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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Bloodweiser, Dec 20, 2010.
Thankfully, it's this time of year again!!!!!
That is a very classy bike.
That the new Bolt?
It is a very nice Sportster!
Damn! I better revive this thread from the 3rd page! :huh
Here's an update to my quest to turn my 48 into something more resembling a real "Go Sportster" that is suited to more serious riding than just tootling along from bar to bar...
I gathered my parts...
First was a set of almost new Roadster shocks that picked up from ebay for $41 shipped:
I disassembled them using the handy little spring compressor that I built
I got the springs sandblasted at work and powder coated them matte black using my little powder coating rig from Harbor Freight.
Then I put 'em back together.
I decided I like the slimmer look without the spring caps better...
I also picked up a longer sidestand from a Roadster from ebay, for a little over $21 shipped.
Got it blasted and powder coat it black too...
So, then I had everything I need for round 1 of suspension mods...
Ricor Intiminators and longer Roadster length damper rods for the forks, and the longer shocks from the roadster...
Man! That little HF powder coating rig sure is handy! Well worth the $48 or so I spent on it. SO much easier and quicker than priming, drying, painting and drying, with rattle can paint. Not to mention the increased durability of the PC over paint. Just spray the part, bake it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, and let cool. Once cool you have a fully cured, durable finish and the part is ready to use. No waiting for days for the paint to harden, and no noxious fumes either.
And here's the end result of all that research, thinkin' and plannin', so far...
Lifted ~ 2" front and rear...
Longer damper rods from the roadster in the forks, along with Ricor Iniminators for more travel, more cornering clearance, and improved damping. Longer (13.25") shocks, also from a Roadster (Ebay, $41 shipped), with the shock caps removed and the springs powder coated black. Also added a newly black powder coated sidestand, also from a Roadster ($21 shipped from ebay). to adjust for the longer suspension.
HUGELY improved ride quality, as well as cornering ability! Took it down a local curvy road at a fairly spirited pace and never even drug the peg feelers! Actually handles pretty damn good too! And NO more spine jarring and kidney pounding shocks over even fairly significant surface irregularities, unlike the stock suspension on these factory lowered models like the 48 have over every small pebble in the road. Pretty damn happy with it now, although I do plan to upgrade the cheapo shocks to Ohlins once funds allow. These seem to work fairly well with my little skinny ass for now though.
I was a little concerned about how the longer suspension might affect the "look" since it was designed to have that long and low look. But now that I've done it, I find that I actually prefer the way it looks now... Kinda "chunkier" and more muscular maybe, IDK, but I love it! And it's SO much more fun to ride now that it's almost unbelievable!
So, to date, I've done the above noted suspension mods, Cycle Shack slip-ons, Sick Saddles custom brown leather seat, and a 4 pot front caliper upgrade from an XR1200. Much better comfort. Much better handling. Much better braking. And, a much better sound from stock. And none of this has been hugely complicated or expensive. Just low budget mods that made a very favorable impact on my enjoyment of my ride.
And here's the other side to show the brake caliper upgrade:
So, hopefully I'm a little more qualified to post it here in this thread now!
Next up, maybe, is to install the NRHS Hurricane A/C set-up and do something about the fueling. Chassis and brakes first, THEN the engine upgrades... Might be awhile before I do more now though. Riding season is here!
Might wanna look into Pirelli night dragons, I've heard just good things about them, but havent gotten them yet as tires are pricey. The OEM tires feel really vague when the road gets wet.
Thanks for the tip. I plan to keep the stockers until they need replacement since, like you said, tires are pricey. But when it comes time, I'll look into those. Are they available in the factory 48 sizes?
And hopefully I won't be riding this bike in the rain anyway. It's my "fair weather" ride. To much bullshit to clean, and with the leather seat... I have other bikes that I don't mind getting wet and nasty though... So, for now the stock tires seem ok, although I haven't pushed them terribly hard... then again, I don't plan to since I also have other bikes that are better suited for that purpose as well... besides, I'm gettin old and have slowed down somewhat these days anyway. I did get a cruiser after all...
Randy your bike looks awesome! It does have that beefy look and did not take away from the 48, if anything, it enhanced it (IMHO). I am a big fan of the roadster length suspension. It unlocks the potential these bikes have. It's fun not dragging parts in the corners!
The bike looks great. THAT is how it shoulda left the factory.
Ditto on a great looking ride! Tank fill cover in the lower right looks like an issue though.
Still trying to get used the the giant front tyre on the 48. Like the rest of the bike though. Still hunting for a left over Nightster.
That 48 looks spot on, nice job Randy!
Factory: take note; travel and ground clearance=good . Good looks; not affected (even improved to some)= good.
Oh, and one more thing that I forgot to add to the list earlier, although I did mention it earlier in the thread...
I swapped out the factory forward controls for mids a while back too. Much more comfortable for me, and improves control, IMO. Could actually stand them to be a little more rearward, but at least they're far better than the forwards that came on it. For me at least.
I ride my 48 in sunshine and in rain, heres my bike from thursday.
Got some washing to do...
After all your research, it has opened up the 48/Nightsters market to me. Like you, I like the 48/Nightsters but the low bit I could live without. Now that you tested the re-made suspension I can start looking for the right bike.
Oh, for a bit more range, the Nightster tank does fit the 48.
It really isn't all that difficult to get decent ride height, although some of the things I have done may or may not work well for you, depending on your weight. But of course those things can be adjusted to suit. The shocks for instance. I used the stock Roadster shocks as an interim solution until I can afford better. They seem to be working our pretty well for me now, although I have heard that they don't work real well for heavier riders. Same goes for the stock fork springs. I reused the stock factory 48 springs in the forks. I actually had to cut them down 2.5" in order to get the sag set right for me. I may or may not upgrade to better springs later on too, depending on how well these work once I've had time to evaluate the new suspension a bit more. But, again, they also seem to be working pretty well for me as is for now. All in all though, all it takes is the longer dampers to get the fork length back, and then longer shocks of your choice for the rear. The details, like shocks and fork springs, are up to the individual.
One thing to note however... I found that for my bike the 13.25 shocks are about as long as I can run without further mods. At full extension the belt runs pretty close to the stock exhaust's rear cross-over tube support bracket. Of course if running an aftermarket exhaust that does away with this piece, then you may have a little more room before running into clearance issues with the rear brake master cylinder bell crank. I have seen other solutions to these issues, but I wanted to keep it simple and do what I could to improve an otherwise basically stock bike.
While longer range would be nice, for me, the looks of the peanut tank was one thing that initially drew me to the bike. I just like the proportions it gives the bike. That and of course the Hard Candy Custom gold metal flake paint!
I presume that is the eye to eye measurement. There should be plenty of 13" options available, yes?
Yeah, 13.25", eye to eye is the stock shock length for the Roadster. There are quite a few options available in this range. Progressive, Works, Ohlins, Ricor... all have shocks in this length. I also believe that YSS and Hagon do as well.
Well, I have to admit that a "real" rider does ride in all weather.
I've never really been a fair weather rider myself either, actually. Maybe after the "new" has worn off this bike, and I've been caught out in the rain a few times, I'll change my perspective. But as it is now, the bike is new with less than a thousand miles on it, and it was a surprise gift from my GF (now wife), so it has a little sentimental thang going on. And then there's the leather seat that I'd just prefer not to get wet. I'll probably get Ed to make me up another seat like this one, in vinyl, a little later on, but for now I'll just try to avoid nasty weather on this bike.
If it's gonna rain and I want to ride anyway, I'll take the GS. It's seen LOTS of rain and crap!