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Author Topic: Rear Air Suspension Shock and Preload Knob Adjustment on a HD - DIY  (Read 6210 times)

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November 28, 2013, 09:16:54 AM
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HDBitchin

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Rear Air Suspension Shocks Adjustment on a HD - DIY

As the video says, you should never use a gas station air hose to service the air shocks on a Harley Touring bike since the high pressure can damage the system.

HD sells their own design of a pump and that is what I use and would recommend. If not using that you might find a bicycle hand pump that will deliver a low pressure transfer.

The Touring models that got the new frames in 2009 allow for a higher PSI adjustment than what my 2008 Electra Glide manual calls for. Therefore I would recommend that you always consult your Owners Manual for proper PSI for the model year bike you have. 

Your owner's manual will give nominal PSI adjustments for single rider and two-up riding loads.


April 23, 2014, 08:10:20 PM
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HDBitchin

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Here is another video showing an alternative hand pump made by Tusk. It has some extra features that I like such as a swivel head, rubber o-ring design and pressure release that the Harley one does not have.



April 24, 2014, 07:35:36 AM
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LAWDOG


Been riding with these air shocks for ten plus years on two bikes.  Never messed with it.  Des it make that much of a difference?  Seldom, other than a 7 lb dog, ride two up.
Fixin stuff that ain't broke...

April 24, 2014, 08:05:48 AM
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HDBitchin

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Been riding with these air shocks for ten plus years on two bikes.  Never messed with it.  Des it make that much of a difference?  Seldom, other than a 7 lb dog, ride two up.

I think it does. These shocks are a combination of oil and air. I can feel the difference when my air pressure is set correctly versus being low. They will leak down. Your manual will have air pressure recommendations for a single rider and two-up riding. Obviously the 7 lb dog  :o doesn't qualify for two up but the rear shock is designed to be pressurized for the load and a single rider load has a proper pressure (in your manual). Since these shocks all leak and won't hold pressure over a long period, they do need adjustments.

Ask around of others that you ride with I bet one of your Touring bike riding friends has a pump and they probably carry it in their saddlebag. Ask them to let you try it on your bike's shocks while at a gas stop. It only takes a few minutes and I bet you will be pleased with your new smoother ride.


April 24, 2014, 11:48:05 AM
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sickpup


It makes a huge difference on mine. I don't go by the book though, I just tried it one way then the other until it gave me the ride I was looking for. Mine(the Ultra) is actually somewhere in between the recommended 1 up and 2 up setting that way I don't have to change back and forth. With my wife on it is set as low as possible without bottoming out on the pot holes then when I ride solo it is a little on the firm side but still comfy. The Road King is set where I like it best for solo riding. I've never had them leak down but they fluctuate slightly with the temperature.
Ride On...

February 24, 2017, 02:49:12 PM
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HDBitchin

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The below attachments should help with the values of the PSI adjustments between the various Touring models and the difference in the required PSI that is needed for the 2008 and older models and the 2009 and newer models. Make sure that when adjusting a 2008 and older Touring suspension that you do not use the higher PSI values that a 2009 and newer Touring motorcycle will allow.

Please pay attention to the below file names for the correct year and model information.


April 10, 2017, 07:08:57 PM
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HDBitchin

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Some additional information on the newer model air shocks is contained in the attached pictures. The attachments shown are for the air shock PSI adjustment and the preload knob adjustments for a 2015 Touring motorcycle. As always please consult your model and year manual for proper pressure.

Also below is some Preload adjuster knob information on the 2015 Touring models (other years may be similar).

Adjust the shock absorber preload for the weight the motorcycle is to carry.
• Increase preload to accommodate heavier loads on the motorcycle.
• Reduce the preload if carrying less weight.
Rotate the preload adjustment knob counterclockwise until it stops. This is the minimum preload position. The knob has 18 full turns of adjustment from min to max preload. It will click at every half turn. 

There will be a table in your owners manual that tells you to rotate the knob clockwise to a recommended number of turns for the total weight of the rider plus the passenger and cargo. The knob will click after each half turn. Turn the knob "half turns" to fine tune the ride if desired. The table attached below is for a 2015 Touring model.

April 13, 2019, 08:57:17 AM
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HDBitchin

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Here is a good video that @bc45 found and posted in a thread that was talking about rebuilding the shocks. It was suggested that this video be added to the forum's DIY section. In line with that rebuild topic this video does an oil change on the shocks.




 



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