I rode those OEM shocks all last summer
and every bump made it feel like I was riding an old pogo stick!
(If you're too young to remember what a pogo stick is, ask your Grampah) :banana

Sporting Lad
28th August 2007, 20:32
High (or should I say "low"?)
Are you still here?
I once was high:D , but now I'm low:frownone . Starting to feel "bipolar"!
Well, high was good, but low is a lot higher on the "Grin Factor"
scale. :wonderlan I seem to be headed in the "bobber" direction!
Since I hover around 200 # (OK, maybe "hover" is not what I do!)
I've got me preload set on the #4 detent, but I'll continue to
carry the spanner in me back pocket for awhile.
I replaced the OEM stand with one from an "XL Low" which works
great wif the 11"ers.
It's all good. :clap

superten
13th October 2007, 13:58
Another THANK YOU to Lone Wolf, Installed 11" on my 07 1200C wanted to drop it a small amount.

Followed the instructions, worked a charm.

CHEERS!!! :banana

PS Not sure what Crown Royal is so had a Cup Of TEA!!!!! :-)

Sporting Lad
14th October 2007, 09:23
PS Not sure what Crown Royal is so had a Cup Of TEA!!!!! :-)

You don't need to know what Crown Royal is.
Ahhhh... Nothing quite like a really hot, nice "cuppa", what?
Actually, I prefer a wee bit of Jameson's over ice to Crown Royal, don't you?
You do know what Jameson's is, don't you? Poor chap.
Or, in the words of our inimitable Dennis Hopper, "Where you from, man?" :p

Folkie
14th October 2007, 09:26
I like Laphroaig myself.

Sporting Lad
14th October 2007, 09:58
I like Laphroaig myself.

I think I can hear the skirling o' pipes comin' over from a wee Scottish isle,
can you?

Perhaps we'd best be informin' the laddie (or is it to be 'lassie'?)
aboot the refreshment known to the civilised world as...

Absinthe?

:shhhh

Folkie
14th October 2007, 10:09
I'm not sure about the pìobaireachd, but I can definitely taste the peat.

Sporting Lad
14th October 2007, 10:42
I'm not sure about the pìobaireachd, but I can definitely taste the peat.

'Tis the chloraseptic overtone that sets it apart. :laugh

Folkie
14th October 2007, 11:16
More like iodine.

superten
14th October 2007, 12:49
Jim Beam or JD is my tipple :smoke

Sporting Lad
14th October 2007, 23:02
Jim Beam or JD is my tipple :smoke

Hah! You must be a "Good Ol' Boy"!
You had me thinkin' you was a tea toatler or some dang thing!
Cheers!

chordstrummer
10th November 2007, 03:19
Just wanted to say thanks to Lone Wolf for this post. I replaced the stockers with 11" 440s, and although the spacers/washers are a little different, it helped tremendously to read through your instructions beforehand.

Thanks!

NYSportster
21st March 2008, 03:33
What's up with that stupid loose washer on the 412s? So the consensus is that Lone Wolf's washer/spacer order works best. Did Progressive instruction work for anyone?

I'm planning on installing them soon.

Folkie
21st March 2008, 10:19
Welcome to the Forum!

What works, works. You want to make sure the shocks aren't touching anything, like the belt guard, and that they're straight. On the 412s the lower eye is handed; make sure they're right way around: with the eye towards the inside.

I like to put the shocks on with just the top screws; screw the screws in so there's no play (no need to be really tight) and check what size spacers you need at the bottom.

The Progressive spacers go rusty pretty quickly. I used stainless steel spacers instead.

NYSportster
23rd March 2008, 16:01
Thanks for the welcome!

freekinfreak
29th March 2008, 19:27
Just put some 412's on. Thanks to this write up , it took all of 8 minutes to swap em out. And I did mine while the fender was off. Makes it a lot easier when working by yourself. Those fender struts make it easy to grab and lift.

wanderlust2
7th April 2008, 02:36
What is the stock length of '05 1200 custom?

Stingray
7th April 2008, 04:25
What is the stock length of '05 1200 custom?

It is 11.75"

johnnybgood
8th April 2008, 02:58
Just put some 412's on. Thanks to this write up , it took all of 8 minutes to swap em out. And I did mine while the fender was off. Makes it a lot easier when working by yourself. Those fender struts make it easy to grab and lift.

8 minutes?.......that's gotta' be a new world record.

John

freekinfreak
9th April 2008, 01:30
8 minutes?.......that's gotta' be a new world record.

John

LOL...well, the bolts came out no problem and I had the washers that I needed ready thanks to this guide. Having the fender off helped a lot. The right side I did first, and it fell right down to the same height as the new one. The left side was as simple as grabbing the fender strut and pulling up till the bolt went into the hole. Torque em, done. I had my brother come over for no reason, he didn't make it outside yet and they were done.

M_A_L_056
12th April 2008, 00:12
I read on here that lowering the height from stock will cause belt to tighten. I am switching from 11 3/4" shocks to 12" progressives to get a little extra travel. Will this 1/4" affect my belt?

Folkie
12th April 2008, 00:46
I read on here that lowering the height from stock will cause belt to tighten.That depends on what bike you're talking about, and how long the shocks are to start with. Look at the position of the rear axle, swing arm pivot, and sprocket centre. When they're all in a line, the belt's the tightest it can get. I've got 11" shocks, and the axle's quite a bit higher than a line through the centre of the sprocket and the swing arm pivot. I'm not sure now, but I think it also was when I had the stock 11¾" shocks on. In which case, lowering my bike made the belt looser, not tighter.

I am switching from 11 3/4" shocks to 12" progressives to get a little extra travel. Will this 1/4" affect my belt?A ¼" difference in the length of the shocks is so small that I don't think it will make any significant difference at all. FWIW though, if your axle is above the sprocket/pivot line, lengthening the shocks by ¼" would make the belt slightly tighter.

M_A_L_056
14th April 2008, 16:37
My wife and I replaced my shocks and fork springs last night. Both took a little over an hour. Great post on the 412's. The sticky on the spring replacement was very valuable also. Dealer wanted to charge 3 hours labor for just the front springs. Difference in ride and overall attitude of bike is unreal. Thanks for taking time to detail the process for us.

furry spider
1st May 2008, 21:54
I have a 2005 1200 Custom . I installed Progressive 412 11.5" Shocks.
TOOLS NEEDED:
Torx T50 good quality socket.
3/4" combination wrench.
Blue Loc-Tite
Towel to drape over the bike frame and muffler.
A friend to lift rear of frame momentarily at times.
.

If you have nobody around to help, you may have been tempted to think you are strong enough to lift the bike yourself whilst simultaneously fitting the top shock bolt - and realize your mistake too late with the shock off.

(It happened to me, but Ive an excuse - before I started I was an optimist.)

Anyway, disaster averted with an 8ft plank of wood, tied to the sissybar, and basically, with one end of the plank on the ground, lifting the whole of the rear of the bike up by leverage, leaving one hand free to easily slide the last bolt in.

Archimedes, you were finally good for something after all.

.

Folkie
1st May 2008, 22:04
Didn't have an 8' plank of wood, so in desperation I used … a bike lift. :)

furry spider
1st May 2008, 23:42
Lol!

Could have killed for one of those.....

rfranz1952
12th May 2008, 01:34
In the photo's on the original post, the progressives look a lotshorter than the original shocks. The visible springs only show about 4 or five spirals, compared to about 12 on the original shock.

???

Folkie
12th May 2008, 10:26
Huh? What photos? There aren't any photos on the original post. :confused:

Rich883Low
17th May 2008, 17:02
I installed my new 11" Progressive 412s this morning with the help of these instructions.. Thanks a lot! I wouldn't have risked doing it on my own otherwise.

Took it for a test ride and it feels just as comfortable now at 140 kph (85mph) as it did at 120kph (70mph)before.. great. Makes you wonder how HD get away with selling a stock bike that feels so unstable its gonna crash once you get over 70 mph..

Anyway, the shocks came on lightest setting and they bottomed out a couple of times on the test ride. I weigh 180lb. Anyone know what the optimum setting would be for me?

Also, I tightened the bolts to 45lb torque, is that tight enough? feels tighter that I would have gone just by guessing..

Thanks again for the info.

Ah.. a quick plug for Sorgys where I bought the shocks.. good price (better than on the Progressive website), super quick service, recommended.

Rich883Low
17th May 2008, 17:10
Forgot to say.. solved the bike lift problem by co-opting a passing pedestrian to lift up the back end.. :)

Urrell
17th May 2008, 18:01
I tightened the bolts to 45lb torque, is that tight enough? feels tighter that I would have gone just by guessing..


The manual states 45 - 50 ft lb so you are within limits

Rich883Low
19th May 2008, 14:05
Thanks Urrell.. I need to get a manual..

rfranz1952
8th June 2008, 02:00
Huh? What photos? There aren't any photos on the original post. :confused:

Ok. Let's try post #25.:o

Anyway, mine came in earlier in the week, and I got them on today. Answered my own question. They look shorter in the pictures because they are bigger around.

Anyway, install went well with the instructions, although I used a homemade bike lift instead of enlisting a buddy. Went for a short ride tonight and the difference is surprising. I have them set in the middle for starters, will have to play with the settings a bit.

kluoto
29th June 2008, 19:52
Just got done installing my 412's on my XL1200N.......I didn't get any washers w/the shocks; just the 2 shocks, the adjuster wrench, and some cam lube. Will be torquing them as soon as my torque wrench arrives......thanks for the instructions....you saved me some $$$$.

Folkie
29th June 2008, 20:08
Welcome to the Forum, Kluoto.

discodeviltroy
31st July 2008, 08:57
After installing the 412 11" shocks, I noticed that the tire is not centered inside the fender. The tire is sitting closer to the left side of the fender and it is causing it to bottom out more than it should. I installed the shocks one at a time without a jack and I went from 11.5" to 11". Could this be caused by fully tightening the first shorter shock before replacing the second shock? I was thinking about raising the bike up on a jack and loosening both shocks' mounting screws and then re-tightening them. I don't believe the tire was off-center before I changed shocks. Any ideas?

Bada Bing
17th August 2008, 22:57
From these pics in the 3rd page you went with a 12" shock. I believe the factory shock is 11.75. Why would going with a longer shock lower your bike
1 1/4 inches. You would think it would raise it 1/4 inch. I'm looking to go with 12" for my 1200c I just want it to retain it's original height.

meathead
13th November 2008, 10:41
To Gary 7,
I have decided to go with the 12" Progressives on my '07 883. You have had yours on for some time now, how do you like them? Also, did you need to install a short jiffy stand or did the stock stand work out OK? I just want to do this right the first time.

meathead
16th November 2008, 20:18
anybody else??

johnnybgood
16th November 2008, 21:04
I've got 12" Progressive shocks on my '04 Custom and like them. Stock shocks were 11.75". Stock kickstand works fine. I'm not sure if your kickstand is any different from mine or what length your existing shocks are.
John

meathead
17th November 2008, 20:28
Thanks, johnnybgood.
I run a XL883 standard. Stock shocks are about 13"+, so I will be lowering close to an inch and half.
I'm just going to order the potlickers, install them, and if I need the shorter jiffy stand I'll get one. Keep riding!

Folkie
26th December 2008, 20:31
emzdogz, I don't know what happened to your post, but this is what I do. I have a bike lift to lift the bike up, and a trolley jack to independently lower or raise the rear wheel.

When changing to different length shocks I lift the bike up, tie it down to the lift, support the front wheel (bricks), and use the trolley jack to suppor the rear wheel. In fact, raise the rear wheel slightly to take the tension off the bolts. Take both shocks off, then raise or lower the rear wheel to the right position for the new shocks, and put the new shocks on.

You could maybe do it with one jack, and axle stands, or something to support the bike, then use the jack on the rear wheel, but you've have to be very careful. I would say get a lift, or at least get someone to help you.

masterofsparks57
26th December 2008, 21:40
Thanks for the instructions! Am putting on a pair in a couple of weeks and will definitely use this.

emzdogz
26th December 2008, 23:04
emzdogz, I don't know what happened to your post, but this is what I do. I have a bike lift to lift the bike up, and a trolley jack to independently lower or raise the rear wheel.

When changing to different length shocks I lift the bike up, tie it down to the lift, support the front wheel (bricks), and use the trolley jack to suppor the rear wheel. In fact, raise the rear wheel slightly to take the tension off the bolts. Take both shocks off, then raise or lower the rear wheel to the right position for the new shocks, and put the new shocks on.

You could maybe do it with one jack, and axle stands, or something to support the bike, then use the jack on the rear wheel, but you've have to be very careful. I would say get a lift, or at least get someone to help you.

Hi Folkie, thanks for asking after me. It worked out OK, it seems.
Here are the shocks on the bike:
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a235/Emzdogz/chromeshocks.jpg
I didn't use a jack or lift but did put as many wood blocks as would easily fit under the frame, so it couldn't fall too much.

I guess its kind of a happy co-incidence that the added weight on a 11.75 inch stock shock, with the other side shock removed, causes just about the exact amount of sag for an 11 incher to be able to be put on without any jacking of the level of the bike.

It WAS scary though, removing the left side shock. It did kind of a sppproinnnnggggggggggg!!!! thing, but it wasn't too bad. Didn't whack me into next week or anything.
The other somewhat challenging part (for me) was working with that nut behind the bottom mounts. Especially the right side one. Tightening those bottom bolts up sufficiently was not easy without a helper to hold the wrench OR to turn the Torx bolt wrench.

But its done! only real mis-hap is that the right side shock kind of crushed one of my fingers, lol, but that was my carelessness. Lets see if I lose the nail.

Next shock change I do I will be sure to have purchased a lift beforehand.
thanks again, Folkie and all who posted in this thread.

Em

Folkie
26th December 2008, 23:12
Glad it worked out OK for you. :) I like the look of those full covers.

emzdogz
26th December 2008, 23:40
Glad it worked out OK for you. :) I like the look of those full covers.

Glad you like them! now it has me wanting to change the handlebar risers again...lol, its always something. Lets see if I can live with the ride (or lack of same) of these things.

emzdogz
30th December 2008, 15:21
a thought....
Does it seem to anyone else besides me that the job of swapping the shocks out by yourself would be easier if, say, hex head bolts were used instead of the Torx ones? and a normal (not shallow) nut used behind the lower bolt?
It just seems it would have been sooooooo much easier to get leverage on them.

Reason this is occuring to me now is my left KNEE is all bruised up from using it to apply pressure to the wrench while using my hand to hold the dang torx bit to the fastener head while using the other hand on the nut, behind.

Seems that a nice closed end hex wrench would have made the job alot easier.

Folkie
30th December 2008, 16:07
I swapped my stock bolts for hex head ones. You need ½" - 13 UNC × 2¼" bolts for the top, and ½" - 20 UNF × 2 5/8" bolts for the bottom. Just make sure you get grade 8 bolts. I'm still using the original nuts on the bottom, but if you want to get new ones, they're self locking ½" - 20 UNF nuts.

emzdogz
30th December 2008, 16:12
wow, thanks! for the info and for sort of validating my thoughts.
:)

Folkie
30th December 2008, 17:53
Well, I wasn't too keen on the Torx heads, but my reason for changing them was more to get rid of the original zinc plated bolts, which looked pretty ropey.

emzdogz
30th December 2008, 18:16
I just find it hard to keep the bit from rocking in the Torx hole while attempting to tighten (or loosen). Not so bad when you don't have to hold a nut tight too.
:)
so did you get chrome ones?

retsn
20th February 2009, 13:44
I just installed a pair of 412 13" on my 08 Nightster. I couldn't have done it without your instruction. Thanks! :clap

Folkie
20th February 2009, 15:29
Welcome to the Forum retsn!

meathead
4th March 2009, 00:45
Thanks alot LW. I just finished installing a set of Progressive 412 Black finish 12" shocks on my '07 XL883. My bike is Vivid Black(yeah, I know, the lowest priced Harley Davidson, not that there is anything wrong with that)and they look real nice. Your instructions made it a one time install:clap. Everything lined up nice and with the motorcyle jack it was a piece of cake.
The shocks lowered the rear some, the stance looks good. I posted a question about the jiffy stand on a earlier post, the stock one works fine with the 12" shocks:banana.
Right now a strom is rolling in from the SW and looks nasty, so a ride report will have to come later. Thank the Lord that winter is slowly ending and Spring is just around the corner here in Central Montana. I'm ready to ride:tour

meathead
4th March 2009, 01:58
I just got back from taking my Sportster for a little blast around town and a short ride down the highway. Weather be damned, I had to check out these shocks!!
IMO, money well spent! I bopped across some dips in town that I bottomed out with the stocks, and even though these shocks are about 1 1/4" shorter than stock, what a difference!!
Much improved. No bottoming out and the bike has a more planted and solid feel to it. I am definitely going to do the fronts asap!
I live pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and there are no other Sportster enthusiasts around, so it sure is nice to meet other folks on this forum and learn more about a great motorcycle.
Friday my Lepera bare bones seat will be here, and I can hardly wait to see how all that works out.
Ride safe friends****meathead

skidmark
15th March 2009, 00:54
Great info on 412 shock installation and good forum on Sportsters !
Question? I have a 05 1200C is a Progesive 412 Heavy Duty 12" long going to be a good setup for my 200# butt + 2 side bags,+ back bag, and occasional 160# wife rides fair weather only? Bike is bottoming out sometimes but i do not want to stiff to hurt her back problems ?

Red Red Kroovy
7th April 2009, 03:09
Great info on 412 shock installation and good forum on Sportsters !
Question? I have a 05 1200C is a Progesive 412 Heavy Duty 12" long going to be a good setup for my 200# butt + 2 side bags,+ back bag, and occasional 160# wife rides fair weather only? Bike is bottoming out sometimes but i do not want to stiff to hurt her back problems ?

Hey Skid, I called Progressive and talked to them. They made a recommendation based upon my weight, type of riding, etc.

I went with the 430 HD...I'm about 200 and don't do any 2 up riding but the roads here really suck.

rjeddy
15th April 2009, 00:41
I've got a 2008 Nightster, ride with the stock shocks is rough to say the least. Dennis Kirk has a really good deal on 412 12" HDs right now. From what I'm reading--seems like a good choice. Anyone have any experince with this set up?? Also to address front suspension, any suggestions other than stiffer lube to reduce the road inpact?? Live in the Texas Hill Country and some of the country roads are less than smooth. Thanks!!!
Bobby.

Jayme
6th October 2009, 17:09
Tks, Lone Wolf for your excelent post. I hope you do not mind I translated your text to portuguese to share it with my fellows here.

We have a HD enthusiastic group here but the local HD authorized dealer is a crap (and they have exclusivity for the Brazilian market) therefore, the XL Forum is an important information source for us.

/Jayme

Folkie
6th October 2009, 17:30
Welcome to the Forum, Jayme!

Could you tell me how you pronounce your name please? hay-mee? yay-mee? :confused:

Jayme
6th October 2009, 17:52
Welcome to the Forum, Jayme!

Could you tell me how you pronounce your name please? hay-mee? yay-mee? :confused:
Tks, Folkie

Jayme is the Portuguese version for James but the pronounce is more like Jamie. In Spanish, it would be hay-mee.

Kel
10th July 2010, 01:57
Big thanks for the instructions. Worked perfectly!!!

Tomack
25th September 2010, 20:22
Installed a pair of rear 412HD Progressive shocks last weekend on my 05 Xl 883L. Now I have gone from a spine killing pain of a ride to a swift kick in the rear. Just kidding. A big improvement over the stocks shocks. Lone Wolf's words of wisdom better then what came as instrctions from Progressive.

nuke
28th September 2010, 04:46
Installed 412s on my 05 1200R, at least on my bike torque doesn't matter, the orientation of the upper shock chrome cover does.
http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=920297

Got it right on the second try.

Folkie
28th September 2010, 13:32
at least on my bike torque doesn't matter
Really? Why is that?

nuke
28th September 2010, 18:32
It doesn't matter because the bushing and spacer set the "crush" on the shock eye. No matter how tight you tighten the bolts they will not mash the shock eye bushing. You can verify this by disconnecting one end of the shock at a time and check the force required to pivot the shock. I also noticed not only will the shock move front to back with little effort but laterally also. All of this is of course based on installing the bushings supplied with the shocks. See my other post for photos.

So the shock was just as free to move with the bolt torqued very tight as it was hand tight.

Folkie
29th September 2010, 00:10
Why is this different on your bike? On my '05 the torque certainly did matter; over torqued by the dealer the shocks were solid, and even more uncomfortable than they needed to be.

nuke
29th September 2010, 03:11
Without seeing your bike???
First guess is the chrome cover on the upper mount is binding.
or
They used some other combination of bushings/spacers that allowed the bolt/torque to crush/bind the steel liner which is part of the shock eye (I believe this piece is made of thinner, mild steel, than the machined bushings are),

You can easily verify this by placing a jack under the bike, removing one shock lower mount bolt and trying to pivot the shock with varying the torque on the bolt.

Which is what I did.

Without look at your bike or doing the test you will only be guessing

Folkie
29th September 2010, 12:15
What I mean is: you say "at least on my bike torque doesn't matter". Why especially on yours?

I think it does matter: I and others have found that if you tighten to more than the specified torque of 45 - 50 ft-lbs, you can effectively turn the bike into a hardtail.

nuke
30th September 2010, 04:10
I think at this point we need to agree to disagree.

I tested the over torque theory on my bike, see my linked post.

My opinion is based on my own research/testing on my bike.

Varying the torque between 25 ft-lbs to 75 ft-lbs there was no change in the friction on the shock eye. I could not duplicate the binding condition by over torque. I did not go above 75 ft-lbs as in my experience this was close to the stripping point for the fastener.

I did find the upper chrome cover was cause this binding condition and turned my bike into a hard tail.

My OPINION/conclusions are based on:
1. My experience turning wrenches for over 40 years on bikes, lawnmowers, cars, motorcycles, boat, Navy Ships, Navy submarines, Nuclear Power Plants.
2. I have installed, repaired, many flexible/sound mounts in my time. My experience told me that even before I did the testing the sleeve bushing set-up used by progressive was design to prevent crushing/binding the mount from over torque.
3. Since I did my own testing on my own bike, I will believe the results I have over the statements of "The Dealer".

Of course my conclusion means nothing to some, and that’s OK.

I know there are many good Dealer mechanics out there; but “Because the dealer said so” means nothing to me. Even if someone says it more than once or even a million times.

There could be different circumstances on other bikes that I am not aware of and did not test. So this is why I say “on my bike” the over torque theory is all wet.

Folkie
30th September 2010, 05:50
You could be right, it may just be the stock cover over the upper mounting that can cause an over tightened fixing to restrict the movement of the shock. I couldn't say: I had those covers in place; I didn't try removing them when I discovered the problem with the way the dealer had instralled the shocks: I just retorqued to the specifieced torque.

arefog
23rd April 2012, 19:57
Thanks, Lone Wolf! My wife and I just put 12.5" Progressive 412s on my '09 1200L and your instructions were most helpful. The ride is noticeably better and the stock jiffy stand works fine with the increased ride height. Thanks also to Folkie for the specs for replacement bolts. The stock torx units are pretty wretched.
I am a motorcycle dude, not a Harley dude, and I've visited and/or joined forums for all the Japanese lines, BMW, and Triumph. I gotta say you guys on this forum, and the Yamaha FRJ forum, are at the top of the list for being a) helpful and b) civil. It is always a pleasure to visit here, and often very informative. Oh, and my Sportster is as much fun as any bike I've owned - now that I've addressed the awful suspension with the Progressives in back and Ricor Intiminators in the front.

KIWIMIKE
3rd September 2012, 09:29
HI I AM THINKING OF INSTALLING THE 412s TO MY NIGHTSTER ,DID YOU USE THE STANDARD SPRING OR HEAVY DUTY ,DO YOU RIDE TWO MUCH . IS THE HANDLING MUCH BETTER THAN STOCK.

CHEERS KIWI MIKE

devildocjames
26th September 2012, 00:13
I figured the install was pretty straight forward, but, I went with your instructions. And 45-50ft/lbs lol

Thanks for the post!

Oh, one question (I know it's an old post), do you think having it slightly under or over torqued is going to be an issue? Probably under-torqued, if at all. I have one of those cheap needle torque wrenches and holding that d***ed nut still while torquing was a son of a gun. I'm know I hit at least 40ft/lbs, and pretty sure 45. I bolted the tops first so I could judge alignment (which was dead on, thanks again!) And they could move/swing, but, not without some good pressure. The tops are torqued well, just not sure if the bottoms are topped-off.

As soon as I finish repainting and assembling my forward controls, and detail Duke, I'll post some pics. I can't have spokes look like they do, after a week parked at the coast HAH!

Anyway, the post is appreciated!

devildocjames
26th September 2012, 00:15
HI I AM THINKING OF INSTALLING THE 412s TO MY NIGHTSTER ,DID YOU USE THE STANDARD SPRING OR HEAVY DUTY ,DO YOU RIDE TWO MUCH . IS THE HANDLING MUCH BETTER THAN STOCK.

CHEERS KIWI MIKE

Heya Kiwmike, I am at two bills and I may or may not ride 2up, so I went with the HD's.

Just my $.02

devildocjames
27th September 2012, 02:37
Love the new shocks! Thanks again for the info.

They're so smooth that I even lost track of my speed and got my first citation in 8 years! @#$#@@#$!!!

lol anyways thanks!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kqtAWgOn0Js/UGOpZv-KREI/AAAAAAAAGt0/DsddUomx4M8/s825/2012-09-26_13-08-36_836.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qdRQx-shM-U/UGOpZr_kG_I/AAAAAAAAGt0/hhGWgRWGZ1s/s1100/2012-09-26_15-31-36_334.jpg"

KIWIMIKE
29th September 2012, 03:56
Hi Devildocjames.
Thanks for the reply ,are they 12.5" shocks you have, did they affect the steering ,ie make it much lighter,

thanks Kiwimike

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 15:38
@ devildocjames's

12" or 12.5" shocks ??

I will mount 12" HD on my 883R !

Folkie
1st November 2012, 16:06
I will mount 12" HD on my 883R !
Do you mean H-D air shocks?

H-D shocks for Sportsters (rubber mounts, anyway) are 11", 11¾", or 13¼".

Jon6.0
1st November 2012, 16:08
Do you mean H-D air shocks?

H-D shocks for Sportsters (rubber mounts, anyway) are 11", 11¾", or 13¼".

I think he meant Heavy Duty 12" Progressives. That's how I read it anyways.

Folkie
1st November 2012, 16:21
Ah, could well be. Should have thought of that. :doh

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 16:27
Right man, i mean Heavy Duty schocks :-)
Are HD 412 shocks a little bit longer than standard 412 shocks?
I think so...

Folkie
1st November 2012, 16:49
Are HD 412 shocks a little bit longer than standard 412 shocks?
I think so...
No, they're the same length; they just have a higher rate spring.

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 17:01
hmmmm, mysterious...
I have seen so many sportster and all bikes with the same (11,11.5, and stock) shocks have another highs...

I dont understand this? Shure that the sportster geometry from the frame (swing arm and fender struts) are the same? I dont think so!

Lokko21
1st November 2012, 17:03
Following this, I'm getting my 412's on Friday.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

rsinghal3
1st November 2012, 17:07
go ahead and do the fronts too. for 50-60 more bucks it makes a hell of a differnce

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 17:08
@ Lokko21

which length do you get?

Folkie
1st November 2012, 17:32
hmmmm, mysterious...
I have seen so many sportster and all bikes with the same (11,11.5, and stock) shocks have another highs...

I dont understand this? Shure that the sportster geometry from the frame (swing arm and fender struts) are the same? I dont think so!
The geometry of the frame and swing arm is identical on all rubber mount Sportsters (not the XR).

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 19:33
OK, but why is the sportster number 1 with 11.5" shoks higher as the sportster number 2 also with the same 11.5" shocks...

I search the whole day for a picture from a sportster witz PS 11.5" and PS12" - i dont found any picture! Can anybody help me pls :-)

THX

Folkie
1st November 2012, 19:43
OK, but why is the sportster number 1 with 11.5" shoks higher as the sportster number 2 also with the same 11.5" shocks...

I search the whole day for a picture from a sportster witz PS 11.5" and PS12" - i dont found any picture! Can anybody help me pls :-)

THX
"sportster number 1", "sportster number 2"? I don't know what you mean.

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 20:09
OK sorry,

i mean two complete identical Sportsters...

Jon6.0
1st November 2012, 23:25
Just because both shocks are 11.5" doesn't mean each person has the same spring rate or preload. If you put max preload on one set and minimum preload on the other, they will be at different heights at rest given the same exact spring rate. Change spring rates and you can have both shocks set at the same preload position, but different ride heights.

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 23:36
Hi Jon

the bikes stands allone!
I have seen the bikes with out rider... without weight!

Jon6.0
1st November 2012, 23:41
It's also possible one bike is running a lowering block and the other isn't.

Soundstream
1st November 2012, 23:46
Hahaha, believe me, NO lowering blocks on it....
It´s hells stuff XD

Folkie
1st November 2012, 23:59
Just because both shocks are 11.5" doesn't mean each person has the same spring rate or preload. If you put max preload on one set and minimum preload on the other, they will be at different heights at rest given the same exact spring rate. Change spring rates and you can have both shocks set at the same preload position, but different ride heights.
Very good points.

ordinary joe
20th January 2013, 18:53
Just tried installing the 412s on my nightster, went with a 1/2 inch longer shock and its a big "no way jose". I tried lifting the bike up after removing the right shock and there's no way in heck its going in the bottom bolt. It appears I need some type of lift?

Folkie
20th January 2013, 19:20
Well, I'd always use a lift. I can't imagine doing the job without one.

ordinary joe
20th January 2013, 19:27
Well, I'd always use a lift. I can't imagine doing the job without one.

I have one of those lifts made out of steel tubing kind of shaped like an "L". If I get it up on that thing, should I take both shocks off and then put the new ones on? As opposed to one at a time with no lift?

that thing will get the back tire off the ground, do you think that's enough? Hate to take it to some bonehead dealer.

Also one more question. In the original write up, what is the orientation of the sleeved inserts that go in shock top and bottom? Are they outside or inside?

thanks for help

Folkie
20th January 2013, 20:11
I use a regular bike lift to lift the bike up so the rear tyre is well clear of the floor, then put a trolley jack under the rear wheel to support it. I take the old shocks off, then raise or lower the trolley jack to the right position to attach the new shocks.

The reason I do it like that is because with my lift it's not very stable when the bike is lifted only slightly. Otherwise you could do it by raising and lowering the lift, and that way do without the trolley jack.

To do it without a lift you'd need some way of (safely) lifting the bike, then supporting it in a raised position. You'd still need some way of raising and lowering the rear wheel; a small bottle jack may do the job.

devildocjames
28th January 2013, 19:09
Thanks for the post!

I have tried to stop being lazy and post a reply... I can't figure out how ot upload, so I will post the link to the finished product!

Awesome walk-through again!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kqtAWgOn0Js/UGOpZv-KREI/AAAAAAAAGt0/DsddUomx4M8/s825/2012-09-26_13-08-36_836.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kqtAWgOn0Js/UGOpZv-KREI/AAAAAAAAGt0/DsddUomx4M8/s825/2012-09-26_13-08-36_836.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qdRQx-shM-U/UGOpZr_kG_I/AAAAAAAAGt0/hhGWgRWGZ1s/s1100/2012-09-26_15-31-36_334.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qdRQx-shM-U/UGOpZr_kG_I/AAAAAAAAGt0/hhGWgRWGZ1s/s1100/2012-09-26_15-31-36_334.jpg

Soundstream
28th January 2013, 19:21
Hi,

Looks good :tour
Are those 12" shocks ?

Thanks
Mario :-)

devildocjames
28th January 2013, 19:34
Actually, they're 12.5HD... I went up an inch and a half. I'm at 2 bills and wanted to get the HD's not only because of that, but, I may throw on my 2-up sometimes and it's nice to have.

MUCH better on cornering. I don't worry about scraping during on/off ramps and making tight turns. I've actually been able to scrape, only when actively trying to. Oh, and how nice it feels not to bottom out on unavoidable speed bumps too! The ride feels a bit smoother as well. Awesome upgrade!

devildocjames
28th January 2013, 19:41
Just tried installing the 412s on my nightster, went with a 1/2 inch longer shock and its a big "no way jose". I tried lifting the bike up after removing the right shock and there's no way in heck its going in the bottom bolt. It appears I need some type of lift?

LIFT, LIFT, LIFT! I hear what you're saying man, I tried the frugal way at first. I got a bike lift for a hundo and MAN, it was worth it!

Oh and if you're trying to install the new shock with the old still attached, then it won't let the rear down enough. You need to remove both shocks first. This is why having a lift is key. If you're trying to save money, get the frame on solid blocks first. Make sure whatever you rest it on won't damage your paint and most importantly, won't fail and drop your ride. Get it as secure as possible as well, to keep from tipping to one side or another.

Best of luck!

ordinary joe
20th February 2013, 12:18
Its been a while since I posted about my shock debacle. Thought I'd tell you how it ended.

We have a shop in Daytona called Black Gold. Its kind of an old school biker place that has been here forever, and gets mixed reviews. I've always loved the owner and appreciated his approach to stuff, which is do work for as cheap as humanly possible. He's got thousands and thousands of used parts hanging on the walls.

Anyhoo, I took it down to him cuz I wasn't getting a lift and just told him to put the shocks and springs on. I didn't even ask the price...never do. So, went to pick it up and he says "65 dollars", and I said "for what". The total price is 65 dollars.

I'm confused, but finally figure out that is the bill for installation front and back. Then he says, "do you want your old shocks"....of course not, says I and he gives me another $35 off. So, the net sum to me was....30 dollars