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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought this beautiful new FLHTP expecting to float like a cloud but instead it rides like an ox cart.
Went and dropped the cash on those Progressive shocks, and it’s only a tiny bit better.
Anyone got any ideas for a shock to get a soft ride?
 

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Which progressive shocks, length, standard or heavy duty, your weight,type riding, etc?
I am running pro action shocks, much better than thesupposedly premium adjustable CVO shocks ,check them out online..... If you call pro action they will ask you the same types of questions I just asked about your progressives, they will set you up with a pair of shocks that work you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got the lowest shocks they sell. And they call them the “Standard”, which is for “light” people that weigh less than 250lbs. My wife and I weigh less than 300, so when I ride solo it’s pretty brutal.
The guy at Progressive told me I should have never bought his shocks.
 

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Darkman,
Well darkman I compliment you and your wife for being a combo that weigh less than 300 lbs. Doing the math real quick on my fingers indicates that you don't have a big ole gal riding behind you....l0l no but seriously as I'm a bachelor I have had where is lady friends on the back of my bikes from 100 to probably just over 200 pounds..... And I go about 190 probably in gear...... That being said doubling my load from solo Rider and rider with passenger makes a considerable difference in suspension setup.... And it gets much much worse when I put a big girl on the back,the weight difference from low to high is to much for a motorcycle shock to overcome... Enough about a bachelor's single life and dating problems...lmao..I'm guessing your progressive shocks probably have 2in of travel if they are a 12 in shock....12 in comes on street glide etc....Standard touring hd shocks are 13..... A one inch taller shock can be adjusted to be more compliant without bottoming out and that one inch does make a difference.. well darkman I'm probably trying too hard to explain something that everyone else has firm grasp on..... The one thing I have figured out for sure is the shorter the shock or amount of travel, the more money you should plan on spending if you want anything close to a decent ride...
 

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Legends. I put on my bike and it’s fantastic. What a huge difference. I have progressive on one and legends on another and there is just no comparison. The legends are hands down more comfortable and you feel better riding them.
 

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Brian,
Are your legends stock length or shortened? Also what bike? (touring or other?)
 

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I am 230lbs and just put as set of Progressive 944 standards on my 01 RK and they are a little stiff for me, at least while new. Set on the lowest setting I get 3/4” sag. For me they are great and my bike handles like a new bike but for anyone lighter they would be a bad choice. Mine are 13”.
When I called Progressive they recommended Heavy, I’m glad I didn’t listen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After doing some research, I’m leaning towards the Legends air shocks.
$2000,00 installed at my favorite Harley shop. And that’s with some very generous discounts on the parts.
Am I being unreasonable to think a 25K bike should ride smooth to begin with?
 

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The best shocks are Ohlins. It doesn't matter if you are light or heavy. Your body weight (w/gear on) determines your spring rate. So they will want to know your weight, riding style and shock length.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ohlin won’t make a shock for short people though. I would get less than an inch difference from the stock shock.
 

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Brian,
Are your legends stock length or shortened? Also what bike? (touring or other?)
Mine are stock. I had a shortening kit on my bike before but the guys at legends told me to get rid of them if I wanted a better ride. So we went with the legends axis on rear and wow what a difference from my stock air bags. It was such a improvement I went out and bought the front ones also. I’m riding a 06 Electra glide. I weigh about 200 and the wife is prob. Around 175 or so. We installed the progressive adjustable shocks on my fat boy a few hrs ago in sturgis because the salesman told me it would make all the difference in the world. I was never really happy with them and after I got the legends installed now I barely ride that bike. It’s like riding a bull compared to riding in a RV. Honestly I can’t tell you how much we enjoy this suspension. It’s adjustable also so when mommas not on and I want to drag the floorboards. It takes about 45 seconds to adjust. I hope this helps I know it sucks when you get something that don’t live up to what you had to pay for it.
 

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unfortunately in the Harley world,, alot of the manufacturers claims are total bullshit... just there to make a buck... I'm glad you are happy with the legends...
ohlin will build you shocks with spring rates for your weight and type riding you do as well as length... I know you dont need them now,, but cor future reference..
 

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Ohlin won’t make a shock for short people though. I would get less than an inch difference from the stock shock.
Although an aftermarket shock may provide better damping and offer a customized spring rate, going with a shorter than factory length shock is a compromise considering that the Harley shock doesn't offer much travel to start with.

My experience with dresser shocks is fairly limited, 2004 FLHRSI 12" factory air, 2015 FLHTCU 13" factory air, 12 1/2" Progressive 440 and 12 1/2" 444, 13" Ohlins HD 159 and 12 7/8" Motorcycle Metal HD #2-#2-(B) which is basically an Ohlins HD 022 that may have been modified by Howard.

On my 2004 Road King Custom, the 12 1/2" Progressive 440 provided a somewhat better ride than the factory 12" shock for 10 years. At that point they failed and Progressive replaced them with a 12 1/2" 444 under their lifetime warranty. They rode a bit better than the 440. Installing the 13" Ohlins HD 159 on the 2004 was WOW! Even though I had ordered them for my 2015 Ultra Classic, I wanted to compare them to the 444 on the same bike.

Installing the HD 159 on the Ultra Classic provided a nice compliant ride and better damping than the factory shocks, but the difference wasn’t as great as I experienced on the Road King. I still have them on the Ultra and if I had it to do over again, I would.

The last pair of shocks I purchased was from Howard at Motorcycle Metal. After consulting with him, I decided on his #2-#2-(B). I tried the 2-2B shocks on both bikes. They provide a superior ride to the Progressives on the Road King and the factory shocks on the Ultra Classic. I cannot tell the difference between them and the HD 159 on the Ultra Classic. The HD 159 seems to ride slightly better than the 2-2B on the Road King, but it could be my imagination. They are very close. As a side note, Howard does offer some Ohlins that are shorter than 13".

There is a little inconvenience with the Ohlins. In order to experience the best ride quality, when you change the load on the bike, you must adjust the spring preload. The HD 159 is a little easier to adjust than the 2-2B (HD 022) but neither requires much effort or time. It does require you to remove the bags to adjust them. The factory air shocks offer the convenience of adjustment without removing the bags but they won’t provide the ride you get with Ohlins, no matter how you adjust them.
 

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Ohlins in the rear. Stock length for 03 ultra. Shorter ruins the ride and handling. OE sucks in any length. My gf and I are 300 or less...or more.
 

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I tell you the legends we bought are probably the best money I’ve spent on this bike and I’ve spent wsy too much momma says. o_O
 

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The I ride suspension will actually go down when you stop and ride when you take off. I’ve heard it’s amazing system. The legends have a 12” instead of 13” also. it sounds like the Thundermax I ride would be the one though. You stop it will lower to the ground if that’s the setting you put in and when you take off they go up to a normal ride height. Chris Waddell from cycle solutions out of Florida sales them. He really carries top of the line stuff.
 

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Problem with many aftermarket shocks is the spring rate. Many only have standard or heavy. So standard up to 250, if you weigh 230 the ride is ok, if you weigh 160, it is horrible. You need spring rates for YOUR weight, which narrows down the choices, and raises the price.
 
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