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I'm going on a 600 mile twisty ride next Friday and I want to have my new Progressive Monotubes installed by then. In this case I decided to go with an Indy because Harleys are relatively new to me and quite honestly, I don't want to screw something up prior to the trip.

My question has to do with the supplied spacers. I looked at many threads regarding the monotubes, but I didn't find anything about the spacers. Late last year I spoke to a guy who installed them on his bike, but he didn't like the stiff ride so he either added or removed a supplied spacer to soften the ride. The change did help, but he said it wasn't enough because he prefers the soft and cushy ride. Since there was nothing more he could do he sold the monotubes to a buddy and returned the bike to stock. Have any of you tried the same thing to achieve a softer ride, not cushy but not really firm either. I know this is one of those personal preference situations and I also understand the relationship between a firmer ride and better handling. I come from a long line of sport bikes and if you are inclined to more aggressive riding or track days then firmer suspension settings are your thing. However, since the Harley to me is a cruiser bike I would be more inclined to have the softer ride, a ride that absorbs jarring hits from holes and chunks of asphalt or concrete from a roadway that is falling apart, like so many are. How about throwing money into our infrastructure instead of playing social issue games?

So, long story short, any of you with Progressive Monotubes have any input regarding post install ride firmness, being too firm to be exact. If you made a change to the spacers to make the ride softer, did you remove or add a spacer? Did the change actually work, or was it not enough for your needs like the guy I referred to above? How many spacers can you add or subtract and how many were supplied in the product carton?

I mentioned I would be more inclined to want a softer ride because I do a fair share of freeway riding, something I tried to avoid like the plague when riding my Ducati 999R. But giving this issue a second thought or two, I do like taking the Harley into the hills for some canyon carving. Actually, the bike is more capable now because I installed the Progressive Tour Link Stabilizer, tossed the air shocks in favor of Suspension Technologies shocks. These two products made a difference in handling performance that enabled me to push the bike harder in the twisties. Restoring confidence in the suspension with better handling increased the fun factor in a big way. I just don't want a set up that is so firm it feels like bolts of lightening running through your wrists. I'm looking for a compromise, that is why I'm asking about the spacers.

The monotube install will complete my suspension upgrade project and I'm really looking forward to testing them when I hit the road next week.
 

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I have the monotubes on my 09 UC but I didn't install them so I'm not going to be of much help with most of your questions; however, they guy who put mine in said there were three options; stock, 1 inch lower or 2 inches lower. He didn't speak of the spacers as changing the stiffness but it makes sense that they would. I went with the 1 inch lower option as lowering my bike was one of the reasons for changing the stock ones out.

My other comment is that I really like them. I tested them by hitting speed bumps in a subdivision and the harder I hit them the smoother the ride. They are great when hitting bridge decks that aren't level with the road (especially at high speeds). I always felt a little rumble after putting them on (with stock tires) but I recently put some new Dunlop American Elite tires on and the rumble is gone.

The only other thing I've heard about them is that you have to repalce them every 5 years. I read this "online" but have never been able to gather enough supporting evidence to know if this is true or not. If someone knows, I'm interested to know if this is the case....or not.
 

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You might wanna try the Progressive website. I've contacted them with questions before & got a pretty quick response.
 

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The spacers are used if your going to lower the factory ride height. Use three for 1" lower 1 for 2" lower. They go between the spring and the spring seat. I have never heard that these spacers change the ride quality. The Mono Tubes have a superior ride to the stock harley a little firmer and no dive in the corner or while braking.

If you need more adjustibility to your stlye of riding and body type call Race Tech
 

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Remove some of the fluid
Contrary to what has been stated the fluid level does affect the firmness or softness of the ride and is used to help dampen the suspension...
Don't ask me how I know this...
paul
By adding or subtracting the shims wont make the bike lower in inches
adding/removing the shims only change the stance by .250 at a time
That's the thickness of each shim
 

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WFO
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Remove some of the fluid
Contrary to what has been stated the fluid level does affect the firmness or softness of the ride and is used to help dampen the suspension...
Don't ask me how I know this...
paul
By adding or subtracting the shims wont make the bike lower in inches
adding/removing the shims only change the stance by .250 at a time
That's the thickness of each shim
You only have 5oz in each tube? what do you run? How does this effect a sealed Dampner?
 

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My experience was when I had the system installed and road the bike the front end felt pretty nice but I later learned it had a seal leak on both sides (I learned this while I was on a road trip for a week long) as the fluid was expelled the front got softer to the point I wasn't comfortable pushing it in the mountains due to the lack of firmness it had...
 

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I was under the impression that he 5oz was just enough to lube the exposed end of the shaft - acting as surface lube, not a shock suppression fluid. I thought the cartridges were sealed and filed with gas - instead of oil; hence, my guess is if there was any oil leaking it must have been some of the 5oz versus the cartridge itself. These are the same sort of cartridges the motocross bikes use. My experience is that they are much more responsive than a traditional oil shock. I don't so much notice their superior performance pushing through a sweeping turn (although it's good) as when hitting a bump. They swallow bumps just like the motocross bikes.
 

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Adding the shims lowering the bike ? How the hell does that work ? Think that’s wrong.
My understanding was they just pre loaded the spring more. So for a heavier rider or more firmness just add a shin or two.

I just received my mono tube kit yesterday, and came here to find out what the consensus was as to if I need the shins fitted or not. I weigh 190 lbs, 2004XL 883
 

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I just I talked a set in my 03 FLHTCUI. Just followed directions. If I remember ride height is determined by part number not soarer or shim install . They are much firmer than stock and my bike feels so much better when you hit dips and bumps they aren’t harsh and don’t bottom. I did Ohlins in the rear first and it made the fronts feel so bad I had to upgrade them.
 

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I just installed a set in my 03 FLHTCUI. Just followed directions. If I remember ride height is determined by part number not spacer or shim install . They are much firmer than stock and my bike feels so much better when you hit dips and bumps they aren’t harsh and don’t bottom. I did Ohlins in the rear first and it made the fronts feel so bad I had to upgrade them.
 
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