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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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  #1  
Old 4th February 2005
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Question Race Tech emulators

Has anybody tried Race Tech emulators? http://www.racetech.com/shopping/sho...idge+Emulators
What springs did you use and for what weight? I've read about them, seems like they might work well. Do they help on braking, cornering, and rebound? I'm using SE fork oil and added a SE fork brace (really stiffened up the front end) would like a little more control. Are they better than just using Progressive springs and damping rods? I like to ride twisties.
Thanks, Mark
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Old 5th February 2005
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Default Emulators vs 1200S forks

I'm still trying to figure out if its worth doing emulators or change to 1200S externally adjustable cartridge forks. If the "S" forks are still available they would run about $500.00 - $600.00, and install would be relatively simple. Emulators with springs, seals, etc, would run about $350.00 plus some bench time along with the R&R. Post install fine tuning adjustments sound like a bit of work?
Is all this just hype and are Progressive springs just fine for control during cornering and hard braking? Ironicaly I just changed my fork oil (SE) and installed a dual disc kit about 500 mi ago. I'm sure anything would be an improvement over stock suspension? Any thoughts, comments, experience would be appreciated?
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Old 5th February 2005
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Those emulators may be the hot ticket, but they certainly are a lot of work to install from what I understand.

I went the easier route and just installed a set of Pregressive fork springs and Bel-Ray 15w fork oil. That did stop a lot of the front end dive and gives better overall control in turns.

Changing out the rear shocks to 1200-S shocks seemed to have the greatest impact on the ride. Not harsh like it was before, and no bottoming out at all. I think the 1200-S rear shocks have more total travel than the stock shocks.

Ron,
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Old 6th February 2005
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Ron,
Thanks for the input, went for a ride today and some of our roads are pretty rough. I think in cold weather the SE fork oil maybe kinda heavy (really jack-hammered), maybe cartridge or emulators would help. At least the dive is negligable when cold. I'd love to use S shocks in back, but I'm vertically challenged so I'm using 11 1/2" Progressive 412's. I suppose I could cut some S shocks down but will lose lots of travel? Something to think about. I'll try to post some pics of the new look.
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Old 8th February 2005
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I have the emulators in my '01 FXD and the 1200S forks on my '05 XL.
IMHO, the 1200S forks are far and away the better set up, ride compliance is better and you have adjustability.
Either method is a great improvement over stock and I don't mean to say the emulators are not quite good. I will tell you though that if I had realized there was that much difference I would have went with the FXDX forks on my Superglide while I was rebuilding it after its accident.
Not sure what cost difference you might encounter, I got the 1200S legs on 'sale' for about $250 each and then I also got a set of springs from Racetech to get them more suitable for my over 200lb weight.
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Old 8th February 2005
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Thanks Joe,
Did you feel that the "S" forks needed firmer springs? I'm thinking about the "S" forks over the emulators. I wonder what the FXDX forks would be like on a Sporty? Are they longer and firmer sprung? Was thinking of using clip-ons above triple-t's.
Mark
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Old 10th February 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco883
Thanks Joe,
Did you feel that the "S" forks needed firmer springs? I'm thinking about the "S" forks over the emulators. I wonder what the FXDX forks would be like on a Sporty? Are they longer and firmer sprung? Was thinking of using clip-ons above triple-t's.
Mark
Hi Mark
I didn't use the forks as delivered but experience tells me that most forks are set up for a theoretical 'average' rider,of probably about 160 pounds. I am about 230 in gear. In addition the new Sporty is about 50 lbs heavier than the old one. Because of this I believed the forks would almost have to be undersprung.
In most articles I've read about suspension I've become convinced that people generally think a harsh suspension is due to overly stiff springs but from what I understand of it the opposite is true, that a bump blows through the soft spring and doesn't allow the dampening to work correctly. I should say I don't claim much knowledge of suspension, this is just what I gather from people who should know.
Anyway, as a result I believe in buying springs matched to the weight of the rider and machine so I ordered a set of springs for them from Racetech, I believe it was just over $100. I also figured since I had the fork legs off the bike that this was a good time to get the whole thing done and done correctly, I really kind of hate doing things halfway.
I believe the end result is very good indeed and I think you would be amazed at the difference it makes in ride and handling. Truthfully I think the shocks were actually far worse than the forks so if I could only do one or the other I would start with the shocks, but presuming you've done that I would highly recommend you do the 1200S forks.
My only question if doing it over would be whether to use the 1200s fork or the FXDX fork. I looked at the parts catalogue on them both forks and it appears to me their are some internal parts that are different, probably the springs but possibly some of the internal valving. The question would be that since the FXDX fork is set up for a 670 pound bike and the 1200s fork was set up for a 525 pound bike (approx. of course), which would be the better fork for a bike like the '05 XL that is sort of in the middle? I don't really know the answer and I don't know if anyone does or could unless you set up and example of both and tested them side by side. All I can say for sure is that I am extremely pleased with the 1200S set up and believe it will serve you well.
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Old 10th February 2005
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originally posted by Joe S.
My only question if doing it over would be whether to use the 1200s fork or the FXDX fork. I looked at the parts catalogue on them both forks and it appears to me their are some internal parts that are different, probably the springs but possibly some of the internal valving. The question would be that since the FXDX fork is set up for a 670 pound bike and the 1200s fork was set up for a 525 pound bike (approx. of course), which would be the better fork for a bike like the '05 XL that is sort of in the middle? I don't really know the answer and I don't know if anyone does or could unless you set up and example of both and tested them side by side. All I can say for sure is that I am extremely pleased with the 1200S set up and believe it will serve you well.[/QUOTE]

Hi Joe,
Great insight, you and others have convinced me the cartidge forks are the way to go. Just outa curiosty do you have the HD part# for the FXDX forks? I'm sure overkill, been trying to lighten up my '02 883/1200 and weigh 160 geared up. The 1200S forks are the way to go, just want to research.
Thanks, Mark
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Old 10th February 2005
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HI
I'm sorry, i don't. I think those FXDX fork legs might still be in the normal HD parts catalog. Interestingly, when I was discussing this with the parts guys the FXDX legs were actually quoted to me as being a bit cheaper than the 1200S legs. I have no idea why, perhaps because it was around the tme of year when they typically do some price changing.
If you have a dealer nearby stop and ask the parts guys if you can see the parts books for the fxdx and 1200S and compare the exploded diagrams and parts numbers for the internal pieces of each fork. I can't recall what all was different but I am thinking it was primarily the springs and maybe some internal damping pieces. That would make sense given the weight difference between the two. I do believe the outer tubes and lower legs were the same part numbers.
It would be quite nice to find a way for these bikes to lose about 50 pounds. I think a fair amount could be lost relatively easily, if not cheaply, but I'm not sure about the availability of pieces. Light weight is usually not a priority with most HD owners.
I do know that Storz and Mert Lawill are both working on Street Trackers based on the rubber mount HDs and i would think that by definition there would have to be some weight loss involved there.
Just looking at the bike I am guessing you could knock off a fair amount of weight with lighter wheels, carbon fiber front and rear fender (might have to do some fancy engineering on the rear because of the seat mounting) and belt guard. Drill some lightening holes in the rear sprocket, bin the passenger pegs, on and on.
I think it would cost a bunch to do largely because of the lack of aftermarket along those lines. Its much easier with sportbikes because that tends to be the mindset of that crowd, still not especially cheap though.
BTW whereabouts in Washington is your town?
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Old 11th February 2005
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Hey Joe,
I'll check out the local HD parts guy for FXDX forks, I have 883/1200 P.M. Thanks for info, I did a post on Winter Projects in the Photo's section. Lousy pics, I'll re-do them later.

I'm going to chop some e-Bay front, rear fenders and tank. Thinking about rear sets and trimming timing & sprocket covers. At your suggestion I'll look into lightening rear pulley. I did add dual discs (more unsprung weight) but the braking improvement was worth it. Looking into lighter rims, not sure if staying with stock dia any suggestions? I've got a buddy thats real good with carbon- fiber (we're both in the boat busy) so my chopped tins may work as patterns?

Always open to suggestions, I'm always trying something new, wrenching and riding is GOOD THERAPY! I LOVE the SPORT in SPORTSTER! At our busy we have 3 Sporties (1 883-1200, 1 883R-1200, 1 1200S) and 1 E-Glide Police Spec, just added a 883 Fatster/Classic this week ( CHICK BIKE ). All this between 4 guys & 1 gal. Lots of parts!! We ride almost everyday to work.

Ballard aka "SNOOSE JUNCTION" is a Burb in NW Seattle. Lotsa Fishing/Marine history, YA SURE U BETCHA! (no I'm not Scandahoovian, my better half is)

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BTW riding must be great in Northwest Oregon!!
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