Looking at Upgrading my Road King's suspension

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by chambersc, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    I've been looking at changing things up on my 2007 Road King Standard for a better suspension set up and I'm confused on what's a better option. Looking at the Progressive page, its all sales pitch and hard to tell which would be a better option.

    First off, I don't care about fancy covers and that BS. It's a bagger and you can't see it. Secondly, I don't really care if I retain the air assist it has now. Truthfully, I don't keep up with it on my stock stuff and it leaks down to zero psi in a week anyhow.

    My plan is this, Race Tech front fork springs (.95kg) with emulators and then out back I'm looking at either the Progressive 412, 440, or the 940. I don't care about lowering anything, that's not what i'm looking for. I want handling.

    So my question is, between the 412, 440, and 940 which is the better option for a heavy bike with a 180 lbs guy on it? The Progressive page it really pretty worthless on recommendations. Its hard to tell what the difference in them is. The 940 seems "geared" towards touring but of course its 1" lower and I don't want that. My bike doesn't need to be lower... It needs to ride better! The 812 and the 430 have been elminated because they seem like fancied up version of existing springs with chrome covers. Shit, I don't care if they're pink if they work right. I'm not paying for chrome covers and contrast cut bullshit...

    So, in a way I guess I've talked myself down to the 412 or the 440. I like the fact that the 940 is geared towards touring bikes, but I don't want the 1" of lowering. So what say all of you? What's the better choice here?
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  2. lfmn

    lfmn Been here awhile

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    You might also want to post this question on hdforums.com.
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  3. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    I did a little searching the HD forums after I posted this and it looks like for the heavier Touring Bikes people like the 440 best, especially if they ride two up. For the lighter Dyna's and Sporty's; most go with the 412.

    Also found out that Ohlins makes an HD 022 for the rears too, but I don't think I'm going to have THAT kind of spare cash laying around. I also probably don't need that much tunability. I'll end up playing with knobs too much and making things worse.

    Simpler is probably better for me...
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  4. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    The 412's are Prog's basic shock. Speaking from experience, they work well. This is particularly noticeable because Harley's stock suspension sucks. You can choose a regular spring or heavy duty spring. You can also get them in several different lengths.

    The 440's are nicer and what I would recommend for a touring bike. Again, not that the 412's are bad, but the 440's are better.

    Your stock suspension should not leak down in a week. You can use a squirt bottle filled with a mild soapy water solution and spray down the fittings & lines to find the leak. If you don't find a leak anywhere you may have a leaking shock, something that I've seen happen occasionally.

    Even with the stock shocks working as designed I think by comparison to just about any aftermarket suspension options they ride like ass. No matter what you buy you are likely to be happier.
    #4
  5. Savoir-Faire

    Savoir-Faire Powered by Hate

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    While you're at it, replace your front fork oil with the HD Heavyweight fork oil. I did that on my Road Glide and the difference it made is incredible, especially on rough roads like Chicago's.
    #5
  6. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    Sadly, from day #1 on this bike its leaked down in a week. Did the squirt bottle thing on the fittings early on and found nothing. I think my shocks have always leaked.

    I intend to change to a Race Tech front spring along with their recommended fork oil and possible emulators.
    #6
  7. ACDNate

    ACDNate Been here awhile

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    This just drives me nutz in the touring bike segment. Not HD specific, my GL1800's suspension is mediocre at best as well.
    #7
  8. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    I'd be happy with Harley if their suspension was mediocre :lol3
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  9. slipknot

    slipknot Been here awhile

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    I have not bought Progressive brand shocks since the 1976 when that brand offered an improvement over most stock suspension components. Since then the company turns out mostly junk. If their shocks offer an improvement over HD or any other brand then HD and others are really reaching for new lows in cheap.

    Good suspension will cost real money, not $1000 for shocks but $650 or so and you do not need remote reservoirs. Works Performance, Penske, Ohlins and others are not cheap. But the improvement in ride and performance will be far above what you are looking at now. Race Tech is a good start.

    I may be wrong about Progressive brand, maybe the company is making better product now but just 10 years ago it was laughable.
    #9
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    One of the decision making points when I BOUGHT my current cruiser was it HAD to have air suspension. My Concours had it for 20 years... I loved it. 60 second asjustment for pillion duty. My 2003 Victory TC had a threaded body FOX shock tucked under the seat. Absolute dog balls to adjust with a spanner with no access. One of the sevral reasons I dumped that bike before dumping $2K in upgrades to make it competent.
    Don't give up on air supension just because yours leaks. Neither of the two I've had leak down at all. If I were you, I'd strongly consider an aftermaket premium air shock set. NOT the slammer BS to lay the frame down when parked, but a REAL set... http://www.progressivesuspension.com/hd/416series/index.html
    #10
  11. BigEasy

    BigEasy Fish Eyed Heathen

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    Yeah, I'm looking at upgradeing the boingers on my Electra Glide and I'm going to keep checking this thread to see how it evolves. I have drank the Ohlin's kool aid and it's hard to say no. They have come out with a new top of the line HD927, but at $1,500.00 a set and no remote preload adjust that's kind of hard to swallow. The $$$ is crazy, but hasn't stopped me in the past. The lack of a remote preload adjuster sucks. The obvious question is would I really use it?

    The front end also has a wide spread of choices from just springs to the Traxxion Dynamics $1,000.00 cartridage kit. The Traxxion deal is probably out for me because they are fully adjustable but to do the adjustment you have to pull the fairing, not gonna happen. I'll probably do the springs/emulators.

    As far as checking the HD forums for info, I have tried but the sites are loaded with so much crap running in the background they are way unruly with my internet service, making them pretty unusable.
    #11
  12. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    Ohlins is the stuff, put one on another bike of mine and wow, my Harley is next to get Ohlins.
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  13. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I've got a FLHR and FLHTCU. Last year put 440 12.5 hvy spring on the FLHTCU, and will do that or maybe 12's on the FLHR.

    My FLHR is set up with a tourpak, not that is really much weight. I do like having my Road King a little lower.


    440s kick ass. If you search around the internet can get them for $430, with a 3 week wait.
    #13
  14. TALLGUY

    TALLGUY Been here awhile

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  15. TALLGUY

    TALLGUY Been here awhile

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    I forgot to say that I have used 440's on a Dyna and on a Roadglide and for the money they are a huge upgrade over the stock suspension.

    I want to do my forks next.


    TG
    #15
  16. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    Same here.
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  17. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    I was researching suspension upgrades for my Ultra before I sold it.

    Ricor gets very positive reviews, might be worth looking into.
    #17
  18. sstodvictory

    sstodvictory Been here awhile

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    Have you considered letting RaceTech work out the whole solution front and rear? They'll work with you and you'll get what's right for your weight, your Road King's weight, your expected loads and riding style. BTY I had RaceTech Gold Valve emulators put into my '00 Victory V92C and I'm happy with the result.

    steve
    #18
  19. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    I considered that, but RaceTech doesn't show an available option for the rear of the H-D Touring bikes. Maybe they have one and just don't show it on the webpage...
    #19
  20. sstodvictory

    sstodvictory Been here awhile

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    They didn't have any options on their web page for my Victory forks at the time of my upgrade, either. I contacted them directly and they worked with my Victory shop mechanic to get a custom solution. It didn't cost more than standard parts.

    Steve
    #20