J&P Tech Tip: Suspension and Bike Fitment

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March 10, 2010 | By: David Zemla

Editor’s note: As of late, we’ve noticed that rider and bike fitment are hot topics, especially within the big V-Twin segment of the motorcycle marketplace. While fitment isn’t necessarily a new concept, it is one that deserves a fair amount of coverage, and who better to address it than someone from Progressive Suspension, a company that is entirely dedicated to creating innovative and high performance suspension products that directly enhance rider and bike fitment. With those thoughts in mind, please help us in welcoming Progressive Suspension’s David Zemla, who with today’s post will be a regular contributor here on the J&P blog.

Get in a typical car and you can tilt the wheel, slide the seat forward and generally make whatever size car it is fit whatever size you are. The same is not true with a motorcycle, as packaging and weight prohibit such accoutrements. Proper fit in the two wheel world often requires swapping out a part or two, and thanks to a healthy aftermarket, the options are fairly substantial. So as not to turn this into a novel, today I’ll limit the discussion to the benefits of lowering your bike.

Next time you sit on your motorcycle, take notice of how it fits you. Are you on your toes muscling an 800-pound machine around gas stations? If so, that’s a recipe for certain disaster and one that is easily rectified.

An inch or so drop in your bike’s suspension is often all it takes to get your feet flat on the ground, and a high-performance shock — even in lowered form — comes with the added bonus of improving the quality of your ride. Most installs can be done right in your garage and are generally only four bolts!

Check out the complete selection of Progressive Suspension products on the J&P website, including Progressive Suspension 412, 430 and 440 series shocks. One of the great things about buying from J&P is their sales techs have all been though Progressive Suspension’s training and can help guide you though purchase and install of shocks and fork spring that “fit” you best!

Comments: 8 Comments | Categorized Under: Product Information

Comments (8)

I have a 2005 Fatboy, and want to improve the handling characteristics. I’m 6’1“, 300 lbs., and mostly ride solo. I wouldn’t mind raising the rear an inch if possible. Am I looking at the right Progressive components; front: 31-2502, rear: 422-4037C?

[...] my J&P blog posts about suspension and bike fitment, you might recall that your shocks can be adjusted to fit your bike and weight. You also learned that in order to achieve a proper fit in the [...]

Mike,
We have an excellent solution for you! Created for shorter inseam riders who are not willing to give up on ride quality, the AirDragger is the ideal solution. Utilizing a combination of coil spring and air it will allow you to drop the shock down to 11″ around town and air it back up to full ride height on the open road. Combined with a pair of our lowered fork springs (only take 1″ out of front), I think you’ll find you’ll have created a nice ride in a height that is comfortable as well!

http://www.progressivesuspension.com/airdragger/index.html

http://www.progressivesuspension.com/loweredforksprings/index.html

[...] as a bike because all bikes have two wheels. Yamaha's Tesseract turns just like a motorcycleJ&P Tech Tip: Suspension and Bike Fitment | Motorcycle Parts …Get in a typical car and you can tilt the wheel, slide the seat forward and generally make whatever [...]

I am 5’4″ 165# with a 29″ inseam and my lady is 5’0″ 110#.

I just got a 2008 Electra Glide Ultra and of course I am tippy toeing around on this. I see a number of 12″ shocks for the Ultra but am really interested in the 440 series in an 11 1/2″ length if one would work for this bike. I also plan to install the progressive front spring kit and a low profile seat.

Can I get an 11 1/2 inch shock to work with decent ride characteristeics?

Tank, I would suggest you check out the Legend Air Suspension System. You can pump it up when your lovely bride wants to ride and then readjust when you are flying solo. You can also adjust the air pressure on the fly when the road conditions change. I bought mine through a dealer, but you can get a Screamin’ deal from J&P directly. Their prices are less than I paid! I have a set on my 2000 Ultra for over 3 years and the system works like new and the bike rides better than new. Enjoy the ride….Bagger Jim

Couple of things to do here. First is stick with the original 12″ shock length and swap in a set of 412 Series shocks. Spring rate is firmer than original and shock is preload tunable. Progressive Suspension also makes a lowered shock, but you’re riding pretty heavy and will need the full amount of travel. Would also add in a progressive rate for spring to balance out the ride quality. I do not recognize that seat brand, but I recommend you take a look at a seat with a narrow nose that will allow you to get your feet closer together when on the ground. The end result here will be a superior ride quality and a better stance at stop lights.

ok ..i got one for ya.. got an old 73′ FLH..now i go bout 5’9 300lbs. wife goes 5’11 220lbs . big ol amazon..now i only have 30-32 inch inseam. what shock and height should i go on my 73′ so as to not bottom out.. i realize lot of weight for an old shovel.. but nowhere near ready to get rid of.. currently running a siccor seat.. i posted pic of the bike recently the red ’73 FLH with the purple “68 FLH.

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