Go Sportsters

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Bloodweiser, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. rodteague

    rodteague Enjoying the ride

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    557
    Location:
    Franklin,TN
    When I spoke with a technician at Ricor they did recommend that I start with the stock springs. However, he did say they would probably work well with the Progressive springs. When speaking to progressive; they did not admit to any testing with the Ricor; but they did speak of another valve(the name escapes me at the moment) that they had worked with and it had performed well. I opted to start with the progressive rate springs and if I felt I needed something that would improve the suspension in rougher terrain I'd try the Ricor's. I keep things pretty slow on the back roads, so for now, the Progressives with the current preload setting are more than adequate.

    Rod
  2. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,261
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Race-Tech Gold valves Rod, they make them for lots of applications.
  3. rodteague

    rodteague Enjoying the ride

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    557
    Location:
    Franklin,TN
    Thats it. I was at work and was thinking about it later but wasn't 100%. Bounced between Ricor and the Gold valves, heavily leaning towards the Ricors because of access.
  4. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    Newnan, GA USA
    I bounced back and forth between the two as well. I read what I could and while I didn't find to much in the way of head to head comparisons, what I did find seemed to indicate the Ricors performed better.

    The Ricor Intiminators are a straight drop in too, whereas the Gold Valve Emuators require the bleed holes in the damper rods to be drilled out. At least in most applications. In my case that wouldn't have been a big deal since I had my forks completely apart to change out the damper rods anyway. But, if that wasn't the case, just draining the oil and dropping in the Intiminators would have made it much simpler.

    One possible advantage of the Emulators is that they are tuneable. Similar to the way a cartridge fork with external adjusters, only you have to remove the Emulators to make tuning adjustments if desired. I don't believe the Intiminators offer the same degree of owner adjustability. Then again, I'm not sure how essential this feature is for most riders.

    I can't say that I wouldn't have been happy with the Gold Valve Emulators too, but I can say that I can't imagine being more pleased with their performance than I am with my Intiminators.

    IMHO, good damping is the single most important thing to suspension performance, and the stock HD damping rod forks are horrible at it. :puke1

    The stock forks have a reputation for being too softly sprung. In my case, with the Ricors I found that the stock springs worked fine. I actually ended up cutting 2" from the free length of my springs. It seems that in their infinite wisdom, the engineers at HD decided to use a soft spring rate and then use massive amounts of spring preload to keep the forks from losing too much travel in static sag conditions. :huh In all my years I've never worked with a set of forks set up quite that way....

    In testing I'm using the majority of my fork travel while never bottoming. And by "testing" I mean trying my best to bottom the forks in road conditions. Like full-on panic braking over bumps etc. That's what good damping will give you... the ability to actually use the majority of your available travel without ever being harsh or completely bottoming the suspension. Just well controlled compliance that works like it should. If you aren't using up the majority of your travel in the worst conditions your bike sees then you are wasting some of your suspensions potential and putting up with excessively harsh action and reduced wheel control.

    IMO, the two things that holds the Sportster back the most is the suspension and the brakes. Coincidentally, that was the first two things I started working on with my bike. :deal I still want better shocks when funds allow, but that'll come way before I worry about spending any money trying to get more power from the engine.
  5. snakecharmr

    snakecharmr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Cannuckland
    New rear suspension should be in within the hour and picking up a set of screamin chicken slip ons tonight.. looks like tmm Ill be spending some time in the garage.. Not sure how I'm gonna do the rear shocks by myself without a lift but I'm sure I'll rig something up that looks incredibly unsafe but works... Got Progressive Suspension 412's with Heavy duty spring rate and 12" which is an inch over for my XL883L.. Should fix my bottoming out issue. This was easier than going on a diet..lol
  6. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    Newnan, GA USA
    DIY bike lift


    I built something similar when I first got my bike. Picked up the HF lift shortly afterward so I never actually used it but from the videos I've seen it looks like it would work fine for shocks and such. Just a couple of 2bys of the appropriate width, a piece of pipe, a flange, and a few long deck screws.
  7. Weldman

    Weldman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,549
    You can do one side at a time without a lift. Just lean the bike over onto sidestand carefully until the wheel is off the ground and prop it up with something solid. Change the right shock. Then do the left. I did mine this way, going from stock 11" shocks to 13" Road King shocks and it worked just fine. Just be sure the bike is "chocked" up well.

  8. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,370
    Location:
    Central CT
    ^Exactly. Just make sure to loosen all the shock mounting nuts a bit before doing the propping up.
    My stock shocks had been put on by a gorilla with a 6' bar.
  9. snakecharmr

    snakecharmr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Cannuckland
    I wondered if I could get enough clearance that way.. looks like that is the way I'll be going.. Gotta run to the hardware store in the morning though to pick up a new set of torx plus bits as I can't find mine and don't feel like stripping them out with normal torx..
  10. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    Newnan, GA USA
    While it can be done without a lift, why not build one like I linked to above? It's simple, cheap, and will be useful in the future anyway. Plus, it's more stable and secure. Just sayin....
  11. DutchVDub

    DutchVDub Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,359
    Location:
    Firestone, CO
    Sportster a are small enough you can also use a regular car jack to get it in the air and then put Jack stands under it. I do that with my 840lbs Vulcan Vaquero. Or if you have a transmission jack, I use them under motorcycles a lot.

    Hell, it's a 500lbs bike. Just hoax your neighbors or friends over and have them pick it up to put on Jack stands. 4 guys can toss it into a truck bed pretty easily so getting the rear elevated onto stands or blocks should be cake, I'm just saying.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. 83XLX

    83XLX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    That's what I used to do before I bought a bike jack. I have switched shocks using the "lean on the sidestand" method, but it's pretty hard to do by yourself if the new shocks are a different length from the ones that are on it.
  13. snakecharmr

    snakecharmr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Cannuckland
    No worries.. put the Screamin Eagle II's on it yesterday and had a few friends stop over so just had them hold the bike up while I changed the shocks out.. went nice and smooth and easy... NO issues.. even with the longer shocks and the heavy duty ones I had to put it on the third step for the preload adjustment to not bottom her out.. lol
  14. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,261
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    My friends would eat my food and drink my beer, figured out a long time ago it was much cheaper to buy the damn jack...:lol3

    Glad it worked out for you!
  15. Tepi

    Tepi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    543
    Location:
    Helsinki/Heinola Finland
    [​IMG]
    My new setup
  16. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    Newnan, GA USA
    Details are in order, Tepi....
  17. Weldman

    Weldman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,549
    Today's re-jetting went well. I now own the best-running Sportster in the universe.:D
    [​IMG]
  18. RickS

    RickS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Altus, OK
  19. RebelYell

    RebelYell Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    522
    Location:
    somerset nj
    How do you like the progressiv3 shocks? I want to add a different set to my 883, im tired when it bottom out powthe spike is right thru the seat directly thru the keister and too my spine.Can you say ouch! Dammit!
  20. RickS

    RickS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Altus, OK
    ALKay, where did you get the pipes? I do not see that pipe listed in the supertrapp product guide? Looking for one for my 91 883.