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I have a 08 FXSTC, and have been thinking about lowering it, but I don't want to lower it too much and ruin the way it rides. So how much can I lower it, and still have it ride pretty well the way it rides stock, if thats possible ? And also which way should I go about doing it, different rear shocks, or spacers, and as far as the front goes, I about have to put different springs in the forks, don't I ??
 

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If you are not lowering it because of your leg length, leave it alone
 

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I lowered my '06 1.5" in the rear and don't notice any difference in the way it handles. I ride 2 up a lot with the old lady and we have never bottomed it out. That being said, I'm not necissarily a peg scraper and don't run switchbacks a lot so I probably wouldn't notice any difference in the ride anyway. When I lowered mine, I was told that in order to maintain as much of the stock characteristics as possible, the front should be lowered as well. I decided not to lower my front end and all is well.

I decided to spend a little more for the adjustable shocks from Progressive (422's). The were real easy to install and I didn't have to worry about taking my stock shocks apart to install the bolt kit. Progressive makes some really good suspensions and they can be surprisingly affordable through, yeah I'm gonna say it, eBay. If you do decide to lower your bike, go to your local hardware store and get a portable propane torch to soften up the threadlocker on them shock bolts - It will save you a lot of stomping. -DB
 

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I lowered mine using the Progressive 422 shocks. Couldn't stand how much it limited my turning; continued to raise it back up a little at a time till I was happy. Now I am back at stock ride height. I would not recommend lowering it unless you have really short legs. It looks cool, but the ride is not worth it. I ride probably a little more aggressive than most and still scrape at stock ride height.

JR
 

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I lowered my front about 2" and the rear about 1". It rides perfectly fine, no wobble, no cornering sway or pull; but I also take it a lot easier in the turns since I don't want to scrape anything.

I used the stock shocks to lower the rear and installed a Burly Brand lowering kit in the front.
 

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I lowered my front about 2" and the rear about 1". It rides perfectly fine, no wobble, no cornering sway or pull; but I also take it a lot easier in the turns since I don't want to scrape anything.

I used the stock shocks to lower the rear and installed a Burly Brand lowering kit in the front.
I guess that was the main point I was trying to make, you will scrape in the corners a lot more with a lowered bike, I have lifted weight off the rear tire by rubbing the pipes on my stock bike, and that is very close to disaster, if I did not catch the back end real quick I would have eaten some trees, and that correction could have caused me to high side, another bad thing. what I am saying is that was real aggressive cornering, lower the bike and you will run that risk with a lot less effort.
 

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As has been said...leave it alone. If you cant touch the ground you shouldn't have bought the bike. Softails already have a crappy suspension. Why on earth would you want to make it worse?
 

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I have a 08 FXSTC, and have been thinking about lowering it, but I don't want to lower it too much and ruin the way it rides. So how much can I lower it, and still have it ride pretty well the way it rides stock, if thats possible ? And also which way should I go about doing it, different rear shocks, or spacers, and as far as the front goes, I about have to put different springs in the forks, don't I ??
I know we all like to Tweek our rides. If we take into consideration the amount of experience & technological expertise that goes into designing a bike or said Softail there are somethings that can be tweeked & then there are others that cannot at the sacrifice of safety & comfort.

I am not in anyway an engineer advocate but when you start to change frame angles or one angle which directly effects the frame your stradling you need to know specifics. It's not a case of guess or by golly unless your willing to do it an 1/8th at a time.

Every rider weighs up differently which inadvertantly effects the amount you can alter the angle. Not every rider is content with what another rider considers OK for his likes. Its more a case when enough is enough, its more like a double edge sword ... what you gain in looks you lose in handling & thats where you have to find a happy medium because the dynamics are very slight when it comes to changing any engineers calculations.

Remember changing the height of the rear axis will also change the trail of your front end. Thats where the handling comes into realm of the whole picture.
 

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Short answer: Don't do it. If you have to then only lower about an inch and only with good quality shocks - not lowering bolts. Air shocks may be an exception but the price jump is significant.

I've been through this before with my '06 Street Bob. I bought several different brand shocks at various lengths including some high end Progressive 440s which only lowered the bike 1/2". In my experience, the more you lower the bike the more the ride quality and cornering clearance suffers. And even better quality shocks like infinitely adjustable 440s can't fully compensate for the reduced suspension travel. That's why my '10 Heritage remains at the standard ride height despite my 30" inseam. I thought about lowering it slightly but I'm already scraping the boards around corners - especially if I ride my Street Bob for any length of time as it leans a heckuva lot more than my Heritage.

BTW - the 'Bob is back to 12" shocks (stock length). The longer travel gives it better cornering clearance and noticeably better ride quality. Tho by comparison, my '10 Heritage is easily the most comfortable riding bike I've ever owned! And I plan to keep it that way :)
 

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As with any bike when you lower it, you sacrifice the cornering abilities (just go slower). But it really depends on what kind of riding you do. If you're mainly riding around town and doing mostly straight line riding, lowering is not very impactful. But if you lower your bike any you won't be able to take those twisties very fast!

Mine is lowered about 2" in the back, none out front- Chopper style. But I have drug my exhaust several times and occasionally hit my derby-which can get real interesting!

The best way to go is getting the air-ride. Very expensive, but it not only gives you the ability to put it in the weeds ridin around town, but raise it back up with the push of a button for when your going cross-country. Legend's L9 is pretty slick! It also increases ride quality with out giving the "Pogo" effect. Progressive also puts out a good one.
 

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As has been said...leave it alone. If you cant touch the ground you shouldn't have bought the bike. Softails already have a crappy suspension. Why on earth would you want to make it worse?
I bought my 2002 Deuce used from the dealership (this was when the 2003 models were out and they were asking a fortune for them), and the previous owner had slammed it.

I rode that bike all over Florida, even with the wife on back... no problems. I was also a tech and rode all sorts of bikes... never had an issue with Softail suspension. I think the Heritage Softail to be one of the most comfortable Harleys I ever rode but ended up with an EG Classic as I wanted fairing, radio, tour pak, etc. No way is my bike more "comfortable" than a Heritage as far as seating and ride.
 

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I have mine lowered 1 3/4" in the rear with $16.00 lowering bolts. I tightened up the preload so as not to bottom out easily and it rides fairly well and handles great as far as I am concerned. If you want to lower your bike but maintain a factory ride at a low price then the best bet would be to find a set of shocks off of a Deluxe or Fatboy Lo. They will lower your bike 1". If you want to dump the coin and have better than a factory ride then the best setup would be a Shotgun Shock. With the Shotgun you can ride pretty much slammed and still have a smooth ride.
 

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The original owner of my 02 FXST lowered it as far as it would go. He was way shorter than me so I guess he had a reason. My first ride I found I was dragging the pipes and swingarm. I raised it to just under stock height and have eliminated any scraping issues and it still looks a little low.

If you insist on lowering it I would recommend going slowly at first until you figure out how it will handle then go from there.
 

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I lowered my '05 an inch and a half in the back, left the front alone. Ride two up 90% of the time and with luggage rack with a weeks worth of clothes for the long trips. Bottom line is that its YOUR bike do what YOU want.
 

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Not sure about the complaints on lowering your rearend. I lowered my rear 06 Heritage Softail and very happy with the way it handles. I'm a lightweight at 150lbs and '6 the stability has increased and turning shorter radius is easier. Taking sharp curves especially on highway git on ramps to fast get a little scraping on passenger foot skate boards. But nothing hazardous. I believe it's all about the rider not the bike
 

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Not sure about the complaints on lowering your rearend. I lowered my rear 06 Heritage Softail and very happy with the way it handles. I'm a lightweight at 150lbs and '6 the stability has increased and turning shorter radius is easier. Taking sharp curves especially on highway git on ramps to fast get a little scraping on passenger foot skate boards. But nothing hazardous. I believe it's all about the rider not the bike
Forgot to mention I lowered 1.75 inches. Made a lot of difference for my lady to mount and dismount
 
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